If you’re a bass player traveling to do some gigs with the band, you’ll probably want to go prepared with everything that can help. Here are some good things to consider bringing along to help keep things from going wrong in ways people might not even often think about.
You don’t need so many tools to do a full setup, just enough to get the gig finished with at the least. With some tools for repairs like a small screwdriver set, an Allen wrench set, a pair of wire cutters, etc. you can adjust bridges, open battery compartments and replace strings.
Extra Bass Strings
While breaking a string isn’t as common for bass players as it is for guitarists, it can still happen. There’s nothing worse than breaking your G or D string while slapping and popping. It can be dangerous when it breaks off! Therefore, always have an extra set of bass strings on hand.
You never know when something of yours might quit working, or when that can happen to another musician with you. Sometimes someone forgets something or has issues with their gear, it happens. Things like a clip-on tuner, packages of batteries, spare guitar cables and spare straps are always good to carry.
Business Cards and Smartphone
Business cards are an essential for getting yourself out there and getting more gigs. You never know who you’ll meet and who can get you more of the connections. By just talking, there’s no guarantee people will remember all the details or even how to spell your name or your band’s name. Of course you can always record it all on your smartphone too. It’s helpful to have a Facebook, Instagram or even a website that you can market which can be included on your business cards.
Duct tape is one of those things that you never know when you’ll need, and it could probably go recommended to anyone traveling. As a musician though, you could need it on a windy day to keep something like a sheet down or a set list. You could also use it for taping wires down so nobody ends up having a bad trip over one. Really though, there are all kinds of uses for it even outside of those things, so it’s just good to have if you plan on traveling with the band or on your own.
Bass Pedals or Effects Box
Although not necessarily a strict ‘must-have’, effects pedals, like bass chorus pedals for instance, can make your bass playing sound even better. Otherworldly sounds and crazy effects can turn your boring bass lines into unforgettable melodies on their own.
Playing any instrument all day can take its toll on you, so pain relievers are great to have in times of problems. From sore wrists and bleeding fingers to repetitive motion injuries, bass playing can cause injury. You could always try playing through it, but it’s just another thing you could end up facing that you don’t want to have distracting you from the gigs.
As any musician should know, ear plugs are important to avoid risking hearing loss. It’s recommended for any musician, and although not everyone might do it, most who know better do. Playing without them just isn’t worth the risk, but it’s up to you in the end. One moment you’re headbanging though, the next moment one has fallen out so you’ll want to bring extras.
As a musician you, don’t want to be caught having to play while a ton of itches are covering your body. The best way to avoid that of course is by having bug spray. You don’t always know what the place you’re going to be playing at will be like and how many mosquitoes will be in the area so it’s always better to be safe about it instead of being distracted by bites and itches.