Modern Gretsch Guitars

Playing guitar at low/high temperatures


Hello, Since I ordered my duo jet (still waiting to ship to me) I have question for you guys that are experts for gretsch guitars. :)

So sometimes I do some gig that is outside.. this means that temperatures can be pretty cold (not minus) or sometimes in summer quite hot.

What are factory recomends/tests and what are your expiriences with that playing situations?

I dont want my guitar to get damaged or lacquer cracked.. Thanks for help L.


I would advise to make the changes between extremes as slow as possible. When going from cold to hot or vice versa let the guitar acclimatise in its case as long as you can before taking it out.


As Deke says...

...and if possible de-tune your instrument a bit before, like maybe after your last gig or practice, whenever and wherever, such that once your instrument is fully soaked at the new outdoor temperature you will be bringing the guitar back up to proper pitch at the current playing temperature.


While I agree with what the others say about taking precautions, I will attest that in all my outdoor gigs, I never worried about acclimating the guitar other than for tuning. I would take more precautions if the guitar had traveled in very cold temperatures and were to be opened in a warm environment. I guess if you're in an extreme situation where it's 105 outside and 55 inside, it might matter a bit more than 70 inside and 85 outside.

Also, don't worry about weather checking on your proline jet. It has a poly finish, not nitro. My jet has been through a lot over the years, and the finish still looks pretty new. There are times when I wish it would show how much it's been played and feel more like a worn in instrument however.


I'd have more issues dealing with the heat and cold than a guitar would.


Thanks for all answers. What about when my guitar arrives, should I leave it in the case few hours (longest hours in my life probably) to aclimate a bit or its not so important?


I once saw Albert Collins and the Icebreakers play an outdoor show at Lake Tahoe when it was 12 degrees outside. I never considered the guitar, I was wondering how his fingers could work at that temperature.


I agree with Gregory! I don't live anywhere were it gets so cold it snows or even gets below freezing, but do struggle with my hands moving when it is cold. The only issues I ever have with playing outdoors in heat (or even indoors with heat) is sweat. Sweat is not a big problem for me but it can affect a guitar finish if it's a delicate nitro. I just figure it's part of being a gigging guitar - it will dull or discolour where it gets sweated on.

The other issue i have with sweat is sweaty fingers being hard to move than dry fingers. When it's really hot the sweat runs down your arms and makes strings grab under your fingers. So I keep a towel nearby to have a wipe down between songs. My wife won't let me wear sweat bands onstage.

The guitars are fine. It's me who struggles.


I've played many gigs in the Florida heat. Brutal on the body, but the finish on my Club is no way affected. The sweat, however, will destroy any pots that it finds it's way into. I also have the problem with sweaty hands making it hard to slide on the neck. Best thing I've found is to keep some baby powder nearby to coat my hand.


I know a few people on an LP forum I'm a member of complain about issues of the finish of their recently purchased MIJ LP which was was sent from Japan to the U.S. I remember it was all lacquer related issues and some of the more technical members explained that it happened because of prolonged exposure(even packaged) to very hot and humid conditions in Japan's summer months.


Yup, my fingers get sluggish long before the guitar will have any problem. Just follow the advice of gradual changes and you will be fine.


They'd have to pay me a whole bunch to play outside in the cold. I have played in the summer heat. My only advice on that one is stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially if you're playing a Black guitar.


Obviously the only really good answer is to have a backup guitar that you do not mind experiencing the elements, getting chips, cracks, etc.

Old or new, a "beat it up" guitar can still sound great and get the job done if the other babies are too fragile.

For me, checking is glorious...good luck!


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