Travel guitar and/or flying with a guitar

Ted Keane

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I used to bring my guitars on trips.Found out it was more hassle than it was worth.Now,if I go somewhere and it rains,I go rent a guitar.In Maui hotel 4 guys shared a cab and rented guitars.Everyone got one they always wanted to play,and it was raining hard in Maui.So it turned into a really fun day.And didn't have to carry it,worry about it,hope I play it,ect.I do the same with skis.
 

NoTeleBob

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Strat mini, disassembled and in a carry-on bag. If you're bringing a large suitcase the strat mini will pack in a suitcase with the neck off.

Whether you get to carry your guitar onto the plane even disaasembled in a Carry-on will always be up to the person at the gate and how full the plane is. If it ends up going in the cargo hold then you don't want a valuable instrument along for the ride. Airlines break them regularly and refuse to pay damages.
 
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bgmacaw

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I've never played a "travel guitar" that I'd gig...or even take to a Blues jam.

I wouldn't have a problem using my headless kit guitar although I'd guess blooze corksniffers wouldn't approve at a blues jam.

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dented

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I have one of these as a carry on.

 

Greggorios

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I'd consider a parlor acoustic. I've been eyeing some of these Art & Lutherie models as of late. Cute little buggers...

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Peegoo

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I'd guess blooze corksniffers wouldn't approve at a blues jam.

Screw sniffers aren't really about the music anyway; they'd rather obsess over gear.

Their opinions don't matter.

Play what makes you happy and to H-E-double-hockey-sticks with those goobers.
 

SparkleFart

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I recently returned from yet another trip with my Traveler. It is kinda hard to look at & I’m not partial to headlessness, but it does fit my use-case. It might be helpful to consider your intentions once you get to your destination.

I travel frequently for hospital appointments with a family member & stay in an associated hotel. Controlling volume is essential. For years I used an awful canoe paddle Backpacker. Among its unfortunate attributes, there’s no way to tame the volume of that thing.

I was skeptical at first but the extension arm of the Speedster really is useful to optimize playing position. The electrified sound is not the greatest, but my plump simian fingers appreciate the full-scale neck. It fits easily under the plane seat—I won’t put it in the overhead.

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I bought it as a means of quietly practicing while away from my “real” guitars to keep my fingers active, not as a performance tool. I have not experienced any tuning issues whatsoever. So again, what all you intend to do with it once you deplane may be useful to consider. Good luck in your search!
 

RolandG

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Once upon a time I travelled a lot. The Steinberger seemed the obvious choice, but I didn’t get on with it. The neck profile is larger than I like. Such a small body can be difficult to hold in place. When I lifted my left hand the neck followed it, making it difficult to play cleanly. At the time I didn’t solve the problem. Nowadays I would build a guitar with a neck attached using machine screws and threaded inserts. All I’d need to take with me is an Allen key and a tuner.
 

SRHmusic

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Just a thought - For removing and replacing the neck often, it would be good to install inserts and use machine screws. Not uncommon on custom builds, but not standard for most (any?) big manufacturers.

A few videos-

 

Boxla

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I guess another thing to consider is do you want a travel guitar that's easy to travel with and store in the airplane or simply a small guitar? I was only talking about travel guitars. But I have an original Baby Taylor, Big Baby and GS Mini. But all of those are significantly more of a pain to travel with through the airport system as they all require an additional bag and then must go in the overhead compartment and need their own space up there. I also have a Mini Strat but it's a kids guitar compared to the Traveler EG and significantly longer. The three I previously posted will all fit into a backpack with just a little bit of the neck sticking up. And if needed, all three fit in a full overhead compartment, unless it's crammed full of hard luggage. Personally, I'd never go through the trouble of removing a neck. Just like I wouldn't mow my lawn with scissors, it seems like such an unnecessary hassle. Plus, you can't pull it out in the airport and play for 2 min or anything else like that. And, you would want to keep your string intact but would need to tune up every single time you put it together and eventually those screw holes will give unless you make modifications to the holes. With the made to travel guitars, I can pull it out and be playing in 2 seconds even if I only have 1 min to play wherever I am, then I stick it right back in my backpack.
 

Andymoon

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the tuning stability issues I had with my traveler occurred when bending notes. The strings wrapping around to the back acted like a poorly cut nut. Tension would not stay the same from one side of the rollers to the other. I tried to lubricate them with graphite. I really wanted it to work as the rest of the quality was really good. I had the black one that looked like a shrunken LP custom. Was certainly more interesting looking than the Steinberger, but not as functional for me.
 

Unpossible

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I had a Gsharp guitar. Short scale and tuned up to G sharp standard.
Vintage Dano pro is light and short.
I have a guitar i put together that is 20 inch scale.
I have tried the folding neck guitars. Not bad.
ukes and mandos are travel friendly.
 

NoTeleBob

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14 CFR Part 251 [Docket No. DOT–OST–2014–0231] RIN 2105–AE37
Carriage of Musical Instruments
AGENCY: Office of the Secretary (OST), Department of Transportation (DOT).


there are rules but they are required to accommodate you

But mostly that says that it has to stow under the seat or in an overhead compartment and is to be treated as a carry-on like all others. You're still subject to some cantankerous gate clerk insisting it's not a valid carry-on at the time of flight. I've had them do that with a suitcase that fully complied with the size requirements (verified by me putting it into their little test basket in front of them).

They still hold all the cards if you want to get on that plane, documentation or not.
 




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