Musical Travel Instruments


Taylor GS Mini-e Koa

I use a Taylor GS Mini-e Koa as my travel guitar. This is a proper travel guitar for several reasons:

  • Standard:
    • 3/4 size, for easy playing and transport
    • Small size, big voice
    • all Hawaiian koa
    • Solid top for excellent sound
    • Laminate sides and back for durability
    • Built-in pickup 
    • padded gig bag for protection
  • Tweaks/Upgrades:
    • I fitted titanium bridgepins (as I do on most of my guitars).
    • I replaced both the bridge saddle and top nut for bone versions and made them considerably lower than the standard height.
    • The trussrod cover is replaced with a version inlayed with my name.

I’m fortunate to own one with beautifully figured front and back wood. Whilst adirondack is my go to top for my full size gigging/performing guitars, this smaller guitar seem to benefit from having a Koa top (for my style of playing). An awesome little guitar!

Guitar picks

Wegen picksDAWG picks

Left: A 1.4mm Bluegrass guitar pick
Right: the mandolin version.
Handmade by the Dutchman Michel Wegen, these picks offer a lot for me as a flat picker:
• Weight is light.
• Holes in the pick offer ultimate grip.
• Tone is dark-ish on most of my guitars.
• Volume is excellent.
• Bass is excellent.
• They glide easily over the strings.
• They do not get damaged.

Designed and developed by David Grisman.
Rounded triangle picks with 3 slightly different profiles to the 3 rounded points, offering added flexibility to the player.
These are the ultimate bluegrass mandolin picks, as they really glide over the strings.
As close to tortoise shell as you can get!

Generic PicksFinger Picks

My ‘generic’ picks, which I ordered in bulk a decade ago, with a Marshall inspired print on them. I use these guitar picks for flatpicking when I need a crisp tone.

Kai KCI 700 Ukulele

This Kai KCI 700 ukulele is a lot of instrument in a small package! it has a loud but balanced and clean sound, and awesome looks owing to the gorgeous bocote back and sides.

Cedar tops are my favourite for smaller ukuleles. The treble has fabulous presence without ever being shrill, and the bass register has depth, warmth but clarity as well. But the feature that sets this instrument apart is the presence of a soundport (the soundport in th side of the instrument). Most string instruments have a strong forward sound projectory, which means that the actual player hears only a limited part of what he/she/it plays. This soundport gives the player a real insight into the nuances of their playing and sound. The supplied gigbag has a generous 20mm thick padding, rucksack straps and a large external pocket. The sound, playability and build quality of the Kay KCI 700 is not inferior to the Kamoa Custom Shop Ukes and Ko’olau ukes I have owned (which cost up to fivefold of the Kai). This might be one of the best affordable concert ukes available.

  • Solid Cedar top
  • Bocote back and sides
  • Nato neck, with abeautiful Butterfly inlay.
  • Morado fretboard and bridge
  • Padauk binding with BWB purfling
  • 18 Frets
  • Nubone nut and saddle
  • High-gloss finish
  • Chrome geared machine heads
  • 35mm nut width
  • Includes 20mm padded gigbag
  • Strap button on bottom bout


Tin Whistle in D, by Carbony

My Carbony Tin Whistle, in D, is made of carbon fiber with an anodized aluminium/ebonite mouthpiece. (My mouthpiece has a beautiful Irish-green flair.) The carbon fiber material is not susceptible to temperature fluctuations, keeping it in tune, even in the outdoors. The whistle is tunable though. The thin conical design creates a warm timbre in the low register. Good properties for taking it on outdoor trips are it’s weight (225 gram) and carbon fiber being virtually indestructible. This whistle plays very direct without noticable back pressure, as it’s tapered design allows for close finger spacing for rapid passage articulation and has accurate intonation in 3 registers. It’s sounds really clear and pure, no ‘chiff’, and produces a modest volume. It sounds very balanced across the octaves, which provides a pleasant compact flow of tones, without it taking much air. (approx. € 275 retail)

Tin Whistle in D, by Kerry Whistle

My loud whistle. A Kerry Optima Cobre Soprano D Whistle. It has volume and smooth sweetness, a unique combination. It’s lack of back pressure gives me good control. Easily accessible highs. The mouthpiece is made of ABS plastic and has a very comfortable shape and feel. The lower part of the head, the sleeve, is made of aluminum, the body of brass. The whistle is tunable. (approx. € 115 retail)

Whistle Cases

I carry my whistles in self made carbon fiber tubes, with rubber caps: virtually indestructible!