Hand Care and Hygiene for Guitarists
This is the perfect time to tend to your guitar, not only because it's winter and guitar timbers will be contracting due to the colder weather, but also because hygiene with guitars is now all-important.
Change your strings more regularly
Guitar strings are subject to all sorts of nasties from hands. Despite the fact that we are all probably washing our hands more than ever, guitar strings often use a winding technique (wound) so that any residue from one music session will still be there the next time you pick up your guitar.
So....it's advisable that you change your strings before they rust (which was always the case), most likely once every 3 months/4 times a year during this time of increased infection.
Wipe down your strings after each use
Gone are the days when you can place your guitar in its' case in preparation for your next music session with no clean-ups.
Hello Captain Hygiene!
Keep and use several dry cloths in your guitar case to wipe down your guitar's neck after each use. Wash the cloths regularly to lessen transfer of bacteria of any sort.
Wash your hands!!
Goes without saying really.....before and after a music session ideally.
Don't forget to moisturise too, because hands are precious and we don't all have million-dollar insurance policies per hand.
Keep your nails shorter on your fretting hand
It's advisable to keep your nails shorter on the hand that is on the fretboard. (Sorry ambi-dexers, that means both hands)
BC, or 'Before Covid', this method was practiced mainly to prevent skin splitting under the nail while playing which usually happens if the nail is too long; now it's imperative to protect against infection by keeping the nail relatively short.
And, if this is all too much to do....
Spare a thought for your local friendly trumpet/clarinet/oboe/saxophone etc etc player who must maintain hygiene with instruments played using their hands & mouths.