Over the past year, especially since the publication of my GS Mini vs Taka Mini video, I have received numerous questions about how durable the GS mini (and indeed all guitars) are in the tropics. It seems like there is a widespread perception amongst guitarists out there that the high temperature and relative humidity found in the tropics will destroy guitars the moment they are taken out of their cases. I have not found this to be the case, and in this video I go through the reasons why.
In summary, my 6-year old GS mini has been relatively impervious to the climate here in Singapore. The action has barely changed during that time and the truss rod has required NO ADJUSTMENT at all, very impressive considering that most new guitars will require some adjustment as they ‘play in.’
There are several tips that I have for guitar owners in the tropics, based on my lifetime of experience with these instruments, both mine and my father’s:
- Store the instrument in it’s case, not out in the open on a stand or hanging on the wall. This seems to go a long way towards keeping the guitar from being adversely affected by the climate. I don’t know why, but the worst examples of humidity damage that I have seen have been on guitars that were stored in the open for long periods.
- If the guitar is played infrequently (less than once a month), let the strings down a couple of tones when not in use. Otherwise it is ok to keep the strings at playing tension. My GS mini is sometimes not played for several months at a time and I take this precaution.
- If you have the luxury of a room with air-conditioning, storing the guitars in that room is a very good idea, even if the A/C is not run all the time.
- At the end of the day, PLAY THE GUITAR and don’t worry about it! If the guitar is meant as a collectible, store it in a temperature controlled vault somewhere and treat it as a museum piece. Guitars are meant to be played, and I see all too many ‘closet classics’ that I’m sure would benefit from a good play out!