How To Ship a Guitar? (Best Guide to Avoid Failure)

If a guitar is not packed correctly, it can get damaged during the shipment and without even one string not working, it would be of no use at all. In addition, the cost of getting the guitar repaired will surpass the cost of shipping them. Hence, it is very vital to know how to properly ship a guitar. 

Man is operating a guitar

The potential damages to musical instrument like Speaker, Guitar, Mic, Ukulele etc. during the shipment can be quite easily avoided by using just a few steps which we will be listing down below. 

*These steps require materials that are very commonly found in shipping stores.

How to Ship a Guitar: Materials Required

The materials required for packing the guitar for the shipping process are as follows:

  • Newspaper. 
  • Tapes. 
  • Bubbles wrap in a good amount.
  • Boxes.

How to Ship a Guitar: Step by Step Guide

We are going to list a few steps that involve shipping a guitar. But before that, the most important step that is required is to pack the guitar properly. The one thing to keep in mind is that when a guitar is packed, it must not move within the box. 

If that happens, it would mean that the guitar is not packed correctly, leading to it being prone to damage. Stability is the one key to shipping your guitar safely without any damage. Down below are the steps to make sure your guitar is secured well.

Protect your guitar. 

1. You should remove the unnecessary items

First of all, remove any item that is not required or you don’t want to include. Unnecessary items will only cause problems for your guitar. These unimportant items can be anything from a whammy bar, capo to slide, and so on. 

If you want to prevent any sort of scratches or visible damage, make sure that you are putting truss rod wrenches, loose bridges, and other hardware in either the gig bag pockets or the case compartments. 

2. It is important to de-tune the guitar

This step of de-tuning the guitar is quite an important one since doing it will relieve some of the stress on the headstock. 

This is to be done so that even when the guitar is bent, it would not break. It would do even if you do not remove the strings of the guitar completely. All that is required is to spin the tuning keys in a way that will lower the pitch to about one whole step.

3. You will need to wrap the headstock

If you wrap the headstock in a bubble wrap, it helps to protect the tuners from the case and or even the case from the tuners. This step also helps to protect the top portion of the headstock. 

In case of preventing the bubble wrap from becoming loose, you can tie them with a couple of rubber bands to secure them properly. This will protect the headstock from any kind of damage during shipment.

Steps to ship a guitar correctly

4. It is important to protect the pickups and frets 

The next step is to use a piece of newspaper that is folded and try to slide it between the frets and the strings. This step is done to make sure that the fretboard does not get damaged. You can also use this method to protect pickups. 

5. Make sure to fill the gaps

As we mentioned earlier, if your guitar moves inside the box, it is not at all secured correctly and is prone to damage. You can either use newspaper or bubble wrap to fill the gaps between the guitar and the box. Do not forget the parts between the neck joint, under the headstock, or any portion where the guitar can get damaged. 

6. Do the shake test

After the guitar is packed, you need to shake the case and see whether the guitar is moving inside or not. In case you can hear any sort of movement of the guitar, then it would mean that the process of packing the guitar is still incomplete and that it needs to be redone. 

Protect the Case of the Guitar 

After you are done with the packaging of the guitar, the next step that follows is protecting the case of the guitar. You will need a lot of bubble wraps in this process.

Fill the gap or any sort of space between the case and the shipping box with the bubble wraps. Once the case is snug and secure, you will need to tape it down so that it is packed. Never forget to make sure that the case is still and not prone to movement inside the box. 

Lastly, shake the box as usual and if you feel no kind of movement inside, you are good to go with your guitar case.

Protecting the Shipping Box

The last step involves protecting the outer box of the case. The first step includes grabbing a slightly bigger shipping box than the first one, filling the top portion, the bottom, and the sides with the bubble wrap to ensure security. Make sure that the first case is not moving inside. 

Trust me double-boxing will protect your guitar in any case. Do not forget to fill any gap that may be present in the second box and there you go, the process is almost done. 

Last but never least, do a shake test for the final time and see whether it moves. It most probably wouldn’t at this point. But if it does, fix it again. And there you go. You are done with securing the guitar. 

I found this guide useful for double boxing things for shipping.

As we are now at the end of this article, we hope you found it useful. We went through all the steps in the shipping of a guitar in a thorough manner so that you do not face any problems. 

We do understand how fragile the process of shipping guitars can be and hence, in this article you will find every step very useful. Please do not hesitate to share this article with any of your acquaintances who are looking to know how to ship a guitar.

Avatar for Jaren Helms

Jaren worked for over a decade in the industry as a Package Handler. He started his career with FedEx but he later also worked with companies like USPS and Deutsche Post.

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