Latest Update: Added some stuff about Chrysalis Guitars, thanks to Gary.
The guitar is a great instrument to play, but it’s not the most portable. OK, so they aren’t quite as tricky to take along as a grand piano, but they’re not pocketable like a harmonica either.
So, can you do anything to make things a bit easier? It turns out you can, but it’s going to cost in one way or another – in cash or quality. Create Digital Music did an article about Foldable Travel Guitars and the Mobile Guitar Studio, including a foldable Strat copy that can fit inside a briefcase. I’d have thought tuning would be a problem, but with a Floyd Rose style tremelo and a locking nut, you can probably minimise it.
In a follow-up, they give us details of Kevin of the Nettles’ kit. He uses a Traveler headless guitar, which looks interesting – looks like the tuning pegs are in the body, as if the strings have folded around the bottom after passing over the bridge, and gone around the back. There’s quite a bit more to his kit than just the guitar, but I’ll let you read the details in their post – it’s quite short, and it’s interesting stuff. If you prefer acoustic, check the comment from Daniel about his kit.
Chrysalis Guitars take a completely different approach – their guitars are inflatable. The hard sections all come apart, and the main body is an inflatable bag, which acts as a soundboard. They fit into a special briefcase when disassembled, which is small enough to take as carry-on luggage at an airport. I’m guessing the development history page was written a while ago – it mentions that the balloon tube plugs are actual bullets, just to cause extra amusement with airport security people. I’m guessing airport security people don’t find hidden bullets quite so funny these days. Thanks, as usual, to Gary for finding this.
Me? I’ve got a harmonica, but unfortunately the only thing I can play is a very bad rendition of Happy Birthday. I get around the problem by never leaving the house.