Are Electric Guitars Waterproof?

Guitars are among the many instruments you will find in the music and entertainment industries. Like most electronics, the manual may not contain a section on managing the instrument. There are also some instruments without written instructions, such as by their nature, one can understand what to and what not to do to keep them in good shape. So if you’re wondering if electric guitars are waterproof, you’re not alone.

The straight answer is this! Electric guitars are not completely waterproof. If you bring your electric guitar in contact with water, it will damage the woody and electronic parts of the guitar, and in extreme cases, it can also affect the payer. Also, electric guitars are not waterproof because electricity does not work well with water.

In this article, we bring thrilling information on electric guitars and whether or not they’re waterproof. So you don’t want to stop reading here.

Are electric guitars waterproof?

As stated above, electric guitars are not completely waterproof.

Generally, the peculiarities of every instrument are directly linked to the type of material with which the device is made and what powers it. Electric guitars constitute a wooden part as well as an electronic part. We can also have gluing agents used in joining some parts of the guitar and maybe some aluminum screws.

As a result, exposing your electric guitar to water will damage the wooden part and the electrical part because water doesn’t work well with electricity. Also, the screws may get rusted, and the glue becomes weak.

Therefore,  whether it is waterproof or not, you want to keep your electric guitar away from water.

What happens when water touches the wooden part of an electric guitar?

The wooden part of an electric guitar is usually very well polished. It is therefore not very easy for water to penetrate it. However, when you leave water on your guitar repeatedly and over long periods, you will likely experience all or some of the following damages.

  • The guitar’s fretboard wood will swell up. Swelling for any wood is irreparable damage you should not allow. Swelling occurs due to the water’s tension when it comes into contact with the guitar.
  • If you leave the water to dry off by itself, it will leave water spots on the surface, which change the look of your guitar.
  • Another effect on the guitar’s wood is its weakening effect on the glue that holds the separate parts together.

The problems we discuss here are not usually instant but will occur over time as you continuously expose your guitar to water or humid environments.

What happens when water touches the electronic part of a guitar?

When we hear the term electrical attached to a guitar, it is obvious that the power source is electricity. Even if no one tells you the damage water can cause to the electronics part of an electric guitar, common sense should be able to help. Almost everyone knows that electricity and water are never friends.

A few things will happen to your electric guitar if it comes in contact with water, and we are sure you will not like any of them to happen to your precious instrument. The damage might not only happen to the guitar but also to the player.

  • The strings of any guitar, whether electric or acoustic, are sensitive to humidity. Constant and repeated contact with water will dampen the strings and affect the sound quality. What is a guitar without good sound quality?
  • Secondly, a short circuit in the instrument can affect its functioning. Depending on the level of damage, it may or may not be repairable.
  • Another rare but possible effect is electrical shock. In some way, the water can come into contact with the connections, and when the player touches the water, it will shock him. Get it right here. Even if you play your guitar in the rain, you will not experience this shock because an electric guitar’s voltage is too small to cause harm.

The problem here comes when the water comes into contact with your amplifier ( especially tube amplifiers), which has high voltage. Any wrong contact here due to water can be dangerous.

What can you do to protect your guitar?

Since you might not be able to help but play your guitar around places where water is unavoidable, such as the beach, you can employ the following actions to protect your guitar from the damages mentioned above. Many actions can be taken but below are the most common.

  1. Carry your guitar in a waterproof casing. There are plastic casings made from waterproof material. With these casings, you can always store your guitar in it, even when at the beach. The waterproof casing will protect your guitar from humidity if undesirable temperature extremes surge.
  • Also, if you are playing your guitar in an area where water is unavoidable, you should always carry a dry cloth cotton cloth) that you can use to dry off any water that drops on it. This will always keep your wood and other components intact. Avoid using other fabrics that can scratch and leave everlasting marks on your guitar.
  • Do not risk taking your guitar where there is water. This action is harsh for those who love playing guitars at the beach. But if you want your guitar to last long while maintaining its sound quality, you will have to deprive yourself of playing guitars at the beach or other places with nearby water.

Conclusion

We understand why you might have been wanting to find out if electric guitars are waterproof. Every guitar lover searches for unique and outstanding ways of combining sound and environment to create a different blend of music for their pleasure. The beach and waterfalls are certainly such places that you may want to explore.

In as much as it can be a unique experience, the consequences of such actions can be overwhelming that you may not have the courage to talk about them with a friend. This article has provided everything you need to know related to the topic. However, we strongly advise contacting your local store or guitar dealer if you’re still in doubt.

Thanks for reading to the end!

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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