Going on the road means being prepared or being without something you desperately need. Whenever I go out on the road no matter how long there are certain things I do and pack.
1. I take all my basses out of the gig bags and put them in hard shell cases. It really sucks when you get to a gig and one of the machine heads on your bass is broken or there’s a nice big ding in your prized axe.
2. I make sure my bass rack and cabinet is road ready. Tighten up screws and check to make sure your wheels are good working order and ready to move freely in and out of the truck, van or trailer. If you have cases for your bass rig use them. Your gear will last a lot longer. If not, it’s not the end of the world. You can always use an old blanket to wrap your head and cabinet in. A cheap way to go is go to the thrift store and buy and old suitcase for your head. You can also get and old comforter to wrap your cabinet in. Better to be safe than sorry!
3. I always pack a tool kit. This is just a basic tool kit. You can put the kitchen sink in it if you need it. Usually space is an issue so I try to keep it small and limited to stuff for my bass and my rig. I don’t see the need to spend fifty bucks on some tool kit at a music store.
Tool Kit Video
4. Suitcase for your clothes. Pack a hard sided case if you have one, this way you can put some breakable stuff in there and not worry about it getting broken when it gets thrown in the trailer or in the back of the van. Just pack enough clothes for the tour. No need in bringing stuff you might use. YOU WON’T! I bring clothes I can wear multiple times on multiple nights. A pair of pants you can wear on different nights with different shirts. If you need to you can always wash your cloths in the sink in your room and hang them dry for the next day. Bring socks and underwear to change them every day. If you need to you can get t-shirts, socks and underwear at the dollar store. Soap, Shampoo, deodorant extra toilet paper, a shaving razor, toothbrush and toothpaste. Don’t forget any medicines you might need as well
NO ONE LIKES TO RIDE WITH THE STINKY KID!
5. I always bring a small travel bag to keep with me when I’m riding in the car, van, bus. I like to keep munchies and drinks with me (juice bags are great because they don’t take up a lot of room in my bag) I always bring a bottle of water with me as well. My ipod, phone headphones and chargers for you electronics. I carry and external battery supply just in case, this was 10 bucks at the Big Box electronic store. Just stuff I want to have in case. I get bored easy and need to have things to occupy my time when traveling.
6. A notebook with some pencils, pens, pencil sharpener and an eraser. You’ll need something to write those hit songs in and pencil is great for changing things at the last minute. I like use pencil when I’m wring charts or notes for songs.
On longer tours I bring my laptop and external hard drive, things I need to practice in my room. Basically what I need to make me happy and comfortable without taking up too much room.
These are just some of the basics to travel with and know you covered your ass.
Just remember toBe Prepared, Have fun and kick some ass!