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Gigging is probably one of the most enjoyable activities a musician can experience. There is always something special about performing in front of a live audience. The sound of a crowds appreciation when you have just ripped up the stage with a great performance of your best tunes.

There is just nothing like it. But what happens when things don’t go exactly as planned? And what happens when things fail miserably? If you have ever gigged I am sure you are familiar with Murphy law: If things can go wrong, they probably will.

I have had experiences like amps blowing up, guitar strings breaking, stolen fuses in my amp, bad cords, out of tune guitars, etc … These things happen to all bands and what makes the difference between a professional and an amateur is how you deal with these problems.

Musicians First Aid Kit You Should Have.

You need to do some preplanning and put together aa Musicians First Aid Kit. When a problem does occur, you will be prepared to quickly fix the problem and get on with your show.

Guitar / Bass Strings.

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Bass Set, .050 - .105
  • Most popular bass string alloy
  • Well balanced
  • Good all around sound

Get at least one extra set for each guitar or bass you have at the gig. If you pop a string you will be prepared to replace it. Remember this golden rule for guitars and basses:

Never step on stage without a properly tuned backup guitar or bass. If you have any problems with your main ax all you have to do is pick up your backup and fix the problem on your next break.

Cords.

Sale
OTraki 2 Pack Electric Guitar Cables 10FT Instrument Cord 1/4 Inch Straight to Right...
  • ROTATABLE METAL CONNECTOR --- OTraki 1/4 inch straight to right angle guitar cord conductors is made of AWG24 OFC, provide low attenuation during the long distance transmission. The gold-plated plug is anti-oxidation and has more excellent conductivity; the pure copper protector be rotated to separated with gold partial, so that protect the soldered connect place better
  • WOVEN INSULATE JACKET --- Our 10ft TS instrument cable used red+black / green+white nylon material with tweed woven design, more wearable than pvc made, ensure the use of safety and to solve the noise electromagnetic interference problem. And it has high tensile strength, can easy to folding for store
  • STRONG COMPATIBILITY --- The 1/4 inch (6.35mm) TS plug can into the audio device that interface of 6.35mm diamater, suitable for Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electronic Organ, Mixer, Power Amplifier, Pedal Effects, Equalizer, Speaker Systems, Studio Harmonizers, and other Unbalanced Instrument Cable Applications
  • WELL PERFORMANCE --- Our guitar instrument cable has double shielded to reduce hum and noise, provide high stable performance and HIFI pristine sound when you perform in stage or bar. Tips: the both of straight and right angle plug can insert into guitar, you can choose it according to your device
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Get a complete second set of cords. This includes patch cords and mike cables.

Batteries.

AmazonBasics 9 Volt Everyday Alkaline Batteries - Pack of 4
  • One 4-pack of 9-volt alkaline batteries for reliable performance across a wide range of devices
  • Ideal for household items like garage door openers, smoke detectors, radios, toys, and more
  • Improved design offers a 5-year leak-free shelf life; store for emergencies or use right away
  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging; backed by an AmazonBasics 1-year limited warranty
  • Note: these batteries are NOT rechargeable. For reusable options, check out AmazonBasics rechargeable batteries

Go through all of your gear and make a note of all of the batteries you use. Get backups for everything and make sure the backups don’t sit and go dead before you replace them.

Consider some type of preventative maintenance schedule so you can keep track of how long batteries are in use and when they need replacement. Don’t forget about the guitar tuner!

Fuses.

BCP pack of 10 pcs Slow-Blow Fuse 1A 250V Glass Fuses 20 x 5mm
  • Package included: 10 pieces glass slow-blow fuse
  • High Quality Glass Fuse
  • Dimension (L x Dia.): 20 x 5 mm
  • 1A 250V
  • Come with Bluecell storage case

Again go through all of your gear and make a note of all the proper sizes of your fuses. Get some type of small segregated box and label the top with the current ratings for the fuses (1A, 5A, etc …). Never put a fuse that has a higher current rating in your amp or gear.

There is a reason the manufacture put that size fuse in your system. Never, Never wrap a fuse with tin foil to bypass it! If your fuses keep blowing, you have a short in this gear and by putting a larger fuse or bypassing it all together you may completely blow it up which will cost you plenty to repair.

Also, I should mention that by bypassing your fuse you run the risk of electrocuting yourself! Never under any circumstances bypass your fuses!

Drummers.

Zildjian Drummer's Survival Kit
  • Items that drummers need at the Gig
  • 6 cymbal felts, 3 cymbal sleeves, 2 HiHat Clutch felts, 1 HiHat cup felt, 3 8mm wing nuts
  • 8 tension rods (4 floor tom and 4 snare drum), 12 nylon washers, 1 drum key, 2 snare wire cords

Get a spare snare drum. If your snares let go just replace the whole drum with the spare and repair your main snare at the break. Bring many extra sticks. I played with a drummer once that didn’t bring enough sticks to a gig one night.

He had to play the last half of our set with a screwdriver! Needless to say, he had to replace all of his drum heads after this gig! Bring some spare hardware and also get another kick drum pedal. Some spare drum heads are always a good idea and make sure to bring a set of tools.

Keyboard Players.

Yamaha PSRE273 61-Key Portable Keyboard Bundle with Knox Stand, Bench and Accessories...
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Yamaha PSRE273 61-Key Portable Keyboard (Black), Knox Gear Adjustable X Style Keyboard Bench, Yamaha Electronic Keyboard Survival Kit 1B, and Knox Gear Adjustable Double X Keyboard Stand
  • PORTABLE KEYBOARD: The Yamaha 61-key Portable Keyboard features a wide variety of sounds and functions. This entry-level keyboard is ideal for aspiring musicians who are just starting out. An ultra-portable design makes it easy to take your music anywhere. It even operates on batteries
  • BUILT-IN VOICES AND STYLES: The Yamaha PSR-E273 offers 32-voice polyphony along with 384 built-in voices plus 17 drum/SFX kits, 143 preset styles and 112 preset songs. The keyboard also offers Reverb, Chorus, Master EQ, and Ultra-wide stereo effects
  • LESSON MODE: Learn to play songs with three built-in lesson modes: Listen and Learn, Timing, and Waiting. Play chords with the left hand and the auto-accompaniment feature will play Styles (rhythm + bass + harmony) that match. You can also capture performances using the onboard song recorder and play them back to help you improve
  • YAMAHA AUTHORIZED DEALER: Includes USA Manufacturer Warranty

What would happen if your main synth went out? Maybe you could program your second synth with similar sounds. I know it won’t be perfect but it will get you through the gig.

Singers.

Do you have a spare mic? If not you should pick one up. I recommend a Sure 58. They are not very expensive and are reliable for a great backup if not the main mic.

Horn Players.

Since I don’t play horns I can’t comment too much however I can recommend that you think about what could go wrong with your instrument. What could you do if it failed during a gig? Again a backup might be a good idea.

Amps.

Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
3,436 Reviews
Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier
  • 10 Watts
  • 1-6" Fender Special Design Speaker
  • One Channel
  • Controls: Gain, Over-Drive Select Switch, Volume, Treble, Bass
  • Other Features: 1/4" Instrument Input, 2-Band EQ, 1/8" Auxiliary Input Jack for Jam-Along with Media Player or CD, 1/8" Headphone Output Jack for Silent Practice, Closed-Back Design for Heavier Bass Response

If you use an amp in your performance and it fails what could you do? A small spare is a good idea. Guitar players can use a guitar processor as a backup amp and it can be plugged directly into the PA.

Again I know this won’t sound perfect but it will get you through the gig. Bass players have it easy if their amps go out. Plug directly into the PA.

If you play bass you may want to consider buying a direct box specifically for that purpose. Same goes for keyboard players, plug directly into the PA with a DI box

All Bands.

Always have plenty of duct tape! This stuff can get you out of some major jams!

I have not covered everything that can go wrong with your gear at a show but hopefully, this will spark some ideas of the things that you can do if your gear fails. Put together your Musicians First Aid Kit in some sort of toolbox or fishing tackle box.

If you are prepared when things go wrong at your gigs (and believe me they will) it is no big deal. If you are not prepared you will look like an amateur and remember you never know who is out in the audience watching. Good luck and happy gigging!
Source by Steve Veloudos

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