Whether you next gig is in your hometown or three states away, you need to make sure your gear gets there in one piece. Fortunately, the market is full of protective gear for every need and budget. Let’s take a look at some of the options for protecting your instruments and other gear.
Sometimes know as “gig bags,” soft bags can be found for guitars, basses, drums, and dozens of other instruments. They’re affordable and can fold up to store easily. The downside is that they only offer a small amount of protection and won’t always save your instrument or gear from hard knocks or falls. Soft bags are great for going to a jam session or the occasional local gig, but don’t really cut it for touring.
These are often sold with guitars, and are common for all instruments. These cases are made of wood or thin plastic, and often have some light padding on the inside. For something small, like a flute, this might be everything you need, but for larger instruments, they still have their limits. The corners are not usually well reinforced, for example, and the locks and latches are not always very secure. Hard shell cases are good for someone who plays out locally on a regular basis, and will reliably protect your instrument from whatever else might be floating around in the back of your car.
For the ultimate in instrument and gear protection, nothing beats a good road case. Companies like the Encore A&S Case Company sell custom cases for your gear. These are heavy-duty hard cases with metal-reinforced corners, strong handles, and thick padding. They often have wheels to allow your gear to be easily loaded and unloaded, and are available to protect small amplifiers all the way up to pianos. Road and flight cases like this are of course more expensive than the other options, as well as being much bulkier, but if you’re taking your show on the road or overseas, there really is nothing better for protecting your gear.
Playing out is the best way to showcase your music and get new fans, plus it’s just plain fun. Don’t spoil it by failing to protect your valuable instruments and gear. Figure out what kind of gigs you’ll be playing and make sure you have the right kind of case or bag to keep everything in playing shape.