5 Tips for Protecting Your Guitar/Piano/Drums
#selfcare and #instrumentcare go great together! As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As they’re among the most popular instruments, let’s discuss caring for the guitar, digital piano and drums in this article.
5 Tips for Protecting your Guitar
1. Where to keep your guitar? Store your guitar in a room closer to the center of the building rather than near an outside wall. This helps maintain a constant temperature.
2. Store the guitar in its case, standing up or on edge – never lying down – to prevent it from being stepped on. Also, loosen its strings one or two half-steps while the guitar is in storage.
3. Get a gig bag with some good padding and put your guitar in it whenever transporting it. Carrying the bag in your hand is OK, but it’s even safer to strap it to your back while walking with your guitar.
4. If you’re touring, always use a high-quality carrying case such as a hard-bodied, foam-lined, locking Pelican case that protects against impact & moisture.
5. Put a digital hygrometer in your guitar case to ensure humidity levels are under control. The ideal humidity range for an acoustic guitar is 45-55%, but 40-60% is generally considered acceptable.
5 Tips for Protecting your Digital Piano/Electronic Keyboard
1. Where to keep your keyboard? According to Yamaha, a room with relative humidity between 40 and 45% is ideal for keyboards.
2. Do not place the keyboard outside or near an open window. Dust will coat the keyboard, which could create issues with electronic parts inside.
3. Get a keyboard cover, ideally waterproof, to put over your keyboard when not in use to protect it from dust and water.
4. Use a multimeter to check if the electrical outlet you’re plugging the keyboard into is supplying the proper voltage recommended by your keyboard’s manufacturer. If it isn’t, try a different outlet.
5. Use a regular cotton cloth to clean the keyboard. Do not use a thinner, as that can remove the printing and even damage the (usually plastic) body.
5 Tips for Protecting your Drums
1. Where to keep your drums? If you’re storing drums for an extended period, leaving the heads on under moderate tension would be best for them.
2. If storing for longer periods: don’t store drums in an attic or garage. Wood is organic, so it will react dramatically to changes in temperature and moisture.
3. Polish your drums, especially if they’re chrome-plated. If left out too long, especially in harsher conditions, they can start to become dull and corrode.
4. Use a hoop protector where your pedal connects to the bass drum hoop. This prevents the hoop from being chewed up from the teeth of the bass drum clamp.
5. Playing drums outside: the biggest concern is the weather. Try to avoid rainstorms and watch the weather forecasts every day leading up to the gig. Have a tarp to throw over the drums in case a sudden rainstorm happens.
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That means your gear is protected throughout its normal life, in your studio/office/home for storage, while in transit to and from gigs, and while being used away from your premises anywhere in the world.
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**Guest blog post by Front Row Insurance.
About: Front Row Insurance is an insurance brokerage specializing in entertainment-related risks. One of their specialties is creating custom insurance packages for musicians. This can include tour liability and coverage for recording studios. Learn more about Front Row here.
For further assistance, Unison’s Counselling & Health Solutions are available for members of the Canadian music community in need. Register with Unison for free, and call 1-855-9UNISON to receive help.