How To Store Musical Instruments

If you’re not a professional musician, you may not realize how much effort it takes to care for musical instruments. These prized possessions can be expensive, and if damaged, they may never be the same.

By taking good care of your musical instrument and knowing how to store it properly, you can keep your vintage guitar or grandmother’s piano in top-tier condition for years to come. This blog will cover how to store different musical instruments such as guitars, pianos, brass instruments, and drums.

Storing Musical Instruments

In general, most musical instruments should be taken apart before being put in storage if it’s possible to do so. Additionally, you must be aware of the temperature in which you’re storing your instrument, especially with wooden instruments like guitars and other string instruments. You should also consider cleaning your instrument before you put them away for an extended period in order to prevent bacteria growth.

How To Store a Guitar

The first thing you’ll want to do when storing any instrument is clean it well. Specifically for a guitar, use a damp cloth to clean the fretboards and polish the body. If the fretboard is unfinished, it’s a good idea to wipe it down with a specialty fretboard oil to prevent it from drying out. You can polish the body of the guitar by wiping it down with a damp cloth, then thoroughly drying it. After the guitar is cleaned thoroughly, loosen the strings slightly to avoid neck warping caused by sustained tension.

When it’s cleaned to your liking, the safest way to store a guitar is in a high-quality hardshell case, standing upright. If you have multiple guitars going in storage, avoid stacking them on top of one another. They should stay upright side by side with one another to ensure they are safe and free from anything falling on top of them.

Finally, consider investing in a humidification system, like the Humidikit from D’Addario, to keep your guitars in pristine condition, especially when storing acoustic and hollow-body guitars.

How To Store and Move a Piano

The process of storing a piano may look a little different than other instruments because of how large it is and the difficulty of transporting it. The first thing you’ll want to do to prepare your piano for a climate-controlled storage unit is to clean and apply a protectant to it. You can dust the surface with a dry cloth and carefully wipe the keys with a damp cloth. Depending on the make of your piano, there are many ways to clean the keys to this instrument, so making sure you’re cleaning your piano the correct way is important for proper care. Lastly, wipe down your piano with a polisher for an extra layer of protection.

After your piano is thoroughly cleaned, covering it with a piano protectant cover is a must to ensure it does not get damaged in transit to your storage unit. If you want to invest in a cheaper option to protect your piano, a large cloth or blanket secured with a cord or rope will do the trick, but remember not to make it too tight.

Moving a piano is not a simple task, especially when moving it from your home to a storage unit. It’s normally recommended that you hire professional movers to do this part for you. By hiring movers, you’ll feel at ease knowing your piano will be handled with care.

Once you’ve reached the storage unit, moving your piano into your unit is not a one-man job. You’re going to need as many hands as possible to get your piano to safety, not to mention the more hands, the quicker it gets done. You’ll need to be sure that there is enough space in your unit and that you have a clear pathway when moving from the vehicle to the storage unit.

Now that your piano is safe and sound in your climate-controlled storage unit, cover it completely, avoid stacking items on top of it, and keep your piano elevated from the floor. If your piano is particularly valuable or irreplaceable, it’s most likely worth installing a humidification system in order to maintain its condition. This solution would most likely require renting a climate-controlled storage unit with power outlets.

How To Store Brass Instruments

As previously mentioned, like any other instrument, you’ll want to store it in a climate-controlled unit—after you clean it and prep it, of course. Brass instruments such as trumpets, horns, and tubas are made of metal and should be stored in their cases with the valves facing up and never on the bells of the instruments. If you plan on storing your brass instruments for an extended time, you should remove all slides and valves and place them in airtight bags.

Luckily, brass instruments are less susceptible to damage from temperature fluctuations. However, issues can arise when moveable parts, such as valves and tuning slides, get stuck due to moisture freezing within them. The key to keeping brass instruments in exceptional condition is not so much the extreme temperatures but the exposure to moisture.

After you’ve cleaned the instrument and dried it completely, it will go in its case or cover and then in your climate-controlled storage unit.

How To Store Drums and Percussion Instruments

Storing drums in a climate-controlled storage unit is one of the more tedious tasks. Since the set is so large and fragile, the entire thing needs to get taken apart before it goes into storage. First, you will want to separate the drum from their stands and hardware, take each drum and wrap it in bubble wrap or packing paper.

It’s important to pack all parts of the drum set away correctly to keep them from breaking during the transition and to keep out pests while the drum set is in storage. Once the drum set is disassembled and packed properly, it makes it much easier to transport and store in your unit.

As for other types of percussion instruments, like mallet instruments, cymbals, and auxiliary percussion, just follow standard instrument storage guidelines (don’t put anything on top, store upright, and use climate-controlled storage).

Rent Climate-Controlled Storage From Universal Storage Group Today

Storing your expensive, fragile musical instruments can be a tedious process. That’s why at Universal Storage Group, our award-winning management and storage facility features and amenities help make every trip to your unit as convenient and simple as possible. No matter what you’re storing, we have convenient options to help you save space. Contact us and find the perfect climate-controlled storage unit at a Universal Storage Group location near you today!