It’s been a long summer. You’ve been traveling around the country with gigs at multiple summer festivals. You’ve experienced beautiful summer days along with some blazing heat. You made it through summer thunderstorms during and even had the crowd rocking with a few great encores. It’s been such a hectic time, and now you’re understandably tired. But before you hang up the guitars and musical equipment for a little recuperation time, you need to think about how you are planning to store the tools of the trade you brought with you on the road.
Do I Really Need To Go Through All The Trouble Of Storing My Musical Equipment?
It seems like a hassle to go through storage procedures when you are just going to be pulling everything back out come festival season again next summer. But the fact is, there are multiple ways your musical equipment can be damaged during the time you aren’t touring. Storing your equipment properly is the best way to protect your investment.
Where Can I Store My Musical Equipment?
No matter where you decide to store your musical equipment for the long-term, make sure you are keeping everything in cases. The preferable option is a custom made case for each piece of your equipment. Custom cases offer superior protection, and since they are made to exact specifications, custom cases take up less room. Choose a custom case with a hard outer shell to give your equipment extra protection. A hard case also protects your instrument from damaging sunrays and from any dust, insects, or other environmental contaminants.
Your best option is to store your equipment in your home, particularly in a room free of moisture and temperature controlled. This gives you the chance to keep an eye on everything and peace of mind knowing that all your equipment is safe. But for most of us, our homes or apartments aren’t large enough to devote an entire room for your band’s storage needs.
If you have extra room in your basement or garage, this option can work, but you are going to need to take some extra steps for added protection. If your basement or garage gets particularly damp, make sure all your equipment (preferably in custom cases) is off the ground. Keeping your equipment off the ground not only protects it against water damage, but the floor area experiences the most temperature fluctuations, too. Finally, an elevated area keeps pesky rodents and insects away.
Keep a dehumidifier plugged in to make sure the air doesn’t get saturated. If the humidity gets too high, mold can easily develop.
You might want to also think about wrapping your cases in plastic. Though custom cases are made to withstand all weather conditions, wrapping them in plastic can make sure they continue to maintain their integrity for a lifetime when stored in humid conditions.
Make sure to keep your equipment away from doors or from leaning on walls. Doing so increases the risk of tipping over or being knocked flat when someone unknowingly opens the door.
Self-storage centers are an excellent option for storing your musical equipment if you don’t have room in your home or apartment. But keep in mind that all self-storage centers aren’t created equal. If you decide on a self-storage center, make sure it includes these options:
- Temperature and climate control
- Secure facility
- Security cameras
- 24 hour access
- Clean facility
Before you make a purchase make sure to speak with the representative. Ask for a tour of the facility. Remember, you are storing thousands of dollars of expensive equipment, so make sure to do your homework to find the correct facility.
Any Other Tips For Storing My Musical Equipment?
There are a number of other ways you can keep your musical equipment safe while storing it.
Break It Down
If you instrument or piece of musical equipment can be broken down into smaller pieces, it’s best to do so before storing it for a long period of time. This takes any unnecessary pressure off your instrument and limits the chance of warping.
Before storing your instruments and musical equipment make sure they are clean. Wipe down all the visible parts and make sure there is no dirt, dust, or grime. Storing dirty musical equipment can lead to corrosion and other unwanted damage.
Don’t forget to wipe down the inside of your case before storing your musical instruments, too. It would be a shame to go through all the hard work of cleaning your equipment only to put it inside a dirty case.
When cleaning your equipment and cases, avoid household cleaners. Many of these have harsh additives that can lead to corrosion. Your local music store has products specifically designed for cleaning instruments and cases.
Release Tension Points
If you are packing string instruments, make sure to release the string tension before storing it in its case. By not doing so you run the risk of warping your instrument’s neck or even snapping it.
In the same line of thought, if you are packing drums make sure to loosen the drum skins before packing your set. This keeps the skins from stretching and reduces the chance of puncture damage. Wrap any pedals in plastic or bubble wrap.
Check Up On Your Equipment
Once you store your musical equipment, don’t just leave it unchecked. Every few weeks or months make sure to inspect everything. Look for signs of mold on the cases, check the temperature and humidity levels, and scan for signs of rodents or other pests.
On the instruments look for signs of discoloration, warping, or tiny holes that can indicate insect damage. The sooner you catch any signs of damage the easier they will be to fix before major damage sets in.
One of the most critical parts of storing your musical equipment after summer festival season is to make sure everything is packed in a high-quality custom made case. You might have found the perfect room or off-site storage facility, but without the quality cases you are lacking the right protection for your investments.
Since 1976, Encore A&S Cases has been making all types of cases for all kinds of artists: musicians, acting companies, dance troupes, magicians, circuses, and dozens of other specialties. If you’re looking for world-class craftsmanship and the highest quality materials, turn to Encore A&S Cases. We’re one of the world’s preeminent case suppliers because our cases are built to take the rigors of the road and keep their contents in pristine condition. Call us at 818-768-8803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.