Inspired by a post called Gig Preparation, I thought I’d make some checklists. I think we’ll need one (and a half) for our stuff, one for setting up the gig, and one for doing stuff at the gig. The lists would change depending on who’s working the gig or who set it up, but you should be able to help with the flow of things even if you’re not the organizer. This is also from the point of view of a guitar player, because that’s all I’ve ever been. I’m guessing it would be the same for a bass player & quite similar for a drummer.
Before the gig:
☐ Get all the details in order:
☐ The bands
☐ The place
☐ The time
☐ The price
☐ All ages or 21+
☐ Is it a benefit?
☐ Any specials if it’s a bar?
☐ Selling tickets?
☐ …using social media - Link the crap out of details/event pages.
☐ Flyers - Hang ‘em up, pass ‘em out.
☐ Word of mouth
☐ Communicate with the other bands…
☐ Sharing equipment? - Cut down on changeovers between bands.
☐ Playing order?
☐ Do you need your own door person?
Stuff to take:
☐ Guitar - In a case or gig bag, I actually saw a guy use a bath-towel once.
☐ Backup guitar(s) - Don’t kill the show when you break a string.
☐ Amp head & cab (or combo)
☐ The merch box(es)
☐ Your gig backpack
or briefcase. (“What’s that.” you ask? Keep reading!)
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I make sure to have my backpack full o’ stuff with me at every gig. Over the years, every item in it has proved useful and one time or another.
In The Gig Backpack or Briefcase:
☐ An Extra Strap
☐ Flashlight (A really bright one helps)
☐ Extension Cord
Stuff that I don’t have, but might be a good idea…
☐ Strap locks
☐ Nail clippers
☐ acetaminophen / ibuprofen / aspirin
☐ Cloth or towel
At the gig:
☐ Set stuff on the stage for the 1st band & any bands sharing
the “main” act if there is one & set up in front of them.
☐ Using a setlist? Reach into that backpack
& get one made!
☐ Have a drink? Water, Beer, or something harder.
☐ Tune Again (Silently! – No one likes the tuning song!)
☐ Unless you’re awesome & have a tech, get a string-wingman.
I’m sure there’s stuff I’m forgetting, but I think this is a pretty decent start. What do you think I’m missing from the list? Do you have an emergency gig kit? What’s in it?