For most of you gigging, seasoned guitar players out there you will already have a solid setup and gig bag full of various accessories that you take to gigs, rehearsals and recording sessions. However there are others who may need some tips on what to load up their gig bag for when they will need it most.
Gig Bag, Strings, Leads, Picks and Tools etc
Most of these are self-explanatory, but the importance of these is up there with the guitar itself. You should always carry a spare instrument lead, and if you’re running pedals or a pedalboard, have multiple spares plus some extra patch leads. A power board and extension cords also pop up as a necessity, especially on tight stages or venues where power points are located in the most inconvenient places. Don’t forget the nine volt batteries which are of course super important as backup power for pedals, tuners and active pick up guitars. The handy man tools like pliers, wire cutters, screw drivers, allen keys and even nail cutters are all worth having on hand. There is nothing worse than having those annoying long nails when you are ready to shred your guitar.
Who can do without Gaffer tape? – The music industry would collapse without, it so it’s a no brainer!
A tuner – or even a couple of them. A clip-on headstock tuner doesn’t take up much space as there is no excuse for not being in tune. Guitars stands of course, especially on stage and if you use multiple guitars, invest in a multiple guitar stand even though it won’t fit into the gig bag. Don’t forget to have spare guitar straps, as there is nothing worse than having to sit down on a stool to play your shredding guitar solo when your strap breaks!
Spare sets of strings and multiple single high ‘E’, ‘B’ and even ‘G’ strings. And let’s not forget the humble texta for writing up song set lists and marking labels. You might as well add some clean A4 paper and a note pad for when you might get inspired to write down some lyrics or ideas on the fly!
Protect the two things that you use the most when playing your guitar… your ears – so protect them and invest in High Fidelity Hearing Protectors.
Always remember to keep your guitar or guitars in good working order – action, intonation, hardware, electronics all working as they should. Tuning, action and intonation especially can make your playing sound better and make your instrument easier to play. Change your strings regularly, it keeps frets cleaner and decreases the degree of fret wear you’ll get over time, and fret dressing is expensive!
Check out our article Guitar Advice: Michael Harron of Harron Custom Guitars
As it is not always feasible to take multiple guitar amps to a recording session, gig or rehearsal, so at the very least make sure your amp is in good working order and that the valves and electronics are serviced and running as they should. That dodgy pot that you have to spin a few times to get working or the cab that needs a wiggle to get the jack working? Get them looked at. You might be surprised – they might be a small/easy fix and save you extra headaches in the future. And don’t forget to have spare IEC leads.
We will leave you with this tip to keep in mind, be prepared, consider any and every situation that might happen at a gig, studio or rehearsal and ensure you have all the eventualities covered. This will not only save you time but also a lot of money in the long run.