Why buying the Alvarez travel guitar was my best investment, and how you can do it as well.
It was a cloudy evening in Queenstown New Zealand. Me and Brice, My belguim friend since last week sat on the beach thinking where should we spend the night. Queenstown is an expensive and busy city, so all the cheap hostels were taken and the Airb&b were too expensive for our budget.
The other option was to spend the night in a campsite not so far from the city, in brice’s tent. We didn’t like that option so much because it was about to get rainy in few hours, but then I had an Idea.
“Let’s make money on the street” I said. Brice stared at me without saying a thing. “Let’s buy a guitar and make money to afford the Airb&b” I explained myself. Brice was only at the beginning of the process of getting used to the Israeli insanity, but after one week with me he didn’t seem to be too surprise.
Brice is a cool guy. He was up to everything always, so I took the key of the car and searched for the closest music store around. After an hour I was back to the beach with the baby that later came along with we for almost 6 months of traveling. The Alvarez travel guitar.
But lets go back to the story
The first 2 hours were awful. We managed to collect few coins, but most of the it was a foreigner coin that tourists tried to get rid of, so it was completely useless. We almost gave up of the initial plan, and decided to get some coffee and chill out on the beach, but then I’v heard a familiar song played by another street performer.
We looked at this guy. He didn’t even seem to care of what is happening behind him. He set on a bench facing to the lake, and we couldn’t miss the 10 dollar’s bill that was stuck under his butt. 30 minutes Later we became friends with John and decided to merge our musical skills. John had some experience in busking, and he also gave us a lot of confident that was missing earlier.
After 2 hours of playing we ended up with 350$ after a Chinese drunk tourist decided that he have just heard the best live version of “Smells like a teen spirit” and gave us 300$. And that’s how I returned my guitar’s investment in few hours.
That’s my story of how guitar backpacking became such an important ingrediente in my traveling. I took that guitar with me to China and Vietnam, breaking girls hearts and making connections with people which I didn’t had any common verbal language with. And that’s how you can do it as well:
Alvarez Travel Guitar
There’s lots of guitar’s traveling gigs out there – guitars that can fold into a pack of cigarettes, diving guitars, or whatever, but after all – we find out that all you need is just a small and simple acoustic guitar, with good sound quality. The Alvarez travel guitar is the perfect guitar for that need. I’v been carrying this guitar along with me for months, through jungles and deserts, literary, and it remained almost as new.
With full length of 34.4 inches, the size of the Alvarez is half then a regular full size guitar. The bridge (the classical Bi-level alvarez’s bridge), the body and the neck are all made of mahogany wood in the highest quality. The guitar is small, however, the neck is pretty wide so playing won’t be difficult if you use to play on full size guitars.
The only disadvantage that I find in this wonderful instrument is the lack of Amplifier plug. It’s not a big deal while your’e traveling, but when I come back to my home I can’t play this guitar with an AMP. For me it was disappointing because I love the sound of that guitar even more than my full size acoustic guitar.
Included Gig Bag
Generally speaking, the Alvarez Little Jumbo kit wouldn’t be perfect without the included Gig bag (or whatever they call it). This bag is one of the main reasons why this guitar kit is so durable, portable and perfect for backpackers.
In Vietnam for example, I took the guitar with me on a 4 weeks ride across the Northern regions. The weather in Vietnam (and you know if you have been there/ watch any American war movie) is probably the most unpredictable, wet and humid that exists.
The shell of the case is filled with sponges, making it very soft and considerably lightweight, however, strong enough to keep your instrument safe. There’s two inner cells in the case to place an extra string, notebook, or an Harmonica.
You can find a brand new Alvarez Travel Guitar kit here