From the seasoned music professional to the weekend hobbyist, musical gear and instruments can take up a lot of space in your home. If you have decided to place some of these items
into storage, here are some general tips.
Most instruments, like guitars or keyboards should be placed in a hard case before being put into the storage unit. One point of caution however is that many instrument cases are lined in plush velvet, which is designed to provide a bit of cushioning and keep the instruments from being scratched. Thinking long term, this lining can damage an instrument over an extended period of time. Therefore, we suggest placing a layer of acid-free tissue between the lining and an instrument for the best protection. For larger instruments, clean cotton bed sheets can be used.
String instruments, such as violin or guitar should have the strings relaxed before placing into storage. Also place a clean white cloth on top of the strings. Any instruments that have mouthpieces, reeds, or straps should have those pieces removed or disassembled before placing into storage.
Brass instruments and Horns should be cleaned and emptied of any moisture prior to storing. Do this by taking out all slides and emptying out the water. Experts recommend oiling the valves of the instrument with a heavyweight oil for best protection over the long term storage. After this step, grease any slides and push them all the way back into the instrument.
Do not not stack anything on top of the hard cases containing your instrument. Anything as valuable as a musical instrument should be stored thoughtfully to insure a lifetime of enjoyment. Follow the above tips and your instrument will be ready for you to play when the time is right.
Image by Shunichi kouroki [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons