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How to safely move instruments, music equipment, and studio gear

Whether you are part of a professional music studio in Metro Vancouver, or have constructed an at-home setup, the story is the same: you’ve probably invested hundreds, or likely thousands of dollars into the perfect musical gear to feed your creative endeavours.

In the event you are moving musical instruments or equipment in the Lower Mainland, there are a few ways to rule out the possibility of damaging your possessions.

For moving an upright or grand piano, read no further and visit our previous blog on how to move a piano. Since pianos usually weigh a minimum of 500 lbs, professional help is always necessary for your safety and to avoid damage to your home. For anything else music-related, here are some helpful things to to protect your gear on your next move!

Exercise caution when handling instruments

Generally speaking, instruments are very fragile and aren’t something that can be easily repaired if they were to become dented or squashed during your move. Sure, you could replace a fallen key from a piano, or a lost mouthpiece for a clarinet, but if the body of any instrument becomes compromised, it won’t sound how it is supposed to.

The body of an instrument is built to act as a perfectly tuned resonating chamber. If any outside force compromises that shape, the tuning will be off and the instrument won’t sound how it was meant to sound. So bottom line, however big or small your instrument is, it should be treated like a box of fine china to save you from shelling out a replacement.

Hard or soft-shelled cases?

Usually instruments come in their own personal case in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are either soft-shelled or hard-shelled. If you do have hard-shelled cases for your instruments (typically much more expensive), you can trust that they are already protected from outside force. So while still being cautious, they can be packed and stacked among regular household goods.

Unlike hard-shelled cases, soft-shelled cases are most common and usually in the shape of the instrument itself– not an easily packable square or rectangle shape. Although they provide some degree of protection (mostly from dust and moisture), they are pretty much useless when it comes to protecting the body of the instrument. When packing your moving truck or vehicle, use towels to create wedges within the negative space that your cases create with their odd shapes. This prevents them from moving and knocking against one another in transit.

Be aware of the weather conditions during your move

Wood instruments like the guitar, cello, and auxiliary percussion, can all be adversely affected by colder weather. If you are moving during colder months, your goal should be to stabilize them in the closest range to room temperature as possible.

Upon arrival to your new place, consider setting your heat a few degrees below room temperature for the first day to give your wood items a chance to acclimatize. Without doing this, introducing a wooden instrument that has been enroute in the freezing cold to a warm and toasty house can cause the wood to expand and warp– thus ruining the body of the instrument.

Keep original packaging for studio gear

Even though it can be a nuisance to store year round, it is always wise to keep the original box and packaging your studio gear came in. If you can’t shell out the funds for a hard-shelled case, the original box and packaging is definitely second best and at no extra cost to you.

We live in a world of online shopping and worldwide shipping. Manufacturers have definitely kept up with the trend by providing extremely durable packing materials. Original packaging often contains hard styrofoam moulds, filler, and bubble wrap that is meant to protect gear in transit.

Get proper and reliable guidance for moving musical gear

Let your rockstar skills be responsible for your instruments’ wear and tear– not your next move! To have our experts help you with getting your musical equipment on its way in the Vancouver area, call Ferguson Moving & Storage at 604-922-2212. Or, visit us online now to request a reliable quote.

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