As a musician you have plenty of instruments, amps, and mixers. You won’t need every piece of equipment on the road touring so you’ll want to store what you don’t need correctly. And for the equipment you are bringing on tour, you want to make sure it stays safe out on the road. This article will go over some of the most common storage risks and teach you some tips to protect your equipment when you are heading from gig to gig.
Why Is Proper Storage So Important For Musical Equipment?
High quality musical instruments cost a lot of money. They are investments, not only in yourself as a musician, but well cared for vintage instruments can command a lot of money. Or maybe your instruments are family heirlooms and you want to keep them in pristine condition to pass down through your family. A properly stored instrument can last for decades if not centuries, but one that is just tossed in a damp basement or hot attic won’t even last a year.
If you’re in a band, you often live in small apartments or tend to move quite a bit. There isn’t much room to store equipment in your apartment, nor would you want to. They get hot and it’s hard to regulate temperature. And to top it off, drums and amps take up a lot of valuable space. So where should you store it all?
Where Should I Store My Musical Equipment?
There are plenty of places to store your equipment, ranging from your own home to a paid storage facility. But there are a few things to keep in mind when picking the correct area, including:
- Keeping your equipment off the floor
- Finding a space where temperature is consistent
- Never leaning or propping up your equipment on anything
- Keeping it away from doorways
Once you have found the correct storage location, make sure to wrap your instruments and keep them in cases.
If you are looking at storing your musical equipment with a company that provides storage facilities make sure to ask plenty of questions.
What Are Some Good Ways To Store Instruments?
First, you’re going to need a high quality case. Your case should be sturdy and well made. Since every instrument is as unique as you are, it’s best if you use a case that has been custom made to fit your individual instrument.
Hard vs. soft cases
Soft cases are suitable for bringing your instruments to a show in your hometown or if you don’t have to travel too far, but if you’re band is doing major touring or if you are going to be storing your instruments away for an extended period of time, you need to invest in a high quality hard case. Not only does a hard case protect against possible falls and impacts, it also blocks harmful UV rays from the sun.
Break it down
If you are storing an instrument for an extended period, break it down into parts if you can. For example, most woodwind instruments come apart into pieces and for string instruments make sure to release string tension.
Clean before storing
Before storing your instrument it must be thoroughly cleaned making sure there is no dust or debris in any of the holes or moving parts. Avoid household cleaners as they can damage your instrument. Instead opt for cleaning solutions made specifically for musical instruments. You can find these at any store that sells musical instruments.
Because of their size and multiple parts, screws, and bolts, drums are some of the most difficult instruments to store. The skins easily puncture and stands can break and warp. Here is a list of ways to best store your drums:
- Wrap pedals and legs in protective padding
- Loosen drum skins to reduce risk of puncture and stretching
- Cover with protective tarp
Because of their size, you might need to find somewhere outside of your home to store it. Do your due diligence when finding a storage facility and ask questions about humidity and heat control.
Wood instruments need special storage considerations. Not only are they prone to warping from humidity and temperature fluctuations, but they also are often damaged by insects. Talk to one of our case specialists about which cases are best to use with your wood instruments.
When Taking My Instruments Out Of Storage, How Do I Check To Make Sure Nothing Is Damaged?
As soon as you take your instruments or other musical equipment out from storage be on the lookout for these warning signs:
- Corrosion in metal or brass
- Mold or mildew
If you see any of these warning signs it probably means that your instruments were stored incorrectly. Take them to a specialist as soon as possible. With the right care, many of these damages can be reversed.
Think About Insurance
Top-of-the-line and vintage instruments and musical equipment cost top dollar. You’ve paid for the best in the business to give you the best sound possible. Think about protecting your investments with insurance. Even if you store your equipment properly, there are still random occurrences that are out of your control. For example, a severe storm could cause leakage from your roof onto your equipment or even a fire could devastate everything.
It’s important to take pictures of all the equipment your insuring purposes and keeping records of their values. Make sure to retain digital copies so if something happens to your property you won’t lose all of your insurance information.
How Should I Store My Equipment While On The Road Touring?
Being in a band and touring on the road makes for great stories and adventures. But you don’t want any of those stories including the time when incorrectly stored equipment got smashed in the equipment van.
Hard cases are your best bet, as they protect your instrument against bumps while driving and possible damage while roadies are racing to set up the stage. It’s important to purchase a case that is uniquely customized to your particular instrument or equipment.
For drums and larger instruments, large soft bags are a good bet. Make sure they are insulated and have sturdy handles for carrying.
If you’re in a band you know how much space all your instruments take up and how fragile they are while on the road. You need a storage solution to fit all of your needs. This article gives you steps you can take to store your musical equipment properly so that it can last a lifetime.
The next step is to find a trusted musical equipment case provider. Since 1976, Encore A&S Cases has been protecting your valuable instruments and equipment. If you’re looking for world-class craftsmanship and the highest quality materials, turn to us. We are one of the world’s premier case suppliers. Call us at 818-768-8803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.