Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Flightcase: Traveling with Your Guitar

Traveling by train down the east coast with our band instruments - Little Martin LX1E guitar & Oscar Schmidt Centurion Autoharp

This is the time of year musicians hit the road to perform at festivals, concerts and jams. It is also the time you should make traveling arrangements for the safe transport of your band instruments.

Be sure to check the airport or rail station ahead of time for their specific rules regarding carry on luggage. Based on security issues, some airlines may have varying degrees of requirements for on board bag sizes. I have found that a smaller guitar such as the 3/4 size Little Martin can easily fit in the seat with you or be safely stowed in the overhead flight compartment or rack, (see photo above). This means you will not have to check your guitar and waste time, perhaps even missing your connection, trying to retrieve it. I have found that if it is at all possible, especially when flying, to keep your musical gear in your possession at all times. You are the best person to see that it is handled safely and carefully.

Most airlines require that onboard luggage fit in a certain size container which generally means accommodating a bag measuring about 15" x 25" inches. The Little Martin guitar would qualify as a carry on item. In the above photo I am transporting this guitar by train in it's C.F. Martin logo padded gig bag but you can purchase a hardshell case for extra protection. This might factor in as a preferred choice of an instrument for the road. The onboard Fishman Mini-Q pickup will compensate for the small instrument size once you arrive at your venue. Just have the sound tech voice the amp/PA to your specific instrument during the sound check and you're good!

Audio-Technica's Wireless Guitar System ATW-701/G MSRP $399.95

When you are traveling, you'll find ways to stow extra items in your gig bag which generally will offer more storage space than a hardshell case. One item you do not want to leave behind or pack carelessly is your wireless guitar system. This is my whole wireless guitar system packed and ready to go in a specially padded Audio-Technica case. The transmitter, receiver and cables all fit neatly and securely inside. This can also be taken along as onboard luggage or fit into a messenger bag. The way that the case opens makes it easy for airport security inspections so you should be in and out of line in no time.

Little Martin LX1E - MSRP $499.95

I've found the Little Martin LX1E with its solid spruce top and onboard EQ & pickup to be the perfect traveling guitar. For its 3/4 size, it offers quite a bit of volume acoustically however, you don't have to settle with that alone. Hook it up with a solid wireless guitar system such as the ATW-701/G, to a warm guitar amp and you won't notice the size.

One of the many benefits of taking along a Little Martin is that the laminated back and sizes do not react as readily to heat, cold and humidity changes. You can't get away with that using a solid wood guitar. You'll find the Little Martins to be quite road worthy indeed. In fact, I prefer traveling with this little powerhouse while reserving my Martin D-16GT and Martin HD-28 for local concerts.

Coming Up Next..... DJ's & KJ's check THIS out! Gemini's 3600 Dual CD Mixer / DJ Workstation. We'll show you how to rock it for your next party or event along with other tools you will drool over! Our Guitar Gear Give-Away Winner will be chosen May 1st so ENTER HERE NOW!

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