If you ever entered a guitar shop you would see dozens of guitar hanging on the wall for the visitor’s display. Of course, the shop can’t just put images of the guitars instead.
They need to attract customers and make them interested and there is nothing like seeing beautiful guitars hanging on the wall. You probably want to do the same at your home but wondering whatever it is safe for your guitar.
So, is it bad to hang guitars on the wall by the neck? I don’t recommend hanging your guitar for a long term of time on the wall. Because, on the wall, it is more vulnerable to humidity and temperature changes. In addition, there is a chance that some kind of accident can happen. Furthermore, guitar hangers can peal specific guitar finish (nitro).
As every luthier(guitar maker) says “the safest place for a guitar, it is in its case”. Let’s see exactly why they say that. If after reading this you still want to hang your guitar then let me give you some tips on how to do it best.
3 Reasons Why Not To Hang Your Guitar
Sure, handing your guitar seems cool and also very convenient. Just pick it up from the hanger and start playing right away. I even installed one myself but after a while when I found out why I stopped using it.
Although there isn’t any risk of your guitar putting unwanted tension on its headstock. Because the neck and headstock are already in constant tension due to the strings.
However, there are still reasons why not to do it, and if you are considering handing your guitar you should be aware of them
Humidity And Temperature Changes
You may be asking yourself “Well, If the guitar shop does this, why shouldn’t I?”. Well, the shop has the room set up to the perfect range of humidity and temperature for the guitars 24/7. Whereas, your room may not be like that.
This is especially an issue during the winter. During the winter and summer, the humidity and temperature are at their extreme. If you have a cold winter then probably you will be heating the room.
When you heat up the room, the warm air goes towards the ceiling and the cold air stays near the floor. In that scenario, you are creating a difference of about 14°F (8°C) between the floor and the ceiling. This can cause wrapping or crack to your guitar, especially if this is an acoustic guitar.
Unlike the electric guitar, acoustic guitar’s wood has more contact with the air and high tension on the neck due to a higher string gauge. But I wouldn’t take my chances with an electric guitar as well.
In case you are wondering. For all types of guitars, the ideal conditions are: humidity 40%-50% and temperature around 70°F (21°C)
If you are intrested to know more to what happens to a guitar in extreme temprature, you can check my posts
Susceptible To Accidents
Leaving your guitar out in the open is a risk. You can’t be certain for 100% that nothing will happen to it. There are just so many things that can go wrong and your guitar will be damaged or even broken beyond repair.
When the guitar is out there for display it can be poked around, touched, or bumped into, dropped accidentally, or even stolen. This just isn’t the same as you put your guitar in a gig bag or even a hard case.
Guitar FInish Damage
If you own a guitar that has nitrocellulose (in short nitro) finish then you need to keep that guitar away from almost all wall hangers. Because those have rubber or foam on them. The nitro finish is a very sensitive finish.
The nitro finish was used a lot during the 1950s and 1960s on the guitars. But today, you will usually find it on the higher end guitars such as custom Gibsons or Fenders. If you are not sure which finish your guitar has, then make sure to check the specification of your guitar by googling the brand and model.
On the other hand, there is the Polyurethane (in short poly) finish. The poly finishes more commonly used today. More likely that your guitar has a poly finish rather than the nitro.
With a poly finish, you will not have any issues mounting your guitar on a wall hanger that has rubber or foam.
Proper Ways To Hang A Guitar On
If you still considering to hang your guitars for display, then at least do it the proper way.
Secure Wall Hanger
- The #1 Selling Guitar Hanger from String Swing
- Yoke pivots to cradle the instruments headstock
- Wood block is made of real hardwood, shades may vary
If a display case is an overkill for you then you can get a wall hanger instead. But make sure that you get is one that is secure enough that your guitar will not just slide out of it.
So ideally a straight yoke is a bad idea. You will need one that has a curved yoke that looks like bulls horns or those who have a closing mechanism. However, I feel like the locking mechanism is just another part that can be broken instead of a single piece yoke which is more durable.
Moreover, you will need to check whatever it is suited for your guitar’s headstock. Because some guitar headstocks designed not even. So if the wall mount doesn’t have the proper mechanism which will rotate itself so the guitar will stay straight it will create unwanted tension on the wall hanger.
For that, I recommend String Swing Guitar Hanger which is made by String Swing USA and tested since 1987, it has all the required features from a secure wall hanger and it has been tested for years. You can’t go wrong with a well-known company.
Guitar Display Case
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You sometimes can see them in museums or auctions. They always give me that luxury feeling. Like an expensive instrument inside there, even if it is not. In my opinion this the best option to display your guitar safely.
It gives you protection against unwanted touches, bumps, or drops. In most cases, it has UV protection. You can find them on Amazon at around $150.
The downside is that most cases aren’t air sealed which means you will need additional protection against humidity so you will need to put a humidifier in the case.
But I think if you look hard enough you will be able to find someone that sells air sealed well. But most like they will be much more expensive.
For those of you who love DIY, this is a great project for you. This way you will do the ultimate guitar display case with all the features that will protect your guitar and also look amazing.
For those who are not familiar with this area but still wish to try. You will be able to find several projects on instructables.com that other people did and share their process so you will be able to follow along.
Protect Your Guitar Finish
Whatever you choose to hang your guitar on the wall or put it in a display case you should be always aware that almost in all scenarios there is foam or rubber on the hanger’s yoke.
This can be a serious issue if a guitar has a nitro finish, it can just “eat” that finish away. However, if you have a poly finish there is no reason to be worried.
To overcome the issue you need to wrap around the parts that have foam or rubber on them with a piece of cloth and secure it so it won’t fall off.
It can be as simple as cutting some pieces from an old shirt and wrapping around the hanger’s yoke.
Hanging your guitar out for display isn’t recommended for a long time period. Especially during the winter and the summer where the humidity and the temperature go to the extreme and can damage your guitar.
However, if you still wish to hang your guitar you should take some steps in securing the best protection for your instrument by putting it in a display case or on a secure wall hanger.
Whatever you choose to hang your guitar in a display case or on a wall hanger make sure you install it correctly and firmly and double-check what finish your guitar has in order to prevent any damage to a nitro base finish.
If you found this article useful you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board
Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API