No matter how well you take care of your gear, anything can happen at a gig. As any professional roadie will tell you, it’s a full time job making sure that every performance goes off without a hitch. But for those of us who haven’t hit the big time yet, dealing with an equipment malfunction or mishap can be a real showstopper. A great insurance policy for any gig is coming prepared with backup gear.
Whether it’s caused by a freak accident, faulty power at the venue, rowdy audience members, or just plain bad luck, gigging exposes your gear to countless things that can go wrong. Any problem that occurs is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of your gear, as a power surge will equally affect an inexpensive or expensive amplifier (it’s best to bring a surge protector or better yet, a power conditioner along just in case). The same goes for clumsy band members or club patrons running into your gear - accidents happen! Having backups readily available for essential parts of your rig can help relieve a lot of stress and help you play your best, since you won’t be as worried about an equipment mishap putting a premature end to your show. Here are four items you should always bring a backup for.
There’s an old saying from the Navy SEALS: two is one, one is none. Double up on your gear whenever you can, just like a professional repairman, technician, or any other tradesman would likely have more than one of each important tool of the trade. You might have a perfect gigging career and never need a backup, but the one time you do need one, you’ll be glad you lugged all that extra gear!
Do you bring any backup gear to gigs? If so, what? Let us know in the comments!
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In our recently concluded series, "How to Get a Gig," we learned a systematic approach to building and marketing a band. We saw how to win gigs by relationship building even if you aren't a born salesman. But what happens when you get the gig? We have all heard how competitive the music business is, but what can we do to stay on the winning side of that competition? What are the secrets that the longest-lived working bands know about staying relevant? This week, we will look at Eleven Secrets to Keeping Your Gig.
You've done your research, identified your targets, created a professional-quality product tailored to their needs, established a marketing plan and online presence, and assembled first-rate promo with which to sell your band. You know your product and your market inside and out. Now it is time to learn about your customer's product and your customer's market. You can tell the booking agent how great your band is all day long, but the whole time he is thinking, "What does all this have to do with me?"