Gigging guitarists don’t leave home without these 10 items!!
I’ve been playing gigs for in various cover bands around Boston for close to 20 years now. It can be a lot of fun and you can make decent money doing what you love (playing guitar, gigging out). Here are my top 10 must have items for any aspiring guitarist looking to get into the cover band gigging circuit. This is more focused on the equipment. Here are what I consider my top 10 must have go to pieces of equipment that every gigging guitar player should own.
Don’t start gigging without this!
#1 A small amp or combo amp that doesn’t sound like shit
Time to put your half stacks or full stacks up for sale on craigslist. Those wont be needed anymore. When you are transporting your equipment to bars or weddings every week, you’ll want something nice and small, that’s easy to transport.
I’m currently using a Rivera Pubster Head with a 1×12 Cab. The Rivera has unbelievable tone and works great in small to large venues. Remember, you can always mic your amp, so there is no need to lug around a giant half stack anymore.
#2 Pedal Board
Like this PedalTrain pedalboard. Playing cover music means you’ll need to be able to replicate all sorts of different tones on your guitar. You’ll need some pedals to that, and this is the best way to organize those guitar pedals. While I’m not going to list what pedals you should have, I would like to mention one..
This pedal was the best investment I ever made in pedals.. seriously, this will help you achieve amazing tones on your guitar. I thank John Mayer for showing me this one!
#4 Vocal Mic
Like this Shure SM-58. Start bringing your own mic. Using the bar mic is just disgusting.
#5 A Good Multi-Tool
I use this Leatherman Multi-Tool, Gerber also makes nice ones.. I can’t say enough how important it is to have one of these on you at your gigs. Stuff will break, be ready for it!
#6 A good tuner
Like this TC Electronic PolyTune, basic stuff here but I’ve seen a lot of guitarists leave this one out. You need a good tuner! I like these because you can even tune up while playing in the middle of a song.
#7 Ear Plugs
Custom molded ear plugs are always best, but if you are on somewhat of a budget I recommend these Alpine Ear Plugs, they even have different filters you can put in them. I’ve tried out so many different ear plugs, these are by far my favorite
#8 Pedal Power
When running a pedalboard setup, you’ve got to have a power system. Like this Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2, dont waste your time with batteries or dealing with dead batteries in the middle of a set. These are important, and well worth the money!
If you’re going to be playing some decent size gigs, you’ve got to cut the chord! This Shure system is under $500 and works great. There is nothing like the freedom you get when going wireless for the first time!
#10 Shut Up!
Ok, this isn’t an “item”, but you’ve got to know when to shut up. This means NO NOODLING! (sp?) Not before songs, not during sound check, not in between songs, don’t do it. This can be so hard to resist I know but it must be done! Noodle all you want during the guitar solos, but thats it.
Thanks for reading! This list is in no particular order really, I hope you found some value in it, please post some comments below, happy gigging and good luck!