Why you should always keep your Guitar in-tune and your neck straight
Date Posted:8 October 2011
Should I remove my strings if I’m leaving my guitar for a long time, or planning on taking a flight?
The answer to this is a very strong "NO”, most guitars have a truss rod, this is a long metal bar inside the neck that changes the bend of the neck. In most guitars it only works one way (To straighten a bowed neck) but in our guitars we use a 2 way truss rod (So it can go both ways if necessary).
Why? Everyone tells me I should loosen the strings and I’m worried about the pressure on the neck
Normally when your guitar is new your neck will always bend a little (away from the string like a smile) due to the tension of the strings (even on a Nylon string guitar), the truss rod's purpose is to counter balance this bend and make your neck (almost) perfectly straight. A well adjusted neck does need a slight bend, but this is so little most people can't see it has a bend in it. If you have recently bought a guitar or even if you have an old one its well worth a quick look down the neck to see if it’s still straight. Once a guitar has been set-up the truss rod will be adjusted so that its straight (but it will need adjustment from time to time as the guitar ages)
If you loosen your strings, or take them off completely you take away the counter balance to the truss rod and your neck will look like a frown (And trust me your guitar will feel sad), if your guitar is left for any period of time in the wrong shape it will start to take on this shape and can be permanently damaged.
The pressure in an airplane is not very strong and is not a problem for a well made guitar, there is one thing you should be careful about, and that is the humidity, If you have an all solid wood guitar having something that will maintain the humidity at around 45% is a great idea, Airplanes are dry, and the when wood dries it shrinks and can split the wood on a Solid wood guitar.