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Martin Guitar Care and Maintenance
 
A look at some of Martin’s latest care products and instrument tools.
July 3, 2024
 

The degree to which musicians get involved in the care of their instruments is largely a matter of personality. Some players let their local music store handle everything from string changes to repairs, while others enjoy a near constant routine of giving their instrument some TLC. Of course, if you play a stringed instrument, you should know how to change strings, if only so you can quickly install a replacement if you break one during a jam or gig. Changing strings is also a good opportunity to give your instrument a quick once-over, checking for cracks, loose parts, or any other damage, and while you’re at it, you might as well clean off some of the dust and sweat that accumulates. Martin Guitars has long offered various instrument care and maintenance products, and the company recently sent us a selection of its current line to check out. In this video, I take a look at Martin’s guitar polish and cleaner, microfiber polishing cloth, string winder, bridge pin puller, string cutters, and string action gauge. 

Martin has offered its guitar polish and cleaner ($16.99) for decades, and it’s an industry standard. The current version comes in a four-ounce bottle with a pump-action spray top. While I wouldn’t recommend keeping any liquids in your instrument case, it’s nice that the top includes a locking mechanism to avoid accidental spilling. Martin’s polish works well for cleaning as well as restoring a shine on a smooth finish. As with any cleaning or polishing compounds, care should be taken to avoid applying it to damaged areas, such as cracks and dings; if it soaks into the unprotected wood future repairs could be more difficult. I found Martin’s microfiber polishing cloth ($4.99) to be ideal for applying the polish to my guitar (it’s always best to spray the polish on the cloth, rather than directly on the instrument). It soaked up enough of the liquid to be effective and offered a smooth polishing action that easily removed smudges, sweat residue, etc. 

With my guitar cleaned and polished, I took a look at the string winder ($16.99), bridge pin puller ($9.99), and string cutters ($12.99). A string winder is a basic part of most guitarists’ maintenance kit. While a basic version, typically found in a jar on your music store’s counter, will work, upgrading to a more refined model makes changing strings more enjoyable. Martin’s plastic string winder has a large handle that provides more control while cranking, and it fit the Waverly butterbean buttons on my guitar perfectly on, making it easy to loosen old strings and bring a new set up to pitch quickly. If you’ve ever struggled with a stuck bridge pin, you know how frustrating that can be. Sure, you can carefully use your string cutters to grab the pin, but it’s easy to accidentally damage the guitar. One trick is to reach inside the guitar and try to push the pin out using a coin, but this only works if all the strings are removed and can be awkward with small soundholes. Martin’s bridge pin puller is a clever tool dedicated to the job. It grabs the top of the pin and has a handle large enough to easily pull out even the most stubborn pins. Speaking of string cutters, Martin’s have super-comfortable handles, smooth operation, and a super sharp, chromium-vanadium steel cutting surface. 

The final tool I looked at was Martin’s string action gauge ($16.99). About the size of a credit card, this tool is like a super ruler for guitarists. One side has basic rulers in both standard and metric measurements, making it perfect for measuring nut width, string spacing, etc. The real business happens on the other side, however, with easy-to-read increments for measuring string action by resting the tool on the guitar’s frets. Whether you’re setting up your own action or want to measure the action on  another instrument in order to communicate the measurements to a luthier or tech, this is a very handy tool to have.

Besides the products featured here, Martin instrument care products also include humidifiers, truss rod wrenches, and more, and I’d recommend you check them out online or at your favorite Martin dealer!

Martinguitar.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2024 PegheadNation.com