What conditions do banjos dislike?
August 19, 2008 2:33 PM   Subscribe

How can I store my banjo long-term to preserve the best possible sound? I have a hard case (not a soft "gig bag") and the instrument is in a dark closet. We keep the humidity between 40-55% whenever possible...

I have a new-ish job, a toddler, a marathon to train for, and an online class starting next week. All good things, but combined they mean my 3-year-old, open-back Deering Goodtime banjo gets very little attention. Short of loaning it to someone who will play it regularly (I am trying to find someone), how can I store it to minimize if not avoid warping or other damage?
posted by homelystar to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
I don't have an answer about storage, but having a musician play your instrument will certainly put wear and tear on it, let alone moving it from place to place.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:05 PM on August 19, 2008

Maybe get a little guitar humidifier like this?
posted by gnutron at 3:18 PM on August 19, 2008

Just want to check since you didn't specifically mention it: did you loosen the strings? That is Step 1 in avoiding warp-age.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 3:22 PM on August 19, 2008

More knowledgeable folks feel free to contradict.

The Goodtime seems to have a truss rod, and I imagine, a plastic, renaissance, or fiberskyn head.

Since the soundboard is plastic, I imagine there's less of that mystical-sounding alignment that happens with wooden-soundboard instruments that justifies playing them all the time.

Loosen the strings just a bit, put it in your case, and store it as above. I think you won't have any problems. If you do, the adjustment to fix it should be pretty easy. There's a reason why there are a million banjos around from the 1920's, as opposed to very few fragile instruments.
posted by LucretiusJones at 4:57 PM on August 19, 2008

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