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  1. #1

    De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    It's a long debated question… Should you de-tune/remove your strings before storing a guitar? It seems there's no factual answer everyone agrees on. People claim that if you leave a guitar sitting at full tension for too long you may start to exhibit neck issues or bridge/saddle issues. But here's my thought: If you have a guitar that you play often and it is kept at full standard tuning its whole life, wouldn't it also exhibit the same issues some claim might happen to a guitar being stored? This idea that every guitar neck needs some relief every once in a while is boggling my mind. Does that mean every neck and bridge have an expiration date? They can only take so much tension over a period of time before exhibiting issues? I hard idea to buy if you ask me. What about the guitars that sit in music shops for over a year before they are sold? They sit there hanging on the wall with no issues… So why would a guitar in a case develop problems after the same amount of time?

    I bring this up because I have a few guitars that I need to store for an extended period of time. A year or more I would say. I am interested to see what people have to say.

  2. #2

    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    I would detune for travel by airplane, but not for storage at home. I have no scientific data supporting either of these approaches.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    Easy answer , for long storage in a case leave the strings on and lessen the tension . Myself I leave them on stands at home tuned and ready to be played .

  4. #4

    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    Personally, I think that the environment in which they are stored, is more important than anything "string tension" related...
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  5. #5

    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    I don't detune but I do CLEAN! Never put a guitar away dirty; you will open a case to find ugly pups and other hardware, black strings, yuk.... Other considerations; put away flat or stacked vertically; this depends on your guitar case and what you (or someone else) may put on top of it. My cases are stored vertically in a closet. I don't understand why detuning would be necessary for storage; the instrument is designed to support neck forces at concert pitch with common string gauges. Maybe someone can provide a good answer to support why detuning is a good idea and what "detuning" really means; a few steps or floppy strings?

  6. #6

    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    I agree with Rick and Kenny. I always make sure the guitars are cleaned and safely put away in their hard cases. I am fortunate enough to have a large closet in my music room which is temperature and humidity regulated year round. I personally have to place the guitars upright in a row in order to fit them all in. Leaning one on another ever so slightly so they're resting more on their backs than on their front side. My only real concern are the acoustics. I really wish there was a product for the acoustics that would allow me to keep the cases humidified without having to check them every couple weeks. Especially when I'm away from home for so long. But as long as the room is staying humidified, I'm sure the guitars are fine. I think I'll stick to leaving then tuned up while in storage.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member jrgtr42's Avatar
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    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    if you're really worried about the neck, and planning on storing for an extended time, detuning a step or so wouldn't be the worst thing - but if you think about it, guitars are designed to be strung and tuned.
    But as important is the conditions. If they're being stored in a closet in your house, then full tune should be fine (they'll likely detune over time anyway.)
    If they going in a partially or fully unregulated storage area, then definitely lower tuning. However, you do still want tension on the neck, fully unstrung is probably worse that anything else.
    ********************************
    "Do you call sleeping with a guitar in your hands practicing?"
    "It is if you don't drop it."
    - Trent Lane, Daria, Episode 1-2.

  8. #8

    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    Beatles fan: (I attended the same school as John Lennon much later than him, my dad was at the same school as George Harrison much earlier than him) If your room is temperature and humidity controlled you should have no worries at all. My stored guitars are as yours, leaning slightly back but this probably makes very little difference; the cases are jammed in and can't fall over. I trust that you have good insurance and that someone is either living in your home or keeping a regular watch on it while you are away. Most people don't read fine print on home insurance policies; mine very clearly states that if I am away from my home, someone must inspect the place regularly, once a week in my case.

  9. #9

    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    Quote Originally Posted by rick c View Post
    Beatles fan: (I attended the same school as John Lennon much later than him, my dad was at the same school as George Harrison much earlier than him) If your room is temperature and humidity controlled you should have no worries at all. My stored guitars are as yours, leaning slightly back but this probably makes very little difference; the cases are jammed in and can't fall over. I trust that you have good insurance and that someone is either living in your home or keeping a regular watch on it while you are away. Most people don't read fine print on home insurance policies; mine very clearly states that if I am away from my home, someone must inspect the place regularly, once a week in my case.
    (Always cool to hear stories from another Beatles fan! I assume you were born and raised in Liverpool? Are you referencing the school where John met Cynthia? I can't remember the name of it but I think we drove past it while in Liverpool may years ago.)
    It's funny you should bring up home insurance. I recently had to document and submit all of my guitars including their serial numbers and value. An interesting process I've never done before with any other valuable.

  10. #10

    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    Beatles???

    Never heard of 'em...

    Oh wait... That was George Harrison's band, right???
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    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

  11. #11

    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFabFour View Post
    I agree with Rick and Kenny. I always make sure the guitars are cleaned and safely put away in their hard cases. I am fortunate enough to have a large closet in my music room which is temperature and humidity regulated year round. I personally have to place the guitars upright in a row in order to fit them all in. Leaning one on another ever so slightly so they're resting more on their backs than on their front side. My only real concern are the acoustics. I really wish there was a product for the acoustics that would allow me to keep the cases humidified without having to check them every couple weeks. Especially when I'm away from home for so long. But as long as the room is staying humidified, I'm sure the guitars are fine. I think I'll stick to leaving then tuned up while in storage.
    Acoustics do require a little more attention, in my opinion. Keeping them things humidified is the key. Not too much, not too little. Unless your going away for a decade, it sounds like your "guitar closet" should be okay...

    Hey... What other choice do you have??? If ya gotta go, ya gotta go, right???
    Stop by and get reacquainted with The all NEW Fender Forum

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

  12. #12

    Re: De-Tune Guitar for Storage???

    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverFabFour View Post
    (Always cool to hear stories from another Beatles fan! I assume you were born and raised in Liverpool? Are you referencing the school where John met Cynthia? I can't remember the name of it but I think we drove past it while in Liverpool may years ago.)
    It's funny you should bring up home insurance. I recently had to document and submit all of my guitars including their serial numbers and value. An interesting process I've never done before with any other valuable.
    Yes, I grew up in Liverpool and went to Quarry Bank school. In John's day it was a boy's school but several years before I went there, it joined with the girls school next door and became Quarry Bank Comprehensive. It's changed its name again since I left. Dad and George went to the Liverpool Institute. It's a really good idea to record with pictures and notes, all your valuables and keep the record in a bank or on "the cloud" in the event of catastrophe or theft. If your insurance company demands this, you must have some very nice toys!

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