18 Nov 2013

How to Store Your Acoustic Guitar in the Winter

The key to guaranteeing that your acoustic guitar sounds just as beautiful in 20 years as it did the day you bought it, is storing it properly. With winter right around the corner, this is more important than ever as the cold temperatures and erratic weather will do a number on your instrument if it is left unattended.

Make sure this doesn’t happen, by following the advice below. Before we even start, will tell you that the magic word of today is humidify.

In general, when it comes to storing high-end guitars, air humidity should be kept in the 45-55% range, and temperature should hover between 67-75 F. Not following these guidelines can warp wood, destroy joints, and detune strings.

The first step to meeting these standards, is ensuring that your “music room”, or whichever part of the house you most often play your guitar in, is climate and humidity controlled. Achieve this by installing proper ventilation, a reliable HVAC system, and of course, a room humidifier like the one below:

Room Humidifier

In addition to keeping your precious stringed instruments intact, it will also make breathing easier, prevent dry skin and hair, reduce the risk of dehydration, improve joint pain, and overall make your life a whole lot more comfortable. You really can’t go wrong!

However, although an indoor humidifier is certainly one step to keeping your guitars safe, an even better option is to also purchase a specially designed guitar humidifier that can be kept right in the case, like this model by Planet Waves:

Planet Waves

We like this one because it also comes with an in-case monitor, but if you opt for a version that doesn’t have this feature, you can always buy a humidity reader on the side. We suggest purchasing both a humidifier and reader for each case to guarantee that all your instruments will be in tip top condition come spring.

Once you have the tools to create a controlled environment in each of your guitar cases, the next step is simple: don’t open the case.

No we don’t mean keep your instrument locked up tight until it’s warm outside, we just mean keep the case closed as much as possible unless you’re taking your guitar out, or putting it back in. Leave it open, and your controlled environment will be uncontrollable!

Yes we know that these tips consume both time and money, but when it comes to keeping your prized acoustic guitar(s) safe, these minor inconveniences are more than worth it. And remember, thankfully winter doesn’t last forever and in no time at all it will be spring—the best time of the year for guitar-playing!

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