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  1. #1

    What's in your gig kit?

    Just out of curiosity, what do y'all take to gigs? Here's mine:

    1. Guitar (duh)
    2. Backup guitar.
    3. Amp
    4. Amp stand
    5. Guitar stand
    6. Music stand
    7. Sheet music (Real Books V. 1&2, plus loose sheets in a folder)
    8. Extension cord
    9. Power strip
    10. Guitar cord + backup
    11. Effects pedals + connecting cords. (Gig determines exactly which pedals. Usually delay + overdrive)
    12. Extra strings
    13. Extra picks
    14. Ear plugs (depending on gig - haven't done any super loud lately)
    15. Guitar strap
    16. Tuner
    17. Recorder

    I think that's everything. Most of the stuff stays in my backpack or satchel so I don't have to repack for every gig. Just throw 'em in the car, and go.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

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  3. #2
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    For me roughly the same although I take not 2, 4, 17 and no Real Book but lots of loose A4 sheets with the musical arrangements. If I bring along effects it is a multieffect unit with integrated tuner so I don't need (nor bring) 16. Considering the detail of your list I was surprised not to see a guitar case or gig bag. For hollowbodies/acoustics I prefer hard cases otherwise gigbags. Extra batteries for whatever might need and a small flashlight is normally also also in the bag.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by teeps View Post
    For me roughly the same although I take not 2, 4, 17 and no Real Book but lots of loose A4 sheets with the musical arrangements. If I bring along effects it is a multieffect unit with integrated tuner so I don't need (nor bring) 16. Considering the detail of your list I was surprised not to see a guitar case or gig bag. For hollowbodies/acoustics I prefer hard cases otherwise gigbags. Extra batteries for whatever might need and a small flashlight is normally also also in the bag.
    Ah yes, I forgot batteries and a screwdriver. And I always carry my trusty pocket knife.

    I figured cases were assumed. But I have my Ibby in a hardshell case, and my Tele in a gig bag.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  5. #4
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    Having learned the hard way that Captain Murphy's Law (and its codicils) is immutable, in my gigging days (now behind me) I carried the following:
    Guitar, backup guitar. Amp, backup amp. Steel-framed chair. Tuner. Tuning fork. Amp stand. Mic stand. Vocal mic, amp mic. Foam rubber puffs for VM. Two spare guitar cables (if you lend a spare to the bassist or another guitarist, yours will go bad). Zoom multi-effects pedal as backup backup. Strings in many gauges ( I've supplied a dozen strings to other players for every one I've used myself. The alternative is to let them play your spare guitar, and that ain't gonna happen). Tool kit for string changes (needle-nosed pliers, wire cutter, peg winder, screwdriver assortment). Batteries for all the above. Fifty-foot extension cord. Circuit-breaker equipped power strip. Spare pre-amp and power tubes (fuses for amps taped in the amps). Spare guitar strap. Patch cables. First aid kit (Alcohol pads, band-aids, anti-biotic salve, Chloraseptic spray, Pepto-Bismol [tablets and liquid], aspirin, advil, cotton balls, Q-tips). Baby wipes for hands, disinfecting wipes for cords. Brown jersey gloves for handling cords. Music stand, clothespins for sheet music. A separate bag for sheet music, books & charts. Bottled water (Gatorade in the summer, as well as the BW). Ear plugs. Lots of earplugs.

    Bottom line - the show must go on.
    Best regards, k

  6. #5
    Guitar, (no spare unless it's a really high-pressure gig. I have never had a guitar fail and have broken maybe 2 strings in about 3000 gigs!)
    the cords I need plus a spare of each.
    Spare power supply for pedals.
    Strings
    Pedalboard, including multi-effects pedal that can cover me if others fail.

    I take another bag that stays in my car with extra AC, batteries, adaptors and other seldom-used stuff.

  7. #6
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    I don't often take a backup guitar. It's a lot more to carry, and since I'm not getting paid it's not essential. I have a toolkit, with screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, etc. Batteries for effects and my Line6 GT10. The GT10, spare instrument and effects cables, in case the wireless dies. Various cable wraps/clamps/ties. Otherwise, not much different than above, but not half the stuff the citizen listed. My music is on my phone, so I don't need books nor a stand for them. If I carried all the paper books I have on the phone, I'd need a wheelbarrow for them. My amp stand is a folding camera tripod that goes under the front, just to tilt the amp up a little. It's adjustable, so I can vary the tilt from a little to about as much as it can tilt without falling over backward. The guitar stand is a folding Cooperstand, doesn't take much space but is far more stable than it looks. I don't take everything every time, sometimes it's just the guitar, amp, and a cord, with the tuner on the headstock. Or something in between, depending. But the bag is packed with whatever I'm not using at the time.

  8. #7
    guitar.

    In the guitar case are strings, picks, one cable, strap, earplugs, nailfile and pencils. If I'm going to record, I put my handheld recorder in there. Guitar case has shoulder straps and goes on my back.

    Amp.

    Shoulder bag (originally made for a large laptop). Inside are three cables, pedal board, 2 power supplies for the pedal board, another guitar strap, old fashioned stand light, modern booklight (as backup). A female-female connector, so that I can plug two guitar cables together to make one longer one. Two extension cords and a groundlift 3-2 adapter.

    I use a $20 plastic rolling file box. The amp fits in, on end, with the laptop bag on top. There's room for my guitar stand, music stand, easel (an imitation leather thing that extends the music stand desk sideways, good for 4 page charts), and whatever books I might need for the gig. One trip to the gig. On the gig, I put my laptop bag, amp cover and jacket in the file box. Then the amp goes on top and the filebox is a storage unit and amp stand, all in one. The file box is probably my favorite piece of gear.

    I keep an extra cable in the trunk of my car. Also, a plug strip in case the band is short of outlets. Tools are in the car too.

    If I know that I'm going to be the only one with an amp, then I bring a spare. Otherwise, I figure if my amp breaks I'll use the kb or bass amp. It's happened one time. I got a channel in the kb amp and it was fine. The spare I bring is usually a Zeta Lunchbox, because it's small. Thankfully, I've never needed it.

    I don't bring a spare guitar. I can fix most of what can go wrong with a guitar using the tools in my car. Maybe I should carry a soldering iron but I don't. It's never happened, but I can probably get electrical contact for a few hours using a pair of needlenose pliers and a sense of desperation. I do retain some nervousness, especially if I'm the only comping instrument. But, the main thing that has gone wrong in the past is some problem with the output jack. I can pop it out, secure the leads and screw it back in during a bass solo on a ballad. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration

    I've had musician friends have their cars broken into during a gig. They figure that the thieves saw them take instruments out of the vehicle and figured there might be something left in there. So they break in. No way to control that, but I don't want to leave anything valuable in the car, and I don't want to have to watch two guitars in the venues I play at.

  9. #8
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    Soldering iron is an idea. I have a battery-powered one that works on small wires. My mother gave it to me as a Christmas or birthday gift long ago, and I haven't used it in a long time, but it might be worth digging it out. But really, I've never had to solder on anything other than something planned, like changing pickups or something. A properly soldered connection doesn't break except under serious stress. A cable could break from someone falling or really jerking on it, but with the Neutrik connectors I use it would break the cable. In that case, I would just use one of the George L plugs I have in the bag, no soldering needed, just the trauma shears to cut a clean end and a screwdriver to tighten it. BTW, trauma shears are wonderful tools. I got lots of them when I was flying EMS, all the med crewmen carried them, and the company gave them away as PR freebies. They will cut almost anything, and snip coax cable like it was thread. I have them in every toolbox I own, plus other lying around. They're also great for trimming roses and shrubs. Just one more information tidbit you can use.

  10. #9
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    1 or 2 guitars and a plectrum banjo
    Amp and spare amp in the car + transport rig
    power chord extension
    music stand + light
    seat/chair
    ductape
    bottle of water
    picks
    spare set strings
    sheet music
    tumer(s) + battery
    Fastfret
    cleaning cloth
    something to eat
    flashlight
    pocket knife
    2 jack-jack instrument chords

  11. #10
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    Oh my goodness. Really? I feel woefully underprepared, then, if that's what we should be toting.

    Guitar in a gig bag with strap and clip on tuner)
    Amp (either a tweed Deluxe or an AI Clarus 2r and RE 12" cab)
    Tool bag containing:
    * spare strings
    * string changing tools (winder, clippers, small combo straight/Philips screwdriver)
    * 15' George L cable and a spare 10' cable, patch cables, XLR cable
    * Shure 57 mic with clip
    * music stand
    * iPad Pro with unRealBook for managing charts
    * spare 9V and CR2032 batteries
    * rarely do I take a pedal (reverb pedal if using the Deluxe)
    * power strip

    I've never broken a string on a gig thus far, never had to use a backup cable, never had to replace a battery. I don't think I've ever had to use the mic; maybe once. Maybe I've just been lucky. If I could memorize tunes effectively or had good ears, I'd leave the music stand and iPad at home. I'd like to be able to just take the amp and gig bag which some spare strings winder/cutter, and cable.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  12. #11
    Curious how other people move all their stuff.

    I do it with the guitar on my back and the rest of the stuff in a plastic rolling file box.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Curious how other people move all their stuff.

    I do it with the guitar on my back and the rest of the stuff in a plastic rolling file box.
    Roc 'n' Roller expandable cart. Don't leave home without it.

    Man, you guys are hard core! Maybe I live on the edge, but I bring one guitar and one amp, and have never (knock on wood!) needed backups. All the other stuff people have listed (cables, music stand, strings, etc.) I bring, too.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Curious how other people move all their stuff.

    I do it with the guitar on my back and the rest of the stuff in a plastic rolling file box.
    Backpack and satchel for the smaller stuff. Everything else by hand.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  15. #14
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    It's situational, so I pack according to what/where I'm playing. I live in NYC and travel mainly by mass transit, keeping it as light as possible, and carrying as few things as possible is key. I use only gig bags (don't even own hard cases anymore); Most of the time, the pockets/pouches hold whatever I need. For standards based jazz, I don't bring effects, so it's just a cable + an extra, clip-on tuner, and spare strings (these live in each guitar's ); for my P90 guitar, I now keep an EHX Hum Debugger and short patch cable in the case. If I don't know what amp I'll be using, I'll pack a reverb pedal and its wall wart. For blues/fusion/rock stuff, I throw in an OD pedal (+ more short patch cables, if needed). I don't use any other effects. Often times, I don't need to bring an amp. Otherwise, if my Champion 20 suffices, I just carry it by the handle because it's quite light. If I need my Princeton Reverb, I use a small luggage cart. I haven't needed anything louder than these in years

    John

  16. #15
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    I still have an old leather bag that were popular for men in the 70's it about the size of a small hardback book. It's is great for all the small guitar stuff picks, spare strings, capo, tools, fuses, slides, and similar things. Then when in a drum shop on day I spotted a small fiberboard travel case for bongos. I bought it and its been great for pedals, power cords/extension strip, guitar cords, miscellaneous larger things. Then I mainly use gig bags and get ones with multiple pockets and they have the day to day things guitar cord, tuner, pencils (red & black), music pads, fakebook, more spare strings, rags to wipe hands or guitar.

    My old roadie cases are gone now but did have a ATA case that held about six guitars in their cases, it was sized to just fit down a baggage chute. It had wheels and most airlines would just roll it out to baggage, but every now and then some airline would send it down the the chute with other bags and scare the hell out of other passengers. I had a couple fiber board drum cases various sizes that were good for long and or heavy speaker or power cords. The key to life as a roadie or even just a musician is a good flat dolly. I still have my first 30"x15" piece of plywood tolex covered and a set of good wheels. That dolly and a couple good canvas straps I could move so much stuff. I had tons of specialized cords and adapters the one that people were puzzle with was a Leslie Y-cord to run two Leslies off one B3. I had a milk crate type boxes with that stuff.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  17. #16
    I am pretty shocked at the responses in this thread. I bring the bare minimum:

    guitar + strap + picks
    clarus head
    RE NY-8 cabinet
    speakon cable to connect the two
    1/4" cable
    music stand if necessary

    I must be insanely lucky, in 20+ years of playing a lot of gigs of all kinds, I've broken a string once, never had a cable fail, and only had an amp fail one time (the speaker fried and I went thru the PA). I use a gig bag for guitar and a collapsible luggage carrier for amp.

  18. #17
    Guitar, amp, a few cables, extension cord, batteries if I'm using any pedals, and some spare strings. I also carry a "multi tool/utility knife" thing everywhere.

    I try to travel light. The only kind of gigs I get are the park/hop off train and walk six blocks type.

    If I'm doing a country "show" type gig, I'll bring a lot more, including a back up guitar/amp/etc...
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    I am pretty shocked at the responses in this thread. I bring the bare minimum:

    guitar + strap + picks
    clarus head
    RE NY-8 cabinet
    speakon cable to connect the two
    1/4" cable
    music stand if necessary

    I must be insanely lucky, in 20+ years of playing a lot of gigs of all kinds, I've broken a string once, never had a cable fail, and only had an amp fail one time (the speaker fried and I went thru the PA). I use a gig bag for guitar and a collapsible luggage carrier for amp.

    Considering you're in NY it makes sense to travel light. Living in L.A. where having a vehicle is pretty much mandatory bringing more stuff and leaving it in the car just is case is very easy. I did know a keyboard player who hit a rough time financially and didn't have a car. He still gigged taking cabs, most cabbies weren't too happy, but he would load his keyboard in the trunk before they could decide to leave. So mode of transportation is a big factor.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  20. #19
    Nailclippers and a pencil are sometimes useful to have in the gigbag, and I have secreted a spare instrument cable, kettlelead, fuses and tubes in the spare wheel compartment of the car for emergencies. I always put a spare pick in a trouser or shirt pocket for quick access in case of dropping one mid song.

  21. #20
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    What, may I ask, is a kettlelead?

  22. #21
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    Shark repellent
    Three changes of underwear
    Strong elastic bands
    Tea bags

  23. #22
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    Tea bags?? The rest I understand, but I've never understood tea, except for sweet iced tea, which is de rigueur in the Texas summer, and not properly brewed from bags. It takes way too many for a family batch.

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Shark repellent
    Three changes of underwear
    Strong elastic bands
    Tea bags
    What about a towel?

  25. #24
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    Pup tent, sleeping bag, matches, canteen full of water, hatchet...we're talking camping trip, right?

  26. #25
    Fuzz Face and Cheez-its.

  27. #26
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    Last my gig I have problems with power cable .
    I thaught that my expensive AER out but it was ok(knock on wood!).
    Now I know - ...take backing power cable.
    I think about backing amp.
    kris

  28. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    What, may I ask, is a kettlelead?
    A technically inaccurate but widely used (in the UK at least) term for a detachable mains power lead for e.g. an amplifier. They are very similar to a kettle power lead, which can be used in a pinch.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  29. #28
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    I thought I was marginally fluent in UKisms, but that was probably optimistic.

  30. #29
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    Chocolate biscuits
    Spare trousers
    Jim jams

  31. #30
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    Spare valves for my valve amp

  32. #31
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    What's in your gig kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    What about a towel?
    Good point.

    Redirect Notice

    I think Mos Def/Yasiin Bey is possibly the only person to have ever ‘rocked’ a towel.

  33. #32
    A copy of Ulysses, maybe? For set breaks?
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  34. #33
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    Your mama's drawers.

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Spare valves for my valve amp
    You gig with a tube amp? Masochist.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  36. #35
    One guitar, a Microcube amp, bungee straps, looper pedal, cables, spare picks, batteries and strings .... the cube sounds ok thru a PA, if need be. ....and a setlist on my cell phone because I'm absent-minded. I ride a bicycle.

    I have never clipped replacement string ends, they just dangle there for the rest of the gig.

    BTW, a soldering iron??

  37. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Good point.

    Redirect Notice

    I think Mos Def/Yasiin Bey is possibly the only person to have ever ‘rocked’ a towel.
    Danny Gatton would dispute that:


  38. #37
    All the booze they have in Love Hotel refrigerators.
    A girl from Chile who worked a peep show took me to a Love Hotel my 2nd night in Osaka. Her dime. When we left I lied to myself and said look at this fridge full of booze! It must be a present so I loaded my guitar case.
    We go to the counter to check out and naturally they did inventory by the time we got there.
    I was so f$@ing embarrassed unloading all these bottles from my guitar case that I never stole anything again in my life.

    P.S.
    I have taken a roll of toilet paper or scotch brite pad from work a few times but I refuse to beat myself up about it.
    Last edited by Stevebol; 12-12-2017 at 05:51 PM.

  39. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleakanddivine View Post
    Danny Gatton would dispute that:

    Differently rocking

  40. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    You gig with a tube amp? Masochist.
    I usually keep an AER in the boot of my motor.

  41. #40
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    Lot of people have the obvious covered. Outside of the typical list:

    Wallet
    . Pay for band
    . Extra picks

    I play home-built amps so I bring an emergency unit:
    . Pencil box -- yes, really -- with EHX 44 Magnum amp, power supply, speaker-cord w/adapter to fit combo cab
    . Sometimes another pencil box with Hall of Fame Mini reverb, power supply & cord
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  42. #41
    Big girls.


  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    Considering you're in NY it makes sense to travel light.
    Well, I do live in SF now, but, I still bring the minimum because there is basically nowhere in SF that I would park and leave anything of value in my car. Car break-ins (via a smashed window) are a huge problem and happen constantly. I run to work, and it's very rare for me not to see a car with a smashed window on my way to work. You can also see people openly shooting up on Market and 7th pretty much 24/7, which is probably not unrelated to the theft problem. The whole situation is very sad.

  44. #43
    I play with a band in that neighborhood occasionally. Several musicians have suffered break-ins.

    I leave nothing in the car and I still worry about it.

    I feel safer on the streets of NYC (at least, everywhere I've gone) than I do in that part of SF.

  45. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    You gig with a tube amp? Masochist.
    No point playing an amp somebody else built, so tubes it is.
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  46. #45
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    I haven't gigged with a guitar, but on the gigs I've done as a bassist (note: electric, not upright) I pretty much take only the stuff that fits in the bass case.

    Usually they are so spacious you can fit all the pedals (1-4), tools, spare batteries, picks, cords, strings (spares also), strap, towel etc. inside the hard case. Less stuff to carry and worry about.

  47. #46
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    Soldering iron!
    Last gig the bass players amp blew up so we used me Cube 60 amp lined out to the bass cabinet.
    But the cab had a twist connector! Managed to locate a soldering iron for a fix just as we were due to go on stage for the first sesh.
    So now I take a soldering iron.
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  48. #47
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    Better to just have some adapter cables. I always have some Speakon to 1/4" adapters available, both ways (male and female) and a Speakon female/female connector to make an extension cable. I prefer Speakon by far, and I hate using 1/4" plugs for speakers, but sometimes you have to, depending on the amp or cabinet.

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