Guitars can be awkward items to travel with and especially so if flying is to be part of the mix. The travel electric guitar is a hybridized version of the standard instrument that addresses some of these size and shape problems. It may even save the owner some money in some circumstances.
It has become more prevalent in more recent years with the advent of cut price carriers where allowed baggage limits imposed by a number of airlines have become more restrictive. This has resulted often in extra charges being imposed on customers for the accompanied transport of over sized or additional items.
The objective of a travel electric guitar maker then is to produce a smaller guitar that will comply with size restrictions or will fit into an allowable bag. This would eliminate the charge for an additional baggage item. In many cases this small instrument is manufactured by a reduction of the scale and thereby a reduction in body and neck length. These items might look like they’ve been designed for children as indeed they might have been in some cases.
Some makers choose to keep the full scale (distance from the nut to the bridge) but use other techniques to keep the length of the item to a minimum. This might include dispensing with the head stock. In such cases the tuning is carried out from the guitar body. It might also include placing the bridge as close as possible to the end of the body.
It is often desirable to control the care of your precious possession and this can only be achieved by taking it in to the cabin with you. In days gone by aircraft used to have special lockers in the cabin where fragile items could be stowed.
This has an added advantage of being able to under the owner’s careful eye for the duration of the trip. The owner then does not have to worry bout having the instrument’s welfare subject to the vagaries of a bulky airport baggage handler.
To many musicians however the travel electric guitar may just be the most robust instrument that they own. They know that it will cope with the rigors of the road and the hot and cold temperatures that it may need to endure in a vehicle trunk or trailer. The owner can then have faith the when the instrument is taken form its case it will still play sweetly when plugged in to perform.
Author: Katy DinardiThis author has published 10 articles so far.