House of Note

Is Your Stringed Instrument Ready For Winter?

Minnesota’s winter weather drops below freezing (and zero) and stays there for months.  Brrrr.  Cold weather can dry out and crack your fine stringed instrument.  Here are some cold weather tips for the care of your instrument.

Never leave your instrument in a cold car for any extended time.  Always bring the instrument inside with you (this also reduces theft).

When riding in the car, do not put your instrument in the trunk, keep it in the heated car.

If flying, don’t check your instrument with your luggage.  Bring it on as carry-on luggage.

If for any reason your instrument was outside in the cold, let it warm up (for at least 15 minutes)  to room temperature before tuning or playing.

Be extra careful when tuning your instrument.  Turn the pegs slowly and tune the instrument more often.  With harsh weather, it is often difficult for the instrument to stay in tune.

Invest in a Dampit (small humidifier to place inside your instrument) (located on the accessories page).  Cold weather means dry air, which can crack the fine wood of your instrument.

Polish your instrument once a month.  Keeping the wood polished can also prevent drying and cracking in the winter months.

Where do you keep your stringed instrument?  A room with a humidifier would be your best bet.

Make sure it is not leaning up against a heating vent with hot dry air blowing on it.

Do not keep your instrument near a fire place or wood stove.  This too can dry out your instrument.

Do you see a small crack in your instrument (or hear a faint buzzing sound)?  Take it into the shop to be repaired as soon as possible, before the crack gets worse.