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The Thing About Travel Guitars...
Written by IbanezFreak777

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As you may know, I am currently living abroad in Hong Kong. One thing that is important when commuting, is to travel light when you're squeezing your butt onto a crowded train during rush hour. What if you needed to carry a guitar with you? Well I do, and I teach guitar on the side for extra cash. It's a great way to meet new people and see parts of a country you would not normally visit. But it can be annoying when you don't know the country as well as your hometown, and you need to get around easily.

The practical person I am decided to find a nice travel guitar, so I could do the teaching and not have the hassle of a large acoustic guitar. I thought hey, this is Hong Kong they must have some in their guitar stores. Tom Lee is the be all and end all of guitar shopping in Hong Kong. If they don't have it, you can't get it or have to order it. Ordering it is not an option, because Tom Lee is hardly cheap and ordering takes ages. As it turns out, not one travel guitar in all of Hong Kong exists in any of their stores.

So I turned to 3Bay, and before you hit the red x on the top right hand corner of your browser, it really was the best option. I had looked at a few travel guitars, but found the Washburn Rover R10 to be more aesthetically pleasing, looked well built, and came in a sturdy carry bag. Of course, I bought the Blue wood steel string version, because standard natural wood is, well, standard. The build quality is excellent, and the more you change your playing to suit the style and size of the guitar, the nicer it sounds. The carry bag is very tough and is designed to fit in a standard overhead compartment on a plane. This is important for me as a traveler.

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It's as good as it looks, and that is important, because I wasn't able to try one out, and chose it by how it looked. You can even purchase a special microphone/pickup connector, which turns it into an electric acoustic. Plug it into any amp and effects you want and it becomes an even more versatile travel guitar. I'm not one to give a rating out of 10 cause in the end it is just my opinion, but I have some experience in instruments, so I will give it an 8 out of 10.

The only other travel guitar I have played is the Martin Backpacker and I can honestly say that the Rover is miles ahead in quality. The added feature of the well-designed carry bag is an added bonus, not to be overlooked. There is a slight lacking in sound volume, which may be due to the shallow body, but is not that much of an issue. There may be better sounding travel guitars like the baby Taylor, but aren't in my opinion small enough to be a travel guitar. A travel guitar should be skinny, easy to carry and playable. The Washburn Rover R10 delivers on all fronts.

I picked up my Washburn Rover R10 for $170 USD shipping included. Great deal.

Now, if Ibanez could release a cool looking travel Acoustic, I'd be all over that. "Hint Hint."

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