Mandolin Cases & Gig Bags
Every musician needs a case to transport his or her instrumentâ€”that's just common sense. Packing up your mandolin in a durable case or gig bag will keep it protected when you're on the go, not to mention providing a little bit of insurance while it's in storage. There are a fair number of cases to choose from, and which one you end up taking home will depend on a few different factors. First and foremost, since there is such wide variation between the different types of mandolins, it's especially important to choose a case that matches your instrument. Does your mandolin have an A or F-style body? Flat top or arch top? Electric mandolin? As simple as they may be, these are probably the most important questions to ask. The next, and slightly less straightforward, consideration is the choice between a hard shell case or a soft gig bag. Each type has its own unique advantages, so this will depend mostly on where you plan to travel with your mandolin. You might even want one of each so that you can pick the right one for a given trip. Hard cases are unquestionably the most durable, and will protect your mandolin from nearly anything that you might reasonably expect to happen to it. That makes them great for touring, long trips and air travel, when you might have to entrust it to airport baggage handlers or pack up the van in a hurry. On the other hand, if you're just heading across town for a local gig or to a buddy's place for practice, a gig bag might be the better choice. Soft bags are lighter and more compact, so they're a bit easier to carry and store. While the shape and shell type are the most important things about your mandolin case, another thing to keep in mind is how much additional storage it has. Do you like to carry a complete supply of extra strings, picks, cleaning supplies and other accessories? If so, you'll want to give some thought to how much room your chosen case includes for these little extras. Beyond those aspects, the final factor informing your choice will be your own personal tastes. Sometimes you'll find that two cases or gig bags have nearly identical features and are both the right shape to fit your mandolin. When you're facing those choices, just ask yourself which one you'd rather look at every day! It's as simple as that.