As we all brace for the coming weather, it’s a good moment to review the importance of humidifying our instruments. In my experience here in the shop, the larger instruments (cello and bass) are even more susceptible to humidity-related damage than their smaller cousins (violin and viola). However, if you have an older violin/viola or one that has proven to be especially sensitive to humidity swings, it is best for the health of your instrument to pay attention to humidification.
45%-55% relative humidity tends to be an ideal range for most instruments, and a digital hygrometer is the best way to establish a baseline measurement of the humidity in your space. While humidifying your whole home/apartment is the ideal way to keep your instrument healthy, it is not always feasible. Even if it is possible, it doesn’t solve the problem of transporting your instrument to rehearsals, lessons, or performances.
Boveda offers one solution in the form of their 2-way humidity control packs. Keeping the appropriate number of Boveda packs in your case or bag is a great way to keep your instrument in the ideal range while traveling. If humidity is a problem at your destination, keeping your instrument stored in the case when not in use can be an easy way to regulate the humidity. One thing to remember with the Boveda packs – keep your case or bag closed when not taking your instrument out or putting it away. This allows the Boveda packs to regulate just the air inside the case without trying to impact the entire room.
Give them a try and keep your instrument happy this winter!