I had to fill in for someone on Sunday very last minute, my first gig in years although I am preparing for several more.
Those battery lights are nice and sometimes necessary, but I’ve yet to find one that throws as much light on both the music AND the strings–very important–as a regular stand light with the usual 40 watt bulb. I always have in the car an extra bulb and extra extension cords.
In addition to those items others have mentioned, I keep in the car extra tuning key, set of wire strings, towels, bandaids, extra watch, a wire stand in case another stand is needed, second stand light for a partner, extra set of pedal springs, extra discs, extra batteries, extra tuner in case the primary fails, second pair of playing shoes. These are all things I have needed in the past. May sound like overkill but you just never know. And that’s not listing everything I always have with me!
“take extra cables if you’re amplified (The sight of a stage makes
cables break, just part of cable karma, inexplicable but inexorable as
Haha! Song Sparrow, that’s so very true! As a harpist I needed aplification only once and it was ok, but as a singer I know all about stage-frightened cables! I also tend to forget about water, it always seems like a small bottle of water is something easy to find, but off-course it’s not alway so…
Hmm, some great ideas here. If I don’t know what kind of surface I’m playing on, I bring a small oriental rug with a non-slip undermat. if I’m playing outdoors, I bring along a mat or rug to protect the bottom of the harp, shims to level my music stand if I’m on an uneven surface, sungasses and sunblock (though I try to keep me and the harp out of the sun).
My gig bag holds munchies, water, kleenex, needle and alcohol swabs, tuner, extra batteries, battery powered music stand light, full set of strings, nail clippers to clip nails and strings, extra tuning keys, a door stop, and a screw driver for emergency repairs. I keep needle nose pliers in the car. Most of my music is in a binder, but I bring along loose sheet music and collections if needed.
I don’t bring extra panty hose, but do bring along a shawl and have fingerless mitts for when it gets cold.
And I’ve found a GPS to be invaluable – at the very least, Google Maps directions and the phone number for the venue.
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