Placing stickers on one’s guitar is getting more and more popular. However, you may think that it could affect its sound quality. It could be cool to plaster your Jackson flying V with Hello Kitty stickers to be ironic – but at what cost of tone? Let’s find out.
You can put stickers on a guitar. That goes for acoustic, electric, and all other forms of guitars. Stickers won’t affect the overall vibration of acoustic guitars, but you should place them in appropriate places. Don’t stick them on pickups, fretboards, or anywhere that could hinder playing.
This article will cover every question there is to ask about how stickers affect a guitar. That includes electric, acoustic, and everything in between. If there is ever any question you need to know about stickers and guitars, then this article has you covered.
Can You Put Stickers On A Guitar?
According to Rodrigo Ibieta, a Fender Acoustic Product Specialist, “it’s negligible”. This means that you can put stickers on your guitar without a doubt.
According to him, the only thing you want to consider is that you do not want anything that is going to dull the vibrations of the wood. Stickers are not going to do that.
However, there are many different types of guitars. Which guitars can you put stickers on, and are some more susceptible to some sort of condition than others?
What Types Of Guitars Can You Put Stickers On?
You are able to place stickers on all types of guitars/stringed instruments, and this goes for:
- Steel String Acoustic
- Nylon Acoustic
- Bass guitars
Where Can I Place Stickers On My Guitar?
The only factor that you have to consider is that you should not place stickers where it will affect your playing.
You can place them literally anywhere that won’t affect the sound or your basic technique when playing (as we said).
This means you can place them on the body, the headstock, and the neck (if it doesn’t interfere with your movement). Read more about the different parts of the electric guitar here.
No matter what guitar you have, do not place them on the fretboard because this will become problematic when they wear down and become sticky. This will likely cause hindrance in your finger movement.
Furthermore, for electric guitars, do not place them over the pickups. It will help if you remember that the pickups are miniature microphones that pick up the strings’ vibrations and help to create the sound (through the amp) generated by electric guitars.
Will Stickers Affect The Tone In Any Way?
We started off with a quote from a Fender Specialist saying that it doesn’t really matter if you place stickers on your acoustic guitars because the result in vibration to the wood is negligible.
This means that the tone (when considering acoustic guitars) will not change at all (at least not to the degree that the human ear can hear).
However, you may want to know if they will impact the sound of electric guitars. For this, we need to consider what electric guitars are made of and how they produce their sound.
What is a guitar made of, and will stickers affect them?
Guitars are primarily made from certain types of wood. The type of wood used usually depends on the guitar and the quality of it.
In some instances, electric guitars can be made of various types of materials (plastic, metal, etc.) to produce insane-looking guitars. However, 95% of the guitars out there are made from wood, and these types of wood include:
- Swamp Ash
Now you may wonder if stickers might affect any of these woods because they have different resonant frequencies that can be affected by specific criteria. You are right. However, none of these woods will be affected by stickers.
Where Does The Sound Come From On A Guitar?
Remember we said that the pickups cause the sound for electric guitars, and these are the primary aspects you will need to consider when playing or choosing an electric guitar.
No matter if you are looking at single-coil, double coil, humbuckers, or any other type of pickup, these tiny devices (microphones) are the primary cause of the sound coming from any electric guitar.
In days gone by, many individuals thought that the wood of electric guitars affected the sound, but there have been so many tests done nowadays that most individuals say that it does not.
Also, consider the fact that electric guitars are made from various materials like plastic, and the tone from them still sounds excellent.
Hence, just like acoustic guitars, stickers won’t affect your electric guitar’s sound. Just remember not to cover your pickups with stickers, and you should be perfectly fine.
How Do You Put Stickers On A Guitar?
One of the last questions you may ask yourself is “are there any proper ways that you should place (stick) a sticker on a guitar?”. I.E., are there any unique kinds of stickers with special glue you should get, or is there any special glue you should get, period? The answer to this is no.
All stickers will come with their own form of adhesive glue, and all you will need to do is place the sticker in the position that you want on your guitar.
Depending on the glue, it may stick and stay there forever, or it may wear down and peel off. This is at the discretion of the sticker and its adhesive. There is no real way to tell.
What you should not do (ever) is add or place your own glue on the guitar or the sticker itself (even if it is peeling off). If it is peeling off, then your best option is to get another sticker and replace it.
It will help if you remember that although a sticker might not damage your guitar per se, it might affect the finish because, in essence, it is an epoxy that layers your guitar. This means it coats it, and removing the sticker from this layer can be challenging.
If you are trying to remove any stickers, you should start with a warm wet cloth, and if that does not work, then you should take it to a professional. Usually this issue arises when you’re in the process of cleaning and polishing your guitar.
Just remember: even though you put stickers on your guitar to make it look cool, this does not necessarily mean you will damage the wood.
We discovered that you could adorn your guitar with stickers – and as many as you like. This goes for any type of guitar, from acoustic to electric and anything in between.
No matter if you have a guitar made of wood, metal, or plastic, you can put any type of sticker you want on it. The only factor to consider is that you can only place them where they will not affect the sound or your playing ability.
Logic will help you with this, and you should not place them on the fretboard, pickups, or anywhere else that could hinder your performance or sound. Otherwise, you can cover it from head to toe.
As always, Happy Playing,