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Music on the Go: Portable Instruments You Can Bring on Your Travels


Music on the Go: Portable Instruments You Can Bring on Your Travels

Playing music while traveling is a great practice of the creative process since the new experiences and stimuli that come from travel would create new connections and provide new inspiration. As a traveling musician, you also have a lot to share with the people that you meet along the way.

Portable Musical Instruments From Around the World

All around the world there are different musical instruments that have developed from a vast spectrum of musical traditions. There are many instruments that are light enough to carry and this is a good reason that more of them are made.

Rhythm and Percussion Instruments

Drummers who want to travel with an instrument can opt for hand drums such as the Derboukah, Djembe, and Hang Drum. These hand drums vary in size and weight but they are generally portable compared to stationary drums. 


There are various kinds of chimes, bells, clappers and shakers present around the world, a modern example of which is the Tambourine. In general, these instruments are very portable since they serve to embellish other instruments. One can carry a bag of these instruments and spread it out during a party or gig to create a festive atmosphere. The Kalimba has many forms but it can be best described as a hand piano. It does not have the same range as a concert piano but it fits in your hand.

Wind Instruments

Flutes are widespread because they can amplify the breath and transform it into a prayer of sound. There are bamboo and wooden flutes made around the world, each with its own distinct characteristic and sound signature. There are modern versions of the flute as well such as the Oboe and the Clarinet. Flutes are very portable instruments.




The Didgeridoo of the Australian Aborigines is a piece of wood hollowed out by termites that can be played in a way that connects you to the vibrations of rolling thunder. Although some are heavy, these are portable enough and are a favorite of buskers for the unique vibrations that they produce.


The trumpet is a portable wind instrument that once it is played cannot be ignored. The saxophone is bigger but even more versatile. These are instruments that are favored by those who play in a Brass Band or even Jazz.

String Instruments

Violins are more portable than Cellos and the other symphonic orchestra instruments. As such, Violins are favored by buskers and traveling musicians.


Perhaps the most popular instrument around the world today is the guitar, whether in its classical acoustic form or in its modern electric powered form. The guitar is a central instrument in many musical genres and its versatility as a travel guitar is one reason it is such a popular instrument. There are more portable versions of the guitar such as the ukulele. This compact instrument has the same range as the last 4 strings of a guitar.


Special Traveling Cases for Your Instruments 

Keeping in mind that you have to at least be able to carry the weight of your own personal instrument, there are other considerations to make as well. Does your instrument have its own special case? The protective case suitable for a guitar is not the same shape and size of that for a bass guitar. Having a specialized traveling bag for your musical instrument, whether it is a flute or a guitar will greatly elevate your journey as a traveling musician.


Musicians usually find a way to carry their personal instruments as they travel. A musician’s instrument can become an extension of their soul when they play music, thus they will find ways to bring them along or find the right portable instrument as the amplifier of their unique voice.

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