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Martin Backpacker Travel Acoustic Guitar Review

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If you’re a guitarist, the need to play your instrument is right in line with the need your body has for oxygen. Playing becomes a part of who you are. Going even a day without just isn’t in the cards much of the time.

Even if it’s just strumming a few chords here and there, playing the guitar can be immensely cathartic. That feeling only becomes more and more intense with however serious you happen to be about the instrument and your relationship with it. If you’re the type that doesn’t want to lose out on precious practice time despite whatever other adventures your life has in store for you, it’s handy to have a good travel guitar to carry around. There’s no doubting that one of the best possible examples is the Martin Backpacker.

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Martin’s Backpaper travel guitar gives you only what you need to keep up your chops up and still have some fun playing without having to lug a full sized guitar around everywhere you go. Keeping the frets to a minimum of 15 and greatly reducing the body size, this instrument stows away easily, and can even be worn over your shoulder or on your back inside of a gig back much more comfortable than your garden variety acoustic.

With considerably less wood at hand, a lowered fret count, and an affordable price of just under $200, it’s easy to assume that this guitar isn’t anything to write home about as far as the sound and feel departments are concerned. In reality, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The materials used by Martin to create this guitar are every bit as good as any of their other instruments, and it’s not by accident that they happened to become one of the top names in the entirety of the acoustic guitar world.

For Travel And Practice Only

Many look at this guitar and assume it would be a good “first guitar.” If it’s your only option for some reason, then perhaps so, but overall the Backpacker is really only meant for travel and practice purposes. This is a “sometimes” guitar. It’s perfectly fun to play, and you’ll be able to keep your hands warmed up and even write songs or learn new licks with it, but if you learn on something like this from scratch then it’ll only be that much harder when you finally switch to something with a more standard build. The departure is much more enjoyable the other way around.

Even if you aren’t traveling very often, you can still get used from this instrument, however. It’s great as a backup, something you can play while your primary guitar has a broken string or is undergoing some sort of repair from your local luthier. Its smaller size also means you can grab it in a hurry if you have a song idea you want to get worked out as soon as possible. The applications are numerous, and it really comes down to however it happens to best serve your needs.

 

 

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Review overview

Summary

There's really a lot to love about the Martin Backpacker travel guitar. It uses steel strings and is comprised of legitimate tone wood complete with a spruce top. It sounds far better than you'd likely assume by looking at it, and it's actually really enjoyable to play. Whether you're on the go and just don't want to be without a reasonably packed way to keep your chops sharp or you merely want something that's no frills to keep around as a backup, there's undoubtedly some place or another for the Backpacker in your collection.

Ratings in depth

  • Playability
  • Price / Quality
    100%
  • Sound
10 10 Perfect!