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Musical instruments and accessories are not cheap. While it is true that you can find some fantastic deals on sites like Reverb, it is still going to be an investment. Since instruments and the many music accessories one can buy are not cheap, it is essential that we protect them once we have them.
We can do many things to help increase the longevity of our music gear, such as not leaning our guitars against the wall and making sure we don’t leave guitar pedals plugged in when we aren’t using them.
Regular cleaning is also an important part of the process. Simple things like this can help keep your music gear working correctly so you do not have to replace those items you’ve worked so hard to attain.
Another important consideration, and the focus of this article, is properly storing your music gear when it is not being used.
We’ve discussed the importance of storing instruments properly, such as whether or not it is a good idea to store drums in the cold, but what about guitar pedals?
While it is true that guitar pedals are pretty resilient, I mean, they are designed to be stomped on after all, but they still need to be regularly cleaned and stored when not in use. So what are the best ways that we can store guitar pedals?
There are three main ways to store guitar pedals. The first method is simply using the original box the pedals came in. The second method is to purchase a pedalboard that comes with either a soft or hard case. The last method is to store pedals on shelves or a similar method in the open.
Below we will look at these three ways to store our guitar pedals and some other tips to give your pedals the best possible protection.
Option #1: Use The Original Box
The first option to store guitar pedals is to use the original box that the pedal came in. This is an excellent option for a few reasons I will discuss below.
Although most original boxes that pedals come in are nothing more than cardboard, they do a great job of protecting the pedal from the elements. Protecting your pedals from dust, excessive sun exposure, and humidity are all important considerations, and the original box does this job well.
Another reason that the original box is a great idea for storing pedals is that it is designed to fit exactly the shape of the pedal. This is important because if you are storing or moving pedals around, you don’t want them rattling around and potentially getting damaged. Sometimes the original boxes will come with some padding for some added protection, but either way, they are a great way to store your pedals.
If you are planning to store your pedals for extended periods of time, the original boxes also work well to neatly stack your pedals into a storage area or a storage bin. This is also advantageous if you are moving as the original boxes will fit nicely into moving boxes. As I do, you can also store the boxes in storage bins for later use if you keep your pedals somewhere else.
Lastly, keeping the original boxes not only makes a good place to store your pedals, but they can also be beneficial to hold onto if you ever end up reselling your pedals. The original box provides an efficient means to ship the pedal and conveys the message that the pedals have been well taken care of.
I recommend holding onto the original box your pedals come in so that you can use them for storage and reselling purposes later on. I always keep the original pedal boxes stored for safekeeping, and sometimes I will store pedals in them that I do not regularly use.
Option #2: Use A Pedalboard With A Case
Option two is perhaps the most practical way to store your pedals, especially if you are a touring musician or are frequently playing and practicing at locations other than your home.
My pedalboard is home-made and does not have a case associated with it, so this method doesn’t work for me, but most (but not all) store-bought pedalboards will come with a case, making it an efficient and convenient method of storing your pedals safely while still having them quickly out and ready to play at a moment’s notice.
The cases that come with pedalboards will either be a hard case or a soft case. Either one will offer protection for storing and transporting your pedals, but depending on your situation, one might be a better option than the other.
The bottom line is that the hard case pedalboard option will provide the most protection for your pedals. This is the same concept as soft versus hard cases for guitars and drums as well. Soft cases will do a nice job of protecting your music equipment for everyday use and in most situations. However, there are some situations where a soft case might not be the best option.
I currently use soft cases to transport my drums to shows, but I rarely travel farther than an hour and a half for a show. If I were to travel across the country or the world and my drums had to be transported on a bus or plane, I would certainly switch to hard cases as they offer a much higher level of protection.
If you are traveling long distances or need to pack your pedalboard case in with a bunch of other equipment, storing them in hard cases is probably a better option. If you are traveling by yourself or can avoid putting other equipment on your pedalboard case, then a soft case should be fine to protect your pedals.
Another consideration is if you need to store your pedals for extended periods. In this situation, it is again best to opt for a hard case as it will add an extra layer of protection for your pedals in case other items get stored on top of them or if the pedalboard case was to fall onto hard surfaces like cement or wood.
Option #3: Store On Shelves Or Other Open Areas
Option three is the option that I am currently using with my guitar pedals. While it might not provide the same amount of protection as options one and two, I ensure I take some important steps to keep them safe while still out in the open (more on this later).
When storing pedals on a shelf or other option that is open and exposed, it is important that you consider a few precautions to ensure they will not get damaged.
The first of these considerations is to make sure your shelf, or whatever else you use to store your pedals on, is as high as possible off the ground. The shelf I store my pedals on is as high as it can go on one of the walls but low enough to still allow me easy access to them.
Putting pedals out in the open on low shelves increases the risk of being knocked off by pets, other people, or even yourself. This might not be a big deal if you have a carpeted area, but the fall could break the pedals if you have hard surfaces. Further, the pedals might make a tempting chew toy for dogs.
Another consideration is to keep your pedals out of direct sunlight for extended periods. While this might not impact the electronics, the sun exposure may cause the paint to fade over time, negatively impacting resell value. This risk increases in areas of extreme sun exposure and high temperatures.
As a general rule, I keep all of my music gear stored out of the way of direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
Another important consideration is to avoid excessively humid conditions as much as possible. While humidity might not directly impact pedals as much as it might for guitars and drums that are made mostly of wood, humidity and especially moisture can potentially damage the electronic components of your pedals.
If you live in very humid climates, it might be a good idea to store your pedals in a place that has a dehumidifier available if possible.
The last big consideration is the inevitable accumulation of dust. Even if you just keep your pedals on a shelf in one room, a layer of dust will likely eventually build up over time, but as long as you regularly wipe down your pedals, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
I prefer storing my pedals out in the open on shelves because I frequently use them to record on various music projects. Keeping them stored away becomes a waste of time when I am constantly using them. On that same note, I keep my guitars out and on the walls because I am constantly using them, and I have found I am much more likely to play music when my gear is readily available.
It is not always the best idea to keep guitars (or any other piece of music gear) out in the open, as there are several things that can potentially damage them. In fact, many of my fellow guitar players keep their instruments stored away in their cases. However, their guitars are much more expensive than mine, so I can certainly see why they want to keep them stored away with that extra layer of protection.
There are hundreds of very creative ways to store your pedals on shelves or other things like inside of old dressers, etc. Looking through Pinterest or YouTube to see what other guitarists do can spark some creative ideas for you to pursue.
Something like the video below can be a great idea to store your pedals which is relatively cost-effective.
There you have it! Three simple and efficient ways to store your guitar pedals. Each method has its own pros and cons, but after reading this article, you have a better understanding of these methods and which might be right for you.
Until next time, stay creative and keep on playing!
Hi everyone! I have been involved with music most of my life, beginning in grade school with the trumpet. I am a largely self-taught multi-instrumentalist (drums, guitar, bass, and starting the piano and violin). I currently play drums in two bands and write and produce many genres of music in my home recording studio. I am also an avid guitar and drum collector.