I'm really in desperate need of advice as I've asked countless of people and no one seems to give me a direct answer.

I live in northern Europe and temperatures are typically around -5 to 10 C during winter (23-50 for you 'mericans). Humidity is typically between 65-89%.

Now, I've been busking for a couple of years using a Martin guitar that is fully HPL which gave me the luck of never really worrying about the temperatures (besides the strings of course).

I was recommended the Martin D.Jr which consists of Sapele wood and Sitka, now I've never played outdoors at low temperatures with a guitar like that and since this guitar was recommended for traveling / outdoor performances, I gave in and bought it...


I'm unsure if I can even play in the cold (1 hour 3-4 days a week) with this guitar without ruining it. Any thoughts?

1 Answer 1


It is unlikely that playing in cold weather will damage the guitar. Heat is more of a problem with instruments.

You do have to be careful about rapid changes in temperature, so if it is cold and you bring it into a heated area it is usually good to avoid placing it next to the heater.

I have played a solid top mandola outdoors in cold weather for years, sometimes when it was snowing, and haven't seen a problem with the instrument. I also have a solid top guitar that I take camping and it gets left out in the cold over the weekend with out an issue.

Get a hygrometer for its case if it doesn't have one and keep a watch on the humidity and the instrument should be fine.

EDIT: I should add that at below freezing temperatures there is the possibility the finish or glue used in some guitars can shrink enough to cause cracking or brittleness. Older lacquers are more likely to do this. Newer finishes are generally more durable. Anything below 5C you might want to consider getting out of the weather...

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