Be Prepared For Your Gig With This Basic List Of Essential Items

Pete Townshend Winds Up To Trash The Stage

   When you’re preparing to play a gig, it’s extremely important to prepare for the unexpected. Murphy’s law seems to always rear it’s ugly head at a gig. Here are a few basic essentials every live musician can do to prepare for equipment problems and breakdowns at a gig.

   Make sure you bring some basic tools. At the very minimum you should have a Leatherman Multi-Tool and a flashlight. It’s a really good idea to have a soldering iron as well. You can fill out your toolkit with the following:

  • Super Glue
  • Electrical Tape
  • Duct Tape
  • Cable Tester or Multi-Meter
  • Battery Tester or Multi-Meter
  • Allen Wrenches
  • Wire Cutters

   You’ll also want to have some extra basic equipment accessories such as:

  • Guitar Strap
  • Towel
  • Strings
  • Earplugs
  • 9V, AA and AAA batteries
  • Universal Power Adapter with various tips.
  • Spare Tuner
  • Picks
  • Extra Cables
  • Gender Benders for Mic Cables
  • Plug Adapters for 1/4″, XLR and RCA
  • Plug Bars and Power Extension Cords
  • Grounded outlet adapters
  • Ballpoint Pen and a Sharpie Marker

   You’ll want to prepare for major equipment breakdowns such as a guitar amp dying or your effects rack going out. You should have the following:

  • Backup effect unit like the Korg Pandora PX5D which you can use in place of your guitar amp.
  • A backup laptop if you use a computer
  • An extra guitar
  • Extra Microphones
  • Spare Mic Stand
  • Drum Key

   You should also have promo material to hand out at your shows, such as:

  • Demo CD’s
  • Business Cards
  • Blank Contracts if you want to sign for a future show at the same venue
  • Live Performance DVD’s

   You may find yourself needing some of the following personal items:

  • Spare change of clothes
  • Painkillers such as ibuprofen or Tylenol
  • Condoms
  • Deodorant
  • Kaopectate for those nasty stomach cramps!

  Finally, don’t forget copies of the setlist for every member of the band. I know I’ve probably forgotten a few things but this is a good basic list that will help you deal with a lot of the problems that you’ll encounter when playing a gig.

Accessories at Musician's Friend

Author: Live Musician Central

My name is Matt Rushton. I have been playing in bands for 27 years. I've been playing professionally for 21 years. I have opened for Sheryl Crow, Barenaked Ladies, Joan Jett, Little River Band, and Quiet Riot.

3 thoughts on “Be Prepared For Your Gig With This Basic List Of Essential Items”

  1. Drugs!
    Vallium – for stage fright!

    …and um, Astroglide.

  2. Ahhh yes, Valium, a must for Mr. Warto.

    Astroglide? Don’t need it when you put on a good enough rock show!

  3. Astroglide fer the guitar neck!!


    Or better yet, baby powder…


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