Unlike pianists, we, the guitarists have to carry our instrument from place to place every day. Some of us carry it to school, some to band gigs, some to recitals etc. We transport the guitars on our shoulders, in cars, on planes, trains and ships. Not to mention the bikes and bicycles. Who knows how much the instruments suffer from that but we do our best to protect them on the go. How to ensure that your guitar arrives safely?
There are different gig bags and cases for the guitars. Which one is the best? It depends on the temperature, humidity and stability of the environment. A 2000.- EUR carbon case is an overkill if you just walk to your destination on a sunny summerday. On the other hand it may be the only way to keep your guitar safe on an aeroplane.
If I walk from my office to the academy of music to give a couple of lessons, then I take a light gig bag with me. If I have to pack a lot of stuff to my car, then I will take a strong case with aluminium construction. If I have to travel by plane, I take the smallest case that I have to make sure that it fits to the cabin luggage compartment. Recently I found out that although my case fits well to Boeings, it is about 1 cm to wide for the small Fokkers. To put my guitar down? Just did that with a cheap guitar and it came through 6 flights safe and even clean. But better don’t count on that.
To fight the eternal flight problem my luthier just started to build me a classical guitar with bolt-on neck. It will fit to a 55x45x20 cm luggage compartment. But what about the sound? Let’s see, it is another topic.. By the way, one funny thing that I have noticed is that if I carry a black guitar case then I will be most likely banned from taking my guitar to the cabin with me. Recently I’ve traveled with a blue case and with much more success. I think it has to do with the movies by Rodriguez…
How do you transport your guitars and do you have any tricks or tips to share?