Musical Instrument Tip of the Month November

The holiday buying season is upon us. There are some important features to consider in choosing an instrument that goes well beyond price. Often at this time of year when people are buying musical instruments as gifts for others we see the common mistake of people purchasing a full size guitar or string instrument for younger players. The assumption in most cases is that the young child or pre-adolescent will eventually grow into the size of the instrument. While this is true in theory it does not work well when trying to properly learn the instrument. It is critical that the guitar or other string instrument fits the arm length, hand size, and body size of the person the instrument is being bought for. Other factors such as string tension, proper action (string height), and style of music should also be considered.

Below I have an example of a full size versus ¾ solid body for comparison. Although they appear similar in size the ¾ is far better suited for most players under the age of twelve and even some smaller adults and teenagers. People are not all one size so neither should be your choices in purchasing a musical instrument. We sell a variety of different body shapes in guitars and basses that will make your buying process easy. The same holds true for Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass. There are many incremental sizes of these different string instruments that can be either purchased or rented.

We have been selling and renting musical instruments for two decades and we understand how important and confusing the process can be for some customers. So please feel free to contact us or stop in our store and we would be glad to help you choose the perfect instrument for the person on your list or for yourself.

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Gregg Van Gelder

Owner/Luthier

Van Gelder Music Center

Monroe, New York

Tip of the Month: August

As we move into a new season it is critical to maintain proper humidity in your instruments.  Too much humidity can cause warping and swelling . Too little humidity can cause dryness and cracking of the finish and glue .The ideal humidity level of a room  where your instruments are stored should be maintained between 40-50%.

A simple device called a hygrometer that can be purchased from us displays the humidity level. In large rooms a de-humidifier can be used to lower humidity to the proper level. In the instrument case itself there are a few different options that we can offer to help maintain proper humidity. Give us a call or email us if you need more information.

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