There’s something quite satisfying about doing regular maintenance to your guitar. What I mean by that is that I get a really good feeling whenever I take the polish and lemon oil to my Godin xtSA and my Fender Precision bass. I’m not sure why it feels satisfying, but I imagine it is a similar feeling that one might get if they were polishing their prized motor vehicle or giving their house a lick of paint. Last night, I went through the process with my aforementioned Godin and did this while The Missus watched some TV. I impressed her with the lemon oil, which I apply to the ebony fretboard. Before it was grimy and held the detritus of many man-hours of sweating and straining over the neck – the dirt seemed ingrained in parallel lines. But a generous application of lemon oil and the ebony fretboard shone with a deep, dark lustre similar to wet black gloss paint. I wiped off the excess material, left it for a while and then applied a second coat. The neck gleamed and seemed to suck up and be nourished by the oil. A liberal spray of polish to the body and a quick wipe restored the instrument to a “just out of the guitar shop” freshness.
Now I’ve been playing the Godin xtSA for about a year now and I vowed that I would keep the suggested guage of strings on the instrument and work with them. Now these guitars are meant to be strung with 10s and I’ve done my best with those strings but they are just a little too thick for my liddle baby hands. So I broke my resolve and strung her up with my favourite Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings – these are 9s. I’ve been using this particular brand and guage of strings since I first started playing guitar and they suite me to the ground. I tried with the other guage, but it didn’t work out. After 12 months of the experiment, I am back to my old ways and immediately the xtSA is beginning to feel like my instrument. The guitar sings and the guitar synth seems to track better with these strings.
I know it is a bit of a muso/techie posting, but I really enjoyed taking care of my guitar last night. It made me feel good and realise how my I love that instrument. Also, for anyone googling this, the problem with the xtSA nut can be cured by a healty application of carbon from a HB pencil. This cured my woes and I applied another black dusting in the grooves of the nut last night. Now I can use the tremelo arm without the top three strings going woefully out of tune.

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