Do you have a gig bag? Is it your constant companion?
My gig bag is my friend. It has been with me a long time. It was with me before children came along. In fact it was with me before I met my husband.
Actually it was with me long before I met my husband. And he’s not even jealous. He loves that bag as much as I do. Wait, I might be jealous.
I remember exactly when I got this bag. It was at the very first flute convention that I every attended. This convention was held in Boston, MA in the early 1990s and was absolutely magical. I was invited to go with my good friend Martha and we went as two young flutists just out of grad school and we had a blast.
It was wonderful to hear so many inspiring flutists and new music. I was still caught up in the music of the past and hadn’t really had a good introduction to 20c music. The first piece that I heard in the newly composed recital was Lowell Lieberman’s Sonata.
Both Martha and I bought that music and took it home to learn. In fact I used that sonata in my next audition for my DMA.
Another wonderful purchase at this convention was my Brannen piccolo.
At this point going through college and grad school I never owned a piccolo. In fact, I thought I didn’t like piccolo. It was there at the convention finally playing a quality piccolo that I realized a piccolo could actually sound warm and beautiful. It’s still with me today.
But the item that I purchased at that same convention,which has seen the most action is my flute bag. My friend Martha advised me to pick a bag that protected the music as well as the instrument(s) in your bag. She was much more experienced then I in picking a flute bag. She found that in the usual flute bag which had a place to put your flute and piccolo and another section for music, that the music in these bags tends to get dog eared from the corners always being pressed and folded down.
So, I looked for a bag that had a stiff divider in the music section to keep the music flat and protected. I have never regretted that choice one iota. I was able to pick out the material that I wanted and then they sewed it up and mailed it back to me. Sadly, the company that made my bag is no longer in business.
I never felt more like a flutist then when I finally had a professional flute bag. And I have loved it since. There have been a few times over the intervening years that I thought maybe I ought to try the backpack type of bag or maybe just carrying the music separate and using a flute case like a FluterScooter bag or the cool Weisman cases.
In the end though I would rather use my tried-and-true bag, even though it’s a bit long-in-the-tooth and tired looking.
Until it falls apart, you will see me walking to gigs and lessons using my gig bag. It will be with me until it’s long extended and beautiful end.
What’s your favorite gig bag?