Guitar cases are a great way to protect your guitar as you transport it between different locations.
In this article, I answer the question of how to carry a guitar case and discuss how this varies depending on the type of case you have the type of environment you are carrying your case in.
Always Latch Your Guitar Case
Regardless of whether you have a hard case, or a soft case/gig bag, and whether you are putting your guitar down for one day, one hour, or one minute – always latch it or zip it.
The reason being is that things change, situations change. You might change your mind about whether you are finished playing or not.
Or worse, someone else might pick up your case, thinking it is latched or secured, when it is not, and…crash!
Balance Your Load
It is always preferable to spread any weight you are carrying across both sides of your body.
Obviously, you cant carry your guitar on both sides of your body at the same time (carrying your guitar on your back is described below) so if you have multiple things to carry, try and balance the weight out across both sides of your body as much as possible.
If you have a heavyweight on one side of your body for a prolonged period of time, it could cause some back and shoulders complications.
Top Side Of Guitar Case Facing In
Though most modern guitar cases have effective latches that are unlikely to come undone, there are too many stories around of latches failing, or latches not being done up correctly.
As a result, it is always best that you carry your case so the guitar case lid is facing inwards, closest to your leg.
With this, if the case does open unexpectedly, then your leg has a chance to stop the case from opening completely and your guitar falling out.
If this happens and the lid is facing outwards, then the guitar can and will just fall right out onto the ground.
Point Your Guitar Case Forward
In most situations, the best direction to point your guitar when carrying it is with the head pointing forward.
However, there are some cases where it can help to have the neck and head pointing backward, discussed below.
Carrying Your Guitar On Your Back
If you will be riding a bike, or a motorbike, or even walking through extremely crowded, congested areas, carrying your guitar on your back can be a very safe and convenient way to get your guitar around.
Many soft cases/gig bags include backpack straps so you can carry is your guitar easily on your back.
How Do You Carry a Guitar and A Backpack?
Yes, you can carry your guitar over your backpack. Remember in school how you could modify the straps of two backpacks in order to fit them both on at the same time.
You need to adjust one of them (the backpack) so it hangs lower, then adjusts the straps of your soft guitar case/gig bag so that it sits higher, and sits on top of your backpack.
Carrying Your Guitar Up Stairs
When carrying your guitar case up and downstairs, it is very easy to band the case on the steps given how far the case sticks out in front of you.
An easy hack to prevent this from happening is to turn your guitar case around so the neck is pointing backward when walking up the stairs, and then carry your guitar case in the standard way, pointing forward.
If you carry your guitar case in this way then the angles naturally complement the angles of the stairs and you significantly reduce the risk of banging your guitar case on the stairs.
Carry Your Guitar Case In Your Non-Dominant Hand
In my opinion, it is best to get into the habit of carrying your guitar case in your non-dominant hand. So for example, if you are left-handed, I recommend carrying your guitar in your right hand, and vice-versa.
If you can carry your guitar in your non-dominant hand then your dominant hand is freed up for more complex tasks like opening doorways, opening car doors, and navigating the world in general.