The debate about hanging your guitar on the wall has been going on for as long as guitars have been invented.
But just for you I have put in the research for this article and I have deep dived into all the reasons behind that long wondered question.
I have also explored all the other options available for storing/displaying your guitar including my recommended buying options and included which situations they are best for.
Read on to find out more.
Topics covered in this article
- So should you hang a guitar for a long time?
- What causes guitar necks to warp and twist?
- Should you hang an acoustic guitar for a long time?
- Should you hang an electric guitar for a long time? is there even a difference?
- What are the pros/cons of guitar gig bags?
- What are the pros/cons to padded guitar gig bags?
- What are the pros/cons of guitar hard cases?
- What are the pros/cons to guitar floor stands?
- What are the pros/cons to guitar wall hangers?
- What are the pros/cons of a floating guitar wall bracket?
- Summary and recommended products
1. So should you hang a guitar for a long time?
For most people in most normal situations it should be fine to hang your guitar on the wall if you are playing it regularly.
By playing it regularly you are naturally adjusting it when tuning and changing the strings etc.
I have checked out all the guitar groups and forums that can find, most people in them have been hanging their guitars for years and years with no problems.
One guy had been hanging his for over 40 years with no problems but this could be that he has done a very good job of keeping the conditions it was kept in stable to prevent problems.
But in other situations it might not be the best bet.
If you are not playing your guitar regularly, then releasing the tension on the strings and hanging it for display would be so much better on the neck than just leaving it.
An even better storage option would be to store it in a hard case/guitar storage drawer with no tension, this is also know as turning your guitar into a case queen.
2. What causes guitar necks to warp and twist?
Hanging your non played guitar from the weakest part with the strings under tension are cited as the main causes for guitar neck warping problems, so the less strain on them the better.
Humidity changes throughout the year affect the guitar as the wood which is usually maple expands the string tension will increase, this will then put added strain on your guitars components.
These are all factors that must be considered as wood is a natural product and prone to expanding, twisting, splitting, cupping and many other things too.
Ever wondered why your wooden front door sticks in the wet weather put is fine in the summer?
That’s happening to the door due to higher levels of moisture in the air that’s then being absorbed by the wood and causing it to expand.
As the wood dries out and shrinks it buckles never really returning to the original shape, when this happens over and over it gets worse and worse each time.
The same thing can happen to guitars too, sometimes with disastrous consciences like splits and neck warping leaving permanent damage.
The reason for this is different wood types will expand more than others, redwood and cedar are the most resistant to expanding than most.
But with most guitars being made with a lot of maple in there construction there can be a higher risk of them expanding.
Why do they make them out of maple then? well it has some very nice grain patterns, is so much lighter to pick up than a solid mahogany one just to mention a few reasons.
Maple and other woods that expand and contracted are here to stay, so the best we can do is to minimize the conditions that cause them to expand.
Tips that can help with this could include, ventilating rooms that are are producing extra moisture, this could be kitchens and bathrooms etc. also not using areas that have big swings in temperature like unheated rooms or conservatories.
Now lets look at the different options available.
3. Should you hang an acoustic guitar for a long time ?
For most people the answer will undoubtedly be Yes! as these acoustic guitars can be a lot lighter, as there is mostly air inside them. There are still a lot of factors that need to be considered, just because most people will have no problem hanging their guitar on the wall.
The next question you might have is naturally going to be
“What about me, my guitar is electric?”
Don’t worry I have got that covered too.
4. Should you hang an electric guitar for a long time? is there even a difference?
This another great question that has made everyone who ever cared about their guitar think “Will hanging my guitar it damage it?”
But lets take a look at all the other options first, as they might be a better fit anyway before I discuss the pros and cons of hanging an electric guitar on the wall.
So you have got your shinny new guitar but where do I put it to be safe?
5. What are the pros of guitar gig bags?
Guitars whether they are electric or acoustic are going to need to be stored somewhere that are still in easy reach but not in the way would be the ideal solution.
I remember when I first got my electric guitar, it came with a gig bag but this was just a dust cover really.
but gig bags are a solution used by many
What are the cons of guitar gig bags?
It could still get scratched, bashed and broken. which is definitely not what you want to happen.
There are a few options when talking about guitar gig bags.
The basic guitar dust cover type.
This is the minimum that the guitar manufacturers can give you when you buy it, I suppose it’s a selling aid “Hey look it’s got a gig bag”
which is ok if you are just worried about dust getting on it, but what if you are the kind of person that wants a bit more piece of mind that your guitar is going to not only be protected from dust and also so minor bumps.
This could be in the form of knocks while carrying?.
With the best will in the world regardless of skill or length of time playing we have all knocked a guitar at some point.
6. What are the pros to padded guitar gig bags?
These are great if you are new to guitar maybe the gig bag has backpack straps on it so you can walking around with it easier result.
They are made of much more robust materials with soft padding sown in the fabric bag, usually with soft touch liners inside so the guitar does not get rubbing marks on it.
Unless you have chucked a load of picks and a guitar tuner inside it or made the mega mistake of leaving the strap attached(not recommended).
What are the cons of padded gig bags?
They are good at protecting your guitar from small accidents, but for big drops or the other major ones like someone sitting on it or it rattling around in the back of the van on the way to a gig. Not so much.
Watch out for doorways, last thing you want is to be breaking the neck on your pride and joy., oooo nasty.
the next level up from this type of bag would be the ultimate option, the hard case.
7. What are the pros of guitar hard cases?
These are the best at protecting your guitar while it is on the move.
Even the great legends of rock and roll us this type to move there guitar gear around when they are on tour, so they must be good right?
They can withstand a lot of physical abuse(Not that I would recommend finding the limits by taking a hammer to it) but you get the idea.
What are the cons to guitar hard cases?
- They are heavier.
- more expensive than gig bags
- even more expensive than that if you are getting a custom fit.
- very bulky to store when not in use.
Just to name a few.
With guitar gig bags and hard cases providing a solution to the transporting of your guitar with you.
That’s where we have a few options, we can opt for some very good floor stands.
These come in many shapes and sizes from the quick grab singles to the multi guitar double stands that you see in many guitar shops around the world.
These are great for anyone with quite a bit of floor space, but what about if you just can’t spare the space or you are a bedroom axe legend they might not be the best.
They do have there plus points too though.
8. What are the pros to guitar floor stands?
You can grab your guitar much easier than if it is in a gig bag, hard case or hung on the wall, in fact the drop will be way less.
They don’t cost very much.
They also look really stylish when placed tastefully.
What are the cons to guitar floor stands?
The main problem with them can be they could be an accident waiting to happen, trips over wires etc.
They do nothing to stop dust and anything else getting on them, you know that can of pop that has been shuck up without you knowing that sprays everywhere and all over your guitar when you open it.
Everyone who has one always picks up the guitar by the neck, putting all the stress on the one part of the guitar that is full of tension all ready and is no way equipped to handle that weight.
The neck joint takes all the weight of the body, if you have a superlight body this might be ok for a while.
Most electric guitar bodies have a lot of weight in them. This might be the main reason why we check the neck is straight when buying a used guitar?
You have been warned.
9. What are the pros to guitar wall hangers?
Wall hangers are such as space saver, by bringing your guitar up off the floor you have also just saved it from the floor stand neck grabbing problem straight away.
With your guitar in such easy reach you will play more.
Your not lumbered with unzipping it out of a gig bag or bending down to get it out of the hard case.
That is pushed under the bed in the spare room, which has got loads of stuff you were suppose to have sorted out but didn’t quite get around to in the way.
I really must mention guitars hung on wall hangers are fantastic wall art.
If the décor of the room is right you can not only show off your guitar but enhance the look of the room too.
What are the cons to guitar wall hangers?
There really isn’t many, apart from the obvious dropping hazard but making sure you are careful and using the right fastenings to attach it to the wall cures that.
I have used mine for years and the only few things I can say is I did nearly hit mine with the vacuum cleaner.
luckily I didn’t hit it. but be careful if you are cleaning around your gear, if you are worried about things like that you can put wall hangers in glass fronted cabinets to protect them.
This next one affects you more if you have a light colored guitar neck, as they can get marks on them from the wall hangers soft padding, but it isn’t a major problem as this marking can happen with floor stands too over time.
Here is a link to some of the wall hangers I would recommend there easy to install and will look great too.
Click here for the latest prices for wall hangers.
Which guitar wall hanger type is the best to use?
Guitar wall hangers fall into two main types really.
The neck hanging type are the most popular and widely available and my recommended choice.
The other option is a floating wall hanger bracket
10. What are the pros of a floating guitar wall bracket?
Man do they look cool, with the bracket on your guitar neck there won’t be any marks from the wall hangers or stands.
They can be placed in way more places unlike the normal wall hangers, so this gives you much more options for fitting in with the rest of the room.
What are the cons of a floating guitar wall bracket?
These are very popular at the moment but there are a few downsides too.
For some of them to work it involves you putting in a back plate on your guitars neck cover that the bracket fits into.
These is ok if your guitar type fits but if you have a guitar that hasn’t got a back plate on the neck then this option might not be for you, but most guitar types are compatible.
They are a mount and forget option, not really for people who pick their guitars often and play them.
More suited to art and displays
11. Summary and recommended products.
To sum everything up in a few words, I would have to say this.
If you have a budget guitar or don’t mind little marks or stresses on it then hanging your guitar from it’s neck is completely fine.
If you are the type of person that wipes it after you have touched it.
Or really cherishes it as it has sentimental value then a hard case stored flat in a temperature and humidity controlled room will be the way to go.
If you are unsure where to get the right guitar gear products, I have put everything you could need on my gear page.
Click here for Recomended Guitar Gear
- 11 fantastic electric guitar tips for beginners that will help you to set up your new or second hand guitar.
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