What To Do If Your Musical Gear Breaks Down At A Gig

When you are playing live on stage there are few things that can be worse than a musical equipment failure. Every professional musician will have technical problems on the stage. I’ve had numerous different problems with my gear in the past. 

Here are some solutions that I’ve found work well:

  • Get a technician to help you set up and monitor your equipment before and during the show. You can either hire a professional (if you can afford it) or at least find a knowledgeable friend who will follow your set up instructions.
  • Map out (on paper) all of your equipment, how and where it should be placed on the stage, how each item is connected, the order in which midi instruments should be connected and turned on, which items are to be held on ‘standby mode’ and when they should be turned into active mode.
  • Pre-connect as many pieces of gear as possible before it is even placed on the stage. If there is no time for a sound check on the stage, then do your own quick sound check off the stage before the equipment is moved onto the stage.
  • Label everything. Label every piece of equipment, every cable, every power supply, etc. Then use the same cables in the same way each and every time. (speaking of cables, don’t forget to replace them from time to time). 
  • Make a checklist for all your gear and write out the order in which everything should be set up and connected. 
  • Double your system. Although it can be expensive to buy two of everything, if there is any way you can afford to do so and if you are playing a lot of gigs, it is well worth the investment. Bring your spare gear with you and have it also set up and connected off the stage (or on the back of the stage) or spare equipment plugged and ready to go. In this way it’s almost impossible that the main gear gets broken and also the spare one. 

I learned the hard way that ‘not’ doing these things in the past caused many problems, problems that could have been avoided most of the time. You can be sure we do these things now. ☺

Do you want help to make your rock band a success?


Alex Staropoli

Alex Staropoli Professional Musician In Rock Band

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