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The Best Travel Guitars and Ukuleles

Published: Thu December 04, 2014  News Feed

Ed Sheeran loves them. George Harrison wouldn't leave home without one - or several, in fact! Travel guitars are some of the most popular instruments around, and in this category we can include 3/4 sized guitars and ukuleles. Good for beginners and children, yes, but also very practical instruments for the more experienced musicians! In our guide we'll explain why they're so popular, point you to the best ones around today, and more!

Travel Guitars Gear Guide

We call "Travel Guitar" any acoustic guitar that's smaller and lighter than a traditional full-sized acoustic guitar ( such as jumbo and dreadnought models.) Any guitar that's described as a "mini guitar", "kids guitar" or "3/4 size guitar" can be included in the "travel guitar" category, as well as ukuleles. You get the idea.

While it's true that due to their size travel guitars could be used by children, that doesn't mean they are necessarily cheaper, or of lesser quality, than full-size guitars. Some top manufacturers, such as Martin, have even developed unique-looking travel guitars that bear little resemblance to a more traditional acoustic, and are designed to make the most out of their small size. A great example is the Martin Backpacker Travel Guitar:

Some artists even prefer playing a travel guitar as their main instruments, since they can offer a more focused sound than bigger guitars. The most famous case is, of course, Ed Sheeran, who almost exclusively plays 3/4 size guitars. Check our Ed Sheeran Gear Guide for more info about his guitars.

Even if you already own a full-size acoustic guitar, it might be a great idea to own a travel guitar, too! One of the main reasons, as their name suggests, is that they are much more convenient to travel with, and perfect to take to festivals, camping trips or holidays abroad, since space can often be an issue.

And when space is really an issue, but you just can't do without some sort of guitar, then the best bet is to get yourself an ukulele! They are great instruments for children, but most brands also make ukes with higher specs for the more experienced players, such as the Gretsch G9120 Tenor Ukulele:

GHretsch 9120 Tenor Ukulele

There's a great story, that George Harrison - a BIG fan of ukuleles - wouldn't leave home without one, just in case he felt in the mood to play it when he was out. But that's not all: apparently, George would always have a few ukuleles in the trunk of his car, in case he visited someone who didn't have an ukulele, so they could jam along. And he had a few to spare, just in case more visitors came along...

George Harrison and his ukulele

This passion for ukuleles is understandable, as they are great fun to play and, since we're talking about travel guitars, simply perfect for musical interludes around the campfire or at a music festival. And due to their size, you can't get any more portable than a good uke!

And talking about FUN... ukuleles seem made to be good fun, don't they? For instance, the Eastcoast US10 Soprano Ukulele has just landed with us, and while it's Zebra design might look silly on an acoustic guitar, on an ukulele it just looks... kinda cute and fun!

Eastcoast US10 Zebra Ukulele

Finally, to end this guide, if you are looking for a good travel guitar, here's our list of the best ones we have in stock at the moment... now you have no excuse not to play your music, anywhere!


1. Eascoast Lis-A Mini Auditorium Guitar

Mini Auditorium guitar
This is a beautiful and very well-made mini acoustic guitar, with mahogany back & sides and glossy finish.

Good thing it is a travel guitar... because you WILL feel like playing it all the time!


2. Eascoast Lis-A Mini Electro-Acoustic

Image: Eastcoast Lis-A Mini 3/4 Size Electro Acoustic Guitar
This guitar bears the same looks and specs as the Lis-A model mentioned at number one, except it's also electro-acoustic, making it ideal for any performer who, like Ed Sheeran, favours smaller-size acoustic guitars!


3. Washburn RO10 Rover Travel Guitar
Washburn RO10 Rover Travel Guitar
The Washburn RO10 Rover is the ultimate portable guitar, it's very lightweight and comes with a good quality case and a few accessories, making it great value for money.


4. Yamaha APTX2 Electro-Acoustic
Yamaha APXT2 Electro-Acoustic
Here's another great electro-acoustic travel guitar. The Yamaha APXT2 Electro-Acoustic has a single-cutaway design and is a 3/4 sized instrument. This guitar is very comfortable to play and, again, ideal for live performers.


5. Eascoast US40-S Soprano Ukulele

We talked a lot about ukuleles in our article, so of course we had to include one on our Top 5! The Eastcoast US40-S is perhaps the best example we have at the moment: not the cheapest, not the most expensive, with a lovely mahogany body which gives it a warm tone, and is suitable for players of any skill level...perfect!


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