Instrument Cases

Written by Sarah Provost
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If you've ever had to tote around a tuba or protect a piccolo in a backpack, you know how important musical instrument cases can be. I'm constantly amazed by musicians who lavish money on a fine instrument, then carry it around in a soft-sided gig bag or no case at all! Your instrument is a major investment, so you should protect it well.

Selecting Instrument Cases

Several considerations must be taken into account when selecting instrument cases. Hardshell cases provide the best protection for your instrument, but you should also consider the depth of padding and how snugly your instrument fits the case. The quality of the lining is important in terms of wear. Additional considerations include inner compartments, room for accessories or music, and of course, comfort and convenience.

Weight is also an important consideration, especially in cases for larger instruments. If it is to be carried, the handle should be placed to provide optimal balance. A good example is the newer style of saxophone case: instead of the traditional rectangular case with the handle on one long side, some cases now allow the instrument to be carried upright, with the handle at the top of the bell.

If it is for an exceptionally large instrument, casters are a must. Be sure that they roll smoothly and are as heavy-duty as possible. Many of the sites which sell instrument cases provide a consumer rating; this is a very helpful feature, especially if comments are included in addition to the numerical rating. Finally, if you travel frequently, be certain that your case meets all airline requirements.


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