You remember when you first bought your guitar? Did it play superbly, did it have a shine you could see your face in? Is your axe now looking a little sad and not playing how it should? Well help is here with Nez's easy guitar maintenance.
First up, when playing your axe your fingers produce sweat which corrodes strings and reduces their life. Also small pieces of skin are constantly flying off your fingers and getting everywhere! So after every each playing session wipe over the strings and fretboard with a soft cloth (an old T-shirt is ideal). Slip the cloth between strings and fingerboard and wipe up and down. Give the guitar body a quick wipe while you are at it.
You can buy products that increase the life of strings too, one such product is Fast Fret. This is an excellent way to inject life into old strings. Just wipe the little rod thingy over your strings, then wipe of any excess with that old T-shirt and hey presto, (almost) new strings. Some people use household polish, but I don't know how good it is.
I know this is a bit of a pain but try to keep your guitar in its case when not in use. I helps to stop your favorite possession from getting knocks and scratches (you know, when your girlfriend/boyfriend/mum is manically hoovering about.) A hard case will also protect it from changes in temperature.
Weekly or Monthly Care,
Check the intonation. Intonation is always measured at the 12 fret and is easy to do. Get yourself an electronic tuner and play the harmonic over the 12 fret. Then check the fretted note at the twelfth fret. If the intonation is ok these notes should be the same. There should be some little screws on the bridge of your guitar that moves the saddle forward and backwards. If the fretted note is sharp move the saddle back (away from the neck) if the fretted note is flat do the opposite. On some guitars (especially Teles) strings may share string saddles, if this is the case the intonation will never be spot on, you will just have to compromise. If the intonation is way off you may need to take your guitar to a repairer.
When changing strings always give your guitar a good buffing up. A good guitar polish (such as Martin Guitar Polish) will help matters no end.
There are other things to check such as tremolo adjusting, fret stoning, truss rod adjusting and others but I will not go into these here as I am not a guitar repairer and don't have much knowledge in such matters. If in doubt ask a qualified repairer.
Remember...Be good to your axe and it will be good to you!