Portable Electric Guitar Solutions

Don Carr

If you’ve ever had to decide whether or not to bring your guitar along with you solely due to space, check this out. Here are some ideas for portable guitar rigs that don’t sacrifice quality in the name of size.

The Traveler Guitar EG-1 is a full-scale electric guitar with an ingenious design that allows it to be super portable. Despite its portable design, the EG-1 sounds and feels familiar; you don’t feel like you’re playing a down-sized instrument.

The Blackstar Fly3Pak is a stereo, 6-watt, 2-channel amplifier with delay. It’s powered by either batteries or AC and has an MP3/line input for jamming along with tracks or listening to tunes. Not only is it small enough to toss in a backpack, but it’s also loud enough to play with or for friends.

If you don’t need speakers, the Vox amPlug headphone amps may be the most portable amp tone you can get. There are four different versions: AC30, Bass, Classic Rock, and Metal, and they all feature nine selectable effects, three amp modes, aux in, and speaker cabinet emulation. The amPlugs are in a 3.5″ enclosure that plugs directly into your guitar — no cables needed.

To go full-featured, the BOSS GT-001 is a tabletop guitar amp/effects processor and USB audio interface. You can create and store complete guitar tones using COSM amp and effects modeling, record into your laptop, and even play software synths with your guitar. The GT-001 is great for songwriting, recording, or practicing with a variety of guitar tones. It can be powered via USB bus or with an AC adapter and weighs 1.1 lbs.

It’s tempting to use any old earbuds you have lying around, but this is a critical step in the tone process. In-ear monitors are the best way to get ultimate portability and sound. The Shure SE215 in-ear monitors fit snugly in your ear for isolation and comfort, plus they have pro-quality drivers, a detachable cable, and a soft carrying case.

In the extras category, I like having a standalone metronome, and the BOSS DB-30 does more than keep time. It has rhythm patterns, beat variations, tap tempo, and the ability to do odd time signatures.

Tuning is essential, and while there are lots of great clip-on tuners available, the TC Electronic PolyTune Clip is ideal when it comes to size and function.