Guitars are fragile instruments and they need to be decently taken care of to avoid any potential damage. That is more apparent if you’re planning on shipping your guitar elsewhere or you’re selling guitars.
Shipping them without a case is especially a hassle. A good Hardshell case costs quite a few and so people prefer not to get a case. So the sellers need to ship it to the customers without any case. Today, we’ll be telling you why it’s so important for you to be careful about packaging a guitar without a case and how you can do it.
Importance of Packing a Guitar Well
Guitars like acoustic guitars can be very fragile to bumps and quakes. There are a lot of components that can get severely damaged because of this. The tuner pegs, the strings, the neck of the guitar, the guitar saddles are some of the notable parts. These are highly prone to damage if enough packaging isn’t applied.
We know that there are different types of guitars where some of them are more fragile than others. But that doesn’t mean you can care less for the ones which are less prone to damage. You should be careful enough with every single one of them if you’re shipping it for sales purposes and need them to arrive there safely.
Let’s talk about the differences in the construction of different guitars and how some are more fragile than others.
Acoustic Guitars are probably the more fragile one of the bunch. This is because it is made out to be played without any amps. So, it needs to resonate with its sound. And to do that, the whole inner area of the guitar head inside is hollow. This makes it very fragile.
Likewise, the outer shell of the guitar is also thinner than other guitars. This is so that they don’t get too heavy to hold up. They’re also quite big and thick in size. That also makes them harder to pack. If they are not packaged well enough, and if they face any difficulties or gets bumped while shipping, they have a very big chance of getting damaged.
Like Acoustic Guitars, they are also fragile instruments but they are a little less so because of their build. As we saw on the acoustic guitars, the head of the guitar is hollow on them for it to produce the sound. But electric guitars are meant to be played with Amps for resonating their sound. And so, there is no need for them to be so big and hollow for producing sounds.
The head of electric guitars is made up of whole wood. Because of that reason, it makes them a little more resistant to bumps. With that being said, electric guitars also have very intricate little components which can get damaged very easily. So, it’s important to take good care of them too.
There are many other guitar types too which we won’t be getting into as most of them follow these 2 builds. Nonetheless, you should be packing any guitars well enough if you plan on shipping them for any purpose.
How to Pack your Guitar for Shipping
For packing your guitar, you’ll need to follow some key components that are to be followed to ensure the safety of the guitar while shipping. No matter the shipping service you use, all have them can have their rough days of shipping causing your package to be thrown, bumped into other packages, etc. So, you should be the one who should be responsible for the safety of your guitar in the first place.
To pack your guitar, we’ll follow some step-by-step methods that are to be followed accordingly for the best possible attempt to keep them secure and undamaged. The steps are:
- Detach strings from Guitar
- Packing Guitar without detaching strings (Conditional)
- Packing the Guitar inside a cardboard box
- Put it inside another box
These are the steps that you need to bear in mind when you’re packing your guitar for shipping. We will discuss them in more detail below.
Detach String from Guitar
Detaching the strings of the guitar will be of great help for needing both fewer materials to pack the guitar and also to ensure better safety of the guitar itself. By removing the strings, you can make sure that the guitar doesn’t get damaged on shipping.
While the strings themselves may or may not break during the shipping, it can cause damage to other components of the guitar like the tuner pegs and the saddles.
If on the shipping, the strings get rumbled and moved around too much, they may pull the tuner pegs and because you’ll have to tightly pack them with packaging materials for them to be secure; they may get loosened and may even break in the process.
So, if you can, it is best to detach the strings of the guitars to ensure the best safety for your guitar.
Packing Guitar without Detaching Strings (Conditional)
There will be times when you may not be able to ship the guitar by detaching the strings because the customer you’re selling them to won’t be able to attach the strings back again and they’d rather not take that hassle.
So for this case, we’ll show you how you can pack the strings in a way so that they won’t be able to cause any issues while they’re being shipped.
So, first up, you’ll need some good packing materials like thick and soft cloth or ideally, thin sheets of foam.
You’ll need to get a long strip of it and use it underneath the strings in a way that it contacts the neck and also that the strings can sit on them comfortably. And then you need to get another strip of that material and put it on top of the strings. Then you have to secure it but taping it with the neck of the guitar. By doing this, it’ll make the strings not being able to wiggle around and cause any issues.
Another great measure will be to loosen up all the strings of the guitar so the even if they rumble a little, it won’t pull the tuner pegs or the saddles hard enough.
Packing the Guitar inside a Cardbox
As you won’t be able to get a case for the guitar, you’ll want some kind of overlay over the guitar to ensure it’s not moving around. So to do that, you can use a spare cardboard box to make a DIY case for it.
Take the dimensions of your guitar and make the box in a way so that it keeps very little room to move around. Especially on the bottom of the guitar and on the top, you’ll want about an inch gap. You’ll also want to put extra materials on the tuner pegs so that they don’t get bumped in any way.
After that, pack those gaps with clothing or foam and do the same along the sides of the guitar as well. Close the box tightly and seal it with tape. Then do a shake test and see if the guitar moves around inside the box. You’ll have to make sure that no sound or rumbling occurs inside.
Put It Inside another Box
After you’re done packing the guitar in the initial box, you’ll want to wrap it inside of another box. This is to make sure that even if the box gets rumbles around, it doesn’t move the guitar itself and rather move the box inside. This will make sure complete safety of your guitar if you’re planning to ship it to a customer or you’re moving somewhere and want your guitar shipped there safely.
You’ll want to do the same thing as the first box but this time, the outer box needs to have 2 or 3 inches of a gap around the first box. It also doesn’t have to be as precise dimensions as the first box but the more you’ll be close to it, the fewer materials you’ll need.
After you’re done making the box, put some clothing or bedsheet on the bottom. Ideally, if you have bubble wrap, it will be the best for your packaging. Then put the first box inside it and fill the rest of the gaps with bubble wrap as well. Or you can fold your bedsheet to make a thicker material for it. Then close up the box and wrap it with tape. And you’re ready to get it shipped!
Ideally, it will always be better and less of a hassle to pack your guitar inside of a hardshell case. But the alternative we described to you will also be as safe as a hardshell case.
We hope our little guide about how to ship a guitar without a case was helpful to you and you were benefited from it.
You may also like to read: How to Clean Guitar Strings?