Just like your skin gets dry and cracked in the winter, your instrument will too, especially instruments made of wood.? But applying lotion directly to your instrument isn?t the answer.? Instead, you need to take precautions to prevent your instrument from drying out.
Here are some winter instrument care tips:
Regulate: Instruments need consistent temperature and humidity for best upkeep.? In the winter, the humidity levels severely drop (that?s why your hair is frizzier in the summer and more static-y in the winter) which is what dries out your instrument.
–To regulate the humidity, you need to know the humidity levels in your room.? A hygrometer monitors relative humidity.? When buying one, be sure to do some research to be sure you purchase an accurate one.? Inactive readings will be of no help in regulating the humidity.
Humidify: A room humidifier adds moisture into the air.? If you?re going to use a humidifier, it?s important to store your instrument in that room only.? Humidifiers require constant upkeep to be sure they do not dry out.
–WARNING: If you?re thinking of using a humidifier, make sure you are prepared to constantly keep an eye on it.? If your instrument gets too much moisture, it can do more damage than too little moisture.? Similarly, if you let your humidifier dry out, then your instrument will experience extreme climate changes, which can severely damage your instrument.
Case closed: For instruments, the case is their defense against weather, water and damage.? Take advantage of the fact that your instrument has a case by leaving the case closed whenever possible.? If your case protects your instrument from water, then it should be able to lock in moisture keeping your instrument from drying out.
Acclimate: If you?ve ever owned a fish, you know that you can?t simply buy a new fish and drop it in your tank.? You need to put the fish and its current water and container in the tank to acclimate the fish to the new temperature.? I know that instruments are not living things, but they can take just as much care as pets sometimes.? When going to a lesson, arrive early and let your instrument sit in the case for a while.? Then, open the case slightly and let your instrument slowly adapt to the climate changes.
–To make more sense of this, think about when you?re inside your warm house and have to go outside.? The second you get outside; you?re freezing cold.? Your skin tightens and your muscles tense.? Instruments experience this as well, except instead of shivering, they crack.