Tips on Moving Musical Instruments

Whoever owns a musical instrument knows it is a priceless item to have. And it does not really matter if you are a professional musician or just like to play for yourself. In either case, the bond between the instrument and his owner is special. So it doesn’t surprise the fact you are concerned about your precious belongings when it’s time for moving. Moving musical instruments is not an easy job, and it requires a hand of professional. You can’t let your friends help you with moving instruments. You need to hire a moving company for that particular relocation part.

Even so, there’s still something you can do yourself to ensure that your musical instruments will be safe during relocation. Thorough research of moving agencies, detail planning and proper packing your instruments should be your job. Here are some tips that will help you with this undertaking.

Find a reliable company for moving musical instruments

Now, before you begin your research on companies who are able for moving musical instruments, you should know one thing. Even though there are many movers on the market, not all of them are qualified for this job. So you need to pay attention when searching for movers online. Here is a list of things you need to check once you begin your pursuit:

  • License and Insurance – this should be the first thing you should check. Every good moving company is registered and owns the license for the job. Next, to that, you must make sure that movers have an insurance policy before you hire them. This is very important, especially if you are planning to relocate priceless item such as a musical instrument. Even though there is an emotional value of such item that can’t be compensated with money, it can cover costs of reparation in situations where you find your belongings damaged.
  • Properly trained staff – as this is a delicate job, you need to find moving company who invested in the training of its staff. There are specializes training courses for this type of relocation, and you should ask for a certificate that proves that movers’ staff passed such training. It is not enough to simply put the label that content is fragile to ensure safe moving. Even the smallest scratch can be devastating.
  • Experience of previous customers – every good and reliable mover is proud of his portfolio. If the company you’re currently looking has transparent reviews of its previous clients on the website, it’s a positive sign. Focus your attention on stories that are covering moving musical instruments, as those are reviews that you need to read.
A violin's headstock
Make sure you find movers with properly trained staff

How to properly pack your precious instruments

In all honesty, you can’t pack the piano by yourself. And you should never try such thing. But, there are things you can do in order to prepare your instruments for relocation. First, you should equip yourself with packing supplies. Besides usual supplies like boxes, packing peanuts and bubble pack, you should try to find original packing for your instrument. In case you do not possess one, try in the local music store. You do need a brand new one, only important thing is that is in good condition.

More importantly, this is not a good time to be cheap. You need to have only quality supplies, as this isn’t something you are going to do on a regular basis. Poor quality of packing supplies can result in scratches, dents or damages, and that is the last thing you need. Comparing to the costs of reparation, or buying a brand new instrument, few extra dollars for the supplies is nothing. After you get everything covered,  it is time for the actual packing. Depending on the type of the instrument you are moving, here is what you can do.

The biggest ones – pianos and organs

A piano in the room
If you are relocating a piano, you need to find reliable movers for the job

If you are a proud owner of piano, your only job is to find reliable piano movers. As this is the most common type of instrument in the moving industry, many movers are familiar with its relocation. But, you need to be careful, especially if you are planning to hire long distance movers. You need to make sure that the company you are about to hire using professional truck drivers as well. Even the smallest bump on a road can make huge damage to your piano.

Once you find movers that will handle everything else, you can pack all removable parts such as bench and music stand. Let the moving company’s staff handle the packing of the actual piano.

They are meant for hitting, but not during the move

Drums and other percussions are easiest for relocation. As almost every part is removable, all you need to do is make sure they are safe in the boxes. Packing peanuts and bubble pack are your best friends in this situation. There should be no empty space in the boxes, so there is no possibility of bumping during the move. Just make sure you label correctly, especially parts with drumhead. Your movers should be aware which part of the box is going up, so they do not load the truck in a wrong way.

No strings attached

Electric guitar body with strings
It is very important to loosen the strings in order to prevent damages

Now, stringed instruments are very tricky for the relocation. In spite of the general thinking that you only need to put them in the original case, there is much more to it. Sure, it is much easier with the hard case, but there are few things you should do prior to putting the instrument in the original packing.

First, you must loosen the strings. This will prevent damages to the neck, body or fingerboard. But be careful. If you loosen them too much, you are risking deformations of the neck. This goes the same for the bow if you have one. Turn the tuning keys parallel with the headstock, and place the instrument in the case. For the safest moving musical instruments should be wrapped with plastic foil which is good protection from dust, moisture, and water.


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