So you’ve finally got the axe of your dreams. You did your research (maybe you even used some of our guides, and if you didn’t you should from now on!), pined after it for a few months, then finally pulled the trigger. Now you need to know how to keep the guitar of your dreams safe. If you’re unsure how to choose the best guitar case you’ve come to right place! This article will give you all the information that you need to make an informed purchase, as will as give you great options to protect your guitar that you’ll be sure to love.
- Guitar Case 101
- What Should I Look For In A Guitar Case or Gig Bag
- How Much Should I Spend?
- How Did We Select Our Guitar Case Recommendations?
- Top 5 Hardshell Guitar Cases
- Top 5 Gig Bags
Guitar Case 101
Just in case you are not already aware, a guitar case is a hard case with foam inserts on the inside that helps keep your guitar safe from both drops/blows as well as changes in temperature or humidity.
Most guitar players start off with a gig bag. A gig bag is typically made out of foam and a durable fabric like ballistic nylon. It’ll keep your guitar from getting scratched as your carrying it to and from different locations and is typically lighter than a hardshell case and can sometimes carry more given that the pockets have more given than a molded case.
Always walk with your case so that the lid or zipper is facing in towards your body. This way, if the case opens unexpectedly, you're less likely to drop the guitar since the lid will hit your body rather than just fly open. The latches on your guitar case are probably never going to pop open, but it does happen once in a blue moon. It’s such an easy habit to get into that there’s really no reason not to do it. And who knows, it might just happen to you.
What Should I Look For In A Guitar Case or Gig Bag?
First off, a good guitar case should be heavy. There’s not really an exact weight requirement, but you should feel a bit of heft when you pick one up. Ideally your case should feel like it’s made of solid wood, even though it’s probably going to be made of a laminate. If it feels flimsy or overly light odds are it’s not going to be able to stand up to the strain of being used regularly by a touring musician.
It’s also a good idea to spring for a case with a rubber seal. While this is generally done to prevent water from entering the case, it also helps insulate your guitar from changes in temperature and/or humidity.
Quick and drastic changes in temperature or humidity can have an incredibly destructive effect on any instrument, though it’s generally more common for acoustics. Changes in temperature or humidity can cause structural damage like cracks or warping. They can also wreak havoc on your setup, throwing your action (how far your strings are from the neck) or intonation (how in tune fretted notes are on your instrument) out of whack.
How Much Should I Spend?
If you’re just dragging your guitar to and from the occasional gig or practice you’re going to be fine if you spending less on an option that is less durable and more portable. So long as you’re generally staying around your home town, and you don’t travel by plane, you don’t really have to get a top of the line case.
However, if you have a $3,000 guitar that you’re gigging with you might as well invest in a good case; even if you don’t strictly have to. Accidents do happen. A clumsy (or slight intoxicated) band mate might drop something on your case, a guitar might end up tumbling out of a poorly packed van, and it’s not unheard of for a guitar case’s latches to pop open at a bad time if they weren’t installed well at the factory.
None of these things are a guaranteed to happen, but they might. In our opinion it’s definitely worth it to get a high quality case if you happen to have a guitar that’s worth more than the average mortgage payment.
How Did We Select Our Guitar Case Recommendations?
As always, our recommendations are aimed at providing everyone reading this with a viable option. While we recognize that a an expensive TSA approved guitar case is going to be miles better than just about anything else on the market, we also know that everyone has a different set of circumstances and budgets. If someone can’t afford a $400 guitar case it doesn’t matter how much better it is. So keep in mind that the best option for you may not be the best option for your neighbors, and vice versa. Here, we present different options for every price point that are respected and well regarded to protect your guitar.
The Top Five Hardshell Guitar Cases
ChromaCast CC-EHC Electric Guitar Hard Case
TKL 7825 LP Style Electric Guitar Case
SKB FS6 Molded Electric Guitar Case
Gator ATA Guitar Case
Anvil Solidbody Electric Guitar Case
The Top Five Gig Bags
Reunion Blues Continental Gig Bag
Levy's Leathers LM20 Deluxe Guitar Bag
ChromaCast 6-Pocket Padded Gig Bag
Gator GBE-DREAD Acoustic Guitar Bag
Hola! Deluxe Padded Acoustic and Classical Guitar Gig Bag