Top Essentials You Need for Playing an Instrument

words Al Woods

Preparation begets excellence in everything that you do, particularly in the performing arts. An artist hones his craft for hours on end in order to master it.

But the great ones take into account tools and other essentials needed to perform at their best. Here are some of the items that you’ll want to have when playing your instrument:

Playing Instrument


A tuner or a metronome is not only an essential item; they’re also easy to pack, so you don’t have any excuse not to carry one with you. A guitarist must invest in a good pedal or a clip tuner so that you’ll be able to adjust your instrument’s tune quickly. This helps by not making your audience wait and keep their interest in your next number.

Music Stand

Music sheets are important, but many musicians don’t need them as they already memorize their pieces. But a portable music stand helps to keep your setlist, spare drumsticks, phone or tab holder, or anything that you need within arm’s reach. If you’re performing outdoors, then you’re going to need something to clip your items on the stand.

Comfortable Chair

If you’re a guitarist performing a live acoustic number, you’ll want to get the chair that enables you to play conveniently and smoothly. Even if you’re just alone practicing, a comfortable guitar chair that allows for a perfect sitting posture helps you focus on your play. It may look just an ordinary stool, but it’s essential to get the best stool to practice and perform on in order to draw the best out of your show.

Tool Kit

There will be a number of situations where having a toolkit can save the day. A typical toolkit will have a number hex wrenches, a multi-edge screwdriver, duct tapes, grease, and a strong wire cutter. Besides extra guitar and bass strings, you might also want to have a drum key and other essential kits.

Pen and Paper

There should be some writing materials inside your gear bag. You may want to make changes on your setlist or any other variances while you play. Special requests must also be noted. Phones or tablet devices may be more convenient, but nothing beats a good old pen and paper for jotting down a quick list.


It’s not just about the equipment you use. A good performance is in the way you hold yourself, the way you interact with the crowd, and the passion you put into the way you play. Any good performing arts school, especially places like Travis Preston CalArts, would tell you to focus on these aspects first. Get your stage set sorted, make sure you’re ready to perform without a technical hitch, then turn that energy inward. Even if you’re nervous, you can use that to fuel you!

Backup Gear

There will always be some unforeseen circumstances where a backup instrument is needed (like a power outage or faulty wiring). But not every instrument can have a backup, but you can always pack extra mics, power cords, torch, strings, reeds, or any other gear. This helps reduce interruptions when you’re playing, and it makes you look more professional to your patrons.

learning Instrument


If you’re playing for a noisy live audience, chances are you’ll be hard-pressed for being able to hear yourself or the rest of the band. There is a solution to this problem. An earpiece or an in-ear monitor can help you hear what you want and adjust accordingly.

Whether you’re a leading event performer or just a budding artist, you’re going to need these essentials when you’re out, performing for an audience. Of course, most of them will also help you practice. These items will help you set your mind free from worries and focus on your performance.


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