So you just bought your first guitar and you’re super excited to take it home. But wait, how are you going to carry it?
A guitar case is a protective case for a guitar. It’s used to carry the guitar and protect it against damage. It’s usually made of wood or plastic with a soft interior and comes in different shapes and sizes to fit different types of guitars.
In this article, I’ll explain what a guitar case is, how it’s used, and why you need one.
What Materials Are Used to Make Guitar Cases?
When it comes to buying a guitar case (best ones reviewed here), there are a lot of things to consider. One of the most critical things to think about is the material the case is made of. The right material can protect your guitar from damage, changes in temperature and humidity, and other elements that could harm it. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the materials used to make guitar cases, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Types of Materials
There are several types of materials that guitar cases can be made of, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the most common materials used:
- Wood: Wooden cases are typically associated with acoustic guitars and offer excellent protection against physical damage. They’re also great for keeping your guitar dry, as they absorb moisture. However, they can be expensive and heavy, and they don’t offer as much protection against changes in temperature and humidity as other materials.
- Hard plastic: Hard plastic cases are a popular choice for electric guitars. They’re tough, lightweight, and can protect your guitar from most types of damage. They’re also pretty affordable and come in a wide range of styles and designs. However, they don’t offer as much protection against changes in temperature and humidity as other materials.
- Soft materials: Soft cases are typically made of nylon or other lightweight materials. They’re a great choice if you want something that’s easy to carry around and doesn’t take up too much space. They’re also pretty affordable and come in a wide range of styles and designs. However, they don’t offer as much protection against physical damage as other materials.
Additional Features to Consider
When choosing a guitar case, there are some additional features to consider that can make a big difference in how well it protects your guitar. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Locking mechanisms: If you want to keep your guitar safe from theft, look for a case with a locking mechanism.
- Storage: Some cases come with additional storage compartments for accessories like picks, strings, and tuners.
- Molded vs. sewn: Molded cases are typically more expensive but offer better protection against physical damage. Sewn cases are more affordable but don’t offer as much protection.
- Brand and quality: Some brands are known for producing high-quality cases that are built to last a lifetime. If you want the best protection for your guitar, it’s worth spending a little extra money on a high-quality case from a reputable company.
Hard Guitar Cases: The Ultimate Protection for Your Instrument
Hard guitar cases are a type of guitar case that is typically made of strong and durable materials such as metal, wood, or plastic. They offer the highest level of protection for your guitar and are the perfect choice for those who want to keep their instrument safe from any harm.
The Benefits of Hard Guitar Cases
There are many benefits to using a hard guitar case, including:
- Ultimate protection: Hard guitar cases offer the highest level of protection for your instrument, preventing any damage from drops or other accidents.
- Ideal for travel: If you’re going on tour or just need to transport your guitar, a hard case is the best option as it will keep your instrument safe from any bumps or knocks.
- Long-lasting: Hard cases are built to last, so you can be sure that your investment is worth it in the long run.
- Molded to fit your guitar: Hard cases are usually custom-built to fit specific guitar models, so you can be sure that your instrument will fit perfectly.
- Locking mechanisms: Hard cases often come with locking mechanisms to keep your guitar safe from theft.
- Protection from the elements: Hard cases are typically designed to keep your guitar dry and protected from changes in temperature and humidity, which can be important for preventing damage to the wood.
What to Consider When Choosing a Hard Guitar Case
When looking for a hard guitar case, there are several important factors to keep in mind:
- Size: Make sure you get the correct size for your guitar.
- Materials: Consider the materials used in the construction of the case.
- Design: Look for a case that is strong and well-designed to prevent any damage to your guitar.
- Comfort: Consider how comfortable the case is to carry.
- Price: Hard guitar cases can be expensive, so make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.
Keeping Your Hard Guitar Case Clean
To keep your hard guitar case looking and smelling fresh, follow these tips:
- Use a soft cloth to wipe down the exterior of the case.
- Use a damp cloth to clean the interior of the case.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners.
- Store your case in a dry, cool place.
Benefits of Using a Guitar Case
One of the most obvious benefits of having a guitar case is the protection it provides for your instrument. Guitars are delicate and can easily get damaged if not handled properly. A guitar case is designed to keep your instrument safe from impact, scratches, and other potential damage. Here are some ways a guitar case can protect your instrument:
- Outer material: Guitar cases come in numerous shapes, sizes, and materials. Hard cases are typically made of wood or metal and offer the highest level of protection. Soft cases are made of materials like foam and nylon and offer a lower level of protection. Hybrid cases are a combination of both hard and soft materials, offering a medium level of protection.
- Inner foam: Most guitar cases have foam padding on the inside to hug your guitar and keep it from moving around during transport. This foam also helps absorb impact and protect your guitar from scratches.
- Locks: Many guitar cases come with locks to keep your instrument safe from theft or accidental opening.
- Air protection: Some cases have air protection to keep your guitar safe from changes in temperature and humidity.
Easier to Transport
Carrying a guitar around without a case can be a hassle. A guitar case makes it easier to transport your instrument from one place to another. Here are some ways a guitar case can make transportation easier:
- Handles: Most guitar cases have handles that make it easy to carry your instrument around.
- Straps: Some cases have straps that allow you to wear your guitar like a backpack for hands-free transportation.
- Wheels: Some cases have wheels to make it easier to roll your guitar around.
- Amplifier and cable storage: Some cases have extra storage space for your amplifier, cables, and other accessories.
Maintain the Quality of Your Guitar
A guitar case can help maintain the quality of your instrument over time. Here are some ways a guitar case can help maintain the quality of your guitar:
- Keep it clean: A guitar case keeps your guitar clean and free from dust and dirt.
- Inspect it regularly: When you store your guitar in a case, it’s easier to inspect it regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear.
- Routine maintenance: Having a guitar case can remind you to perform routine maintenance on your instrument, such as changing strings or cleaning the fretboard.
Increased Resale Value
If you plan on selling your guitar in the future, having a guitar case can increase its resale value. Here are some ways a guitar case can increase the resale value of your instrument:
- Protection: A guitar that has been well-protected in a case is likely to be in better condition than one that has been left out in the open.
- Brand and style: Certain guitar brands and styles are rare and expensive, and having a case that is specific to that guitar can increase its value.
- Condition: A guitar that has been well-maintained and stored in a case is likely to be in better condition than one that has not.
Choosing the Right Size Guitar Case
When it comes to purchasing a guitar case, finding the right size is incredibly important. Choosing the wrong size can cause damage to your guitar, which is the last thing any guitar fan wants. Here are some reasons why finding the right size is important:
- A case that is too small can cause pressure on the fretboard and strings, which can lead to damage over time.
- A case that is too large can allow the guitar to move around, which can also cause damage.
- A case that is too heavy or too large can be uncomfortable to carry around, making it less likely that you’ll bring your guitar with you.
Understanding Guitar Case Sizes
Guitar cases come in different sizes, depending on the type of guitar you have. Here are some common guitar sizes and their dimensions:
- Acoustic guitar: 40-42 inches long, 15-16 inches wide, and 4-5 inches deep
- Electric guitar: 39-40 inches long, 12-13 inches wide, and 2-3 inches deep
- Bass guitar: 47-48 inches long, 14-15 inches wide, and 2-3 inches deep
It’s worth noting that not all guitars are built to standardized sizes, so it’s important to measure your guitar before purchasing a case. You can usually find the dimensions of your guitar on the manufacturer’s website or by asking your local guitar shop.
How to Find the Right Size
Now that you understand the importance of finding the right size and have an idea of the common sizes, here are some tips for finding the right size:
- Measure your guitar: Use a tape measure to measure the length, width, and depth of your guitar. Make sure to measure the widest part of the guitar, which is usually the body.
- Check the manufacturer’s website: Look for a guide or table that lists the recommended case size for your specific guitar model.
- Ask your local guitar shop: The staff at your local guitar shop can recommend a case that will fit your guitar perfectly.
- Test it out: If possible, bring your guitar to the store and try out different cases to see which one feels the most comfortable and secure.
Remember, finding the right size is not necessarily the same as finding the best or most expensive case. It’s about finding a case that will protect your guitar and improve your overall playing experience.
Hard Cases vs Soft Cases: Which One Should You Choose?
When it comes to protecting your guitar, a hard case is the best option. It is designed to withstand rough handling, accidents, and even falls. It provides a solid barrier between your guitar and the outside world, ensuring that it stays safe and sound. Soft cases, on the other hand, are not as durable and may not protect your guitar as well as a hard case would. However, if you are only transporting your guitar short distances, a soft case may be perfectly acceptable.
If you are traveling by plane or going on long trips, a hard case is highly recommended. It will protect your guitar from damage during transport and ensure that it arrives at your destination in one piece. Flight bags and hybrid cases are also good options for traveling. Soft cases and gig bags may not provide enough protection for your guitar during long trips.
Hard cases are generally more expensive than soft cases. If you are on a tight budget, a soft case may be a better option. However, keep in mind that repeatedly repairing a damaged guitar can end up being more expensive in the long run.
Soft cases are generally lighter and easier to carry than hard cases. They are also more flexible and can be easier to fit into tight spaces. If you are a gigging musician who needs to transport your guitar frequently, a soft case may be a better option for you.
The Experts’ Opinion
Most experts recommend a hard case for protecting your guitar. However, they also acknowledge that a soft case may be a better option for some people depending on their needs. Ultimately, the choice between a hard case and a soft case comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the guitar owner.
Flight Bags & Hybrid Cases
Flight bags are a type of guitar case that is meant to serve as an alternative to hard cases. They are usually composed of lightweight materials such as nylon or polyester, making them easier to carry around. Flight bags are typically rectangular in shape and come with a shoulder strap for convenience. They offer a good amount of storage space and usually have an internal pocket for extra storage. Flight bags are perfect for people who want to carry their instrument around with them but don’t want to pay the extra cost of a hard case.
Hybrid cases are a mix between hard and soft cases. They are meant to offer the ultimate convenience and safety for your instrument. Hybrid cases typically have a solid exterior made of materials such as wood or metal, which increases their strength and durability. They also have a built-in locking mechanism to keep your instrument secure. Despite their solid exterior, hybrid cases are still lightweight and comfortable to carry around. They are perfect for people who want the convenience of a soft case but the protection of a hard case.
How Flight Bags and Hybrid Cases Differ from Other Types of Cases
Compared to other types of cases, flight bags and hybrid cases offer certain features that make them stand out. Here are some of the ways they differ from other types of cases:
- Flight bags are usually made of lightweight materials, making them easier to carry around compared to hard cases.
- Hybrid cases offer a mix of convenience and safety, making them a great choice for people who want the best of both worlds.
- Flight bags and hybrid cases typically have internal pockets for extra storage, something that is not always present in other types of cases.
- Unlike hard cases, flight bags and hybrid cases are not meant to withstand extreme changes in temperature or humidity. However, they still offer good protection for your instrument.
- Flight bags and hybrid cases are typically more affordable compared to hard cases, making them a great choice for people who are shopping on a lower budget.
Overall, flight bags and hybrid cases are great options for people who want a convenient and comfortable way to carry their instrument around without sacrificing protection. There are plenty of brands and models available, so make sure to do your research and find the one that is best suited for your needs.
Soft Case vs Gigbag: Which One Should You Choose?
Soft cases and gigbags are two types of guitar cases that are generally known for being lightweight and easy to carry. They are usually made of durable materials and offer a level of protection for your guitar, but they differ in a few key ways.
Soft cases are usually the lightest and least expensive type of guitar case. They are made of a variety of materials, including vinyl, leather, and nylon, and are often zippered with handles for easy carrying. Soft cases usually contain some padding and layers of protection to keep your guitar safe from damage, but they are not as durable as hard cases.
Soft cases are a great option for those looking for a lightweight and convenient way to carry their guitar. They are easy to throw over your shoulder and carry with you on trips or to gigs. They are also a good idea if you’re looking for a little extra protection for your guitar while it’s sitting in the car or at home.
Gigbags are similar to soft cases in that they are lightweight and easy to carry, but they offer a little more protection for your guitar. They are usually the largest and lightest type of guitar case and can be crammed full of all sorts of guitar-related things, like capos, strings, and even an amp.
Gigbags usually have a few pockets and zippered compartments for extra storage, and they often come with shoulder straps or handles for easy carrying. They are a great option for those who want to keep their guitar safe while on the go, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a hard case.
Which One Should You Choose?
The choice between a soft case and a gigbag is dependent on your personal preference and the level of protection you need for your guitar. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:
- If you’re looking for the most protection for your guitar, a hard case is the way to go.
- If you’re looking for a lightweight and convenient way to carry your guitar, a soft case or gigbag is a good option.
- If you’re thinking about taking your guitar on a plane or a long trip, a hard case is a smart choice to ensure your guitar survives the journey.
- If you’re looking for a way to keep your guitar safe from dust and room anxiety, a soft case or gigbag can be a good option to keep it standing or laying on the floor.
- If you’re looking for a complete protection for your guitar, a hard case is the best option.
In the end, the choice between a soft case and a gigbag comes down to personal preference and the level of protection you need for your guitar. Both options offer a lightweight and convenient way to carry your guitar, and both can be surprisingly good at protecting your guitar from damage.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about guitar cases. It’s important to get one that’s the right size and material for your guitar, and to keep it clean and in good condition.
I hope this guide has helped you do just that!
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.
Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:Subscribe