We all want our instruments to last us a lifetime. They get us through the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly, and more than anything, we would like to hold them dear to us through thick and thin until their last possible moments.
Hopefully, those moments will be far past our lives and into the lives of our children, or even grandchildren. There is only one way to make your bass guitar last this long; proper care and maintenance.
To properly take care of and maintain your instrument, you need to make a bass guitar schedule (ugh we know, it sounds like the beginning of every bad school lecture, but hold on tight, it gets better, we promise).
Your bass guitar should never go a full ninety days (three months) without a proper cleaning. This isn’t much maintenance at all in the long run; a quarterly cleaning to keep your instruments alive and healthy. That’s less maintenance than your television, car, computer, or anything else.
Start off by marking the date you have chosen to clean your bass guitar. Next, mark the periods when a full cleaning is due. This will help you stick to the dates.
The first thing to do when giving your bass guitar the full cleaning run down is to take off the strings and, if you have any fret board besides maple or phenolic, give it a healthy dose of lemon oil after you have fully cleaned the frets and fret wiring. Let the oil soak in for ten minutes, and then wipe away the excess.
Next, get to work on your tremolo system; scrub out your cavities and use WD40 to get all the grime off. Take out your saddles, and clean the inside using cotton swabs coated in WD40. Take your time to clean every centimeter of your bridge; the bridge is the first part of your guitar subject to rot, mold, and grime. Don’t let your tremolo suffer; clean it well each and every time!
Once you have cleaned your tremolo system, go to work cleaning your bass’s body. Use either a polish or guitar cleaner, and a microfiber cloth to avoid adding any scratches. Make sure to clan in between the horns, the back of the neck, and the head stock as well.
When you are finished cleaning your bass guitar fully, add a new set of strings.
While doing a full cleaning is only necessary quarterly, bass guitar maintenance is a year round job. Wash your hand before handling your bass, and in between playing breaks to avoid transferring oils to it. Wipe down your strings with a microfiber cloth after each playing session, no matter how brief.
If see that your bass guitar is starting to get dirty, don’t hesitate and put it off until your quarterly cleaning; grab a cloth and get to work.
Doing these things will not only preserve your instrument for years to come, but will make it play better as well. A well maintained bass guitar isn’t nearly as prone to issues as an ignored one, so if you love your bass, do it a favor and treat it as such. For more detailed articles on taking care of your instrument, be sure to check out the articles below.
#1 – Boiling Your Bass Guitar Strings – Does it Work?
One of the most well known (though not necessarily the best) method of extending the lifespan of your bass strings is to boil them. Of course, there are some risks to doing this. Read on…
#2 – Learn How to Clean The Bass Guitar Fretboard And Keep It In Good Conditions
As you play your bass guitar in various environments, it is inevitable that grime and muck will get stuck and consolidated onto your fretboard. To keep your instrument in good playing conditions, cleaning the fret board is something you need to undertake once in a while.
#3 – Correct Methods And Advice to Storing Your Bass Guitar
Storing you bass guitar is an essential step for keeping your instrument safe from hazards in your daily life. Read this article to find out more…
#4 – Things to Do to Keep Your Bass in Tip-Top Conditions
In this lesson, we will go over some of the tips and routines that you can perform to take proper care of your bass. By doing so, you will not only have a playable instrument but also one that can last you for a long time.
#5 – Things You Should Do And Never Do When Polishing Your Guitar
Polishing your guitar can give it a nice shine and keep the body in a nice pristine condition. Not only will this lengthen the lifespan of your instrument, it also makes it visually more pleasing to the eye.
JamPlay gives you the best of both worlds by offering highly structured curricula and a variety of teachers each covering various musical styles for you to learn from. Their video lesson quality is phenomenal and showcases more than 5 different camera angles!
With lessons taught by renowned players like Billy Sheehan, you can now see the exact finger placements and mimic techniques used by the legends themselves.