Tips For Traveling With An Instrument

Getting ready for a trip? Whether you're traveling with your instrument for the first time or you know the drill and are simply looking for some pointers, here are tips from someone who has traveled countless times both for work and for fun with her fiddle.

  1. Keep Your Instrument On You At All Times. I can't tell you the number of times I've been getting ready to board a plane when a flight attendant stops me and asks to stow my violin underneath the aircraft in case there isn't enough room onboard. I am almost always able to find room in the overhead storage, and the rare occasions where there was truly no room, my violin was able to sit with a flight attendant during the flight. Treat your instrument how you'd treat a pet - you (hopefully) wouldn't leave them in a hot car or alone underneath a plane where they are subject to freezing temperatures - so please, show your instrument the same respect. The same principle also applies to traveling by car, or any other mode of transportation. It is always better to keep your instrument on you so as to minimize the risk of it getting damaged, lost, or stolen.

  2. Bring A Practice Mute. If you plan to be staying in a shared space of some kind, be it a hotel, Airbnb, or staying with family or friends, you may want to consider bringing a practice mute. This is a wonderful little device that will allow you to practice without disrupting anyone around you.

  3. Scope Out Local Open Jams. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the area and get to know the local fiddle community while keeping up your chops! Oftentimes places like the American Legion, Irish pubs, and country lounges/bars will have jam circles for folks to join in on. If they are open to the public, times will usually be listed on their website or social media page, and you can see if any will be happening while you are in town!

And that's it! I hope you are able to use these tips the next time you go trekking across the globe with your instrument. If you'd like to watch the video I made on this topic, you can do so here. Happy practicing, and happy travels!

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