When you play in a band, you live for the weekend. That’s when you put the daily grind behind you and practice your art onstage. It’s a great way to spend your time, but it only works if you properly care for your equipment between gigs and rehearsals. If you have a roommate, a spouse, or kids, it’s unlikely that you can leave your band equipment in a shared living space out all week. So what do you do? Giving up the equipment isn’t an option, so you have to find space for it.
Designated Cases for Instruments
Gig bags are a versatile storage option to help protect your instruments. “Usually gig bags are made of several materials, with polyester and nylon leading the pack. Nylon is a bit lighter, but poly bags generally offer more protection due to their stiffness,” says Gibson.com writer Ted Drozdowski. “Regardless of material, be sure to get a bag that is waterproof. Some manufacturers make leather gig bags, which are highly durable and pricier.”
When looking for a gig bag, consider these options:
- Metal zippers
- Front pockets
- Carrying handles
When shopping for a gig bag, make sure your instrument fits as tightly as possible inside. Wiggle room makes damage to the instrument more likely. Gig bags can also allow dirt and dust inside them, so these are best stored in a clean, climate-controlled space.
Traveling with Your Band Gear
How you travel with your gear is important so it stays in the best shape. The more gigs you play, the more equipment you’ll likely need to bring, and the more you need to attend to how your equipment is stored. If you stack equipment in the back of a van, or even in a storage facility, skip the gig bag and opt for a hard case. These cases come in wood or plastic, but they are lined to provide protection for the instrument it’s designed to carry. Before you buy a hard case, check to make sure it’s durable. “If a case gives when you push on it, don’t buy it — period,” says Drozdowski.
Transport all of your band equipment in their same protective carrying cases. When you pack your vehicle, HomeFarmStudios.com recommends “the musical instruments are arranged in such a way that they will not bump against each other, which could possibly result in a damaging impact.”
Choose Climate Controlled Storage to Protect Your Investment
During the week, you can’t have all of your band equipment in the middle of your house or apartment. Instead, choose a climate-controlled storage unit. Many storage units allow you to access your items 24 hours a day, so you can pick up or drop off your equipment at your own convenience. A big bonus is that equipment is much more protected in a climate-controlled unit than in a regular garage.
A rapid change in temperature can create cracks in the finish of an instrument. However, what you really need to monitor is humidity. PREMIERGuitar features an article by Bob Taylor, who notes, “At one time, probably 70 percent of the repairs performed in our service center could have been avoided if the guitar had not been exposed to humidity extremes.” To protect your equipment from humidity, experts recommend you store items in their cases inside a climate-controlled facility.
From storage to travel, it’s important you take care of the band equipment that you’re so passionate about. Find instrument cases that are right for the job, take care to properly pack your vehicle when you travel, and always choose climate-controlled storage for your instruments. All this will help ensure that your equipment, and your hobby, will last for years to come.
- Ted Drozdowski, “How To Select The Right Guitar Case,” Gibson, http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/How-To-Select-The-Right-Guitar-Case.aspx
- “How to Transport Musical Instruments,” HomeFarmStudios.com, http://homefarmstudios.com/music-studio/default.asp?p=how-to-transport-musical-instruments
- Bob Taylor, “How Humidity Affects Your Guitar,” PREMIERGuitar, http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/How_Humidity_Affects_Your_Guitar