OMG…You Saved the Gig!

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OK, your band has finally starting to get more gigs which is really awesome. That feeling you get when you’re having a good show is beyond amazing. Of course, it’s a huge bummer if something breaks down which stops the show. So you definitely want to be prepared to be able to make a quick fix so you can keep on rocking.

What you want to have is an emergency kit with the things to help you save the gig. This is not rocket science here but having some basic things which can really make a difference. At the very least you want to have the following:

Super Basic

Flashlight – Stages can be dark
Duct tape – The age old adage of “if you can’t fix it, duct it” is so true!
Spare cables (guitar, speaker, patch, power cord) – You’ll need them
Extra pack of guitar strings

To be more prepared

Spare fuses (and vacuum tubes if you have a tube amp)
Spare batteries
Spare guitar strap
Back up guitar
Back up amp
Extra picks
Hand tools (wire cutter, screw drivers, wrench, pliers etc.)
Extension power cable
Power strip

If you want to be prepared for anything (if you’re like me)

Nail clippers
Crazy glue
Back up pedal(s)
String winder
Multimeter
Electrical tape
Sharpie
Rope
Work gloves
Direct box
Soldering iron and solder
Variable autotransformer (aka Variac)
Power conditioner
Toilet paper
Small tarp
Aspirin
Cough drops
Neosporin
Granola bars

I wouldn’t dream of playing a gig without my emergency kit as it has saved the day more times than I can count. The point is that you will need things from your emergency kit so you need to have them ready to go. The funny thing is that when you’re prepared, it’s less likely that you’ll have a problem, but you’ll be able to help your lesser prepared band mate when their rig goes down.

So the key is being prepared. Think about things that can happen and what you need for a quick fix to save the gig. If you can fix a problem in less than 20 seconds, the audience hardly notices, but your band thinks you are a gig saving hero.

So get ready to save the day, your band needs you.

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Steve McKinley is the bass player for Joel Kosche (of Collective Soul) in his solo band and for the Led Zeppelin tribute Led Zeppelified. He’s been part of the Atlanta music scene for years playing in bands (i.e. Julius Pleaser, Sid Vicious Experience, Pretty Vacant et al) and has recorded and toured throughout the Southeast. His songs have been played on the radio, he has appeared on television and is an ASCAP member. With his electronics skills and experience, he runs Atlanta Tube Amp and Steve McKinley Electronics and is an Instructor on JamPlay.com. He roots for Atlanta United, works on cars and drinks his coffee strong, hot and black. He can be found on his sites, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. www.atlantatubeamp www.tubescreamermods.com

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