Top 5 tips on how to look after your gear on the road
Music careers can take a significant step forward by artists taking themselves and their favourite equipment on the road.
But while touring can be exciting for new musicians, it also offers plenty of challenges both for you and your instruments.
Our industry partner, Bell Music, is one of Europe's leading providers of percussion, drums, studios and backline so who better to ask for advice on how musicians can look after their gear?
Check out these top tips from the Bell Music team...
Good, solid, protective cases. Either a protection racket or hardcase, preferably fully lined for maximum protection. However, a hardcase would be suited to a touring drummer. They provide solid cases that you can stack on top of and they won’t flex, preventing the crushing of the drum kit and cymbals.
Whereas a Protective Racket is suited to those who are driving to and from rehearsals, or less intense gigs. Just keep in mind that any stuff placed on top will be relying on the strength of your drum rather than its protective casing. Therefore, ensure items such as your kit are the last to go in, so to not be squished under amps or guitars.
What are your means of transport?
It’s good to keep in mind how you travel to and from gigs and rehearsals, as this can help you decide which type of casing you require and methods on how to get there.
For example, if you’re travelling on foot or by public transport, to protect cymbals perhaps consider a mono cymbal bag or Protective Racket ‘deluxe’ with shoulder straps! Makes it much easier to carry on the tube and better to carry evenly on your back than on your arm.
If travelling by car a five door is easier than three to get your kit in, obviously we’re not suggesting you sell your brand new three door car, but if you’re in a band and have a five door car driver that’s especially useful.
Treat everyone’s gear as it was your own!
Whether this be the instruments themselves, additional gear or even the person’s car you may have travelled in. Treat it all like your own, makes life easier, happier, and prevents any disagreements within the band.
Insure your instrument
As students, this may not be the top of your list, we know budgets are tight. However, if you find yourself in a position where you can, especially if you’re touring or gigging frequently it is worth considering. If your instrument breaks, so does your opportunity for work.
Maintenance and instrumental understanding
As musicians, we are constantly practising and playing gigs so over time your instrument will show the effects this has on them. Therefore, maintaining and constantly cleaning your instruments is key. If they aren’t in good condition, your performing won’t be either. It’s the same for vocalists, if you’re dehydrated and tired your voice will sound it too.
Also consider the effects that your travel has on them. For example, putting your guitar in the hold of a plane can affect the strings due to the dramatic change in temperature. Loosen your guitar strings beforehand to prevent them snapping, and don’t put your drumsticks in the hold; the temperature drop can risk the result of them cracking.
Found this interesting? Find out more about us at bellperc.com and don’t forget, as ICMP students you receive discounts from us too!
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