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7 Must Haves for Musicians When Performing Live

written by: Mr New Material•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 10/13/2009

Are you fully prepared for your Musical Performance? Sure you may have your songs and music memorized, however; are you prepared for the worst? Follow this quick checklist to make sure you're prepared for any emergencies that may occur.

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    You Better Be Prepared!

    As a musician, you should already know how important it is to be prepared with the right items before your show. A lot of musicians’ make the mistake of thinking everything will go perfect, it won’t! When it comes to shows and performing in front of crowds I’ve learned one thing, anything can happen at any time! There are certain items that every musician should have when doing a live performance. Below I have listed these important “life saving" items when doing live performances.

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    Instrument Repair Kit

    Guitar Be smart when doing live shows and pack a repair kit. A repair kit involves all the tools necessary when it comes to your music equipment. This can be as simple as a couple wrenches or screwdrivers to fix minor problems. To avoid using the repair kit during your gigs, check all equipment ahead of time. Make sure the kit is in a location where everyone in the band can get to quickly if something breaks unexpectedly.

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    Figuring that most of your live shows will be at night, you must have a flashlight as part of your must have items! Having a flashlight will surely come in handy when it comes to connecting cables and checking power strips in the dark. Make sure that the flashlight has more brightness than an average flashlight, stages and auditoriums have a tendency to get “pitch black" dark or might have lots of blinking lights that are annoying when trying to see and focus at the same time.

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    Bottled Water

    Bottled water Forget what anyone else says about not packing bottled water on stage with you! Bottled water will not only keep you hydrated on stage, it will also make as a great crowd pleaser for those HOT shows. If the stage and atmosphere both heat up, pour water on everyone in the front row. If it's going to be especially hot, setting up a fan can help cool off musicians.

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    Multiple Adapters

    Bring lots of adapters on stage with you. While you may not physically have them in your hands at all times, pack a bag just for adapters. Make sure to pack all types such as XLR male and female, AC adapters as well as universal adapters for your music equipment. If you'll be going to place you've never been before or is an unusual place like a gazebo in a park, you can't assume that they'll have right adapter you require, or any adapter for that matter.

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    AC Line and Cable Testers

    Know that nothing is predictable when it comes to doing a live show, have AC line and cable testers online to make sure your cables are up to par before the performance. If you’re getting a short in one of the cables or adapters, simply test it to see if the cable is bad. Changing a bad cable before the performance will save you from being embarrassed as well as giving off that amateur appeal.

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    Gaffer’s Tape

    This is a tape for all different occasions. Not only does the tape not rip the layers off what you have it taped to, it’s good for securing speaker cables and wires in place on the floor. To avoid tripping over yourself all night, take the Gaffer’s tape to secure the area and equipment on stage.

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    First Aid Kit

    This should go in general without saying, always have your first aid kit handy. Make sure you pack items such as band aids, pain medication as well as add-on such as Carmex or Blistex for your lips. If you sing or blow into an instrument, you will surely need these things between song sets.

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