Rock on, guitarist! You got the gig – here’s what you need to take

Well, well, well – call you Freddie Mercury and the master of arpeggios, you’ve got your very first gig with an audience that doesn’t involve your nan (or at least, doesn’t involve just your nan… on her own, with a packet of bourbons). For this big step, you need to be prepared. So we’ve put together this top ten list of the things you need to pack up and transport.

A spare guitar

This isn’t a nice to have, it’s an essential. Always plan for the worst, hope for the best and cross your fingers you’ve got a good friend who’ll let you borrow their guitar for the evening.

Guitar leads

Leads aren’t to be underestimated – good quality ones can create a crystal-clear signal from guitar to amp, whereas low-budget ones can cause a boo-worthy cackle.

Tuner pedal

No matter how good your ears are, tuning up without a pro tuner pedal is a no-go in the gig setting. If you’re yet to buy one, choose between the Boss TU-3 or a Rowin LT-920 Tuner PSU Pedal (both of which are budget-friendly).

Good quality duct tape

Dodgy guitar strap? Duct tape. Flapping setlist? Duct tape. Seriously, duct tape has saved many a gig from going completely down the tubes.

A super tough hard case

Your guitar’s hard case must be on form – out on the road any number of things can happen, and that green room can sometimes get a little crazy. Protect your most cherished possession by investing in a solid quality hard case.

Your own guitar amp

Don’t use someone else’s equipment, just don’t – it’ll add to your stress and it could make everything sound totally alien to what you’re used to.

Spares… of everything

Leads, capos, patch leads, strings, kettle leads, plectrums – make sure you have two of each (just in case).

A power supply (forget 9 volt batteries)

9 volt batteries are the scourge of the gig world. One moment’s forgetfulness of leaving your lead out of the guitar pedal and boom! No power. Instead, invest in a good quality power supply, such as a Dr Tone PSU10.

A sunny disposition

You might be Jimi Hendrix reincarnated, but no matter how good you are you still need to be positive and work with the promoter, sound engineers and bar staff. If you encounter a problem, make sure you bring it up after introducing yourself to everyone, and learning their names.

And finally… a set list

Uh-oh – somewhere between your third and fourth song a severe case of late onset nerves kicked in. And the next planned song went totally out of your head. Believe it or not, it happens to the best of them, so be prepared with a scribbled list of set songs.

Zeppelin, Eric, it’s time to move the heck on over. While you warm up for the biggest gig of your life, you shouldn’t be stressing over leads and vans. For band and gig removals you can rely on, you should contact the Van Man York team. Call Ralph, owner of Van Man York on 07931 849 112, or get in touch with the office via phone or email: 01904 375 995 | [email protected].

Rock on guitarist You got the gig