Guitar Hard Case vs Soft Case: Which One is Better?
But it doesn't all come down to just amps, pedals, and other tone-shaping gadgets. There are other things to think about, including your instrument's maintenance and storage. And things get super complicated and problematic when you're looking for the best options for the transportation of your instrument. Some may think that giving additional funds for just a bag or a case is an unnecessary expense. But if you're ever planning to take your guitar anywhere, a gig bag or a case is a necessity. You can't just go to a studio or a gig just carrying an expensive guitar over your shoulder all exposed to the outside factors, can you?
But the main discussion remains – should you get yourself a soft case or a hard case? Well, the answer is not that simple and both come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Of you're having trouble figuring what's the best solution for your needs, we'll help you out by explaining the main features of these two options.
Advantages of a Hard Case
So let's first start with a hard case. To put it simply, this is the safest way to transport your beloved instrument. Well, it's at least safer than a regular soft gig bag, or those soft cases that are essentially just hardened gig bags. Of course, this only counts if you buy a quality hard case that can not only handle the pressure and hits, but that will also keep the guitar safely inside without it moving too much.
With this being said, it's usually a better idea to buy a quality hard case compared to a budget one. Yes, these can get a bit expensive, about a few hundred dollars. But when they're well-made, you can take them to any gig that you need without being worried whether your instrument will get damaged in transport. There are even so-called flight cases that are designed especially for airline use. And we all know how airlines can be rough with some packages, some even resulting in serious damages.
Aside from the price, there's another issue with hard cases. Standard guitar shapes have their specialized hard cases. For instance, you cannot use a Stratocaster-style case for a guitar like a Les Paul or an SG. So if you have a few completely different guitars, there's a high chance you'll need a specialized case for each.
But even despite these issues, a hard case will always provide a much safer way to store and transport your instrument.
Advantages of a Soft Case
And then we have the standard soft gig bag. It's basically like a backpack designed to hold your guitar. Of course, just like with hard cases, you have specialized versions for acoustic and electric guitars. On the other hand, you don't need a specialized gig bag for every guitar model, unless we're talking about some very specific guitars.
Of course, there are different types of gig bags, anything from a simple one and up to some of those more expensive reinforced bags. These often come with at least one additional pocket for storing necessary gear and accessories. Although neither of these will make your guitar as safe as a hard case, they do a good job for any basic needs.
To be fair, these are more widespread, not just because of their price but because of their practicality. Hard cases can be bulky and impractical in some ways, especially for smaller rooms and living spaces. If you're keeping your guitar at home and just occasionally taking it for a gig and a studio session, any soft bag will do just fine. It's just important that it keeps your guitar safe from basic outside factors, like moisture. And unless the building that you're in topples down, your guitar will be safe in a gig bag.
What's the Right Choice for Me?
If you're planning to become a frequently touring musician, you should go with a hard case. This goes especially for those who travel by plane. It's a more expensive solution, but it's required in these settings.
On the other hand, if you're someone who plays for a hobby and only does occasional local gigs, a soft case will do just fine. Even if you're traveling to a gig or a studio session by car, your guitar will be safe in a conventional soft case. Besides, it's also a much cheaper solution.