How to look after your fret­board

Ebony, rose­wood or maple: here’s an easy guide to de-goop­ing your fret­board

Total Guitar - - THE GAS STATION - Words: Jack El­lis

It’s pretty rough to pick up some­one’s gui­tar and find an­cient strings and crud build up on the fret­board. That nasty stuff is sweat, dirt and oils from your fin­gers in solid form! What’s worse is that this will start to wear out new strings re­ally fast and it can also pol­lute your case.

Keep­ing your rose­wood fret­board clean is also mak­ing sure it stays healthy: if the fret­board dries out too much that’s bad news. A dried-out rose­wood fret­board is sus­cep­ti­ble to shrink­ing as the nat­u­ral oils es­cape over time; some­times you’ll find a gui­tar with its fret ends stick­ing out. Now that’s shrink­ing! Even worse, a shrunk fret­board can open up the fret slots caus­ing frets to be­come loose! Maple fret­boards are hardier than rose­wood as the tougher maple has a pro­tec­tive lac­quer ap­plied, so clean­ing those is even eas­ier.

Ba­si­cally, there’s no ex­cuse not to clean your fret­board and this sim­ple guide will show you how to clean a rose­wood ’board and – as a bonus – a maple ’board too.

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