guitar storage

Why Do Guitar Strings Go Sharp? (Proper Guitar Storage Tips)

Do you find that your guitar seems to go sharp after a short period of time?

Want to know why?

Why do guitar strings go sharp?

Guitar strings go sharp due to environmental conditions.  When it cools down, guitar strings tend to get sharper, while when it warms up they get flatter. Similar changes can occur when humidity is high or low.  The remedy is proper guitar storage when not playing it.

What Temperature Is Best For Storing Guitars?

The best temperature for storing guitars is 70 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 – 24 degrees Celsius.  Anything above or below should be avoided if possible.  Remember that as a guitar string gets warmer, it stretches and as it cools down, it contracts.

What Humidity Is Best For Storing Guitars?

The best humidity for storing guitars is 45 – 50 percent.  Ideally, guitars should be stored in a case or a dry environment that is away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

Guitar Storage Options

Guitar Cases

Guitar cases can offer a safe storage space for your guitar.  They will protect it from temperature, humidity and other environmental influences that may cause strings to change pitch.  A case will also give you a safe place to store all your accessories such as picks, strings and other tools.

Keep your guitar case in a cool place that is away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Guitar Storage Cabinets

If you have a lot of guitars, purchasing a guitar storage cabinet can be a smart move.  In most cabinets, you will find an option to control the temperature and humidity.  Guitar storage cabinets also keep dust from accumulating on your instruments. A guitar storage cabinet is also a great place to display your instruments if you have a lot of them.

Keep your guitar in your storage cabinet when it is not being used for best results.

Guitar Stands

Guitar stands are also a great way to keep your guitar in good condition.  They are portable and can be moved to different locations.  But you must take care when storing your guitar on the stand because it may fall over or become damaged if stored in a high-traffic area.

Your guitar should not be stored on the stand when you are not using it.

Take a look here for our guitar stand recommendations.

Guitar Hangers

Hangers can be used to store your guitar in areas where space is limited.  While they are not as protective as other storage options, they are still a great way to keep it safe from dust and other elements.  A hanger will also give you the flexibility to move your guitar easily when needed.

You should avoid keeping your guitar on a hanger for an extended period of time. It may cause the strings to change pitch.

Take a look here for our guitar wall hanger recommendations.

What Is The Best Way To Store A Guitar?

This is not an easy question to answer.  Guitar storage techniques have changed so much in the past few years.  But there are some basic rules that you should adhere to in order to keep your guitar in good condition over the long term.

Personally, I like to keep my guitars in their cases.  Every once in a while I will put them away for a few weeks and even months at a time.  But overall, I try to keep my guitars in their cases when they are not being played, and I try to keep them in dry locations when playing.

The guitar case will protect it from environmental factors that may cause it to go out of tune or sustain other damage.

If you follow these rules, you will know when problems begin to arise on your instrument. And if proper storage is maintained, your guitar should last for years and years of quality use.

Should Guitars Be Stored Flat?

There is an ongoing debate about whether guitars should be stored flat or standing upright.  Some people say that storing your guitar flat will help equalize the tension on all strings. While others say that it is better to keep your guitar in an upright position because it’s less stressful on the neck.

The truth is, if you follow the basic rules of storage, you do not need to think about this debate much at all.

Is It Bad To Hang Guitars On The Wall?

No.  Storage on the wall is a great alternative if you have limited space.  Just be sure to store it in a dry place that is away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

When you think about it, the tension on the neck from the strings is a lot more than the tension that would be cause by the weight of the body on the neck while it hangs.  So if you follow the rules and store it in a dry area, there shouldn’t be an issue.


So, why do guitar strings go sharp?  The answer is simple. Guitar strings go sharp due to environmental changes.  And while you may have some control over some of these factors, others are not under your control at all.  If you want your guitar to stay in tune, make sure that it is stored in a dry place away from heat sources and direct sunlight when not being used.