Keep your instrument in tune. Avoid placing your instrument near direct sources of heat such as radiators and windows as this can lead to problems. Keep your instrument clean and free from dust and dirt. Use a soft clean cloth to wipe keys and clean your strings after playing as the acid from your fingers can cause corrosion. Avoid using polishes unless specifically stated for your instrument. Get a stand for your guitar, violin or woodwind instrument rather than packing it away (it will make you play it more often!). With woodwind instruments, after practice, use a pull-through to remove the build-up of moisture, as this can damage the pads on the keys and if not playing for a while insert a pad saver to protect the pads. Make sure you have a protective case or gig bag for taking your instrument out and about. Above all, play it regularly and enjoy it!