The Art of Patience: Letting Your New Acoustic Guitar Settle and Acclimate

So, you've just brought home (or it arrived at your doorstep) your brand new acoustic guitar, shiny and pristine, ready to be strummed and adored. Excitement courses through you as you anticipate the beautiful melodies and soulful tunes you'll create with your new instrument. But before you dive headfirst into your musical journey, there's an important step that often goes overlooked: letting your acoustic guitar settle and acclimate to its new environment.

In this article, we'll explore why it's crucial to exercise patience and allow your new acoustic guitar the time it needs to adjust to its surroundings. We'll also provide tips on how to properly acclimate your guitar, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

Understanding the Need for Acclimation:

When a guitar is manufactured, it is often assembled and finished in a controlled environment with specific humidity and temperature levels. However, once it leaves the factory and enters the real world, it is exposed to a wide range of environmental conditions that can affect its playability and structural integrity.

Case in point, a guitar shipping from Arizona, with an average humidity level of 35%, arriving for the first time in say, Florida, with an average humidity level of 85%, can have the wood hydrating a bit over the course of days to weeks.

Wood, the primary material used in acoustic guitars, is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature. As such, abrupt shifts in these environmental factors can cause the wood to expand, contract, warp, or crack, leading to issues such as fret buzz, intonation problems, and even structural damage.

By allowing your new acoustic guitar to acclimate to its new environment gradually, you give the wood time to stabilize and adjust to the prevailing humidity and temperature levels. This process helps minimize the risk of issues arising and ensures that your guitar performs optimally over the long term.

Tips for Acclimating Your Guitar

  1. Patience is Key:

The first and most important tip is to exercise patience. While it may be tempting to start playing your new guitar right away, it's essential to resist the urge and give it time to acclimate properly. Depending on your location and the current weather conditions, this process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

  1. Maintain Stable Conditions:

During the acclimation period, it's crucial to maintain stable environmental conditions in the room where your guitar is stored. Ideally, aim for a relative humidity level of around 45% to 55% and a temperature between 68°F and 72°F. These numbers are "ideal", but just remember the real key to avoid fluctuations, and allow for settling (and minor readjustment when factors like seasonal shifts occur. Avoid placing your guitar near sources of heat, air conditioning vents, or drafty areas, as these can create fluctuations in humidity and temperature.

  1. Use a Humidifier or Dehumidifier:

If you live in an area with extreme humidity levels, you may need to use a humidifier or dehumidifier to help regulate the environment where your guitar is stored. A guitar humidifier can prevent the wood from drying out and shrinking in low humidity conditions, while a dehumidifier can absorb excess moisture and prevent the wood from swelling and expanding in high humidity conditions.

Again, the key is consistency. Low humidity or high humidity, isn't "necessarily" the enemy of your guitar. Drastic fluctuations, however, certainly are.

  1. Monitor Your Guitar's Condition:

Throughout the acclimation process, keep a close eye on your guitar's condition. Look for any signs of warping, cracking, or changes in playability, such as high action or buzzing strings. If you notice any issues, consult a professional luthier or guitar technician for advice on how to address them.


In the fast-paced world we live in, it's easy to overlook the importance of patience and proper care when it comes to our prized possessions, including our guitars. However, by taking the time to let your new acoustic guitar settle and acclimate to its new environment, you're investing in its long-term health and performance. So, resist the temptation to rush into playing and embrace the art of patience. Your guitar will thank you for it with beautiful music for years to come.

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