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By Rhys Lett

Guitar Gig Bag Contents

So you have learned some chords, jammed with friends and are ready for your first gig. This post deals with some essential items that guitarists will find handy as they start performing gigs. My guitar gig bag contains a large array of items that are necessary to have in preparation for any gigging situation.

Essentials – Inside my Guitar Gig Bag

Tuner and Metronome – essential for any musician. Any practice, rehearsal or lesson should start with making sure your instrument is in tune. Guitar tuners are inexpensive these days and are also helpful when needing to use alternate tunings. You can also get tuner apps on your phone! A metronome is a rhythm keeping device and valuable in any practice and rehearsal situation. It will help you in preparation for playing with other musicians and improve your speed and fluency of playing.

Strings – don’t let your first time on stage be ruined by a broken string. My personal string choices are:

Electric GuitarsD’Addario 10 – 46 gauge – these allow me to get a heavier tone than thinner strings and still allow me to bend the strings easily enough. The thicker the string the less chance you will have of breakage and the more volume and sustain they can also give. I always have a few sets of string in my gig bag as spares.

Acoustic GuitarsGHS 12 – 52 gauge – acoustic strings are always much heavier as they need to produce more volume and sustain. I like these strings because they hold their tone and break less than other brands I have tried.

Picks – find which guitar pick suits your playing. There are many different sizes, shapes, thickness and materials they are made from. Different picks also shape the tone. Have a few different picks in your gig bag.

Leads – always have one spare lead with you in the gig bag. I have had three leads stop working at gigs in the last month. Even if you don’t need it a band mate might.

Powerboard and extension lead – make sure you will have enough to be powered up.

Kettle Leads – most amplifiers and speakers run off these cables.

Handy Inclusions – Inside my Guitar Gig Bag

Wire Cutters – helpful when restringing guitars.

Power Adaptors – for powering guitar pedals.

Slide – for playing some blues and variety in lead playing.

Gaffa tape – holds up banners, keeps down leads, tapes on broken guitar straps.

Screwdrivers – have one flathead and one Philips head in your gig bag for quick repairs.

Microphone Leads – for acoustic guitar DI boxes or microphones.

Torch – stages are dark places when setting and packing up.

Capo – never know when a singer plays a song in a different key.

Allen Keys – to change string height (action) or for locking tremolo guitars.

Need any of these items? They can be purchased from KC’s Rock Shop for students attending the Boronia location, or Guitars and Things in Frankston for those attending the Carrum Downs premises.

We thank these businesses for being loyal supporters of the Eastern Suburbs School of Music.