How to Store Musical Instruments

A bright orange guitar resting against a black drumset.

If you ask a professional musician here in New Orleans about the importance of personal storage, don't expect him to talk about stashing furniture. Instead, he'll sing the praises of space that keeps the tools of his trade safe when he's not jazzing up the crowds on Bourbon Street. He'll also explain how important it is to properly prep musical instruments for long-term storage in New Orleans.

Baby Your Brass

Every band needs plenty of brass, so keep your horns ready to blow with climate-controlled care in a storage unit rental. Prep each one by taking out the slides, emptying the water and giving the slide legs a good cleaning. It's important to use heavy oil on the valves, casings and bearings because it's less likely to evaporate while your horn stays in storage. A few drops of bearing oil work best in the lead pipe. Snake it clean, and add a few more drops. Grease and replace the slides, and your brass is ready to be stashed.

Store Strings Carefully

Guitars, violins and violas are sensitive to the humidity and temperature extremes in New Orleans, but they stay safe in climate-controlled self storage. Get your instrument ready by detuning the strings down several notes to relax tension on the neck. Clean the body and tuning mechanisms with a dry cloth, and use wax or oil on the fretboard. Be sure to use a polish specially formulated for stringed instruments. Store your strings in a heavy case along with a silica pouch, and slip several plastic bags over the case.

Be Diligent with Drums

Whether you march to the beat of a snare or multi-toms, those skins need the same climate-controlled environment as strings and horns. If you're putting away a full set, personal storage options give you room to spare. Inspect each drum carefully, and disassemble for a thorough cleaning. Wipe everything down with a soft cloth inside and outside the shell and hardware. Reduce tension on the bottom and top heads by half, but make sure they stay tight enough to secure the tension rods. Don’t forget to store your reassembled set off the floor on wood pallets.

From Preservation Hall to Jazz Park, the sounds stay sweet when brass, strings and drums stay in tune. Whether you're new on the scene or a seasoned pro, let
Safeguard storage unit rental back up your New Orleans lineup. And no worries, you won't have to live on red beans and rice to treat your favorite musical instruments to affordable self storage.