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Microphone Month 2

Musician’s Essential Toolkits, Vol. 4 – Guitar/Bass

Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong — and probably at the least convenient time and place. However, a corollary states that whatever you’re prepared for won’t go wrong. We don’t know if that’s true or not, but we do know that in the world of live gigging, you need to be prepared for just about any eventuality.

With that in mind, we present Volume 4 in our series on the items every guitarist and bassist needs, the Guitar/Bass Essential Toolkit. The G/BET includes everything you need to keep the gig rolling in the face of problems — at least from a guitar or bass standpoint!

Gather these items, store them in a handy bag, case, or toolbox — and don’t forget to take the kit along with you to the gig — and never fear Murphy rearing his ugly head at a gig again!

  • Spare strings
  • Spare picks
  • Spare slide, capo, eBow, or other items you rely on
  • Spare tubes (if your amp uses them)
  • Spare fuse for your amp
  • Spare bridge pins (for acoustic guitar)
  • Spare strap
  • Fresh batteries for whatever gear requires them
  • Spare mic clip (and possibly even a spare mic for your amp)
  • Spare guitar cables and pedal patch cables of various lengths. Verify these cables are “good” on a regular basis.
  • Direct box (especially if you play acoustic/electric guitar)
  • Power strip
  • AC extension cable
  • String winder
  • Phillips and regular screwdrivers in several sizes
  • String cutters
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Small flashlight
  • Clip-on Tuner
  • Fingernail file/nail clippers
  • Gaffer tape

Gloves (you’ll thank us after you use them for load in/load out)

Extra Bonus Points
To ensure the show will go on, also pack these items:

An inexpensive amp modeler/multieffects unit that can be plugged into the PA if your amp fails. Likely candidates include:

Or, consider keeping a pedal on your board, such as the Tech 21 Character series or the Blackstar HT Dual that has a speaker-emulated out that you can run directly into the PA.

Some players even pack a backup amp; a small, lightweight, flexible modeling combo amp such as a Roland Cube, a Line 6 Spider, Peavey Vypyr, Vox Valvetronix, or Fender Mustang is ideal.

And, for extra security, pack a backup guitar or bass that you can grab if your main axe goes down for the count.

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