When recording in the home studio one of the most overlooked things is keeping your clean guitar. This will help reduce fret buzzing and any other extra noises created by bad strings and a gunky fretboard.
It is very important to clean your strings and your fretboard often. This will make your strings last longer and you won’t need to change them as often. Plus it will feel a lot better when playing.
Something as simple as wiping your strings down after playing your guitar could make a huge difference. There are also a ton of products made for extending the life of your strings, but some of these can get a bit expensive and personally I’ve never had to use any of them.
Look at your guitar, are your strings really dirty, caked with gunk? You might have to look on the underside to see all the icky stuff that has built up on them. If your guitar strings are built up with gunk, change them immediately. Once you have the new strings on your guitar, be conscious about wiping them down after playing. You’ll be surprised how much longer your new strings will last.
Another thing to avoid is playing your guitar after working on your car or digging in the garden. If you have dirty hands, your strings and your fretboard will get dirtier faster. I know it sounds like first grade, but make sure you keep your hands clean before you play.
Check your fretboard. Is there gunk and dirt built up? I recommend cleaning the fretboard everytime you change your strings. I also clean the gunk around my frets every time I change the strings as well. Just use a damp cloth or a guitar cleaner to clean the fretboard. Don’t ever use steel wool or anything that will damage the finish of your fretboard.
I also use a dry cloth to clean around my pickups every time I change my strings. I don’t like any extra stuff on my pickups, strings or fretboard. After I change my strings, I give it the “white glove test.” If I have time, I also give the body of my guitar a good polishing. I hate fingerprints!
Anyway, by now you think I’m completely anal about keeping my guitar clean. I am. It is pretty simple. Basically, just wipe down your guitar after playing and clean the fretboard when you changing your strings. Doing this will prolong the life of your strings as well as keep your fretboard from building up gunk.
A clean guitar is a happy guitar.