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Our Guide To Storing Musical Instruments

3rd February 2017

Violin image
“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest heals the heart and makes it whole flows from heaven to the soul” – Unknown

There is little in this world more universally loved than music. It’s a language that crosses cultures and continents, speaking to different people in different ways. From Mozart to Marley, Ludwig to Little Mix or Cash to Coolio, the appreciation of a sweet sound is absolute. Be it violin, vox or the Flying V, something just happens when an artist integrates with an instrument, it’s just… well music to one’s ears (sorry).

However, just as craftsmen are only as good as their tools, even the finest philharmonic is going to sound duff with poorly maintained or damaged instruments.

But fear not, musical maestros: for Easystore Self Storage is here to save the day once again! So dig out that double bass, try again with the triangle, and get the band back together – as you read our guide to storing musical instruments

Piano 🎹

“I am the music man, and I come from down your way and I can play. What can you play? I play the Piano.” – Various

‘Pia- Pia- piano, piano pia-oh… no’ – that’s how the classic children’s song will sound if one doesn’t take good care of one’s piano!

The collection of strings, hammers and keys is arguably one of the most versatile instruments, used widely in classical, traditional, jazz, rock and popular music. However, not a note will sound if the instrument isn’t stored safely and carefully when not in use.

  • Always keep your piano’s wooden finish clean with a damp cloth and the occasional polish. Be sure to keep drinks away from the instrument’s surface – unless of course the drink is scotch and you are performing Sinatra’s “New York, New York” …though even then, use a coaster – we are not animals!
  • Be aware of humidity and moisture. This is particularly important during months where the weather may experience some rapid changes. Conditions that are extremely hot and dry can cause the glue joints holding the soundboards to crack, whilst too much moisture can cause strings to rust. You can avert this by using a heater in the winter, and a dehumidifier in the summer.
  • Cover up! Be sure to keep the keys covered with a key cloth, to avoid dust affecting your play. You can also cover the whole piano when not in use, though this is only recommended if you are not planning on using it for a while.

Drums 🥁

“But that drummer – the one who could make his drum sound like water dropping into a bucket or like the footfalls of a giant or like rain scattering on a roof – he was the one to watch. He was the one who could make you forget yourself.” – Maggie Stiefvater

The heart and soul of any band is surely the drummer. A confident and capable drummer provides structure and anchorage to a song, giving the gathering of musicians a spine with which to steady and bloom. However, if your equipment is lacking, your fellow band mates are likely to tell you to beat it… budum tshhh …sorry.

  • Keep your drums away from direct heat, as this can crack or dry the wood surround.
  • Wrap them in blankets or towels before stacking, to keep them cushioned.
  • Be sure to clean the drums with a damp cloth before storing, so that any dust or chemicals that may be present don’t affect the materials. You can use a for-purpose wax to help coat the rims and keep out moisture.

Guitars 🎸

“This machine kills fascists” – Woody Guthrie

The pin-up boy of the four-piece is surely the guitar. Sure, the frontman gets the spotlight, but it is the guitar that shines brightest, with little to compare to a face-melting solo. Whilst it’s true that the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, a well-tuned and cared for guitar can shred long into the night.

  • As with most instruments in this list, heat and high humidity are again the biggest threats. Just like your canned goods, store in a cool, dry place!
  • Always keep your guitar in its case when not using – it keeps dust and other chemicals away.
  • Loosen the strings if you are storing the instrument away for several months, this will ease the wear and tear. However, if you are only keeping the guitar locked away for a short period of time, it might do more harm than good to mess with them, and could affect its sound.
  • As usual, always keep it clean by wiping the guitar with a damp cloth and drying with a fresh towel.

Strings 🎻

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin. What else does a man need to be happy?” – Albert Einstein

Oh, I don’t know Albert, an N64? Pre-next gen consoles aside, stringed instruments are regarded as the manifestation of musical enlightenment. For many, there is little that touches their soul like the sound of a string orchestra firing on all cylinders. Though a poorly looked after violin can sound more like a frightened cat than a Frédéric Chopin.

  • You guessed it: temperature, temperature, temperature! Store your strings somewhere cool and dry.
  • If you are reading this blog about storing musical instruments safely, then chances are that you already own a case for your violin, cello or bass. However, what you may not have is a case humidifier – grab a hydrogel to help prevent the wood from cracking.
  • After each playing, use a soft cloth to carefully remove the rosin and residue from the instrument, so it’s stored in a clean condition.
  • Loosen the bow hair slightly when storing – this will help it keep its spring.
  • You can loosen the strings if you won’t be playing for some time, but don’t forget that it’s the tension of the strings that holds the bridge in place – so be sure to store it safely.

So there you have it. Our guide to storing musical instruments. One of the most important factors in the safe and sensible storing of musical instruments is to store them in a cool, dry and secure area.

Easystore Self Storage offers domestic storage solutions – ideal for storing musical instruments and other household treasures – complete with free contents insurance, 24/7 access, top-of-the-line security systems and van and forklift use should you need it (more info and terms here). With storage units in Cardiff and Bridgend, why not get in touch with us today or use our quick quote form?

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Author: Brendan

Brendan is the owner of Easystore Self Storage.

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