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Beat the Cold: 10 winter care tips for your instrument.

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1. Keep your instrument case shut to regulate temperature and humidity. Instrument cases not only keep water out, but they keep moisture in. It?s definitely important to keep your instrument in its case when transporting it.
2. Buy a humidifier to keep moisture in your home. If your instrument stays inside and you?re able to regulate the moisture levels, your instrument will have no idea the air is dry outside.
3. Tune your piano! Piano strings should be tuned twice a year and the start of winter is definitely a good time. If the air in your home is dry, then your wooden piano might shrink and cause the strings to lose their tune.
4. Wear a scarf and drink warm tea to keep your vocal chords warm. When you?re throat is cold, your voice will not sound flawless. Some musicians are known for requesting the heat be turned on in all their venues to make sure the temperature is best for their voice.
5. Don?t leave your instrument in the car! If you need to run some errands after practice or a gig, take your instrument home first. You may think you?ll just be a few minutes, but if you get caught and your instrument stays in the cold car for a period of time, the instrument will get cold and the wooden structure will contract. Then, once you turn the heat on or take your instrument inside, the heat will be such a shock that real damage can occur to your instrument.
6. Keep practicing! Just because you?re on winter break and lacking motivation does not mean your instrument should be neglected. Your instrument will benefit from consistent use, especially in the cold dry winter.
7. Don?t store your instrument in a dry place like a closet or garage. These are closed off from heaters and the humidifier. Instead, keep your instrument out in the open.
8. Don?t store your instrument near a heater or fireplace! Even if you have a humidifier to regulate the moisture in the air, close contact with heat sources will dry out your instrument before the humidifier can balance out the air.
9. De-tune your strings if you won?t be playing your instrument for an extended amount of time. Tuned strings place significant pressure on the neck of your instrument which, when combined with the air trying to dry out and shrink your instrument, is not good. Both forces working together will shrink your instrument more than you?d like.
10. Keep a close eye on your instrument! If something doesn?t feel right, get it checked out right away. It?s much easier to fix problems when they?re just starting out as opposed when the damage has already been done.

You might also like:
How Often Should You Tune Your Piano?
Summer Instrument Care
Tips to Extend the Life of Guitar Strings

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