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The Best Guitar Case Scenario

Apr 15, 2008
I am an extensive world traveler, and take great pride in sharing my music with cultures around the world. After the recent purchase of a beautiful Dean acoustic electric guitar, I contemplated what type of case to buy for my new axe, which I intended to take on a trip with me. Short on cash, as I was traveling to Africa and just bought a new guitar, I thought about going with a soft case and carrying my instrument on board the plane. There was a looming possibility of full flights, which meant I'd have to check my new guitar, in a minimally protective soft case planeside.

Following much contemplation, I splurged and spent $150 on a custom hard case, so that I could check my guitar. As luck would have it, my instrument did not make it to the airport in Zimbabwe on the same day as I arrived. It apparently missed a plane change in London, and I had to wait 24 hours to retrieve my instrument. A day went by, then two, then five, and my guitar had yet to arrive. Finally on the eighth day of my stay in Zimbabwe, my guitar was delivered to my residence at last.

I honestly believe it was shipped to my hut in the desert via Pony Express that day. My brand new case was mangled beyond recognition, nobody would believe I had just bought it one month ago. Based on the outward appearance, I was afraid to see what the state of the contents inside might be. Fortunately, my actual guitar was unscathed, and I enjoyed the rest of my summer nights in Africa, singing songs with the natives. Had I purchased the soft case and carried the instrument on board with me, I might not have gone through this experience. However, my choice in a high quality custom hard case was obviously appropriate for the occasion, and preserved the life of my poor lost guitar. The moral of the story - every guitar needs a good case.

Protect your investments.

It is important to protect your investments. Musical instruments hold sentimental and monetary values which few other objects in your life will compare to. You do not drive your brand new car without full coverage insurance. Take the same precautions with your instruments - put them in cases! Many people like to place their instruments on stands or hang them on the wall as display pieces that make for interesting conversation. Use caution when doing this, especially if there are rowdy young children or pets in the vicinity. It is best to store your instrument in a case whenever possible, to avoid unexpected mishaps that could be potentially devastating.

Hard or soft cases?

Hard cases are cumbersome and heavy. It is not fun to haul one up three flights of stairs to the recording studio late at night when you are already exhausted. If you are not traveling the globe extensively with your guitar, then surely you can consider alternative case options. You might not be able to afford a leather bound hard-shell case, or you might not want to cart it around town due to the size and weight. Enter the soft guitar case, or gig bag, which offers portability and versatility. Some can be worn as backpacks, and some have more handy adjustable straps and most include a padded storage area for accessories. While soft cases (gig bags) are more affordable, and much more portable, they do not offer as much protection, and the potential for scratches on the body of your guitar is much higher.

The best case.

Investing in one hard case for long trips and at home storage and one gig bag for rehearsals, jam sessions, or coffee shop gigs, might very well be the best case scenario!
About the Author
For more information about guitars, guitar amps, other gear and equipment, artists, music theory, tips and advice, visit my site Soundetta.com: Your Music Arena, which is all about music!
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