So you’ve finally reached that magical moment when your band is ready, your songs are tight and your gear is solid. It’s time to hit the road for a memorable tour. The last thing you want is to worry about damaged or lost gear. Here’s a few basic tips to make sure your hard earned gear stays safe and sound.
- Quality Gear: Having quality gear is a must when showcasing your music to people. Buy it once and treat it right. Remember it doesn’t always have to be uber expensive to be superior quality, for instance you could spend $7000 to $8000 for the Klon Centaur Overdrive pedal OR you could snag a comparable 1 to 1 Klone like the Octonaut Hyperdrive from Interstellar Audio Machines for $249. Choose wisely!
- Hard Shell Cases: Most likely you already have a hard case for your guitar, and if you don’t then stop reading and go get one now! But seriously do you think Dave Grohl rolls around with his DG-335 he lovingly calls “Lou” without a case around it? The road is a hard place sometimes and you’ve worked hard to get some quality gear right (tip #1) ? Used cases can be found secondhand for cheap with a lot of miles left on them while new cases can go for around $100. It will be one of your best investments.
- Accessories Need Love Too: Hey its valentines right? So like I said, get some hard cases but don’t forget about your accessories! Your pedals, mics and amps all need cases. The harder the better. $50-$100 should get you straight for each major item. Pelican cases are amazing options if you can find them for a good price!
- Label Your Sh!*: So its 2AM and the show is over. Most likely you kicked ass on stage and enjoyed a few tasty beverages while the masses cheered you on. Nice job, but now its time to load out and everyone is feeling a little loose. You’d be surprised how many pieces of gear look like the same gear from another band, and when your head is reeling from all that celebration, it’s easy to lose, misplace or just forget things that may be yours. Get a cheap label machine and put your name on stuff or some white gaff tap and a sharpie to write your band name at the very least. A little prep work will save you in the long run.
- Have A Backup: An extra effects pedal, a few extra patch cables or power supplies could make the difference between rocking out and looking like a bunch of amateurs. Even if you follow all these tips, things happen on the road. Stuff wears out, gets broken, lost and even stolen. Having a backup is a real pro level move and trust me on this one, you WILL need it one day.
- BONUS TIP! Bring a toolbox. Stay tuned next month as we discuss what to put in your toolbox (Besides Debbie from Little Rocks phone number ;0 )
When it’s all said and done, a little forethought and some decent decisions can help make your touring experiences a little easier. Don’t forget, mistakes cost money and you need all your gig cash in your pocket for your next record, gear purchase or that all important case of beer.