Can you stand it?
Good question, should you store your guitar
on a stand? Or is it always better stored in
Well, I've certainly seen, and experienced
myself, the perils of guitar stands. Even worse,
try to find a good stand for a five-string banjo.
Banjos tend to be very front-heavy and
love to just leap off of guitar stands. And when
that happens, it's not pretty....
I always feel very divided on this issue; the
repairman in me says "keep your guitar in
the case unless you are playing it, it's safest
in there", but the player part of me wants to
have my guitar available at an instant, I may
loose my inspiration to play if I have to
wrestle it out of it's case every time.
I guess it depends on the environment. Do you
have pets, kids, earthquakes, windstorms,
somewhat careless family members who might
whack it with the vacuum cleaner? Or do you have
a safe space, like a separate room where your valued
wood can be safe at all times?
I suggest a few ways to find balance with this
issue. First, if you have only one guitar, I would
tend to be more protective of it. The case is
surely the most safe storage method, and perhaps
using a GOOD stand (be sure to test drive stands
before you purchase one) and use it only when you
are able to keep an eye on it.
You might consider getting a second guitar.
Many players purchase a lower cost guitar to
use as the "bang-around" or "beach-guitar" so
the more valuable instrument can remain in it's
protective case more often. I use a fairly beat up
Taylor Baby guitar as my informal "don't really
care if it gets scratched, dented, cracked, or
whatever" guitar. It sounds good enough
for me to enjoy it, and I can leave it on the couch
and not cry if the Dog jumps up on it and leaves
I have found that hanging guitars from wall mounted
hooks (you can find these at good music stores) are
quite safe, as long as the geometry of the peghead
sits securely in the hook. I have 4 or 5 hooks in my
music room, and they work fine, except for my Martin
D28V which, over a few days, rotates slowly
out of the hook. If I were to leave it for a week or
so it would probably fall right out and I'd be needing
But I do know of situations where guitar owners have
discovered damage to their guitars which were hanging
in rooms that are accessible to other people, especially
kids. So, be very careful unless your music space is
completely off limits to others.
Another note about stands for those of us
who are out gigging; Do not leave instruments on-stage
after the show has ended. It's very easy to be distracted
(selling CDs, signing autographs, kissing babies) while
the sound crew gets impatient and starts pulling
cables. I've had one of my banjos knocked off it's stand
after a gig and the peghead snapped off.
Lucky for me I know a fairly competent repair guy...
At shows end, the "Kids" get "Put to bed" immediately,
and my adoring fans just have to wait. "Family"always
comes first, I tell them.
The last point I'll add is that if you live in
a dry climate, or a region where it gets very
dry, you must hydrate wood guitars and this is
often done most effectively inside hardshell cases.
In my personal situation, I have guitars, mandolins,
banjos; not a LOT of them, but enough where
individual case humidifiers would be a part-time
job to maintain. Since I'm lucky enough to have a
dedicated "music room" I use a large room humidifier
and get it going once my digital hygrometer tells me
the relative humidity has dropped below 40%.
I know it's a pain-in-the-brain, but keeping guitars
nicely hydrated will avoid all kinds of nasty
So, remember; evaluate the environment that
the guitar lives in, and pick your storage method