Keep Your Guitar in One Piece After Short or Long-Distance Travel
Guitar Travel is a very important subject for those of us wrapping up our guitar and sending our precious cargo out the door in wonderment if it will survive. Here are some tips to help you through this ordeal and to get your guitar through if great shape
If you a have an instrument that has either emotional or monetary value and you don't currently have a good case, consider it as your first line of defense in eliminating any damage to your guitar.
Most quality guitars come with hard-shell cases that are very suitable for our most basic travel needs. When it comes time to ship your guitar on the airlines, that "very good" case may not cut it.
I was traveling with one of my fine instruments a few years ago and while I was buckling up my seat belt, I caught the baggage handlers outside my seat-side window tossing my frail and very valuable guitar up to the top of the heap after is had already fallen down. Luckily I had just decided to by a new case from SKB, which is sturdy fiberglass on the outside and the semi rigid foam inside. Anyway, the guitar was in perfect shape - more than I could say about the case! Here are some of the features I like about these cases:
Another Guitar Travel Tip is to loosen or "Slacken" your strings a few complete revolutions on each tuner. No, we are not going to play Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. We are protecting your guitar neck from damage. With around 200 lbs.of pressure on an acoustic guitar neck, even a little fall can spell disaster for your guitar neck.
Another unforgettable Guitar Travel Tip is to get a good guitar humidifier for your case. More than anything else, lack of humidity can cause you extensive trips to your favorite repair shop, to fix cracks, loose braces, lifted bridges and popped bindings. Not to mention the stress it places on your guitar neck when you ship a guitar.
Get a good quality case humidification system. I use the OH-6 System by Oasis in all of my guitar cases (and I have a lot of them). The humidifier mounts inside your storage compartment with magnets that fasten to the included stainless steel clip.
This system will assure you of a totally humidified guitar for the duration of the Guitar Travel. As a bonus you can use the case humidifier to protect your instrument during those long, cold, dry winter days.
Are You Concerned About Shipping Your Guitar?
Even though none of us will experience a shipping disaster like the picture above, with Guitar Travel, it still makes us consider what can happen during shipping. Take the same approach as the large music retailers online and carefully pack your instrument.
Even that short trip to your music shop or a gig in the next city, is cause to give a bit of extra thought in your method of Guitar Travel.
In The Trunk At Night? That's OK
Just pay attention to the needs of your guitar during Guitar Travel. Treat it just as you would your baby, after all that is what it is for most of us.
Treat Your Guitar Like Your Are Shipping Your Baby
Here are some airline tips that may work for you, but don't count on them 100% of the time. They have worked for me, but it is wise to check at the ticket counter before you try.
You can quite often "Gate Check" a musical instrument, which takes it out of the normal luggage stream and is put directly in the plane's luggage compartment from the airway walk gate.
Some airline will allow you to store a guitar in the coat closet of the business or first class section. Be sure to be very complementary to the flight attendants as they are doing you a favor.
So check out what type of guitar you want and we will help you on your venture to care for it, repair it and accessorize it. So buy a guitar!