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
- 9V, AA and AAA batteries
- Universal Power Adapter with various tips.
- Spare Tuner
- 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
- 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.