If you’ve ever tried selling your instrument on eBay or if you’re sending a guitar case to a friend who lives in a distant location, you already know how challenging it is to ship a guitar in a gig bag. If you are a first-timer, this post offers ideas on how to ship a guitar in a gig bag. However, it doesn’t matter what kind of guitar it is—classical, acoustic, or bass—all we don’t expect is for the guitar to get damaged in shipping. Despite the gig bag’s lightweight build, a hardshell case is always recommended for shipping.
If you’re wondering how to ship a guitar in a gig bag, read this post to get all the information you need!
- 1. Invest in a heavily padded gig bag
- 2. De-tune the Guitar
- 3. Wrap the Headstock
- 4. Protect the Frets and Pickups
- 5. Fill Up the Headstock Area
- 6. Do the Shake test
- 7. Choose a Professional Courier
How to Ship a Guitar in a Gig bag step by Step Process
Couldn’t manage a hardshell case to ship the guitar? The best thing you can do is make the necessary preparations and precautions to avoid damage if you have to ship in a soft gig bag. Follow the essential tips for how to ship a guitar in a gig bag listed below to ensure a safe and secure shipment of your valuable instrument.
1. Invest in a heavily padded gig bag
Choose a heavily padded gig bag to offer the maximum protection you can afford for your guitar. A heavily padded gig bag will protect your guitar better than light and soft gig bags. Usually, padded gig bags come with strong reinforced outer protection close to hardshell cases (find if there are any hybrid cases).
2. De-tune the Guitar
Loosening the strings of the guitar will release the tension. Of course, anyone can take the strings entirely off the guitar for extra security, but it’s unnecessary. Just de-tuning the strings a bit will help ease the tension and pressure of the headstock and reduce the risk of snapping the strings completely.
3. Wrap the Headstock
To protect the tuning peg from damage by bubble wrapping the headstock. Tuning pegs can come out of headstocks during shipping, so covering them with bubble wrap and securing them with an elastic band helps prevent that.
4. Protect the Frets and Pickups
Even though many skip this step to ensure that the guitar is always safe, I always recommend placing a light towel or folded newspaper between the frets and strings. Doing this will reduce the potential damage to the fretboard and prevent the strings from smashing each other.
5. Fill Up the Headstock Area
After you have placed your guitar in the gig bag, you might see that there still are some empty spaces near the headstock. To reduce the chances of the guitar moving around, create a layer of crumbled paper, bubble wrap, or cushioning materials. Creating this layer will secure the guitar, especially the headstock, from moving inside the bag while shipping.
6. Do the Shake test
Do a shake test before shipping to find out if there is any movement. You should consider add more padding to reduce any risk if there are still movements.
7. Choose a Professional Courier
Guitars are valuable instruments, so you must go to extra lengths and choose a professional and reputable courier. Choose a courier that has insurance for sending the guitar. Enquire about how much insurance the courier covers and if they cover all types of damage that might occur. If you do not find the insurance coverage satisfactory, it’s best to look for other couriers and compare.
Some couriers offer services to pack your guitar; opting for those services may get you more damage coverage. The downside is that it is a bit more expensive.
How to Ship a Guitar in a Gig Bag: Conclusion
Thousands of guitars are being shipped from one location to another, so don’t worry. Many people had to ship the guitars in gig bags, and when preventive measures were appropriately taken, the instruments usually reached their destination undamaged. If you cannot manage a hard case, the best thing you can do is be cautious and follow the rules provided in this post if shipping in a gig bag.
I hope this article has answered questions about how to ship a guitar in a gig bag.
Is a guitar bag necessary?
Gig bags can be an alternative to hardshell cases if you cannot ship the instrument in a hardshell case. But I recommend hard cases for optimal protection. However, the essential tips mentioned in this article will give you maximum protection while shipping a guitar in a gig bag.
Is a gig bag enough?
Hardshell cases offer more protection than gig bags. In either case, the safest way to ship or store your instrument is in a high-quality, durable, hardshell guitar case. Despite the guitar case’s heavier weight, it offers top-notch protection against sudden falls and damage.
What is a gig bag for a guitar?
Gig bags are soft, padded carriers for musical instruments, guitars and basses. However, gig bags do not offer protection in transit like the durable hardshell cases. However, gig bags are best for totting around town and gigging.