Classical Guitar

Classical Guitar Lessons, Interview, News, Tips & More

Classical Guitar
You are here: Classical Guitar » Posts » Classical Guitars (Buying, Care, Maintenence) » Humidity Reminder

Humidity Reminder

It’s about that time of year (in the US, anyway) where the air starts to get cold and dry. This time of year is really not good for classical guitars. Unless your instrument is kept at a reasonable level of humidity — around 50% in most cases — bad things can happen. It can be as serious as a crack in the top or it could be something small like a slight change in tone.

Humidity Kit

  1. A Hygrometer. This is a device that measures humidity in the air. It’s very hard to know if you guitar needs a humidifier if you don’t know the actual humidity.
  2. A Guitar Humidifier. This goes in the guitar’s soundhole, like this:

    Humidifier

    If you want more humidity in the guitar case, Oasis makes a case humidifier. Most humidifiers require distilled water, so be prepared to buy a Gallon at your local grocery store.

  3. A room humidifier (optional). Sometimes guitar and case humidifiers aren’t enough to raise the humidity level to a safe range. If not, consider picking up a room humidifier.
6 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 December 1

    Timely advice, given that now is when a lot of us turn our heaters on. I keep all of my guitars on hangers so I use a cool-mist room humidifier which doesn’t require distilled water. It requires monthly maintenance of washing the filters but that’s just a 30-minute job.

  2. 2009 December 2
    Jordan Clemens permalink

    At least you don’t live in Central Canada where it gets real cold, and real dry. Fortunately I have a HumiCase which keeps my guitar in good shape. Also, if possible, it’s wise to buy a guitar from a luthier in a similar climate. My 2010 guitar I’ve ordered is a Mick Lazar guitar, and he lives in St. Albert (just outside of Edmonton), so the woods will already be tempered (somewhat), and I’ll have a lot less to worry about. Check him out!

    http://www.lazarguitars.com

  3. 2009 December 2

    Actually I think everyone with a high end guitar should have a room humidifier. The Oasis you have pictured does nothing when you are playing the instrument. I really like the Ventasonic humidifier I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond. It doesn’t require the maintenance that GuitarVlog describes. I needed to do that with my other room humidifiers and it isn’t a pleasant job. If you don’t do it they stink up the room as it spews who knows what into the air. I keep the Oasis in all the time when not playing it, but have the room humidifier keeping the air at around 50%. Though I think anywhere from 40-60 RH is okay.

  4. 2009 December 2

    Hey is that a photo of the new guitar?

  5. 2009 December 3

    There is a great downloadable fact sheet from Taylor Guitars on Humidity and guitars. My studio is in a full live in basement. So I am very keen on Humidity. Luckely my home is high and I never get water. I get around 60% humidity in summer and 40% in winter.( If I do nothing ) but I have a de-humidifier for summer that maintains 50-55%. It dumps into my sump tank so I never have to empty it. And in winter, I place pots of water around for maintaining humidity when it gets low.
    I worked in the heating and air conditioning field for years before I became a teacher, so it has been practice for me to not only maintain my guitar environment for my instruments but for anything else that is suseptable to moisture. The basement is the heartbeat of a home. It effects the whole house health wise. So if you maintain basement humidity, the rest of the home is better. Thanks for this blog. Jim Doyle

    http://www.taylorguitars.com/global/pdfs/greatest_hits.pdf

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.