Moving musical instruments

You already know that moving musical instruments requires special care and attention but have you considered everything that it involves? When it comes to your most valued possession, you shouldn’t take any advice lightly. Depending on size and type of the musical instrument, there are various ways to wrap, pack and move it.

Make a plan

Whether you have a tight schedule or not, every relocation needs to be well organized and necessary arrangements made in time. Have a notebook and list all the steps you need to take care of. That is the safest way to assure that the moving of your musical instruments is done properly. Your checklist should definitely include:

You must disassemble percussions before packing them
You must disassemble percussions before packing them

It makes a huge difference effort-wise if you’re moving a set of drums or a single flute. But whichever instrument you take on a long-distance trip, you should first make sure you wrapped it up securely.

Which company will you be using for moving musical instruments?

Of course, the one with the best references from verified sources. Do research, and ask friends who recently moved for suggestions. If you are moving a small instrument, then you’re lucky. If you need to transport a piano or a set of percussions, call professionals. Many companies like specialize in moving heavy bulky musical instruments that are also extremely fragile.

Not every packaging is a good packaging

Especially when it comes to specific items like musical instruments. If you play only for a hobby you may not know how to properly secure your instrument for moving. You can go to a local music store and ask them, or seek advice from the moving company you chose. It would be best if you have the original hard case. It perfectly hugs the instrument and the only thing left for you to do is to wrap up and protect the case itself. If you do not have a hard case, you should find the thickest box you can. It needs to be just big enough for the instrument and all remaining space should be topped-up with packing peanuts. If there’s empty space left, your instrument will bounce within the box and likely break or damage in transport.

Almost no strings attached

Taut strings on instruments like guitars will most likely snap in transport if they’re not loosened enough. If physical bumps don’t affect them, possible changes in temperature and humidity will. To protect them additionally, don’t save on bubble wrap. To make sure your instrument or its box is protected from scratches, you can also wrap it in a thick cloth, crumpled paper or towels. Humidity is the number one enemy of sensitive string instruments. Consider getting a fresh desiccant like silica gel packets.

String instruments requre special wrapping
Humidity and temperature can affect the strings

Should you plan to pack a brass instrument, first remove the mouthpiece and wrap it separately. Use plenty of bubble wrap to secure the body of the instrument and then place it in its case. After you make sure you properly closed the case, wrap it tightly in a plastic foil. The same one you use to wrap your suitcase on an airport. Even though the original instrument case is the safest packaging option, you can still use any other box as long as it is thick enough. Avoid putting several parts of the instrument together in one box. If that is unavoidable, you should at least wrap them separately. Even in this case, you should put plenty of packing peanuts between the parts and to fully fill the box. That will prevent issues that may occur in transit.

Take it easy with heavy instruments

There is no doubt that you should hire a specialist if you intend to move a piano or a set of drums. You can decide though, whether you wish to disassemble them yourself or ask the moving company you chose to do it for you. If you seek professional help, you don’t risk damaging the instruments and avoid hurting yourself. If you are confident that you don’t need experts to help you in moving your instrument, start with removing all the parts first. Separately wrap pedals, music stand, and the bench. Note that you must lock the fallboard and close the top lid. Whichever part of the piano you are packing, make positive that the box or case you’re using is a good quality one. Don’t forget to add sufficient padding because it will significantly protect the item from scratches and bigger damages.

Moving drums is slightly more complicated because parts of the set are rather sensitive and prone to breaking. You need to carefully disassemble the set of percussions first. To secure the drumhead, put thick cardboard of the same shape over it and then tape it down. Once you thoroughly protected every single piece, look for adequate packaging. Having in mind the shape of most parts, you can consider buying (or borrowing) boxes for hats. They come in all sizes and especially serve to protect fragile items. Don’t forget to add sufficient packing peanuts. The other parts like legs, tension rods, drumsticks, and spurs you should wrap and pack separately in a box of proper size.

You should use the original instrument case but there are good alternatives
You should use the original instrument case but there are good alternatives

Better safe than sorry when moving musical instruments

Everything that you save on packing material and boxes, cheap moving companies and improper packing you will spend later on repairs. Careful disassembling, wrapping, packing, and moving musical instruments is pretty unexciting. Quite unlike playing the instrument in perfect condition in your new home or concert hall. So play it safe!