The first instrument I learned and became proficient at was the guitar. I also became very familiar with all the parts for both acoustic and electric guitars. Since I experiment a lot on guitar, not just on playing techniques, but also the overall schematics of the instrument, I once asked myself and wondered this same question.
Should I loosen my guitar strings when not playing? It is not necessary to loosen your guitar strings when not playing. The guitar’s neck can handle the strings tension in its tuned position when not playing, whether hanging on the stand or kept inside the case. This is especially true if you have a good quality guitar.
All guitars are designed and built for certain string tension whether one uses heavier or lighter gauge strings. You should probably be more concerned with where the guitar is made from and considering if it’s a real brand or a knock-off. The US made Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul, for example, is not similar to a replica made from China.
Yes, they may look and feel exactly the same, and sometimes even its tone quality. But only time will tell if the wood stays the same or react differently with certain string gauge tension. You have a choice between solid wood and laminated wood. In short, solid wood is usually prone to changes in temperature and humidity, while laminated wood is a bit stronger and more resistant.
Similar to a good quality whiskey, the tone of a guitar (ex. acoustic) gets better as it ages. The wood of the guitar stands the test of time with the change in temperature and humidity. Therefore, if the guitar is built with a good solid wood, it does not need to loosen the strings when not playing. Continue reading “Should I loosen my guitar strings when not playing?”