5 Gigbag Essentials

Monday, June 30, 2008| by Will Chen


You’ve got a big gig at the end of the month and the band has upped practice to twice a week. After all, being prepared is a key step in success. However, being truly ready for the gig also means being prepared for the multitude of things that can go wrong. The show must go on right? Here are five gig bag essentials that will help ensure a successful gig.

Tuner – There’s an old joke that goes something like: What the quickest way for a beginning guitarist to improve their technique? Buy a tuner. Be sure to make good use of it during gigs tuning immediately before you start and when returning from any breaks you might have. An out of tune performance is a sure way to clear a room.

Batteries/Power Adaptor – Backup power is essential especially when gigging without a backup (a rather risky endeavor). Having a backup power supply for your effects can make or break a gig.

Extra cables – I can’t count the number of times the cable gremlins have decided to kill one of my cables right before sound check. Having an extra (or two) is essential.

Extra picks – This one should be a no brainer, but I’ve forgotten picks on several occasions and had to frantically search for an alternative. I’ve used a quarter, the corner of my license, a beer coaster, a folded up piece of paper, and (the trusty standby) my fingers. Throw a pack of picks into your gig bag and forget about them, you’ll put them to use sooner or later. Go ahead and keep one in your wallet as well, you never know when you’ll need one…

Towel – Sooner or later, you’ll be trying to entertain a crowd while keeping a corner eye on the mojito slurping lady who’s enjoying the night a little too much and is stumbling way too close for comfort trying to request “Every Rose Has a Thorn” in the middle of a song. Keep that towel handy.

You’ll notice I left off plenty (most notably strings, but hopefully you don’t need a reminder for those!). This list is in no way all encompassing. Do you have some essential gig bag items you’d like to share with the world? Head over to the contact page and drop me a line.

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