We’ve all been there—those moments just before downbeat when you
realize something is terribly wrong. Yes, as professional as we like to think
we are, even the most seasoned touring veteran has those “oh crap”
moments, where a piece of equipment is either malfunctioning or missing altogether.
It’s the worst of feelings… but never again!
We’ve seen this happen to the best of them, one too many times, so we’ve
constructed this ultimate gig emergency kit—all the things you need to
never have that “oh crap” moment again.
1) THE ESSENTIALS:
As a guitarist, you should always have a backup guitar and rig at home. You
don’t necessarily need to haul them along each time, but you shouldn’t
have just one—‘cause what happens when they suddenly stop working?
It’s very wise to have a backup setup, even if the gear is not nearly
as nice, just to give yourself options if your primary weapon of choice should
2) GIG IN A BOX:
Put the following items in a suitcase, box or duffle bag and bring it with
you to every gig. There’s great value in knowing you’re covered
and it’ll save your bacon more times than not!
a. Spare Batteries:
Whether they’re for your pickup
or your guitar pedals, identify what kind of batteries you
need (hint: it might be more than one kind, based on your
setup) and have a spare set on hand. Nothing kills a gig faster
than a dead battery!
Backup Cablesb. Backup Cables:
No more corralling cords before each
gig. Once you have your stage setup nailed down, you should
have a dedicated set of “gig cables” in your pre-packed
gig box. Yes, pack the exact amount of cables you need, PLUS
ONE, because you should always have at least one backup cable
per variety (patch cable, XLR, quarter inch, etc.).
c. Guitar Picks:
No matter how many hundreds of picks
are laying in the nooks and crannies at home, it seems they’re
never with you when you need them most. As a solution, put
a bunch in your “gig in a box” and, as a redundancy,
always have some in your pocket and guitar case.
d. Replacement Strings:
There is no excuse for playing with a
broken guitar string. They hardly take up any room, so always
have a couple spare sets on hand and replace them on your
break—believe us, fans would rather hear five minutes
of silence than 50 minutes of out-of-tune guitar work.
e. Applicable Tools:
Whether it’s an Allen wrench, Phillips
head screwdriver, multi-tool or string changer, there are
certain tools that will make your life easier… and you
should never leave home without ‘em. Identify all the
little tools you need to service your guitar and/or pedals
and have them packed and ready to go.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join
‘em. Yes, IF worse comes to worse and it’s time
to chalk it up to a loss, at least you can go down in a blaze
A million things can go wrong in the minutes just before a gig; however, it’s
usually the little things (that could have been avoided) that cause the biggest
headaches. We think if you have a pre-packed emergency kit with all of the essentials
above, you’ll be set for most challenges that might come your way. Good