11 gig essentials you always forget

If there’s one thing Dave Tynan has learned from gigging every week, non-stop for 2 decades, it’s that there’s always something important you forget. We caught up with Red Dog Music‘s Shop Manager to get his top 11 critical, but easily forgettable “gig essentials”.

1. Spare Strings

Spare top E and B-strings are essential, but you never know when you might bust your G-string (ahem) so you might as well just have a whole spare set ready just in case.

2. Gaffer Tape

It’s hard to rock out when you’re dodging guitar cables and mic leads. Spend a few minutes at the end of your soundcheck securing cables to the floor. Make sure to give yourself enough slack to move around, though!

3. Multitool

Your instinct tells you it’s overkill, but when you need to snip the end of a string, pry the adapter off a mic stand or open up an effect pedal to install a fresh battery you’ll be glad you’ve got one in your bag.

4. Business Cards

No matter how awesome and memorable you think your band’s name is, people aren’t going to remember it when they’re nursing their hangovers. If you want people to find you, remember to stick a web address in the details.

5. Batteries

Remember to keep your pedals juiced up, and make sure any active instruments you use have a spare just in case it dies mid set.

6. Fuses

What’s the point of spending days, months and years refining your tone if – on the night it counts – your valve amp blows a fuse and you have to use the venue’s backline?

7. Paper & Marker Pen

You’re not always going to have time to agree on a set-list and get it printed before the gig, so keeping some stationery around is always a good idea. The thicker the marker pen, the better: You won’t be able to see pencil or biro under stage lights.

8. Spare Leads

You should test your cable regularly to make sure they don’t crackle or cut out, but it’s also a good idea to keep a couple of new cables in your gig-bag just in case.

9. Earplugs

If you perform regularly, you have to take care of your hearing. You’ll need to check that your tone is right and that your mix is good with ‘naked’ ears, but you should plug them up when you’re doing serious long-haul noise-making.

10. Power Extensions

It’s a good idea to keep the amount of power sources you’ll need from the venue to a minimum – you never know how many will be available on the night.

11. Instrument Stand

You’ve arrived on time, set up and sound-checked. Now where the hell do you put your guitar while you wait your turn? Guitar stands usually fold up tiny, so there’s no excuse not to keep one in your bag of tricks.

Dave Tynan currently plays with Edinburgh-based rock band Size Queen

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Red Dog Music is the UK's friendliest musical instrument retailer with branches in Edinburgh, leeds and London and an awesome website at www.reddogmusic.co.uk.

5 Responses to “11 gig essentials you always forget”

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  1. It's called "gaffers tape", as in tape that is used by gaffers in the film industry.

  2. Todd Ingram says:

    i never forget anything

  3. Tomasz Król says:

    I find it a good idea to have arranged a little case where I keep all the stuff "just in case" plus a clean towel, an energizer drink, a bottle of water and a few cd's in case anybody wanted them. After each gig I just re-adjust the case (replenish my stock based on what is missing) and I wash the towel or bring a new one. It's THAT simple 🙂

  4. Craig Watt says:

    All ways carry a leatherman with me. Been used a few times. Undoing hat clutches, , cutting port holes in a kick drum, that sorta stuff

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