In our August article we talked about how to set up your ideal rehearsal space to maximize your practice time and make it more enjoyable. Practicing for a musical event can take many hours, and the one thing that hinders a great performance is lack of practice time. But there is another thing that can get in the way of a great performance, and that is your actual stage set up.

Can you relate to this? You arrive at your rehearsal for your worship event and you proceed to set your gear up, only to realize that you don’t have the power supply to your guitar effects unit (did you leave it at the last gig??). Or maybe you forgot the stand for your keyboard, or left your line cables at home. I can’t even tell you how many times a drummer shows up to play a house kit without his drum sticks, or guitar players show up without their power supply to their guitar processors. There is nothing worse than showing up to a gig and realizing you don’t have the tools to do the job. Everybody forgets stuff! This was happening so frequently with our student worship band that I came up with a simple solution for our students so that they would always be prepared.

It’s a simple check list (that they can keep in their instrument bag) for them to review before they leave home to the gig, and also before they leave the stage at the end of their event.

BASIC KEYBOARD CHECK ​LIST:

  1. Two 1/4 inch cables (preferably 10 ft. or longer)
  2. Pencil & paper (for notes taken during the rehearsal)
  3. Your keyboard and keyboard power supply
  4. Your amp and amp power chord​
  5. A 10-15 ft. black A/C multi outlet power cable (many times there aren’t adequate power sources where you may be placed on stage).
  6. A pair of ear buds (we highly recommend the Skull Candy ear buds – they are consumer priced with a pro sound).
  7. At least a 6-Ft Audio Cable Headphone Adapter:
    1/4″ Stereo Male Plug to 3.5mm (1/8″) Stereo Female Jack.
    This is for a couple of reasons: it may be an in-ear gig with no live monitor wedges, or you may want or need to go over parts while the sound man is setting everyone else up, without disturbing anyone.

BASIC GUITAR/BASS CHECK ​LIST: ​

  1. Two 1/4 inch cables (preferably 10 ft. or longer)
  2. Pencil & paper
  3. Your guitar and guitar case
  4. Your guitar or bass processor (or pedal board) & power supply
  5. Tuner (if not built in to your effects unit)
  6. Your amp and amp power chord
  7. Guitar picks
  8. Ear buds w/ head phone extension adapter (see keyboard list)
  9. A 10-15 ft. black A/C multi outlet power strip

BASIC DRUMMER CHECK LIST:

  1. Pencil & paper
  2. 2 sets of Drum sticks
  3. Ear buds w/ headphone extension adapter (see keyboard list)
  4. Metronome (we recommend the Frozen Ape Tempo app for phone)
  5. Moon Gel (to tone down ringing drums & achieve better tone)

It’s also extremely smart to label every piece of the items on your checklist with your name and phone number in case you do forget them at a gig. We also have our students write the name of the unit on the actual power supplies (e.g. Digitech RP500, Korg X5, etc). Doing this makes it less likely that you’ll plug the incorrect power supply into your unit and kill it dead. :-/

BEING SELF CONTAINED WITH YOUR MONITORING SITUATION:

If it’s in your budget ($80), another great item to have in your gig bag is a Rolls PM351. It’s a very inexpensive way for you to have your own in-ear monitoring system if the church or facility doesn’t provide it. This affordable little box would be your own monitoring system for your vocal, instrument, and monitor input. You have full control of the levels. It also has direct outs to the sound system for your vocal and instrument. There are 3 volume knobs (1 for your instrument, 1 for vocal, and one for a mix from the board). You may end up not even bringing your amp anymore because the Rolls will fit in the palm of your hand.

May you be blessed as you pour into the next generation of worship leaders and musicians!

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