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Essential Music Gear for Live Performances What Musicians Shouldn't Forget

Essential Music Gear for Live Performances: What Musicians Forget

It’s always important to be prepared when you’re a musician playing live, that means having all of your essential music gear with you, so you’re not caught out if something goes wrong. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the things that guitarists in particular should never forget to take to a gig. We’ll also talk about some general items that are essential for all musicians when playing live. So whether you’re a guitarist, vocalist, drummer, or other band member, make sure you read on!

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Be prepared for a live gig

A musician has lots of music gear to take to a gig, so ensuring that all your equipment is packed into the van before setting out to the venue is important. Guitarists will ensure that their guitar, amplifier, leads, and effects pedals are all packed away ready to set up at the gig. Singers will have a microphone, mic stand, PA Amplifier and Speakers ready to impress the audience, and so on.

Very often performing musicians will check they have all the music gear required for gigging but can easily forget essential music gear simply because it slipped their minds or were in a rush to get to the venue.

We have set out below essential music gear that is very often overlooked when packing music gear ready for a live gig.

Essential music gear guitarists should not forget to take to a gig

Guitarists always ensure that their main music gear is loaded ready for a gig, items such as the guitar, amplifier, effects pedals, and connection leads.

However, it is easy to forget music gear that could potentially ruin a gig if forgotten. We have set out some music gear for guitarists below that are essential music gear and should ensure they are taken to every live performance:

Spare Guitar Strings

It’s very embarrassing for a guitarist who breaks a string in the middle of playing a song and does not have a spare set of guitar strings to hand.

Guitar Tuner

Guitarists sometimes forget a guitar tuner, it is a small item and very easy to overlook before a gig, it is always good practice to store your tuner in the guitar case so it stays with your guitar at all times. It is essential to be able to tune the guitar during performances especially when swapping between acoustic and electric guitars for example.

Spare Leads

When playing live on stage, connection leads can stop working properly over time, or a lead can be damaged accidentally and stop working during your performance. So, it is essential to have spare leads available for use if needed.

Leads can include a spare guitar lead, amp power lead, effects pedal leads, and electric extension leads.

Spare Plectrums

 Guitarists that play fast songs using plectrums do not always think they will break a plectrum while playing, but this can happen very easily at gigs where the atmosphere is electric. It’s a good idea to have spare plectrums available just in case you need them during your performance.

Spare Amplifier Fuses

Guitarists usually carry spare fuses for their amplifier, but sometimes this gets forgotten when packing music gear ready for a gig. When an amp fuse blows it can be hard to find the exact fuse needed especially if you’re in a rush to get your performance live.

Essential Music Gear for all musicians performing live on stage

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget smaller items of music gear that can be used by all musicians when playing live on stage. We have set out below some essential music gear that no musician should ever leave home without:

Spare Microphone

Vocalists will always take a microphone to a gig, but sometimes forget to take a spare after using it the night before. It’s always good practice having a couple of microphones available if needed during your live performance.

Professional microphones can be expensive but even if you carry a lower cost microphone as a back up it can get you out of trouble should your regular mic fail.

Live vocalists very often use radio mics but a simple mic with a lead can be quickly plugged into your PA system allowing your performance to continue.

Spare leads for equipment

Musicians often have lots of different pieces of music gear that all require a lead to connect to another piece of equipment. It’s easy to lose or damage a lead, so having spares available is essential.

We would recommend you at least have one spare lead for every connection you make to ensure that you never have issues when performing live.

Different venues can also differ in size so always carry some extra long leads with you just in case you need them.

Spare bulbs for stage lighting

If your performance includes stage lighting, it’s important to have a few spare bulbs with you should one of the bulbs blow during your show.

It can be very hard to find replacement bulbs for stage lighting when needed if you’re not near a music store, so always carry some spare bulbs with you.

The Setlist for the gig

a setlist is an item that many musicians have left on their kitchen table and overlooked when packing their music gear for a gig, ensure that the setlist is always with you and is the last thing you pack before leaving for your performance.

Drum Skins and Sticks

if your band has a live drummer, they will often take a few spares with them just in case one of the skins breaks during their performance.

It’s also common for drummers to break sticks, sometimes these little items can be forgotten but are essential when needed at live performances.

Another essential item that a drummer can overlook is a drum tuning key that can easily be left in a practice room or at home.

Batteries for wireless equipment

If your band uses any wireless music gear such as microphones or in-ear monitors, always carry a few spares batteries with you just in case they run out during your performance.

It’s very frustrating if you’re in the middle of a song and all of your wireless gear stops working due to a lack of battery power.

So there you have it, some essential music gear that no musician should forget when packing for a gig.

Create a checklist of essential music gear

Making a checklist of all your music equipment will help musicians ensure everything is packed away before setting out to a live gig, a simple piece of paper that you tick the boxes will help to avoid problems that can arise from forgetting an essential piece of music equipment.

Once you have written a checklist for your music gear, print out enough copies to keep in your guitar case or leads box, this way you will always be able to check that all items are present before leaving home.

Ensure that all your spare music gear is included on the checklist you created, this way you will not forget anything when packing your music equipment.

Always remember that even if you use the same venue every time to perform live, it’s still easy to forget some essential items of music gear when preparing for live performance.

The Checklist can be used after each performance and kept in a safe place until needed again for the next gig, plus you can refer to it when packing equipment away after a gig too!


It’s not always easy to remember everything you need for a live performance, create a checklist of essential music equipment and use it each time to ensure you never forget anything.

Always ensure you carry spare items of music equipment just in case you need them at the gig, this way you won’t have any issues during your live performance.

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