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The Bar Band Blog

Essential Gear For Gigging Bands That Are Under $10

For bands that gig in large or small venues: From the local corner pub to the largest stadiums, the following items are often overlooked, but are affordable options to assist you during a performance.

Microphone Stand Beverage Holder
Those drinks on the floor and amps are an accident waiting to happen. This nifty gadget or comparable drink holder probably gets the most comments from casual fans, giving you and your band instant credibility!

Enjoy your favorite beverage like a boss and stuff a couple of cocktail napkins on the bottom. This will stop the sweat from the glass/bottle from dripping all over cables and pedals. Most big box guitar shops will have them and they run about $10.
Drink Holder

Spare Microphone Clip
Microphone stands get bumped and tip over all the time. One hard fall can snap the clip in half forcing you to tape the microphone to stand as a last resort. Skip that step and have a few extras handy. They run about five bucks at most big box guitar shops. Microphone clip

Old Fashioned Clip Board
They are an absolute must for outdoor gigs to keep setlists and notes from blowing away. They are also good for mailing list sign-ups. Clipboard

Reusable Tote Bags
These are fantastic for grouping similar cables together for storage. Keep separate bags for XLR, power, ¼ cables. This way your main cable box isn’t a massive uncoordinated mess. Tote Bag

Extra Speaker Stand Pins
Most of the speaker stands made in the past ten years will supply a support pin along with a knob or something to crank down the stand. For safety reasons, it never hurts to have a few extra pins handy. Speaker Pins

Pencil Pouch with Mesh Window
These brightly colored pouches are great for tape, picks, slides, capos and other small essentials. Find them anyplace that sells office or school supplies. They run anywhere from $1 to $3. Pencil Pouch

3-Way Outlet Wall Plug Adapter
These are handy when you require that one last plug or need to split the end of an extension. They run a few dollars and find them at any hardware store. 7.	3 Way Outlet Wall Plug Adapter

RCA to 3.5mm Cable
This is a standard cable that runs a portable mp3 player or phone into most mixing boards. Break music is essential when running your own sound. Find them at various lengths at any store carrying home audio or phone accessories. Buy a spare, these have a way of walking away. 8.	RCA to 3.5mm Cable

Assorted Tapes
Plain ol’ scotch tape is a must for hanging posters. Electrical tape helps cable patching and keeps picks in place on a mic stand. Multi colored electrical is perfect for identifying cables, and other pieces of gear. Electric tape also works as a decent band-aid in a pinch. Gaffers tape, vital for actually taping down cables to floors doesn’t make cut due to cost. Duct tape, although affordable leaves a sticky residue to absolutely everything. Tape

Magic Marker
Keep one close by to make notes while on stage or on a break. Someone request a song? It’s someone’s birthday? Make a note on your setlist. Because: You. Will. Forget.
Honorable Mentions
Hand towels, small pocket knife, LED flashlight, Velcro cable ties, drink can cooler, wire cutters, small Philips/flathead screwdriver, bottled water

Originally published, August 2014
by Neal Rudnik

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The Bar Band Blog is a collection of thoughts and insights regarding local bands performing in local bars. Topics range from booking gigs, dealing with bar management, stage etiquette, gear, setup and tear down, and other tips and tricks.

Neal Rudnik is an entertainer and performer with nearly twenty five years of rock band, acoustic and open mic gigging experience. He is also a member of C.K. And The Gray, a local Chicagoland cover band. In 2002, Neal completed his under graduate studies by spending a year researching the current state of the Chicago Blues music scene. First person interviews with club owners, musicians, promoters, journalists, record label executives and blues enthusiasts, Neal was able to gain a unique insight to the business and tradition of Chicago Blues music. Neal completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.



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