It may be autumn now, but winter will be upon us before long. When some people think of winter, their heads are filled with pleasant thoughts of things like hot chocolate – or the sounds of a warm, crackling fire.
When string players think of winter, their heads are filled with the less than pleasant sounds of slipping pegs, shrinking wood, and cracked seams. While winter can be a trying time for string players, there are some fairly simple ways to defend an instrument against the worst of winter's weather.
Here are three tips to keep in mind:
Trust Your Instrument's Case
Even under the best meteorological conditions, your instrument's case is the first line of defense against damage of any kind. Especially during the winter months, cases – with or without additional padding – do a great job of slowing down temperature and humidity changes, giving instruments more time for gradual adjustment.
Humidity, Humidity, Humidity
While temperature is important, humidity levels are – arguably – even more important for the well-being of an instrument. The combination of low temperatures and low humidity often does the most damage to stringed instruments.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for battling the winter-time lack of humidity. Chieff among them being room humidifiers and hygrometers. With their help, it becomes possible to gauge and adjust humidity levels (to a point). While 30-60% humidity is ideal, achieving consistency is even more important. Which leads us into our final tip...
Time to Acclimate
This is the most important piece of advice for string players to keep in mind during the winter months. Making sure that your instrument isn't exposed to rapid changes in humidity or temperature – regardless of which tools you chose to use – is the best way to make it through the winter months unscathed.
Still have questions about instrument care?
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