Gigging Guitarists Toolkit
So, you have a gig booked, all excited, ready to wow the crowd with your amazing skills? Got everything you need? Guitar, check, Amp, check. Lets go!
Wait a minute there, you sure you got all you need? The gigging guitarists toolkit – Lets start at the beginning.
Sure you guitar sounds amazing, never lets you down etc etc. Every guitarist should have a spare, even if it is only a £100 special. the possible scenarios – you break a string on the first song, still 1hr until interval. Do you really want to be fishing around for a string then changing it infront of a waiting audience? Obviously not. Unplug, spare guitar on and off you go, most audience will never know. I once did a gig where the bass fell of its stand and knocked the tuning peg clean off. Luckily he was prepared and had a backup, failing that we would have been pretty screwed.
While we are on the subject of guitars, always always have spare strings, electric and acoustic if you play one on the gig and if the guitar is active, pack some spare batteries. These can also be useful for wireless units if you use one and effects pedals if you don’t use a power pack. Always have a spare pick in your guitar case, we all know how they disappear like Lord Lucan!
Ok, so its nor practical to carry a spare amp but it is possible to carry fuses for the amp, 13A for the plug and some amps, such as a Vox AC30 I once had, have 3A/5A fuses in the actual amp. Check you kit and get the correct ones. I once had an amp go down but my multi effects unit, TC Electronics Nova System, has a speaker emulator in it so I was able to use that and go direct to the PA system. Not great for me sound wise but the audience didn’t notice and we got through the gig.
Minimum of one spare 1/4 guitar lead, two in an ideal world. Spare mic lead if you sing in your band as well. As mentioned, wireless systems, take batteries so have spares to hand.
Yes its a gig not a DIY project but there are minimum everybody needs. Screwdrivers – Flat head and Philips, adjustable spanner, pliers and side cutters. Allen keys, small file maybe.
Not quite. every musician need a roll of gaffer tape. This will pretty much hold the van together to get you home. It once fixed a kick drum skin, many broken mic clips, guitar case. Invaluable stuff.
Get yourself a small case, chuck all this stuff in the case. That way, if you ever need a spare or a tool you know where to go. Organisation and preparation is important if you don’t want to look like a complete buffoon. Everybody remembers you searching around for that five year old top E in the bottom of your case in a sweaty panic. Nobody will notice you switching guitars. You will feel better when you know you can cover most eventualities.
Can you think of anything else I have missed. Or any gig disasters you have averted by being well prepared?