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Thread: Travelling With Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Travelling With Mandolin

    I'm going to be travelling for a week to Seattle in July. I have some connections up there, so in addition to some travel, I'll be able to meet some people for possible traditional sessions, or at least some informal jams. Also, summer is practice intensive season for me, so I don't like to leave off for a week.

    Anyway, travelling via Amtrak. Not sure whether to check the mandolin or bring it on for carry on. I have a breedlove hard-case that's in good shape. How would people feel about checking their Breedlove OF Quartz mandolin? Would you carry it on, even if it meant you had to carry it everywhere from car to car?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    You don't say how far you're traveling, but given the small size of a mando, and the large overheads and plenty of under-seat storage on Amtrak cars that I've been on, I don't see a reason to risk checking it. I suppose if you have a lot of other carry on stuff, maybe, but I'd be more likely to check the other stuff and carry the mando.

    Yeah, I guess I'm paranoid.
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  4. #3
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    I have NEVER handed my mandolin over to ANYBODY when traveling. Once at an airport some person at check in tried to take it but I said "no." It always stores nicely in the overhead and has never caused any problems.
    Amtrak sounds like fun if you can play as you travel. Do people do that? I can see it now..."Amtrak Jams", your latest album!

    Billy
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  6. #4
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    Hey I just moved to Seattle recently! If you're around and heading to jams or just wanna pick, LMK - always fun to meet Cafe folks in person.

    The best part of a mandolin for travel is the size. I wouldn't check it unless you ABSOLUTELY have no choice and have a case designed for that (like Calton or something). Too much potential for issues that can be completely avoided by taking it as carry on IMO. I've never had an issue flying, riding the train, or bus with a mandolin and a backpack for my personal stuff. Last time I flew, I actually came back with a violin as well - the violin went into my backpack (the bottom did anyway, the neck was sticking out of the backpack - of course it was in a case etc) and the mandolin went in the overhead. No issues at all.

    On the other hand, I've heard tons of heartbreaking stories about checked instruments being damaged or even lost. Not worth the risks if you can avoid it.
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post
    Amtrak sounds like fun if you can play as you travel. Do people do that? I can see it now..."Amtrak Jams", your latest album!

    Billy
    You don't say whether you're in coach or a private room. Yes, you can play in your compartment, or in the lounge, as long as you observe Quiet time restrictions.

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  9. #6

    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post
    I have NEVER handed my mandolin over to ANYBODY when traveling. Once at an airport some person at check in tried to take it but I said "no." It always stores nicely in the overhead and has never caused any problems.
    Amtrak sounds like fun if you can play as you travel. Do people do that? I can see it now..."Amtrak Jams", your latest album!

    Billy
    LOL. Wouldn't be a great album, I'm sure: "Can you quit yer high pitched little guitar noises, I'm trying to listen to the sound of the train!" I wonder who i'll be bothering, though. It's 20 hours from Sacramento to Seattle. I can't help but wonder if I can plunk out some tunes without anyone noticing...

  10. #7

    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Dery View Post
    You don't say whether you're in coach or a private room. Yes, you can play in your compartment, or in the lounge, as long as you observe Quiet time restrictions.
    We do have a private room, but they don't lock. I guess I'll be in the dining car with my mando seated next to me and my wife across from me. SCANDALOUS!!! They'll be talking for WEEKS about it... plus, breedloves are picky eaters.

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  12. #8
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    I had a trip a few years ago, I Used a backpack frame with a side opening duffle bag
    strapped /lashed, to it.
    I surrounded my Original hard case in the duffle bag with clothing.

    It came through un affected ...

    I Used the back pack frame, because I had to multimode to & from the airport on both ends..


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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipeTaylor View Post
    LOL. Wouldn't be a great album, I'm sure: "Can you quit yer high pitched little guitar noises, I'm trying to listen to the sound of the train!" I wonder who i'll be bothering, though. It's 20 hours from Sacramento to Seattle. I can't help but wonder if I can plunk out some tunes without anyone noticing...

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  16. #10

    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    Regardless of plane, train or bus, I carry my mando or mandola in the smallest good travel gig bag possible. I have an F-mandolin bag which fits my Flatiron beater mandola or my F oval-hole hybrid mandolin, and also has pockets for a music staff notebook, some pencils, a metronome and picks. I have *never* checked it, nor have I been asked to, since it fits on my shoulder and is less obtrusive than some purses out there.

    I've only pulled the instrument out on a flight twice, but palm-muted it on the bridge. I've also muted it on more than a few busses and trains, and played during layovers.

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  18. #11
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    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipeTaylor View Post
    We do have a private room...
    Is it the Coast Starlight? I remember a separate lounge car for sleeper car passengers. It had an upper and lower level. The upper level was for sightseeing, and the lower level had a TV and either a DVD or VCR player, I can't remember which. Anyway, no one used the lower level on our trip. If it's not being used you could probably play down there and not bother anyone.

  19. #12

    Default Re: Travelling With Mandolin

    I have a Breedlove mando that goes with me on a business trips. I really like having the time to spend on the mando

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