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How to Humidify Your Wooden Band Instrument

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Why Do I Need to Humidify my Woodwind Instrument?

To keep it simple, proper humidification:

  • Prevents costly and avoidable repairs to your wooden instrument
  • Prevents lost practice or performance time
  • Keeps your instrument sounding amazing (plus it helps that you’re an awesome musician!)

Unlike metal or plastic instruments, wood instruments require a little extra care and maintenance, especially with seasonal changes. As seasons change, so does the humidity. During hot and humid summer months, wooden instruments will absorb water, causing the wood to expand or swell. Likewise, the wood will dry out during cold, dry winter months. This causes the wood to shrink and crack, affecting the instrument’s playability. 

How do you know if your instrument needs moisture?

If it’s made of wood, it needs to be humidified. It's important to humidify your woodwind instrument as preventative maintenance and to keep your instrument in optimal playing condition. When there are fluctuations in the humidity and temperature, the wood in the instrument expands and contracts which can lead to cracking and other costly repairs. Proper humidification for your band instrument is the best way to prevent this from happening!

What humidification tools are recommended?

Luckily, you don’t need an exact climate controlled room to ensure your instrument’s safety as there are budget friendly tools that can help. There are several simple humidification solutions that can combat the toll climate changes can take on your wood instruments. Heid Music is here to help!

Humistat F1H1 Humidifiers

A Humistat FlH1 Humidifier is great for smaller wood instruments such as oboes, wood piccolos and wood flutes. This style of humidifier fits into the case and adds moisture to the instrument as needed. These humidifiers should be checked weekly to ensure it hasn't dried out.

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Boveda 2-Way Humidification System

The Boveda 2-Way Humidity Control System stays inside your instrument case. This system provides consistent humidification between 45 - 55% humidity with very little maintenance. To use, simply insert the packet into the pouch, and then place the pouch inside the case. Dependent upon the climate and conditions of your house, you can expect to get approximately 6 months of humidification out of the Boveda. You will know it is time to replace the packet inside the pouch with a refill pack when the packet makes a crunchy sound and feels hard rather than soft.

 

We recommend that at a minimum, you humidify your instrument (especially in cold climates) from October or November through March or April. For best care, we recommend humidifying your instrument year round. *If your instrument is brand new, please note that there is a proper break-in procedure before adding a humidifier.

Climate care for your instrument is vital in keeping a long life of great tone and playability. To learn more about all the different types of humidifiers, visit Heid Music’s online store or stop in at one of our five locations today!

 

 

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