Thanks to this polar vortex, it’s colder than ever here in CT and all across the rest of the country. We live in a state where the air hurts our face. Why do we live where the air hurts our face? That answer might vary, but what doesn’t change is the impact that winter weather can have on our beloved instruments. Cold and dry air can wreak havoc on any instrument you might own, so I’ve compiled a few tips for how to fight this weather and keep your gear in tip-top shape!
Perhaps the most important tip is to manage your humidity and temperature! Have you ever noticed that in the winter, your skin feels dry or cracks up? Wooden instruments work in a similar fashion to our skin; if a guitar or violin stays in dry, cold conditions for a long time, they will dry up and can crack along the body and neck. This damage can often be hard and expensive to fix. Your instrument is a part of your family, so keep it warm and cozy! If you have a music room or studio with multiple instruments, getting a tank-humidifier that can control the whole room is an excellent option. You can also purchase instrument humidifiers, like the D’Addario Two-Way Humidification System, which has convenient, removable humidity packets that regulate your guitar’s humidity from the inside-out. For your orchestral strings, try a Dampit; it’s a curved tube with a sponge inside that sits in the f-hole, and humidifies the instrument when not in use. If possible, try and keep the humidity in the room/instrument between 40%-60%, and the temperature in the room between 60°-75°. If you can’t keep the heat and humidifier running all day when you’re out and try putting the instrument in a hardshell case with a D’Addario Small Instrument Humidifier inside it.
The location of your instrument within your home or studio matters as well. An instrument not stored properly can become warped out of shape; literally! Try to keep it on an instrument stand in the correct posture; OnStage Stands, ProLine, and Hercules all make excellent floor and wall stands that we sell in our store, and this On-Stage Stands Guitar Stand is a fan favorite. You can also leave it in a case, as long as it’s not standing up against a wall. Leave the case lying horizontal on the ground; this keeps the neck from warping out of shape.
When spring rolls around, your instrument will likely need some kind of adjustment. As the weather and pressure changes, the wood will naturally shift around during seasonal transitions. If this happens, just bring your instrument to our store and one of our expert repair technicians will happily take care of you!
Looking for more instrument care tips? Interested in taking your playing and equipment to the next level? Searching for the meaning of life? Keep in touch with our weekly blog posts, our Facebook and Instagram pages, and stop by the store to stay updated! As for the meaning of life? I can't say for sure, but I bet it's got something to do with music!