Keep your instrument healthy with proper care

Fine instruments made from solid woods need, like the musicians that play them, proper care and feeding. One of the most important factors in this care is the maintenance of the proper level of relative humidity.

To keep the proper relative humidity level for your instrument, we recommend keeping the instrument in its case and using an in-case humidifier. If you spend a little now, you’ll save a lot later. A variety of in-case humidifiers are available for sale on


What is relative humidity?

Relative humidity is the ratio of moisture in the air at a given temperature to the amount of moisture the air could hold. A key term here is "relative". Humidity is relative to the temperature. Warmer air can hold more moisture.

The winter season can have a profound effect on relative humidity. The cold air outside can hold very little moisture. When the cold air seeps inside and is heated without any humidification, the relative humidity can be reduced significantly. Most instruments are made in an environment with relative humidity between 40% and 50%. Under normal winter conditions, the relative humidity in most homes will hover around 30%. When things get particularly cold, 20% would not be unusual. As an instrument is exposed to low winter humidity, the wood shrinks. This shrinkage can cause a variety of problems, from low action to warps and cracks. It's important to note that damage caused from improper humidification is not covered by most warranties.


A look at the symptoms of a very dry guitar

  1. Improper neck angle.

  2. Low action. Strings very close to the fretboard.

  3. Hump on the fretboard where the neck joins the body.

  4. Sunken top across soundboard between bridge and fretboard.

  5. Back of the guitar will look very flat.

  6. Sharp fret ends extend beyond the edge of the fretboard.

To restore a very dry guitar, multiple applications of an instrument humidifier are needed. This will often take care of the body of the instrument. A truss rod adjustment and a filing of the fret ends may be needed to restore the neck.

We hope this makes it clear why maintaining proper relative humidity is essential if you wish to get many years of enjoyment from your instruments. If you have any questions on this topic give our repair shop a call at 517-999-9830