Regular maintenance of your instrument is a must if you want it to look, play, and sound like it should. Here are three simple-and-easy steps you can take to make your guitars and basses going for years to come. 

Clean & condition your instrument’s fingerboard

Don’t let your fingerboard get all dried out and grimy. Why? Dead tone. 

The solution? Fingerboard 01 Cleaner and Prep and Fingerboard 02 Deep Conditioner Oil. First, take your strings off. Apply some Fingerboard 01 Cleaner to a clean cloth such as the Dunlop Polish Cloth. Rub the cloth up and down the fingerboard, using extra elbow grease wherever you find any gunk buildup. Let everything air dry.

So you’ve spent some time with the Cry Baby® Standard Wah, getting a feel for how its sweep works and when to use it to season up your licks. The time has come to step up your Cry Baby Wah game, to branch out and explore different tonal possibilities. But there’s so many to choose form—where to begin?

We put this cheat sheet together to help you find a starting point. This guide is broken down by musical genre/style. It’s meant to be a general overview—your personal tastes and playing style will, and should always be, the deciding factor when you choose your next Cry Baby Wah.

For all of the genres and subgenres that rock ’n’ roll gave rise to, distortion is one element that links them all the way back to the beginning. Just listen to the fuzzy tones on Ike Turner’s “Rocket 88” and Goree Carter’s “Rock Awhile,” which are widely recognized as the first rock songs ever recorded. Distortion introduced a whole new attitude to musical expression that attracted rebels and free spirits and free thinkers while disturbing the sensibilities of those who preferred an easy listening experience.

Like penicillin, distortion was discovered by accident. Players forced to use faulty, damaged, or cheap, poorly made amplifiers liked what happened when they plugged in and cranked up the volume. Before long, players were trying to get the sound on purpose by intentionally damaging their equipment—Link Wray is famous for having punched holes in his amp’s speaker with a pencil he found lying around the studio.

There’s a ton of effects out there that do all manner of badass things to your guitar signal, generating everything from face-melting saturation to atmospheric soundscapes. It’s tempting to pack your pedalboard with these types of pedals, but there’s another class of gear—often overlooked—that you should seriously consider. We’re talking about utilitarian pedals. They’re tools more than they are effects—not fancy or flashy, but they can make your life much easier on stage.

Playing live is not the same as playing in the studio or in the practice space, where you have much more control over all the various factors that can effect the way you sound. When you play a gig, you’re at the mercy of the venue’s acoustics and sound tech.

Here’s a list of pedals that allow you to retain as much control over your sound as possible when playing live.

We love relic’d instruments at Dunlop. They look awesome, of course, with all the visual charm of an instrument that’s been through a lifetime or two on the road. But there’s more to a relic’d instrument than its appearance.

They feel just as broken in as they look.

If you’ve ever put your hands on a vintage instrument that’s been played a lot, then you know that playing an instrument like that is as comfortable as putting on your favorite old pair of shoes. Builders go through a number of steps to create that worn-in feel in their relic’d instruments, and they tend to do it very successfully, whether it’s a Mexican-made Fender Roadworn Jazz Bass or a Tele-inspired guitar from San Francisco-based Rock N Roll Relics.