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When I first purchased my Gibson J-15 guitar, I placed it in my rubber guitar stand just like I have done with all of my guitars during jam sessions. However, what I didn’t realize is that Gibson guitars are often finished with a nitrocellulose finish. This type of finish does not mesh very well with the rubber tubing that is on common guitar stands.
I was a little disappointed when I started to notice some of the finish wearing off of the neck and on the body of the guitar where it touched the rubber. I had no idea that this would happen when I first purchased the guitar so I had to do some research as to why this was happening.
It seems that the nitrocellulose finish reacts with the rubber or foam and this chemical reaction can cause the damage to be done. If it is left like this over time, it can do a considerable amount of damage.
While some people may like this and consider it character, I did not want my $1500 guitar to be damaged with a $20 guitar stand. I had to come up with something different to rest my guitar upon when I wasn’t using it and it wasn’t in its case.
I decided to take the cheap route and fix what I already had rather than purchasing something different. It’s easy to do and only takes an old cotton T-shirt that you aren’t using anymore. You can also use other items such as socks, rags, towels, or whatever you have on hand. Just make sure it is a soft material, preferably cotton.
You will just need to cut this material up and wrap it around the rubber parts that will touch your guitar. It’s nothing difficult and you will just need to do it the way that works best for your guitar stand.
This will probably not look like a professionally done job but it works great and gives you a cheap way to make sure your Gibson guitar doesn’t get damaged.
I used a black T-shirt so that it would match the guitar stand and would not be so noticeable. You can’t really notice that I have an old T-shirt wrapped around my guitar stand unless you get up close to it. But even if you do notice it, it doesn’t even look that bad and I know that my guitar is protected.
I used hook and loop trips to secure the material to the guitar stand. This has kept it nice and tight around the guitar stand for years now.
I have been using this guitar stand now for about six years and it has been perfectly fine. My guitar hasn’t been damaged at all and it sits in the stand quite often. If it is not in the guitar case, it is generally sitting on the stand if I am not playing it. I would suggest taking this approach if you already have the common guitar stand that I had. This will save you money and allow you to use what you have.
There are other options that are supposed to be safe for these types of finishes. However, I would always err on the side of caution and cover up the stand with some type of cloth in areas that are going to touch your guitar.
Hercules guitar stands claim to be safe for guitars that are finished with nitrocellulose. They claim that their guitar stands will not damage the guitar. Most people report that this is the case and their guitars have not been damaged from using these stands.
Wooden Guitar Stands
You can also choose to use a wooden guitar stand as these often have a surface that does not affect the finish on your guitar. Of course, each manufacturer may be different so you will have to check to make sure before you buy. Even still, I would always wrap some sort of material around in the areas that you are unsure of.
The problem with the wooden guitar stands is that they are not as stable as the standard guitar stands. They typically only hold the very bottom of your guitar and do not provide any support for the neck. Your guitar can easily be knocked off of one of these stands which could result in even more damage than what might occur from the chemical reaction.
Wall Hanging Guitar Holders
The String Swing is said to be safe for nitrocellulose finishes but again, I would not fully trust it. There have been reports of it damaging some guitar models that have this type of finish. Just to be sure, I would always put some type of cloth between the guitar and the place where it makes contact with the guitar stand. It’s better to be safe than sorry and having a simple cloth doesn’t hurt anything.
Are Guitar Stands Bad For Your Guitar?
After all the talk of protecting the finish on your guitar, it seems that guitar stands might not be a good choice. The problem comes when you intend to leave your guitar in the stand for long periods of time. For those who want to keep their guitar on display and in a stand at all times, it’s important to make sure that you have one that isn’t going to damage your guitar.
On the other hand, if you are someone who only uses a stand for short periods of time, it isn’t a problem. Any guitar stand will do the trick. Many people, like myself, use a guitar stand only during a playing session or a live gig. During this time, it isn’t a big deal to leave your guitar in the stand as long as you take precautions to make sure it won’t get knocked over.
It’s best to leave your guitar in its case at all times. A guitar stand is great for being able to prop your instrument up safely while having a jam session. However, it should be returned to its case after you are finished. This is the safest way to store your guitar. When your guitar is in its case, you won’t have to worry about a guitar stand doing any damage.
If you have a music room or a place where you want your guitar displayed at all times, be sure you have a guitar stand that isn’t going to do any damage to your finish.
No matter what type of stand or hanger you have, it’s always going to be best to place some sort of cloth over the parts that touch your guitar. Don’t put your trust in a guitar stand if you are unsure that it is safe for the guitar finish. It’s easy to cover up the rubber or foam so be proactive and avoid any possible damage to the finish.
Besides damage occurring to the finish, a guitar stand can cause other potential damage as well. They can easily be knocked off the stand if bumped which could result in a lot of expensive damage. If you leave your guitar sitting out in a stand at all times, it’s bound to get knocked over at some point in time.
Take the safe approach and leave it in its case when not in use and only use a guitar stand for short periods of time. It’s less convenient but it could save the finish on your guitar in the long run.
Hopefully, you will discover this information before you unintentionally damage your guitar’s finish. Keeping your guitar in a stand that won’t damage the finish is an important consideration that many guitar owners don’t even realize.
It can be especially tempting to leave your guitar on a stand when you first purchase it. It’s nice to keep it front and center so that you can see it instead of hiding it away in its case. If you intend on leaving your guitar in the stand for long periods of time, you will definitely want to be sure it will not damage the finish.
I would suggest using the T-shirt method that I mentioned above in the article. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a T-shirt. It can be any kind of cloth that you want to use. Preferably, it should be something soft such as flannel or cotton.
You can look for a guitar stand that won’t damage the finish but you’ll never really know for sure. You’ll have to take the manufacturer’s word for it or test it out yourself. I’d rather just be proactive and cover up any parts that touch my guitar.
Now that you know that certain guitar stands might damage your guitar, you won’t have to see the damage to your guitar that I did. Although minor, it’s sickening to see damage starting to occur on an expensive guitar. Keep it protected by only sitting it in protected guitar stands and your guitar will remain free and clear from damage.