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Packing to play a show? Make sure you check this essential gig kit list first

guitar gig kit list
(Image credit: Future)

Talent aside, preparation is the real key to success - and your gear is a big part of that...

Guitar tools
Pack string cutters, pliers for tightening, and Allen keys to tweak your action and vibrato system.

Gaffer tape
Fix your mic stand, setlist, cable, van exhaust, leaky shoes.

Spare guitar and strap
Tune it up before you go on. Your fans will escape to the bar if you hold things up changing a broken string mid-song.

Spare strings
Strings aren't immune to breaking in soundcheck - spares are essential.

Torch
It gets dark onstage. Or keep your smartphone charged and handy and you won't have to worry about forgetting your torch.

Musician's Friend pedal event: Korg Pitchblack Mini Tuner White

Make sure your tuner pedal has a clear display on dark stages (Image credit: Korg)

Tuner pedal
Never forget this: there is no excuse for starting out of tune. Get the best you can afford and make sure it has a nice clear display for dark stages.

Pen and paper
Have these on hand to jot down your setlist.

Amp backup
If you can't take a spare amp, try a modeller with cab simulator that can be DI'd straight into the PA.

Batteries
You'll need some spares if your power supply goes down.

First aid
You don't want to bleed on your fans or let a headache ruin your big night - pack some plasters and painkillers. And the singer's secret weapon: throat pastilles.

Blu-Tack
If your pick tends to fly out of your hand mid-song, stick spares to your mic stand or guitar so replacements are always at hand.

Guitar laying on the floor with a guitar cable plugged in

Always pack a spare cable (or five)  (Image credit: Future)

Electronic cleaning spray
A quick fix for crackling connections. Make sure it's in your gigbag.

Spare pedal
Get a budget spare for your essential pedal. For the super- prepared, a multi-effects unit could save you from serious pedalboard problems.

Earplugs
It might get loud - these can increase the clarity of onstage levels.

Cables
Pack instrument, patch, speaker, XLR and daisy chain cables. Don't buy the cheapest: quality lasts and you always need more cables than you think.

Picks
Minimise the chances of losing one from sweaty mitts by packing picks with grippy surfaces.

Mains adapter
Never assume the venue has enough power points or extensions. It's worth investing in your own multi-socket extension adaptor that's RCD- equipped, with surge and overload protection.

  • Electronic cleaning spray
    A quick fix for crackling connections. Make sure it's in your gigbag.
  • Spare pedal
    Get a budget spare for your essential pedal. For the super-prepared, a multi-effects unit could save you from serious pedalboard problems.
  • Earplugs
    It might get loud - these can increase the clarity of onstage levels.
  • Cables
    Pack instrument, patch, speaker, XLR and daisy chain cables. Don't buy the cheapest: quality lasts and you always need more cables than you think.
  • Picks
    Minimise the chances of losing one from sweaty mitts by packing picks with grippy surfaces.
  • Mains adapter
    Never assume the venue has enough power points or extensions. It's worth investing in your own multi-socket extension adaptor that's RCD- equipped, with surge and overload protection.
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