Have you ever fantasized about playing in front of a huge audience while rain pours down all over the stage?
If you have, then you probably planned to turn your dreams into reality.
But reality tends to be quite harsh sometimes.
After all, getting all wet is one thing, but getting your gear wet? That’s a different story.
How dangerous would that be for you or your instrument?
Can your electric guitar get wet without any consequences?
Electric guitars can be damaged if they get wet, especially if their electronic parts are still on. Otherwise, it is not impossible to dry off all the water and save your instrument. Just do it as soon as possible. However, the best advice is to always keep your instrument away from water and humidity.
Are you still fantasizing about that concert in the middle of a storm?
Well, keep on reading then.
This article will clarify all your doubts.
Will water or extreme humidity damage a guitar?
A guitar shouldn’t make contact with water.
The main issue is that water could damage its electronics.
What’s tricky about it is that at first sight, you won’t notice any changes.
Eventually, though, what used to function properly will stop working.
In other words, wet electronics malfunction (due to humidity) as time passes by, not immediately.
Now, what happens externally? What if water simply touches your guitar, without interfering with the electronics?
The good news: nothing… almost.
If the water’s just on the surface, you can simply dry it with a cloth.
No problems at all.
However, if you decide to let it dry on its own, it could create water spots on its body.
Such a thing won’t affect the sound, but it will change its look.
Worst case scenario, the wood of the fretboard swells up.
To sum up, water can damage both electronics and your amp.
Try to avoid it if you can, but do not panic if you fail to keep your guitar dry once.
Is water damage in a guitar fixable?
You can fix water damage in a guitar depending on how fast you do it.
Whenever your guitar gets wet, immediately dry everything off.
The more you let it wet, the more you expose wood and metal to soak water.
Regarding electronics, even if they are in contact with muddy water, they still can be saved.
All you have to do is use more water! Cleaned water, of course, to take away all the mud.
Lastly, there won’t be many structural damages (except the previously mentioned water spots).
Guitars can generally be saved, but try to repair anything as quickly as possible.
Are electric guitars more resistant to water than acoustics?
In a way, it’s easier for acoustic guitars to damage because of water.
Not because electrics are more resistant, but because acoustic guitars are highly sensitive.
Acoustic guitar’s wood is prone to disfigure after contact with water.
It can increase in tension, and the parts that contain glue could warp and snap.
Not only that but the wood itself will be damaged.
The structure of an acoustic guitar is built to be stable. Any slight change can drastically affect the sound, look, and functionality.
Electric guitars, on the contrary, cannot be affected that much.
The wood from an electric guitar won’t bend as quickly as the one of an acoustic.
Again, what has poor resistance to water is every electronic component.
This can harm not only the instrument but the musician as well.
That leads us to the next question…
Is a wet electric guitar dangerous for the player?
Electric guitars have electronic parts.
Water conducts electricity.
If you happen to be wet while playing, you can become a human conductor too.
If electricity reaches the ground, you’ll get electrocuted.
Surviving electroshock can be a cool idea for a song, just as KISS did with “Shock Me”.
Still, you can write songs out of better experiences.
I highly recommend you not to play in such conditions.
Regarding wireless systems, they are safer.
Prince once played at the Super Bowl and rain was pouring down heavily.
He played with wireless instruments, which rely on batteries.
Anyways, it is not guaranteed that you will be 100% safe.
Is it safe to play electric guitar in the rain?
Although playing a solo in the middle of rain seems awesome, it is dangerous.
As I mentioned before, you can become part of the electric path towards the ground.
What is more, even if you are safe, your guitar will not.
Again, electric guitars are slightly more resistant than acoustic guitars.
However, that doesn’t mean water is harmless to the instrument.
What to do if your guitar gets wet
If your electric guitar gets wet, you must pull off the faceplate and dry both pots and switches.
For this, it is advisable to blow-dry the parts with a hair-dryer at a “cool” temperature between 10-15 minutes.
Another thing you can do is simply soak water out with a cloth or towel.
Now, remember the following:
- Electronics parts will be fine if they are not running power while wet
- Wood generally gets ruined by absorbing too much water, so that’s a priority (most important for acoustics)
- Metal parts could cause corrosion, so dry them as well
If you are still unsure whether your guitar will work or not, you can always take it to a professional.
It will cost money, but having a ruined guitar might be more expensive in the long run.
Are there waterproof guitars?
First of all, why would you want a waterproof guitar for?
Are you planning to play inside a swimming pool?
If that’s the case, then you are free to do it!
Now, on with the answer.
There are waterproof guitars, but not waterproof guitars made of wood.
If anything, you ought to look for a carbon-fibered guitar.
This material limits water from entering your guitar.
While it is not completely accurate, it is safer than plain wood.
Still, I recommend not exposing it to water for the sake of it.
In other words, get one just for prevention, not to exposure it to water willingly.
In the long run, it can ruin it anyway.
It’s fun to picture oneself playing loud and soaking wet.
After all, a lot of music videos portray this fantasy.
There’s a huge difference, though, between fiction and real life.
Wet gear can be damaged, and most importantly, you can get electrocuted.
You don’t want either one or the other. Nobody does.
Stay away from water while playing. Music is meant to be played while dry.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.