5. Holding the guitar incorrectly
Many new guitar players come to me struggling to play a specific chord (or chords), and right away I spot an issue: they’re holding the guitar wrong. As if the chord itself isn’t difficult enough, they’re putting themselves at an ergonomic disadvantage that makes it even MORE difficult.
I’ll be writing an in-depth blog post about the proper way to hold your guitar in various sitting and standing positions, but for now I encourage you to check out Nate Savage’s YouTube videos:
6. Ignoring the environment (humidity and temperature)
I always say that the degree to which you should worry about the environment’s effect on your guitar is proportionate to how much you paid for your guitar. If yours is a cheap “starter guitar” (anything under $150), you can worry less about potentially ruining it if money’s not an issue for you.
On the other hand, if you bought a decent mid-priced or higher guitar that you hope will last for years, spend a little extra to protect your investment with some sort of in-case dehumidifier or humidifier (depending on whether you live in a very wet or dry climate, respectively). Your guitar is happiest in a relative humidity of 45% – 55%. Buy a digital in-case hygrometer first to see what the humidity reading is inside your guitar case after it’s been in there 1-2 days, then decide if you need to remove or add moisture, or do nothing at all.
I wrote an in-depth article on humidity here if you’d like to learn more about how to keep your guitar safe.
You should avoid extremes of temperature as well. Your guitar is happiest in a temperature somewhere between 68F – 78F… give or take a few degrees. Do NOT leave your guitar in an extremely cold or hot car.