When you’re not playing your violin, it is important to practice proper violin storage because this helps protect your instrument from a variety of things that can damage it, such as dust, extreme temperatures, and changes in humidity.
In this guide you will learn how to store a violin between playing sessions, so it will be safe, protected, and ready for your next practice, and how to store it if you aren’t going to be playing it for some time.
How to Store a Violin
When storing your violin, the first thing you must determine is how long you are planning on keeping it stored away because depending on whether you are storing it long-term or just between session, your storage techniques will differ.
For short-term violin storage, you do not want to loosen the strings. The string tension is necessary for upholding the soundpost, and should the soundpost develop an issue, then a luthier will need to repair it for you. The general rule of thumb for natural gut strings mounted instruments is to leave strings tuned ¼-tone lower. This will allow the strings to avoid becoming too tight or too loose with the varying climate changes. For short-term protection, the violin should remain in its travel case whenever you’re not playing it.
If you want to put the violin into long-term storage, then you should take a couple extra measures to help protect the instrument from shock damage. This starts by getting yourself a heavy-duty case that’s capable of protecting your violin from the elements. Unlike a travel case, a violin hard case is rugged enough to withstand whatever changes may occur during its time in storage. It is also recommended to wrap the violin in a soft, clean microfiber cloth or place it in a silk violin bag and then wrap the bundle in an additional layer of bubble wrap before placing it in its hard case.
Violin Temperature & Humidity
Extreme temperatures and humidity levels are two of a violin’s worst enemies. So, the more control you have over the outside atmosphere, the better. Whether you are storing your violin for the short- or long-term, you should try to store it in a climate-controlled room, or at least the room in your house that has the most stable temperature and humidity. It should be kept away from vents, drafty spots, and outside-facing walls.
If you are storing it long-term, then you may want to monitor the room’s moisture levels by using a hygrometer. If the hygrometer shows high humidity, then you might want to consider using silica gel packets to absorb some of the ambient moisture in the room or a programmable dehumidifier. With violin storage, proper temperature and humidity balance is key.
Use a Violin Hard Case
The very best protection for your violin will be provided by a violin hard case. But, because these cases tend to be heavier and bulkier than the standard violin travel case, having one of each might be something you will want to consider. This will allow you the flexibility and convenience to use the travel case for when you go to practice or to a performance and the hard case for storing your instrument at home whenever you’re not playing or cleaning it.