Can I Learn Guitar On A Travel Guitar? (Answered)

There are many different guitars you can learn guitar on, travel guitars included. Travel guitars have some unique benefits and drawbacks you should be aware of before you decide either way. Those benefits and drawbacks are explored throughout this article.

Can I Learn Guitar on a Travel Guitar?

Yes, you can learn guitar on a travel guitar. In some ways, this will be beneficial because travel guitars are typically lighter, smaller and easier to handle. But there are some drawbacks to this, as travel guitars don’t often have the sound quality as a regular guitar.

Whether you are travelling, or just considering a smaller guitar to learn on, you can rest assured that it is definitely possible to learn guitar on a travel guitar. However, this decision will come with some consequences, not necessarily negative ones, that you should be aware of first.

Pros of Learning on a Travel Guitar

The main pro of learning guitar on a travel guitar is that they are much easier to handle. The smaller body shorter neck and smaller fretboard mean you can easily hold and handle the guitar and see what you are doing and where you are trying to put your fingers. The smaller neck and fretboard can make it easier to start playing your first chords as well as there is less distance to cover.

The other main benefit of learning on a travel guitar is that you can take it with you anywhere. You can have them at home, in your car, at work or on a long vacation. So if you will be travelling for a period of time and hope to learn guitar whilst travelling, then travel guitars make that possible.

Cons of Learning on a Travel Guitar

The main drawback of learning on a travel guitar is the modifications made to the guitar do change the sound of the guitar. If you are looking at a 3/4 or smaller size guitar then the sound will be adequate to give you the feedback you need to improve your playing. But if you are looking at the radically modified travel guitars, they are often very low in volume and very different to hold, so might take some time to adjust to. And if you had wanted to play for or with others while learning, that will be more difficult, as these things are compromised on a travel guitar.

Depending on how small the travel guitar is, the neck and frets will be smaller too, and if you are someone with adult-sized hands, then you might find it hard to play chords, as your fingers will be squashed together making it hard to press on individual strings.

The other downside to learning on travel guitar is that there will be an adjustment period in the future if you wish to transition to a regular guitar. It may only be a short term transition, and not a significant factor, but just be aware that you will become very accustomed to the guitar that you initially learn to play on, so if you do plan to use a different guitar in future, there will be some adjustment.

Types of Travel Guitar You Could Use To Learn On

3/4 Size Guitar

When people say ‘travel guitar’ they often refer to the smaller, regular guitar. A 3/4 size guitar is frequently considered a travel guitar. With a 3/4 guitar, you have a regular guitar that is proportionately reduced so the body is smaller, the neck is shorter and the overall scale (distance between guitar bridge and guitar nut) is shorter.

Traveler Guitar style

Can also look at guitars made by Traveler Guitars (https://travelerguitars.com) to see how they interpret the term travel guitar. With the instruments, the guitars are dramatically modified. They often have an extremely reduced body (or not body), sometimes have a headless design, and are designed to be as light and compact as possible to fit in small spaces.

With a 3/4 size travel guitar, you get still a great tone, and volume from the guitar, and the same look and feel of playing a normal guitar, except it is slightly smaller, and therefore a bit easier to take with you, or even just store at home. These are great if you want to play for people, or with people.

Whereas with other specialised travel guitars, they often have very low volume, as they are designed more so a guitarist can continue to play while travelling, and does not need volume or amplification provided by a fuller body instrument. These are great if you just want something to lay with on your own, and don’t intend to perform or have a need for significant volume to come from your guitar.

Alternatives to Learning on a Travel Guitar

If you are looking at a drastically modified guitar to travel with (headless, no guitar body etc) then there are not many alternatives to consider. Those designs are about as alternative as you can get. If you are travelling the other option is to wait until you get to your destination, and buy a guitar to play while you are there. But that only works if you are going to one spot, and can be sure you’ll have access to purchase an instrument.

But if you are looking for a conventional guitar, but want something a bit smaller than a full-size dreadnought acoustic, you could consider some of the other sizes, in between a full-size guitar and a 3/4. Two particular models that are very popular for their smaller size are the Orchestra Model (OM) and the Parlor guitar. Both are acoustic guitar shapes, smaller than a dreadnought design, but bigger than a 3/4 size so you maintain more of the volume and tone that you tend to lose as you shrink the guitar body.

In this way, you can also keep your full-size guitar neck for ease of play.

Examples of Travel Guitars That Would Be Good to Learn On

Traveler Guitars

Definitely have a look at Traveler Guitars as they have a broad range of styles from heavily modified, to basic modifications the reduce length and size of guitars.

https://travelerguitars.com

Voyage-Air Folding Guitars

Voyage-Air makes a folding guitar that literally folds at the place the guitar neck meets the guitar body. This makes them very compact to transport, but you still have a full-size acoustic guitar to play and owners of them rave about the sound and playability.

https://voyageairguitar.com

Parlor or 3/4 Guitars – Multiple Brands

Most guitar makers have a range of 3/4 size or Parlor guitar models, as they are increasingly popular due to their portability. Just google your favourite brand and you will find some options to consider.

FAQ

Is a Travel Guitar Good for Beginners?

Travel guitars can be great for beginners due to their smaller size, making them easier to hold and see what your fingers are doing on the fretboard. However on a travel guitar, there will be a decrease in sound volume and quality, and it can be hard to adjust to a regular guitar in the future. But they are very good instruments and can be great for beginners depending on your particular situation and needs.