In this article we look at some of the different ways to store guitars, on the floor and on the walls, and help you to decide which is best for you. We look at our own GearHooks wall mounting guitar racks as well as bags, stands and racks from other manufacturers.
One or two guitars can be stored in a bag or hard case or even on a tripod stand. But, if you have a lot of guitars, storing them is going to be a problem. Floor standing racks are convenient but can get in the way and use up all your floor space. Individual guitar hangers or guitar hooks are a great way to display your guitars but can be time consuming to fit and use up all your wall space in no time.
Some of the topics we will cover and questions we will try to answer include:
- What’s the best way to store one or two guitars at home?
- Can guitars be hung on the wall without damaging them?
- How can you store multiple guitars in a home or studio?
- How to store lots lots of guitars in a very small space
What’s the best ways to store guitars in a school or college?
How you choose to store your guitars will depend on what kind of guitars they are, how many you have, how often and how easily you need to get to them, and where you want to store them.
Some of the common ways to store guitars include:
- in a hard case or gig bag
- on a tripod guitar stand
- on a floor standing guitar stand for several guitars
- on a guitar hook on the wall
- on a rack with enough hooks for several guitars
Each way has its pro’s and con’s. Some are great for one or two guitars. Some make guitars easy to get to. Some are cheap. So let’s get stuck in ...
What’s the best way to store one or two guitars at home?
A gig bag or carry case
If you only have a couple of guitars then a gig bag or carry case is one solution you probably already have. They are a quick and easy way to protect your guitar, will keep the dust off and offer some degree of padding. They are obviously really useful if you plan to take the guitar somewhere and, when empty, you can fold them up and stick them in a cupboard.
However, they can be fiddly to get the guitar in and out of. They don’t allow you to display your guitar while it’s not being used. Most importantly, they won’t protect against serious impacts if you take your guitar on a bus or plane.
A hard guitar case
If you really want to protect your guitar whilst it’s in storage, a hard case might be the answer. They have all the benefits of a bag but provide serious protection against impacts in the home or if you take your guitar somewhere.
Hard cases usually have a nice soft lining to protect and cushion the guitar as well as a hard outer shell to protect against knocks and scrapes. They will also help to stabilise the immediate environment.
The big down side of a hard case is that they are big and bulky and they take up space even when they are empty. Like a bag, they are also a fiddle if you need regular access.
A tripod style guitar stand
If you play your guitar a lot, getting it out of a bag or case each time can be a nuisance. If you just need temporary, short term storage then a simple stand might work better for you. They are only designed for 1 or 2 guitars but are cheap and readily available on the internet and in shops.
However, they offer no protection at home and can’t be used if you take the guitar somewhere. They can also be a bit unstable and it’s easy to knock the guitar off or tip the whole thing over. If you have a dog or small children at home, these may not be the best solution.
Yes they can. Go look in any guitar shop. That's how they are usually stored.
Lots of people worry about this but it’s generally accepted that guitars will not be damaged by hanging them by the headstock or neck. The downwards force created by the weight of the guitar body is tiny compared to the enormous forces exerted by the strings which act in the opposite direction. If the headstock and neck weren’t really strong the guitar would fold itself in half.
There are several other things that you need to consider though if you are using any kind of guitar wall mounts:
The fitter - how good are you at DIY? Drilling small holes accurately can be a challenge, because the drill bit will 'wander', so you need some basic skills. If you have a lot of guitars to hang, individual hooks could take a lot of marking, drilling and fixing. Our guitar racks fit with just 3 holes and can hang up to 9 guitars.
The guitar - if you have a really expensive or vintage guitar worth thousands you will probably want to store it somewhere even safer. A hard case may be the best solution unless you want to show it off on the wall or need really easy access.
The location - avoid corridors where people walking past could dislodge a guitar. Party rooms, games rooms or a man cave might not be a great idea either if careless (or drunk) people can knock them off the wall.
The environment - should be relatively stable, warm and dry, like a lounge, studio or bedroom. Not a conservatory which can get very hot in summer and cold in winter or a bathroom or pool area which will be very humid.
The wall - you need a good solid wall to hang a lot of guitars on. An internal wall is better than a hot/cold external wall. An internal block or breeze block wall is best. You will need special fixings for a plasterboard or dry lined wall.
Radiators - don’t hang the guitar over a radiator or any heat source as this is likely to warp the neck or body of the guitar.
Sunlight - avoid direct sunlight for the same reasons.
Humidity - a very dry (conservatory) or humid (bathroom or pool) environment or big changes in humidity can warp and crack guitars. This shouldn’t be a problem in most indoor environments. Expensive and vintage guitars particularly those with Nitrocellulose lacquer, rather than guitars with polyurethane lacquer, are likely to be affected more by changes in humidity.
How can you store multiple guitars in a home or studio?
You might be a professional musician. You might collect guitars because they are things of beauty. Or you might believe, like me, that one of them will make you a better player (they haven’t helped me!). Whatever the reason you will probably have accumulated several guitars. Storing them all in bags or cases isn’t really practical so what are the options??
A floor standing guitar rack
A floor standing guitar rack will allow you to store several guitars all together. The rack is more stable than the smaller tripod stand. The guitars are better held inside the rack so it’s harder to knock a guitar, or the whole thing, over.
They allow easy access to the guitars and are manufactured by the thousand in the Far East so are cheap and readily available.
However, they still don’t get your valuable guitars out of the way of pets or small children and they take up a lot of valuable floor space. They don’t really show off the guitars either (although these really nice UK made floor racks do).
Guitar wall hooks
A guitar hanger is a great way to store a guitar on the wall. It’s out of the way of pets and small children and saves a lot of floor space. It also creates a piece of wall art out of your guitar and makes it easier to grab it and play it, which is always good.
You need to be careful where you put it though. Over a radiator or in direct sunlight is not recommended. You also need to avoid corridors so it doesn’t get knocked off by people walking past.
Fitting one or two of these to the wall is relatively easy. Some require a bit of skill and accuracy because of the 3 or 4 tiny mounting holes. The biggest problem is that if you have 5 or 6 guitars you will need to drill 20+ holes. If you have 9 or 10 guitars it’s 35 to 40 holes. Another issue is that, if you have lots of guitars, separate guitar wall hooks will soon use up all your available wall space and you simply might not have room for them all.
We have a range of guitar wall mounts that fit with just 3 holes and store up to 9 guitars in a really small space.
How to store lots lots of guitars in a very small space
If you have a lot of guitars a wall mounting guitar rack will make fitting a lot easier and save lots of space compared to individual hooks. Some of our racks have capacity for 3, 6 or 9 guitars and all fit by drilling just 3 holes.
The rack consists of a 1 metre long rail that fits with 3 heavy duty fittings (or 5 if you need them). Hooks can be fitted to the rail, and moved to any position with just an Allen key.
The GearHooks guitar hooks are a strong pair of steel prongs that allow guitars to hang on the headstock, in line with the nut. The prongs are covered in silicone which will protect the neck and not react with any guitar lacquers, including Nitrocellulose.
We have super-strong hooks of varying lengths that allow 1, 2 or 3 guitars to be hung one behind the other. For many people this is an ideal situation. Some guitars are used infrequently but you still need somewhere to store them. The ones you use most often will naturally migrate to the front of the rack.
What’s the best ways to store guitars in a school or college?
Storing guitars in a school, college or university can be difficult. You will need to store a lot of guitars in a small space.
We have solutions that allow 18 full size guitars or up to 50 ukuleles to be stored in just over 1 metre of wall space. You can mount racks next to each other and one above the other in lots of different ways. Even at an angle and in zig zags.
All the guitars are easy to get to before a lesson or at the beginning of the day and quick to put away afterwards.
The hooks come in 3 lengths, 100mm for 1 full size guitar, 200mm for 2 guitars and 300mm for 3 guitars per hook. The rail can take 3 of any size hook for full size acoustic and electric guitars.
If you have ukuleles, smaller guitars or other instruments there is room for up to 4 or 5 Ukuleles per hook and up to 4 or 5 hooks per rail. This means you can hang 9 - 25 instruments per 1 meter long rail. You can mount one rail above another and both sets of guitars will be easily accessible. Doing this will allow you to store 18 guitars or up to 50 ukuleles in just 1 meter of wall space.
Hanging guitars one behind the other saves masses of space and might be the only option in small spaces.
There is also space for extra bits and pieces, like cables, microphones, headphones and even amplifiers, on hooks in-between the guitars.
Need any more help?
I hope that has helped to explain some of the ways guitars can be stored. If you need any more help or advice just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and will do our best to help. If you want to see the full range of GearHooks products, click here.
If you are looking for other sources of information about guitars, stands, racks and all things music there are some really good blogs out there that you might want to look at. Here's a few and a few more here.
Whether you end up using one of our products, or someone else's, I hope you find the best solution for you and your guitar(s). Happy playing!!