Rathje Guitars

Fundamentals of Tidiness

I have to state something first: I really hate if somebody comes in and thinks he would have a problem with his/her guitar. He then fetches his instrument from the suitcase/the bag and what appears? A guitar which is rusty and whorish, covered by the “Schmand”, hardly to recognize as a guitar…

To be quite honest it is well obvious who has a problem with whom in this case… Not the guitarist with the guitar – no! Rather vice versa! It makes me sad, how many musicians let dilapidate their instruments or simply not correctly service it or/and keep it in good condition . Those folks should be glad, that there ain’t any youth welfare department for instruments. How many guitars then would have a happier life in a “guitar home”! I have already held instruments in my hand, which had never seen a duster in the time of their unfortunate existence!

It ain’t a secret, when I tell you that skin particles and sweat unite to a disgusting, aggressive, sticky, partly foul-smelling mass, while playing, trying to wrap up the instrument slowly . Everyone that spent more than 6 hours already with a guitar in the playing state knows about that fact. But: (for some of you this may sound like the philosopher’s stone) “Schmand” isnt everlasting! One must not let it come to the pollution of the good piece! There are many cleaning and maintenance mediums thought for this purpose especially in the specialized trade, which anyone can purchase for a couple of bucks. And the good guitar already still looks (almost) new, even after an intensive use for years!

I would be a bad smart-aleck now, however, if I would leave it at this, very subjective argument. I often saw guitars, where the aggressive human handsweat had attacked the tremolo that hard, that the chrome layer partly was already taken off completely therefore even polish couldn’t help anymore . One nice guy actually wondered now whether he should have installed a new tremolo. But he still rejected this thought in the same second I gave him the price for a new tremolo…

what do I want to tell you with this??? Thus now we check anyway: a new Tremolo costs € 100 on an average (if we don’t want China scrap metal)! A bottle of Guitars-Polish about € 6 we are calculating another € 4 for polishing cloths now and we are at € 10 for the cleaning agents. Out of my experience I would say that such a bottle of Polish holds for approximately 5 years if one keeps a guitar in good condition regularly with that.

Result: for the costs, which causes a new Tremolo (without installation!), we can keep our guitar fresh for 50 years. This argument doesn’t draw with whom, I give it up! Only these “ignoramuses” shall not be surprised then either if it then gets at the final count more expensive than they would have expected! Seriously – it is of use for all of us if you get you guitars cleaned in regularity. And it doesn’t get expensive for you in the repair case unnecessarily and the guitarmaker must not get irritated or even disgust your guitar of it to grasp now!

Oh…and greetings to all vintage fanatic outthere – who expects to find the dirt of the centuries also on his instrument, after it was in my workshop, this one should say this particulary also before!!!
My appreciation of this “dirt nostalgia” is infinitesimally . And who means this is the dirt of James Marshall Hendrix is on his guitar, this I want to leave his faith – but maybe i will laugh at him!

Yes, I know, cleaning the instrument provides at some under you that your toenails unroll, but be honest to you yourselves! Is it such a leg fracture to wipe the guitar off after playing with a dry cloth, to wipe over the whole guitar with Guitar-Polish at every string change and to go into the small cracks at the Tremolo, too, then? Well, so badly this cannot be! Both, varnish- and metal surfaces will owe you and shine in a real gleam longer.

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