should i loosen my guitar strings when flying

Should I Loosen My Guitar Strings When Flying? Guitar Air Travel

How much should you loosen guitar strings for flying? Can you fly with guitar strings? How do you relieve guitar string tension? Traveling with your guitar can be a little bit stressful sometimes as you are always concerned about your guitar’s safety. 

There is always a question of whether you should loosen guitar strings when flying in an airplane, so if you are unsure of the answer to this, then you are in the right place. We are going to check out whether you should loosen guitar strings when flying or not, so the next time you ride in a plane, you can make the right decision.

Since the first commercial airplane flight started in 1952, there are already a vast number of guitars that have been brought on from one country to another using an airplane. This mode of transporting a guitar would never be likely to stop and would stay forever as an option for traveling musicians to bring their guitar with them anytime. So, if you are planning to bring your guitar with you on an airplane, you can surely do it, although there are some adjustments to make to your guitar to avoid damaging it.

When you travel on an airplane with your guitar, make sure that you get in touch with the airline company, so you can check whether they allow passengers to bring guitars on an airplane. Although most planes allow passengers to bring guitars, it would still be better for you to check them out, especially since guitars can be a little bit heavy, and most airlines also have limits on the weight that a passenger can bring as its baggage.

You should check with your airlines whether you can have your guitar as a piece of carry-on baggage so that you can surely hold onto it and secure it while you are on the flight. So, if the airlines allow you to bring your guitar on the flight, are there any adjustments needed to do on your guitar? Should you loosen the guitar strings when you are traveling in a plane? That’s the big question that we will find out its answer to.

No Discussion on flying with a guitar would be complete without this infamous song!

Should You Loosen Your Guitar Strings When Flying In An Airplane?

Should I loosen my guitar strings when flying? Have you ever asked yourself this question? If yes, then the answer would be definitely yes. Although some guitar owners do not believe in detuning your guitars when traveling in a plane, it is highly recommended to do it when you are in this situation. There can be some risks of damaging the guitar when you do not loosen it while you fly on an airplane.

When you travel in an airplane, one of the things that frequently happens in your travels is the continuous change of temperature and pressure inside the airplane. As this always happens, your guitar will never be safe from getting damaged, especially if you do not loosen the guitar strings. Guitars are susceptible to damage when a sudden change in temperature and pressure changes, and tightened strings can only worsen their condition.

Tightened strings on your guitar can reach up to over 300 pounds of tension, which is bad news for your guitar, as this amount of pressure can surely crack its neck. You do not want that to happen to your guitar, as repairing or replacing a guitar neck can be very costly for you.

One way to prevent your guitar from getting damaged on a plane trip is to loosen the guitar strings. This will relieve some pressure on the guitar neck, so you can protect it from breaking. Another thing you should do is to put a humidifier inside the guitar’s case. This device will be able to manage the frequent changes in moisture level, which can also be dangerous for your guitar.

How Do You Relieve Guitar String Tension For Flying?

When you travel with your guitar, one way to protect it from getting damaged is to relieve the guitar string tension on its neck, which can be costly to repair if damaged.

One thing you can do to relieve the tension is to use lighter strings. Heavier gauge strings will only add more tension to the guitar’s neck, so you should avoid using them on your guitar, especially if you are traveling. A set of 8s or 9s is two of the best options when you want to reduce the tension from the guitar strings. Although you would probably need to retune your guitar more often, it is still better than your guitar getting damaged while you travel.

If you are bringing an acoustic guitar, you can also use a set of electric guitar strings on it, as they are lighter and put less tension on the guitar than a set of acoustic guitar strings.

Another thing you can do is adjust the guitar’s truss rod to be able to correct its neck relief. Remember that when you adjust the guitar’s truss rod, use a hex key’s correct size to avoid damaging the guitar. Adjusting the guitar’s truss add will also change the curve of your neck, so if you are still a beginner, you should better go to a guitar technician or a more experienced guitar player to do this for you.

The third thing you can do to relieve the tension on your guitar is lower the guitar saddle’s height. By using a screwdriver, turn the bridge screws to the left, as it will make the strings get closer to the frets. Doing this will not only relieve tension on your guitar but will also make it easier to bend and fret the strings.

The last thing you can do is file your guitar’s frets, although this would be the most difficult thing to do, and you will probably need to go to a guitar technician for this. Filing the guitar’s fret will need some special equipment, so if you plan to do it on your own, there is a high chance that you will damage your guitar, and repairing it can be very costly.

What Is The Best Way To Travel With A Guitar On An Airplane?

First and foremost, when you travel with your guitar, always place it inside a hard case or a gig bag. Turbulence in airplanes can cause serious damage to your guitar if it is not placed inside a case. It can get bumped by other baggage on the airplane, so you do not want it to happen to your guitar. Bumps can cause scratches on the guitar, but the worst thing that could happen is for it to crack from the impact, which is why a guitar case is important when traveling.

The guitar strings must also be loose to reduce the tension on your guitar. This is an important thing to remember, as frequent changes in temperature and pressure can put some stress on your guitar. You also put some humidifier inside the guitar case, as it can regulate its moisture. This will be a massive help to you.

So, should I loosen my guitar strings when flying? Yes, loosening your guitar strings will greatly reduce the tension your guitar is experiencing from traveling inside an airplane. Doing this will also protect your guitar from getting damaged, like cracks or a broken neck.

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