How to Prepare for Your Next Gig?
1. My GUITAR, of course!
I guess I’d better think of a new topic. Hold on, there’s more stuff in here…
There is no one sitting at a rock show especially not the guitarist. People came to hear you play and to see you jump off the drum riser, you can’t do that without your strap. (Featured strap can be found at Dog Days Guitar Straps, a cool company based in California that we met at SXSW)
3. WHAMMY BAR
A floating bridge is nothing without the bar to manipulate it.
A new set plus a few random individual ones is a definite “guitar case” add-on. I’d like to say the individual ones are strategically chosen based on need, but they’re the remainders from the sets that were scavenged when I broke a string at other gigs. It’s also good to have a plan for how the show will go on when you break a string (and you will). I’m currently in a two guitar band, we each have songs where we’re featured. We just switch to one of these songs while the other is replacing the delinquent string. The other option is to bring multiple instruments, but then strings are cheaper than guitars.
A small screw driver set, a crescent wrench, and hex wrenches, are good additions to any arsenal. You never know what will break or when.
If I end up blind it will be from setting up and tearing down in the “mood” lighting of bars. You want to make sure you are plugging all your cables in the right place and a little light will help. Just a side note, all my cables are color coded for easy recognition. A gig can be confusing enough, make your life easy every chance you get.
No, this is not for signing autographs. This is for writing set lists or to make changes on a set list. The poor lighting at most gigs make writing in pen an exercise in futility. Plus if by chance someone actually wants an autograph, you can oblige them.
Audiences appreciate it when you play in tune.
9. BUSINESS CARDS
Have these made with the act’s contact information, website, and brief description (think along the lines of a tag line). I would suggest not having a picture of the band. Line-ups change, don’t burden yourself with having to get all new cards because your drummer quit to follow his dream of being in a polka band or you fired your singer for being a prima donna.
Of whatever size you use. AA for your wireless transmitter, 9-volt for pedals, AAA for your flashlight…there is always that special pockets in every guitar case for this (you get the idea).
That’s if you play with a pick or if anyone in your band plays with a pick. I’m guilty of forgetting to bring picks to a gig. The cap to the sharpie can come in handy if you end up pick-less.
Someday I’ll use it. I have the spare battery for it!
13. SET LIST
Maybe not the set list for the gig I’m at but that’s why I have the sharpie. If by some chance I remember to actually print off the right set list, I make extras. I can’t be the only one who forgets, right?
14. EAR PLUGS
Those darn kids play too loud sometimes. Believe me when the sound guy doesn’t squash that feedback in time you’ll regret not having any ear protection. I would suggest spending some money to get a good pair and not using the cheap construction site ones.
15. MICROFIBER CLOTH
You do want your guitar to continue to look pretty? Ignore this if you’re in a punk band.
16. MICROPHONE STAND PICK HOLDER
Sadly this can be empty if you’ve forgotten your picks. Sometimes you have to get imaginative so that the show can go on, but the more tools that you bring, the better off you and the show will be.
17. IPHONE WITH UBERCHORD INSTALLED
If I jam around on my guitar during the breaks and happen to find some cool sounding new chord I want to know what beast this is and save it for my next songwriting session, of course.
If your singer for whatever reason feels like showing off their falsetto voice, you can accompany them easily with a capo.
19. Trio Digitech Guitar Effects Pedal
If your band does not show on time, don’t panic. The Trio mini pedal is your own band inside a guitar pedal. It listens to you play and automatically generates bass and drum parts that match your song.
20. iRig 2
Use the iRig 2 to easily connect your electric guitar to the iPhone and you’ll be able to synch up to the Uberchord app in no time.