How Climate Affects Your Instrument

It’s not (just) the heat, it’s (also) the humidity.

When choosing to play an instrument, your first thoughts are not usually centered around how your local climate can affect your instrument. Professional musicians must worry about the temperatures their instruments are subjected to at any given moment. Here are some signs that your instrument may be reacting to its environment.

Open Seams 

An open seam is a very thin opening between the rib and face or back of a stringed instrument that may cause a change in sound. Stringed instruments are built using a glue that allows for the materials to expand and shrink. Open seams are blessings in disguise. An open seam indicates that you have avoided a more serious crack or break in your instrument. 

Sticky or loose pegs

If you are trying to move your pegs and they just won’t budge, it could be that the heat of Summer has caused your pegs and peg box to expand. The alternate possible issue to encounter is pegs that slip as a result of cold air temperatures. Luckily there is an easy solution! Bring your instrument to your local shop for an assessment and possible refitting of your pegs. 

Altered sound 

Open seam on violin

The least serious climate related complication for instrumentalists is an altered sound. While it is inconvenient, sound post adjustments and certain weather regulating accessories  can be used to restore your instrument to its original sound. 

Ways to avoid climate related instrument issues

In order to keep your instrument in the best sound and condition, do not leave your instrument in the car during any season. Avoid direct sunlight whenever possible and try to limit outdoor playing time. Remember, heat and cold are a factor in affecting an instrument but humidity is the true enemy. 

2 thoughts on “How Climate Affects Your Instrument

  1. John Cornwell says:

    You are great!! I wish you and your families ‘GOOD SUCCESS’ everyday!

    John J. Cornwell

  2. Allen Tidball says:

    Very informative and germane to S.Florida..
    From experience, so true. Especially after Hurricane Wilma

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