Guide for the Season - Caring For Your Instrument
Time to read 3 min
Time to read 3 min
In the mountains of Western North Carolina, winters can get extremely dry and cold. In town, temperatures regularly dip into the low 20s in January and sometimes the teens! Highs are usually in mid 40s but if you live at a higher elevation, temperatures are often even more extreme. We periodically get snow and the air is usually very low in humidity.
Your instrument is a living, breathing pieces of wood. Cold and dry conditions can be problematic for acoustic instruments such as guitar, mandolin, violin, and cellos if proper care is not taken. If you live anywhere with cold winters, it's extremely important for the longevity of your instrument to consider strategies for keeping it hydrated in this season.
Check out our signs to look out for, tips & tricks below for keeping your instrument in good shape this winter, along with some recommended products we carry in the shop.
instincts! When your instrument feels unresponsive in your hands it would be worth your time to check up on its humidity levels!
I always give this tip to my students and renters; the safest place for your instrument is in its case! Not only does this keep it safe from pets and young children, but a case (especially a hardshell) is the best environment for protecting your instrument from fluctuating temperatures.
We know we know your guitar looks pretty on the wall! However during the winter when you're cranking the heat and enjoying the fireplace, dry heat is emitted into the air. It can be difficult to counteract the effects of dry heat , which is why the case is the safest environment for your instrument during the winter months.
When traveling to and from gigs, keep your instrument in a case. This comes in handy, especially if you're walking from a heated car, outside in the cold, and then back inside a heated building. These rapid temperature fluctuations are stressful on the wood, so we recommend leaving your instrument in the case when you arrive in a building. Let it come to room temperature before removing it from the case.. or else its a recipe for disaster ;)
We love Access One hardshell cases, and carry them in the shop for small body acoustics, dreadnaughts, banjos, and mandolins for $146!
Stay ahead of any possible issues by monitoring the humidity levels around your instrument.
A digital hygrometer is a key tool in observing the amount of moisture in the air. We have two hygrometers on opposite ends of the showroom that measure humidity in the air, and help us to determine the best course of action for keeping our inventory properly humidified.
Our sweet spot for humidity levels is 45%-55% humidity.
There are so many tools out there for keeping your instrument humidified during the winter months. They come in two basic variations; a sound-hole humidifier and a case humidifier.
We carry several products here in the shop that we fully endorse and even use ourselves!