Embrace the colder weather with our guide to keeping you and your instrument pitch-perfect during the winter.

Whether you’re performing on the high street in your town centre or playing at an established venue, gigging during  winter can be a tricky ordeal. With darker nights and plummeting temperatures, the effects of the chillier time of the year on yourself and your gear can be detrimental to your performance if you don’t take the right precautions.

So here at PMT Online, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips and advice tricks to ensure your wintery performance goes off without a hitch, so without further ado, let’s dive in!

Temperature-Aware Instrument Maintenance

One of the biggest things to consider when caring for your instrument is the temperature of the room you’re storing your gear in, long spells of cold weather can affect the tuning and overall performance of many instruments. Therefore, to avoid this, allow your instrument time to adjust gradually, ensuring it is acclimatised to the colder temperatures before performing. 

In addition, keep your instruments in their cases when it’s not in use to protect them from sudden temperature changes.

Light it Up!

With the nights drawing in quicker in Winter, one of the things to consider is that the visibility of your sheet music, notes, or pedalboard can become increasingly tricky. This is where utilising a small clip-on LED light to attach to your pedalboard or music stand can come in handy when it’s time to change settings or check what chord progression you’re playing next. 

Another thing to consider when performing in darker environments is the visibility of your frets during performances, especially when your playing requires you to be playing up and down the neck. A quick fix would be to get your hands on some illuminating stickers to place on the side of the neck, making it easier to locate certain positions without hassle during performances. 


Layer Up!

Winter can be tricky for the everyday musician when it comes to clothing, it’s cold outside but you’re bound to warm up get a bit warm during performances. Which is why it’s best to dress in layers to regulate your body temperature during winter gigs. This way, you can adjust your clothing to stay comfortable on and off the stage. 

Don't forget to keep your hands warm if you’re playing outside. Try wearing fingerless gloves during performances to keep your fingers warm and moving, minimising any potential hand stiffness from the cold. For those who need to use a phone or other device while performing, gloves with touchscreen friendly fingertips are a great way to do so without compromising on warmth. 


Electronic Equipment Precautions

As the winter chill sets in, gigging musicians face unique challenges in maintaining the peak performance of their electronic equipment. Cold temperatures can adversely affect the functionality of electronics, introducing the need for proactive measures to combat the seasonal elements. To safeguard your musical arsenal, it's crucial to keep your equipment insulated and shielded from moisture when not in use. 

Equip yourself with protective covers specially designed for your gear to act as a barrier against the cold's potential impact. Additionally, a small but mighty space heater can prove to be an invaluable ally in the winter gigging battle. 

Warming up your instruments and electronics before hitting the stage ensures that your gear operates at its optimal capacity, guaranteeing a seamless and reliable performance even in the face of winter's icy grip. So, as you gear up for your winter gigs, make sure to give your equipment the warmth and protection it deserves for a stellar performance in any chilly setting.

For acoustic Guitar players, check out the D’Addario Humidipak automatic humidity control system which maintains a 45% - 50% humidity level so your acoustic guitar will be perfectly humidified at all times, to avoid sharp fret ends, neck bow, a sunken top, a lifted bridge and even cracking.

Venue Communication

Navigating the winter gigging scene requires more than just safeguarding your gear; it's about creating an environment conducive to stellar performances for both musicians and audiences alike. Take the proactive step of engaging with venue staff to open a line of communication about the temperature conditions. Inquire about any specific heating arrangements in place and, if necessary, advocate for the adequate warming of the performance area before the gig kicks off. 

This collaborative approach ensures not only the optimal functionality of your equipment but also the overall comfort of everyone involved. By addressing temperature concerns upfront, you contribute to the creation of a cosy and inviting atmosphere, fostering an unforgettable experience for both performers and the audience amidst the winter chill.

Stay Hydrated

Last but not least, as winter's cold embrace settles in, musicians must not overlook the crucial aspect of hydration during gigs. Cold weather can be deceptively dehydrating, making it imperative for performers to prioritise adequate water intake. 

Maintaining high water intake is not only essential for sustaining energy but also pivotal in supporting vocal and physical performance. Amidst the chilly temperatures, consider opting for warm beverages such as herbal tea or room-temperature water to safeguard your vocal cords from exposure to extreme temperatures. So, while you insulate your gear and communicate with venue staff about temperature conditions, don't forget to look after yourself from within by staying hydrated, ensuring a harmonious and well-hydrated winter performance for both you and your audience.


In conclusion, make sure to look after yourself and your instrument this winter by following these tips and advice! To find out more information about equipment suitable for outdoor performances, head to your local PMT store. Choose PMT and let's Play Music Today!