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Hard Case vs Gig Bag


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I know the hard case versus gig bag debate will rage on forever, but I made a recent observation that I found pretty interesting.


I do work here in my hometown for an organization called "Jazz St. Louis". On the main floor "storefront" they have a nightclub/restaurant presenting mostly national and international jazz artists, but also local professional musicians and student groups (high school and college/university). Upstairs they have an "education" department that includes a recording studio, class rooms, rehearsal rooms and a music library.


Yesterday was a long day on the job as I had an afternoon rehearsal upstairs, and was then behind the soundboard for a benefit concert in the club in the evening, presenting five different local jazz bands, to benefit the education department in honor of the late founder of MaxJazz Records.


During the day I saw no less than 9 guitar/electric bass players come and go, both student and professional. EVERY single instrument was being carried in a backpack strap gig bag. Not a hard case in sight. It's not like I was counting, or even consciously paying attention, but sometime during the night it just hit me.


Just reporting an observation.

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Back in my music student days we weren't allowed to carry hard cases in the campus building! Apparently it damaged the walls, so they gave us gig bags for free (well out of the course cost I imagine). I never took an expensive guitar to college and just used a squier strat for lectures and kept my Les Paul at home for study.

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There are some excellent semi rigid padded gig bags available nowadays....


I use a large 12 str acoustic a lot....in a hard case it would be heavy and a bit unwieldy


In a gig bag it is portable, can be shoulder slung and has good pocket facilities





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Well I think its a practical thing...


Hard cases are big and heavy.. A gig bag you can put over your shoulder. If you are just traveling to and from one place then a gig bag is way easier.. If you are touring and packing loads of equipment in a van then id say a hard case is in order.


I saw this new type of Gibson gig bag on another thread.. I think it looks great...




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These days, I travel to any "gig" or "jam" I'm playing in, in my car, by myself. All the people I play with, are

scattered all over, so we just travel alone, and meet at the gig. So, a Gig Bag, is what I use, most often. The

exception is my Ric 12-string travels in it's case. But, if it's a "bar" gig, etc., I'll often take the Dano-12

instead, and I use a gig bag for it. No problems, whatsoever, so far! BUT, if...like in my youth, I was traveling

in a van or car pulling a U-Haul, all the guitars would be in hard cases, or flight cases, if for extended "tours."

However, those days are LONG gone, for me. [tongue][biggrin] So...Gig bags, are Good! [thumbup]




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Must be Jazz thing - you're just not cool unless you have a gig bag. [cool]


Personally I'm too clumsy to use them. I am always trying to carry too much and make as few trips as possible from car to wherever I'm playing so I have a backpack with pedal and cables over my shoulder, then guitar stand and guitar in one hand and am always banging into stuff going in and out of doors. By the looks of my hard shell cases, I would hate to think what my guitars would look like if I was using a soft bag. [scared]

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