We all love playing music, but learning songs, rehearsing, booking gigs and performing is a lot of work. Why not take away some of the stress by getting yourself organized with the gigging guitarist's toolkit?
We want to be organized and take care of our equipment so it lasts a long time.
Having a great gig bag is not only protective for your guitar but many gig bags have specially designed compartments and pockets for tablets, tools, strings and all your accessories. Some actually have a built-in raincoat. It’s worth the investment to protect your instrument and be organized.
The higher quality gig bags can be just as protective as a hard case and they usually have more storage and include shoulder straps making it much easier to carry around.
The gig bag I am currently using has a special pocket for a tablet and a raincoat in case you get stuck in a downpour.
Items to keep in your gig bag. Extra packs of strings, string winder, string cutter, clip-on tuner, instrument cables, picks, small flashlight, nail clipper, and gaffer tape. (Gaffer’s tape is just sticky enough to hold cables in place but not leave any sticky residue on your gear, you will find a ton of uses for gaffers’ tape) batteries (if you use them) and tools you might need for adjustments and minor repairs. (Small screwdrivers, plyers, Allen wrenches).
In the past, I have shown up for gigs with my pedals, cables and adaptors in a shopping bag. Some of the reasons for this were either I just wasn’t thinking about it, or maybe I just didn’t know there was something that could help me set up faster, stay organized and protect my equipment.
Getting yourself a good pedalboard will keep your pedals super organized, and safe from getting damaged and let you concentrate and enjoy your music. Pedalboards come in many different shapes and sizes holding anywhere from 3 to 10 or more pedals.
A good bag for cables, accessories, extra adaptors, and extra pedals. Along with my instrument cables I like to have a power strip, and a couple of short extension cords (I like to run an extension cord from my pedal board so I don’t have to run a thinner adaptor cable across the stage, its less likely to get damaged)
If you use sheet music or charts a good music stand is really handy. If you sing or talk into a microphone a microphone stand is necessary. There are also great accessories that connect to mic stands, drink holders, pick holders, tablet/phone holders, trays for slides, picks, capos and more.
If you use a tube amp it's not a bad idea to have an extra set of tubes.
A cover for your amp is also a good idea.
Spend a little time getting yourself organized and you will give yourself more time to play music.
Photo Credit: Kenny Eliason/Unsplash