No matter how much you spend on your bass guitar, if you don’t protect it properly, you will end up paying again and again. A regularly performing musician needs a strong and durable case that travels well but also protects the guitar inside. Soft “gig bags” come in an array of shapes, sizes and costs, so choosing the right one to suit your lifestyle can be difficult.
If you are buying on a budget, prices start at about $12 for low-end bass guitar gig bags. This will usually get you a padded nylon case that provides basic protection from the weather and light knocks. These provide very little insulation, exposing your guitar to changes in temperature that can alter tuning and risk warping the wood. These cases are ideal for beginner guitar players who plan to store the instrument in the house and not transport it often.
More Expensive Bags
A good-quality soft case will cost between $25 and $100. These bags usually have reinforced linings and durable padding to protect the more vulnerable areas, such as the headstock and bridge. For musicians performing regularly, these bags are durable enough to travel and don’t take up the space that a hard case would. The extra padding will insulate the guitar, maintaining a more constant temperature in the case.
Inexpensive Hard Cases
A hard case is a wise option for anyone who has invested in an expensive bass guitar. Prices start at about $50. The best budget hard cases may lack features and pockets but offer strength. The main problem with an inexpensive hard case is the sacrifice of the space it takes up in relation to how much it can protect your guitar. A cheap hard case will not be strong enough or insulated enough to take on a flight and usually takes up more in a vehicle than a gig bag.
Most professional musicians travel using a flight case. A good-quality flight case can cost from $100 to $300. The best cases will have a strong foam lining shaped to the contours of your guitar and a heavily structured casing with reinforced corner points. This removes the risk of knocks and will insulate your guitar better against drastic changes in temperature. These cases provide you with the best protection from damage if your case is checked as baggage during air travel.