Cracked Guitars: What Effect Do Cracks Have On A Guitar’s Sound?

If you pick up your guitar one day to practice and notice a crack in it, your reaction is likely one of panic. After all, a crack in a guitar, even a small one, can make it look less appealing and less like a real guitar.

The thing is, a cracked guitar does a lot more than make the instrument look bad. Cracks in a guitar can also affect the sound you hear when you start to play, and that is indeed the worst part about your cracked guitar.

Do Cracks in a Guitar Affect the Sound?

When a guitar is made, it is made with precision in every part and every component of the instrument. Everything from the type of wood used to the shape of the guitar affects how it sounds, so you can easily understand why cracks in a guitar will affect the sound in some way.

Remember that acoustic guitars rely on the wood of the instrument to produce a certain sound, whereas electric guitars rely more on the pickups. This is why a crack in an acoustic guitar will affect the sound far more than a crack in an electric one.

Usually, when there’s a crack in either type of guitar, you get less sustain, which means how long a particular note can be heard, as well as less resonance. To get a good tone when you play a certain note, both of these factors are important.

This is why cracks in your guitar will affect the tone and overall sound quality of the notes you play, although it isn’t as big of an issue with an electric guitar as it is with an acoustic one.

Can You Play a Cracked Guitar?

There are different types of cracks in guitars, from hairline fractures to larger cracks. While it is possible to play a guitar that has a crack in it, it is not recommended. This is true even if the crack in your instrument is only a hairline crack.

The thing is, the more you play your guitar, the more it will vibrate, and these vibrations can make the crack both bigger and deeper.

In addition to not playing your guitar when it’s cracked, you’ll also want to avoid touching the crack so that dirt and oil from your hands don’t get into it, and avoid extreme temperatures and humidity.

The most important thing to remember is that cracked guitars should be left alone and kept in a cool dry place as much as possible. This way, it will remain in good condition until you can get it repaired.

Can Cracks in Guitars Be Repaired?

Cracks in your guitar can be repaired, but what you’ll want to remember is that if you don’t feel comfortable repairing them yourself, it’s best to take it to a pro.

You never want to risk making the cracks worse, which you can easily do if you’re not sure what you’re doing.

How to Deal With a Cracked Guitar

First things first, we want to see if the repair is something you can fix yourself. If you’re not sure, take it into a guitar shop to have them help you determine the severity of the issue. Once you’ve determined the source of the crack, you can start to repair the guitar or leave it to be repaired.

If the crack is small and does not affect the sound or playability of the guitar, you can repair it yourself. If the crack is larger or affects the sound or playability of the guitar, you will need to take it into a guitar shop to have it repaired.

How Do You Fix a Cracked Guitar Top?

Cracks in a guitar are repaired either with a special type of glue, as in the case of small and minor cracks; or with special equipment such as clamps and humidifiers, which is usually the case with bigger cracks.

Again, the only cracks you’ll want to repair yourself are the types that are small and minor. With bigger cracks, trusting the job to the experts is always your smartest move.

How to Fix a Guitar Crack Using A Cleat [Video]

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Crack in a Guitar?

Most guitar experts charge an hourly fee for labor plus the fee for that particular job. Depending on the severity of the crack and what it will take to fix it, you can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $100 or more per hour for the crack to be repaired properly.

How To Store Guitars to Prevent Cracking

Storing your guitar correctly can prevent damage and keep your guitar looking its best. Before you store your guitar, it’s a good idea to wipe it off with a soft cloth.  Once you’re ready to store your guitar, here are a few tips to store it correctly:

  1. Keep your guitar in a dry, dust-free place.
  2. Store your guitar in its original case or storage box.
  3. Do not stack your guitar or place it in an area where it is subject to temperature or humidity fluctuations.
  4. Never place your guitar in the attic or basement. These areas can be damp and humid.
  5. Make sure you protect your guitar from direct sunlight.
  6. You should not expose your guitar to too much heat. This can cause the wood on your guitar to warp.

Final Thoughts

A cracked guitar may seem like a minor issue, but it can really affect your enjoyment of the instrument.

The sound of a cracking guitar can be quite noticeable. Fortunately, a lot of guitarists are very crafty. They know exactly how to repair a cracked guitar, or make it look like new.

In fact, the best guitar repair shops can often make a guitar that looks like it was never damaged in the first place.