Winter is one of the toughest seasons on your instrument because of temperature and humidity fluctuations, which are vastly different between outdoors, your car, and indoors. And, outdoor events may expose them to direct moisture contact.
From wooden bodies and bridges to tuning pegs and strings, all are susceptible to changes that impede sound or can even damage the instrument.
If you rented-to-own or bought a used instrument, you may have an old and decrepit instrument case. While any case is better than none at all, winter requires extra levels of weather-resistant protection. This is essential if you play your instrument outdoors during the winter and early spring months.
One of our favorites is Revelle’s CrossTECH violin case, which offers SupraTECH suspension that safely cradles your instrument as it floats inside the case's hard shell for maximum protection, as well as premium nylon, water-resistant zippers and tour-quality hardware. These are exactly the types of features you want to look for in any string instrument case, whether you play a ¾-violin or an upright string bass.
2. A highly-absorbent cloth
No fancy technology or innovation needed here - a simple, soft and highly-absorbent cloth or two may be a better substitute for rain or snow exposure than the one you’re using now. Your instrument should be wiped free of direct moisture as soon as possible to protect its finish and the wood beneath.
You may want to buy a yard of Zorb; most commonly used by cloth-diaper aficionados. Cut it into squares and it will wick away drops or beads of moisture almost instantaneously.
3. Boveda’s two-way, choice humidity control
BeforeBoveda products, there was only one-way humidity solutions, and most peak seasons (summer included) consistently place your instrument between two extremes – humid outside air and dry, conditioned interior air.
Now, Boveda has saved the day with two-way humidity control packs that nestle efficiently into your case and keep your string instrument at its ideal. These packs remove excess moisture and store it, releasing it back when humidity levels drop again. Boveda systems keep cases between 40% and 50% humidity, and no maintenance is required.
Once the app is activated and you’ve saved the desired humidity levels for your case (40% to 50%), you place the humidity sensor inside. When moisture levels move above or below your target range, your smartphone sends an alert.
5. Instrument-specific polish
Polishing your instrument is a two-fold benefit. Primarily, it keeps the finish clean of dust, rosin build up, oils from fingers and hands, and environmental particulates. However, polishing your instrument with an instrument-specific polish also keeps the finish in good shape and helps it withstand temporary moisture exposure without settling into the finish.