Best Travel Guitar
Are you looking to buy the best travel guitar for your budget, but aren’t certain what you’re looking for? Our guitarists will teach you what you should be checking for and how much you can expect to pay.
By the time you finish reading this guide, you’ll understand everything you need to know about travel guitars, and have a good understanding of which model is right for you. Make sure you continue reading till the end to find out what the guitar dealers won’t like you learning about choosing guitars.
Table of Contents
Travel Guitar Buyers Guide
We understand that it can be tricky, to leave your guitar at home, even if it’s just for a weekend break. On the other hand, a fortnight is a longtime to be apart from your bestfriend too. Being a guitar player, means you are constantly picking up the guitar and strumming or picking a little tune. Being away from home can create issues making it sometimes awkward to take a guitar away with you, or impossible in many cases due to size and weight restrictions.
Electric Travel Guitar Or Acoustic Travel Guitar?
This is your first major consideration, as both are an option. We have a small battery operated amplifier that gives more than enough power to play a full sized electric guitar. It runs on AA batteries that can be purchased in most countries worldwide. So power is not a problem, but style, and the way you play can be.
That’s why you need to decide which type of travel guitar you want to play from the outset. There are plenty to choose from in both categories so don’t be too worried. What do you play most at home? Acoustic or electric? That should be the choice made for you right there. So let’s start with acoustic and go from there.
Acoustic Travel Guitar Buyers Guide
We often get asked, are travel acoustic guitars any good? They’re smaller, not as professionally made etc. Well let’s dispel that myth straight away. All of the top guitar brands make a travel version, they are made in the same factories, using the same materials, and assembled by the same staff that manufacture full-size models.
By their nature, travel guitars are smaller than full size and also lighter to carry. With that said, there are differences between weights and sizes, and that’s why it’s best if possible to try as many as you can before making your final decision.
You need to check that the fretboard is the right size for you. No buzzing from the strings, and no dead zones. The guitar’s action is always an important factor, regardless of size. How easy can you barre? Play chords? Or even fingerpick.
It’s the same question wherever you play guitar, what type of strings do you prefer? Steel or nylon? This depends on the type of guitarist you are, do you play Classical guitar?
Acoustic Travel Guitar Price
For an acoustic travel guitar you can expect to pay, around £50.00 for an entry level acoustic travel guitar and around £1,000.00 for a top of the range model with detachable headstock, detachable neck, 18 frets, solid Cedar body top, mahogany body and sides, and the gig bag is included.
For around £160.00 you can buy a Tanglewood TW2T travel guitar with a padded gig bag. This Tanglewood has a mahogany body, mahogany sides and a mahogany top too, with a rosewood fretboard.
This is a purely individual choice, but your guitar should have a sound that you like. The only way to test the sound is to play it, and while you’re at it, check the tonal quality, also the loudness. It is designed to be a small guitar but it needs to be loud enough for you and any audience to hear.
Not a top consideration really but, what they are giving away as a freebie with the guitar is a good indication of the whole deal. Some have a travel case as standard, others you have to pay separate for a carry case. Strings, some companies supply a spare set of strings, saving you the bother of searching for guitar strings in a potentially foreign country, where language presents a barrier.
Electric Travel Guitar Buyers Guide
When it comes to electric travel guitars, there are even more considerations that need your attention.
What materials are the guitar made from? Does the neck feel right when you play it?
Electric guitars need no internal space for creating sound, so the bodies can be smaller. How does that feel from a playing perspective? Can you play a guitar with next to no body?
Some electric travel guitars have detachable necks for travelling convenience. This allows the guitar to be an overall fair size. Check the neck for sound quality too, including the height of the action etc.
Electric Travel Guitar Price
These seem to range in price from around £75.00 for a budget model, complete with integrated speaker, gig bag, and a maple neck. They rise in price to around £500.00 for a top of the range electric travel guitar with a maple fretboard.
Most guitar manufacturers make their travel guitars, at ¾ size, check that you can comfortably play with this size fretboard.
Plug It In
Check the guitar sounds when it’s plugged in, to be sure of the tone and sound quality. In some travel guitars the amplifier is built in, check this out as well to make sure that the guitar sounds good underpower. If it doesn’t have a built-in amp, try your chosen amp and get a feel for the sound before you buy as well.
Guitar Bag And Kit
Depending on the make and model, some manufacturers offer the following as part of the deal, with others they are what’s known as an “optional extra”.
Whatever they are called, you will need a carry bag, strap, spare strings, guitar picks and in some cases a tuner too.
Just because they call the above “Extras” it’s always worth seeing what you can get for free before agreeing to any deal. Never accept the old chestnut “we can’t do anything, our hands are tied” Or even worse, “that’s the best deal out there you won’t beat it”.When you hear those words instead of thinking defeat, start thinking “game on” remember you are in the driving seat here. They want your money and they will want to throw something in to sweeten the deal.
Never let them know you’re excited about it, use the power of silence. Most people want to fill an empty space with sound, say your piece and let them come back to you with their offer. If they really are offering you the best deal and it’s the one you truly want, then accept it. But imagine getting a free set of strings or a free guitar strap over and above the deal price.
Good luck and let us know how you got on on facebook.
Frequently Asked Questions
Travel guitars are good, they sound good, play good and are small enough to fit into your luggage. Giving you the freedom to play your guitar wherever and whenever you like.
Smaller guitars are not harder to play. Travel guitars are scaled down, so everything is smaller, with that in mind, it is easier to travel up and down the fretboard.
Adults can play ¾ size guitars, they are especially good for travelling guitarists as they take up less room. It might take a while to adjust, but it’s not impossible and will soon become second nature.