So you have learned some chords, jammed with friends and are ready for your first gig. Aside from a guitar, lead and amplifier there are some essential items that guitarists will find handy as they start performing gigs.
My guitar gig bag contains a large array of items that are necessary to have in preparation for any gigging situation.
Inside my Guitar Gig Bag:Tuner - essential for any musician. Any practice, rehearsal or lesson should start with making sure your instrument is in tune. Guitar tuners are inexpensive these days and are also helpful when needing to use alternate tunings. You can also get tuner apps on your phone!
Strings - don't let your first time on stage be ruined by a broken string. My personal string choices are:
Electric Guitars - D'Addario 10 - 46 gauge - these allow me to get a heavier tone than thinner strings and still allow me to bend the strings easily enough. The thicker the string the less chance you will have of breakage and the more volume and sustain they can also give.
Acoustic Guitars - DR 12 - 52 gauge - acoustic strings are always much thicker wire as they need to produce more volume and sustain. I like these strings because they hold their tone over many performances and break less than other brands I have tried.
Picks - find which guitar pick suits your playing. There are many different sizes, shapes, thickness and materials they are made from.
Leads - always have one spare lead with you. I have had three leads stop working at gigs in the last month.
Wire Cutters - helpful when restringing guitars.
Power Adapters - for powering guitar pedals you may use.
Slide - for playing some blues and variety in lead playing.
Powerboard and extension lead - make sure you will have enough to be powered up.
Kettle Leads - most amplifiers and speakers run off these cables .
Gaffa tape - holds up band banners, keeps down leads, tapes on broken guitar straps.
Screwdrivers - one flathead and one Philips head for quick repairs and tightening loose screws.
Microphone Leads - for acoustic guitar DI boxes or microphones.
Torch - stages are dark places when setting and packing up.
Capo - never know when a singer plays a song in a different key
Allen Keys - to change string height (action) or for locking tremolo guitars
Fuses - the simplest repair to an amplifier is changing a fuse. Hopefully if you find your amp in disrepair at a gig will just mean replacing a blown $2 fuse. Get the appropriate one for your amp.
Arming yourself with a kit of these tools will mean you are ready for any hurdles you may face at your first gig and in future. This is just the starting point of your musical journey and a brief introduction to the world of gigs and performances.
About the Author:By Rhys Lett, owner of the Eastern Suburbs School of Music in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. We have more of these practical insights to music available to you on my website blog at www.essm.net.au we would be happy to help you further.