Is it safe to hang my guitars by the neck?
March 2, 2008 8:46 PM   Subscribe

Is it safe to hang my guitars by the neck?

I have several stringed instruments which are currently stored in cases. I'd like to hang them on the wall in our family room, both as eye candy and for practical reasons: I'm far more likely to play them if they are in eye-range but I'm worried that hanging them by the neck long term might cause damage from warping or other reasons I know nothing about. The room is reasonably climate-controlled and our area doesn't fluctuate much in relative humidity. The room doesn't receive direct sunlight, being on the shaded north side of our house. Assume I will engineer the most secure hook mounting system ever seen in modern history.

If it matters, the instruments range from a Gibson Les Paul to 6 string acoustics.
posted by jamaro to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total)
Best answer: A billion guitar stores all over the world do it, so I don't see why not. The strings are probably putting way more stress on the neck than the weight of the body would, anyway.

One thing to watch out for is if you have something made of plexiglass or lucite (or other plastic-y material), which I hear will very slowly sag under pressure like that. But most people have no guitars made of plastic (but I do!).
posted by Plug Dub In at 8:51 PM on March 2, 2008

Best answer: It can weaken the neck joint, it can tear a hole in your wall, dust collects in places that are hard to get off, the rubber of the holder can damage the finish on the neck if it degrades, and the guitars can fall or get banged up getting put up and taken down.

Those are the reasons I don't do it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:54 PM on March 2, 2008

Yup, it's just fine:
posted by Echidna882003 at 8:54 PM on March 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Keep them in the case. Much better for them.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:10 PM on March 2, 2008

If they're in the case, they don't get played as much.
posted by wsg at 10:32 PM on March 2, 2008

I keep mine on the wall. It's near the center of the house where temperature fluctuations are least extreme, and sunlight never comes near it. You could make arguments against most ways to store your axe. I used to keep it in a stand, but that had a rubber liner where it touched the neck too, and I'm sure its position, nestled into a base but leaning on the neck, put all kinds of ghastly, ghastly warping into it... meh.

Walk into a guitar shop sometime and look at the priceless wonders they keep for sale: hanging on the wall.
posted by scarabic at 10:36 PM on March 2, 2008

scarabic: they hang the guitars in order to display them for sale. This is not done with short(est) term profit, not long-term preservation in mind.
posted by onshi at 11:07 PM on March 2, 2008

Best answer: As has been pointed out, the pressure the strings exert on the neck joint (about 220lbs force) is much greater than the gravitational pressure the body will exert - this is no reason for not hanging guitars...

Openness to elementals, fiddling, knocking and scratching is a stronger argument against, but frankly, not only are guitars meant to be played, they're generally gorgeous objects to look at tto and fetishising them to a point where they're hidden in case they get dusty is just insane.

Hang your guitars if you want to (I don't, but then my plasterboard walls wouldn't take them, so they're on stands at the back of my studio), play them regularly, keep them dusted and clean like another other relatively expensive ornament and everything will be right with the world...
posted by benzo8 at 1:00 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

nthing "on the wall is fine". I don't keep mine like that (I don't have enough wall - or possibly I have too many guitars), but subject to common sense constraints - use proper hangers, correctly fixed, protect the guitar's finish where it contacts the hanger, and so on - display your collection with confidence.
posted by No Mutant Enemy at 2:44 AM on March 3, 2008

I keep my baby on the wall, although recently the mollys started to fail on the hanger because of crappy wall is practically all spackle, and so now it sleeps on the futon.
posted by Mach5 at 5:00 AM on March 3, 2008

I'm a beginning player, and my guitar is a cheapo beginner model, but I keep mine hanging, and have had no problems. Having the guitar out makes it much, much more likely that I'll play along with a song I hear on the radio, or just do a little strumming when I'm waiting for the MrsMoonPie to finish getting ready to go out or something. It's really made a huge difference in my playing.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:02 AM on March 3, 2008

When I bought my wall hanger device-a-mabob, I asked the people at the store if it was a good idea, and they said it was, that it was actually better for the guitar than being kept in a case. Something about stretching and tension and whatnot.

In my experience, my guitar stays in tune longer when it's hanging than when I kept it just laying around.

But guitarists are as superstitious as athletes, so who knows?
posted by kpmcguire at 1:02 PM on March 3, 2008

I have my three guitars in a shrine hanging on the wall around my bed. I do it because it looks bitchin and any girl who walks in can't help but get excited. I used to have them in stands but that takes up a lot of floor space and I was always worried about damaging them when they were at foot level. If you have some awesome guitars then why would you ever want them in a case where no one can see them? It's really not a question of functionality or safety, it's more of a display thing. Just be careful when hanging them and if you screw them securely in to a stud then you really have nothing to worry about.
posted by comatose at 1:51 PM on March 3, 2008

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