Many upper end guitars come with a case that is made for that particular guitar, but if you don't have one, here are some various guitar case styles and considerations when shopping for one.
ChipboardChipboard cases are the economy version of a guitar case. They are designed for minimal protection and are suitable if the guitar is kept mainly at home, or only taken out occasionally. Extra care should be exercised when transporting the guitar in a chipboard case because they are not designed to support a heavy load or sustain a strong impact.
Gig BagsGig bags are the choice of many guitarists because they are easy to carry. Most are built with a shoulder strap for convenience. They range from light weight models with minimal protection, to heavy duty models that offer protection similar to a hard shell case.
Gig bags are available in many different cosmetic choices and colors and range in price from under $20 to well over $100. They typically have a variety of pockets and zipper pouches for extra storage.
Hard ShellHard shell cases are the choice for those that are serious about protecting their investment. There are a wide variety of case choices available for virtually every make and model of guitar on the market.
The important thing to remember when purchasing a hard shell case is to get one that is an exact match for your guitar. Some guitars will "almost" fit into a hard shell case, but if the guitar neck is not supported properly. damage can occur if the case is dropped.
Flight CaseTraveling musicians will, quite often, use a flight case. These usually have an extra heavy duty shell, such as metal or anvil, and are built to withstand punishment.
Some models of flight cases are designed for the guitar to placed directly into, and others are designed to protect the guitar while it is still in the original hard shell case, thereby offering two layers of protection.
Although heavier to haul around, the latter method is preferable.
I have personally had some close calls flying with a guitar in only a hard shell case. As a result, I will not fly anywhere without putting my guitar in a flight case.
Guitar cases can range in price from fairly inexpensve to pricey. Either way, it is a small price to pay to protect your investment, and to give you peace of mind while traveling.
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