Traveling with musical equipment, even to a local show, can be a horrifying experience. There are countless tales from practicing musicians of destroyed treasures, broken bank accounts, utter heartbreak and full-on legal battles because of improperly secured musical equipment. While it can be impossible to stop a thief or a reckless employee, there are still problems that can be easily prepared for. It’s often as easy to lose an instrument as it is to keep it safe, so any steps that can be taken to protect it are well worth the effort.
Packing and Transit
There is a four-step cycle that happens whenever a musician transports their gear from place to place. First, they have to prepare their gear for transit, which means that it needs to be properly stored and attended to. It’s important to recognize that this means if the gear is going into a vehicle, that vehicle needs to be secured so long as the instruments are there. It’s fully possible for someone to steal a $5000 guitar out of an unlocked van in the blink of an eye. Some companies, like Encore A&S Case Company, can even build a safe into your case to keep valuable items safe. These matters should not be taken lightly.
Being in transit is the next part of the cycle, as it is a common circumstance where musical equipment is destroyed. It is always ideal to have high-quality cases for transporting gear. While most people have a guitar case for travel, it’s fairly common to see amplifiers simply loaded into vans without much concern about their safety, but there’s a variety of circumstances that might make that a bad idea. Water damage, accidents, falling or sliding objects and simple human error can destroy a $1000 amp faster than it takes to pay the employees at the music store. Purchasing a safe, secured amplifier case is highly recommended for anyone interested in doing what’s best.
Unpacking and Returning
The next part of the cycle is unpacking. When arriving, it’s common for musicians to be excited, hurried, casual or comfortable in their environment, which is everything but careful. It takes care and effort to ensure that musical equipment is treated with respect, which is why most big-time bands and musicians have a road crew responsible for the safety and maintenance of their equipment. This unpacking stage of the cycle can be brutally unsafe for instruments, so it’s essential to take a little more care on instruments until they’ve been secured.
Finally, there is always one last transit step for musicians, and it’s the return home. It’s crucial to recognize that while this follows all of the same aspects of packing and traveling, there is often a lot going on during and after a show. Plenty of damages can happen, gear might get forgotten or misplaced and thieves can be anywhere. It’s important to treat this step with all of the same care and concern of the others. If there is a careful eye towards the gear at all times, and the equipment is being treated with respect, this final step simply mirrors the beginning of the process; this care and concern is all rooted in the desire to keep these possessions as safe as possible.