Essential Tools For Musicians

Written by: Darren Johnson

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There’s no refuting that being a musician is a lot of fun, but nobody wants to be at a gig and then realize they’re missing a crucial item. In this article, I’ll address some of the gear that gigging musicians need in order to avoid finding themselves in stressful situations.

Let’s start with a few of the obvious things; if you show up to a gig without your instrument, clearly you’re going to be in trouble! Drummers should bring drum keys, and string players should bring tuners. The band should bring their PA system, mixer, and any other equipment that they use during the set.

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Something vital to gigging that might be overlooked is having extras. It would be a good idea for the band to have a surplus of picks, drumsticks, guitar strings, and cables. These are all necessary at a show and it’s not uncommon for one of them to break in the middle of a song. Instrumentalist should also bring a spare for anything else that they could conceive going wrong at a gig. For example, a drummer should bring an extra snare drum and bass drum pedal, and a guitarist might want to bring a second guitar. Steve Hilstein, the director of Music Motive, shared a story with me about a time that his snare drumhead broke during a song. He was able to take his spare snare drum out of its case and replace the broken one while playing. Now that’s what I call being prepared!

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There are also some items that a musician would be able to gig without but might regret not having. The most important tool that a musician relies on is their ears; so bringing some earplugs to protect your hearing is a good idea. It would also come in handy to bring a metronome, and a gig bag with any other tools you could imagine yourself needing. Playing music is a great experience, and being equipped ensures that it will stay that way!

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