Is it bad to store a guitar without strings? Should I store a guitar without strings? Is it OK to leave strings off the guitar? When you are traveling with your guitar, or you just want to take a rest from playing the instrument for a long time, there is always a dilemma as to whether you should remove the strings from the guitar or not.
As we are already in this situation, we have to find out if there are really any good or bad effects when you remove its strings from the guitar and store it for some time. Guitars are not cheap, and if you have a broken one because of a bad decision you just made could really cost very heavily. This is why we have to check first whether it would be a good idea to leave off the strings from your guitar or not when storing it.
Should I store a guitar without strings? In general, guitars can be stored for a long time with or without guitar strings, but you should keep them dry and safe from physical damage. As string tension is designed to pull the neck forward, removing them could pull back the guitar’s neck and could result in your guitar’s bad intonation and action.
This is why when you decide to store your guitar for a long time with its strings removed; you must do some things to avoid the risks of your guitar getting damaged.
Can I Store A Guitar Without Strings?
There are really some specific moments when you might have to store your guitar for a long time. Maybe you need to ship the guitar for a very long trip, or a string just broke, and you do not have any backup string to replace it yet. These are just some of the reasons why guitars are stored for a long time, but they are also other things that you might think of.
So, is it safe to remove guitar strings when you store a guitar for a considerable amount of time? Strings are made to keep the guitar neck from leaning or rotating due to the tension they render while the guitar is on standby.
Things To Do When You Store A Guitar Without Strings
Use A Guitar Case Or Gig Bag
The first thing to do when you decide to store a guitar and remove the guitar strings is to make sure that you have a proper guitar case to store it. Do not let your guitar out in the open with any covering, especially now that it does not have any strings on it already. Moisture and sudden change in temperature can really be damaging to a guitar, and if you just let your guitar be exposed to it, it can really be costly to you.
Though a gig bag can help your guitar protect from being exposed to the environmental factors that could damage a guitar, it does not have the design to support the bending of the guitar, which can really happen when your guitar does not have any strings attached to it.
So, if you want to store your guitar without any string on it properly, it would be best to use a proper guitar case so that your guitar would fit perfectly. Most guitar cases are designed to let your guitar rest in any position without getting damaged from the neck’s inclination with respect to the guitar’s body.
Aside from the fact that your guitar will be protected from environmental factors, using a hard case for your guitar will also protect it from the physical trauma that could happen outside the guitar’s case.
Keep The Guitar’s Truss Rod Loose
The second way to keep your guitar safe from being damaged after storing it without strings is to loosen the guitar’s truss rod always. Truss rods are designed to give some backward tension and stabilize the forward bow, but it can still be a tricky thing to do.
However, if you already know how to do it properly and safely, it would be the best thing to do rather than letting your guitar’s neck get damaged. Repairing and replacing a guitar neck can be costly, so you have to get smart with your decision on this one.
To adjust your guitar’s truss rod, use an Allen wrench and not any other tools that could possibly damage it, as it will be a massive problem for you to replace a guitar truss rod as it can be very costly. To loosen the guitar’s truss rod, turn the bolt or nut counter-clockwise using the Allen wrench.
Store It Using A Guitar Stand Or Rack
The last thing you can do if you decide to store your guitar without any strings on it is to place it on a guitar stand. Though gig bags can protect your guitar from the environmental changes that could heavily affect your guitar, it is designed to have neck support that can bear the weight of the guitar in order to avoid bowing.
If you have multiple guitars on standby, you may want to consider using a guitar rack, as they are designed to have sufficient space for each guitar not to collide with each other. Not only can you save from buying too many guitar cases, but it can still also keep your guitar from bowing out.
Try To Loosen The Guitar Strings And Not Remove It Overall
If you want to store your guitar for a long time, you just might want to consider loosening the guitar strings and not removing them all in all. This will allow you to use the old strings when you decide to get back on playing the guitar again, as long as the guitars are also not corroded with rust.
When loosening the guitar strings, you can try to lower a tune down or two and not all the way so that there is still a little resistance from the guitar strings.
So, is it bad to store a guitar without strings? No, it is not bad to store a guitar without strings, but there are some adjustments to do and things that you should always check out before you decide to remove the strings from your guitar and store it for a long time.
Try to place it in a hard guitar case or even a gig bag to protect it from the environmental factors that could damage the guitar. You should also try to loosen the truss rod, and lastly, if you do not have any case on you, at least try to place it on a guitar stand.