Must Have Accessory List for Mobile Guitarists

Started by Elantric, March 29, 2014, 09:41:01 AM

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Must Have Accessory List for Mobile Guitarists

Feel free to add your favorite "always in the accessory bag" items here on this thread.

Heres a short list

Small Organizer Case

This works for sorting cables , guitar accessories in your live gig bag

* Belkin Rockstar
Five jacks for attaching headphones or iPod devices
One hard-wired connection for your MP3 player
Mixing and fade-ins controlled by the standard controls of each MP3 player
Also works with all MP3 and portable DVD players

This Belkin device is 3.5mm TRS Stereo Splitters/ Passive Mixer   -when used with multiple headphones allows me to share new tunes to other players in band.

But also works in reverse -

There is arcane  / seldom known secret of this Belkin Rockstar 3.5mm Stereo Splitter- I can directly connect the separate Headphone Outputs from my VG-99, GR-55, and iPad IOS Synth and another MP3 player with backing tracks. and feed a Stereo Power Amplifier or one set of headphones -  So I can play the GR-55 while learning tunes.  - or feed a stereo DI Box for a small one man show

* Kensington Noise Reducing Aux Audio Cable

Reduces hum from your car´s electrical system
Provides a direct connection to your car´s AUX (auxiliary) port for pure sound
Cable braiding for strength, durability and limited tangle
4-ft long, 3.5mm audio cable

Basically this Kensington Noise Reducing Aux Audio Cable acts as a stereo Ebtech Hum Reducer - with decent internal audio grade isolation transformers, to eliminate noise due to Ground Loops and RF Noise from DSP Guitar Processors.  A lifesaver when you want to use your Jamup  / BIAS rig with your PA

and of course lots of these
* Headphone Adapter Stereo Gold Plug 1/4-Inch (6.3mm) Male to 1/8-Inch (3.5mm) Female

Planet Waves 1/4 Inch Female Stereo Coupler

and one of my favorites
* Rolls Personal Monitor Station - Rolls PM351
Microphone, Line and Instrument Inputs: The PM351 features 1/4 inch phone line and instrument inputs as well as 3-pin XLR microphone input
Discrete Level Control: The front panel features independent level control over microphone, line and instrument signals
Microphone Thru and Line Level Output: 3-pin XLR microphone thru and line level outputs provide sufficient output to consoles, monitor speakers, recorders, etc
Stereo or Mono Selectable Line In: The PM351 features a single 1/4 inch TRS phone input that can be jumper switched to accept mono or stereo signal


* Palmer Pocket-Amp

Model name: PEPAMP
Pocket Amp

Palmer Pocket Amp - The perfect companion for guitar players

With headphone and XLR outputs you can practice quietly at home, or connect the Pocket Amp to a PA system for band rehearsals and forget about lugging that heavy amp and cab around. The stereo Aux Input lets you connect CD and MP3 players to play along to your favorite songs and work out tricky parts.Providing a wide array of clean and dirty amp sounds and faithful loudspeaker simulation the Pocket Amp sounds just like the real thing. It features switchable amp selection, Clean, Crunch, and Heavy modes,loudspeaker/mic position simulations, and there are controls for Drive, Level, Treble and Bass to fine tune your sound. All this is packed into a rugged die-cast aluminium housing. The Pocket Amp operates on battery and mains (a 9V DC adapter is available from Palmer).

This one is a great tool - wonderful Palmer analog Tube Amp emulation / Speaker simulator DI Box / Stereo Headphone Practice amp
a bit better  / more versatile than the long discontinued Award JD-10 Pedal


Boss micro BR80 recorder with multifx
Korg Pandora Mini/px5d
Guitars: Ibanez Prestige S5470, Ibanez Jem 7v, Ibanez JS2410, PRS SE Custom24, Cort  Ltd G16, Ibanez RG370Ahmz,
MultiFX: Roland GR55, Zoom 1on, BOSS GT00
Loopers: Digitech trio+, Line 6 JM4
MIDI:, MAudio Axiom24 keyboard, Alesis IO Dock with iPad air 2


My No.1 must have at all times desert island Mobile Guitarist accessory
Guitars: 1975 Strat, Godin XTSA, Maton Acoustic, Roland GC1
Amp:Tech 21 Trademark 60
P.A.: Mackie SRM 450's, 15 Mackie Active Subs
Floor: Boss GP-10, VG8 EX, VG-88
Studio: Logic Pro, Omnisphere, Korg Triton, Tria Event speakers


QuoteMy No.1 must have at all times desert island Mobile Guitarist accessory

Been there done that - this version below works much better, and longer - but more bulk
Poweradd™ Pilot Pro 32000mAh Monster Capacity Multi-Voltage (5V 9V 12V 16V 19V 20V) Portable Charger External Battery Backup Power Bank with Smart LCD Digital Display

Just need a DC polarity reversing adapter  then it works great for all day busking work with Roland / Boss PSA compatible +9V pedal boards.

Even as your main FX board power supply  - it will eliminate ground loop Switching Power Supply Noise too.
Visual Sound CYR Converter for One Spot Power Supply with Reverse Polarity
RAVPower 15000mAh Portable Power Bank Pack External Battery Charger for iPads, Samsung Tablets, iPhones, Android Smart Phones Galaxy S4, S3, (Dual USB Output: 5V, 2A; DC Output: 9V / 12V, 2A)


IK Multimedia iRig Pro
IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo


Line-6 Sonic Port VX - use Battery Power for lower noise and charge your IOS device at live gig.

I'll share a secret

My SonicPort VX came with a MicroUSB cable that was actually defective for charging the connected IOS device

I swapped it with a more robust micro USB cable  - intended for and Android phone ( Amazon Basics)

I'm using an iPhone 6 Plus 128GB (IOS 8.1.2), or iPad Air

Using the supplied Line 6 Lightning cable, I  connect  SonicPort VX  to my iPhone, and at a live stage gig I feed its 1/4" TRS Balanced Outputs to a pair of Alesis Alpha 112A Powered PA cabs (Alto TS112A clones) 

What works great for me  -is Yonac ToneStack as my go to IOS Guitar FX app  - its much lower latency than the competition, and thats a big requirement for me -as  I need to play "in the groove" when I play funk with my drummer at the live gig

But if I play a real long show, or busking at Pismo Beach Pier - I feed all above into a  battery powered stereo Roland BA-330, and be mindful of taming the low frequencies, as they can be a problem.

In that situation, I add the  MicroUSB cable to SonicPort VX - but use a generic high capacity external Battery with a 2.1Amp USB power charge port

This one was $20 recently

RAVPower® Element 10400mAh External Battery USB Portable Charger

Using this Battery provides two important things

1) Compared to using an AC Powered 12Watt USB charger - I experience a  Huge reduction in 60/120Hz hum and noise. I can use single coil PUs with far less noise using Battery Power.

2) I can play for over 10 hours straight  - so this is perfect for going anywhere  - even with no AC power,  just  iPhone, SonicPort VX, two cables, headphones,  and the external battery pack  - I sit under a tree in the park and practice guitar riffs , learn new tunes, etc.

Another trick is Belkin RockStar

There is more than meets the eye here - besides being a 5 way headphone splitter , the Belkin Rockstar is also a 5 channel Stereo Passive Mixer  -( it works both ways)  I can hang the  Belkin Rockstar on the Headphone output of SonicPort VX, and mix in four additional stereo sources ( like another Ipad, or hardware synth, etc,) and still have a remaining port for my Headphones  - or feed a self powered PA with a 3.5mm TRS input

I carry two Belkin Rockstars along with Sonic Port VX, in my Guitar gig bag and using a Guitar with a Fishman Tripleplay Guitar to MIDI interface, and two iPads and pair of ATH-M50 Headphones - I can record song demos  anywhere, anytime using this setup.


I recently acquired one of these for working with song files  from third party hardware (Zoom Recorders and other external sources)   - and so far it works well with iPhone 6 Plus and iPad !

$59 on Ebay

Maxell Airstash

Whilst it's always been fairly straight forward to import audio onto your iPhone or iPad using iTunes on a computer to sync it with your iOS device, if you wanted to remove your laptop or desktop from your iOS workflow it's been quite a challenge. That is until Maxell released their incredible Airstash. This is a wireless flash drive that accepts an SD card. Turn it on and it broadcasts a wireless network that you can connect to on your iOS device or Android device and from there you can stream your content and easily open it in iMovie using the "Open in" feature.


Pyle-Pro PDC22 Dual 1/4'' Instrument To Balanced & Unbalanced (1/4''/XLR) Direct Box

Currently using this  - works well for gigs i play  - despite its low cost ($15)

This has several uses - use two of these Stereo DI boxes for passive Hiz Guitar > to Low-z for long distance cable run with XLR Cable  > back to Hi-Z to feed your Guitar Amp ( an old Lindsey Buckingham trick)


That Pyle PDC22 looks like a clone of my Palmer PAN04- for $15?!?!?!?!?

You gotta be kidding, if the performance is anywhere close that's an absolute steal!!! How lucky you guys living in the States are, at least in terms of musical equipment prices....
Take what you need, put back a bit more, leave the place behind you better than it was before :-)


StageTrix Setting Saver
by StageTrix
   10 customer reviews 
List Price:   $5.99
Price:   $3.49 + $4.99 shipping

Estimated Delivery Date: Feb. 11 - 17 when you choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.
Perfect for amps, pedals, rack equipment, anything with knobs!
No more loosing your settings when you transport your equipment.
Works great on consoles, equalizers, DJ gear, anything with sliders!
Dial in a session, completely change it all, and than go back to the original settings in no time flat.


Gig Bag Essentials
By Don Carr on Feb 23, 7:53 PM

A gig bag can be the most convenient way to carry your instrument. Whether you're going to a friend's house for an impromptu jam, taking your axe on vacation, playing a club gig across town or doing a world tour, the gig bag's grab-and-go accessability is hard to beat. There's also a trend in making them tougher, more protective of your instrument, and designing them with lots of extra storage space. Here's some ideas for stocking your gig bag so all that storage space doesn't go to waste or end up being filled with empty microwave-burrito wrappers from the convenience store.

The Essentials
No matter how little storage space you have in your gig bag, keep these handy to be prepared for the rehearsal, jam, gig, whatever.

Extra Strings — appropriate to the instrument in the bag
Slide and Capo — if you use them
Soft polish cloth — you'll be shocked at how many uses you can find for it, like wrapping your slide or capo
Clip-on Tuner — so many good choices but the Boss TU-10 gets a nod for being low profile with less breakable moving parts
Any adjustment wrenches specific to the instrument in the bag — truss rod, bridge, etc.
Any cables specific to the instrument in the bag — MIDI, stereo, splitters, etc.
Really Glad You Have Them
This is stuff that you might be able to live without but you'll be happy to see when you need it! All but the most modest gig bags will accommodate this list:

Small flashlight
Leatherman-type tool — screwdriver, pliers, knife, etc
Peg winder and string cutter — a guitar-oriented multi-tool such as Farley's JP Deluxe Guitar Tool or the Planet Waves Pro-Winder is perfect for the job
9V and AA batteries — for wireless mics and packs, pedals, tuners, etc.
Extra cable — one of your cables or someone else's will go bad or missing, it's inevitable; be the hero!
Extra strap — refer to previous comment
Strap Blocks — if you don't use strap locks, this belongs on The Essentials List
Pencil, pen, sharpie & paper — set-lists, quick charts, contact info, autographs, etc.; your phone can't do everything
Phone charger — it does very little without a charge
Acoustic Extras
Acoustic guitarists will want to add the Ultra Acoustic Feeback Buster soundhole cover and extra bridge pins to this list. You never know exactly what the monitor or house PA situation will be and the position of the speakers combined with the size and shape of the room can potentially impose mayhem on your acoustic guitar. A feedback buster makes a huge difference when you have have lots of signal getting back into the soundhole of your guitar. Extra bridge pins will save your bacon if you're changing strings on a gig and accidently lose a bridge pin.

If You Have Room
If you have a generously sized gig bag, you'll want to consider these:

Gaffer tape — a gig essential, but the rolls are usually too bulky for a standard instrument gig bag
On-Stage Stands The Mighty Guitar Stand — sturdy, compact, perfect for one guitar, and easily fits into a large gig-bag pocket
Guitar tool kit — a step-up from the multi-tool, the Ernie Ball Musician's Tool Kit or the Fender Accessories Custom Shop Tool Kit are great choices.
Plug-in tuner and short cable — solid, reliable tuning in noisy dressing rooms
Headphone amp and phones — backstage, hotel lobby, airport boarding gate, bus ride; never miss an opportunity to play
Anything more than this deserves a separate bag in my opinion, although I have seen guys stuff pedals and foot controllers in their gig bags. With so many new mini-pedals on the market, it would be feasible to put some in a gig bag, especially if you're a real pedal junkie.

Final Tidbits
The gig bag's usefulness doesn't end there, it's an excellent place to keep your phone, wallet, keys, etc., during a gig or rehearsal. It's usually close by and the zippered pockets will keep that stuff from getting lost. Also, if your guitars are being handled by techs and put in a truck every night, a gig bag is a great way to be able to take a guitar to the hotel or bus. A soft gig bag doesn't take up much space when it's empty and can be stashed anywhere.

This list should keep you prepared and performance-ready at all times. That way you can concentrate on the whole reason you have all this stuff, which is making music!


Replacement fuses, especially if you're using a tube amp that occasionally spits out HT fuses at the most inopportnue moment.


I'll be placing these "Finder Fobs" in zip lock bags  - one each for iRig Pro, SonicPort VX, Protools i-Lok, and FTP Receiver

These tend to get misplaced in various bags

Magicfly Wireless RF Item Locator Key Finder with Base Support and LED Flashlight, Remote Control, 1 RF Transmitter and 4 smiling face receivers  $22

Key finder with LED torch and base
One transmitter, four smiling face receivers correlated with the four big buttons on the transmitter
Find lost keys and other easily lost items quickly with just one press on the color-coded button,the beep sound and flashes will lead you to find the lost items
ON/OFF button which located at the right side of the transmitter allows you to turn on or off the flashlight easily. This becomes extremely handy when you need to find something in the dark
High glossy remote control (transmitter) and base


By David Himes | August 18, 2015
Let us celebrate the many virtues of "stupidly obvious"

'The Gig Kahuna'
by David Himes

Here's a fun little topic: what to bring with you to a gig. Many of the items I'm going to mention are stupidly obvious. Yet the bands that don't bring even the most basic necessities never cease to amaze me. Equally as amazing is many of the items cost little or no money, so there's absolutely no excuse to not bring at least some of the things you are about to read about. Professional bands always follow these guidelines, while amateurs do not. Some bands seem to assume the club or venue will supply everything the bands should bring. Here's a little bit of advice: never assume the venue will supply anything you need! Here is a list off the top of my head...

Duct Tape
Yes, that's right. I know most of you reading this are wondering why I'm even mentioning something so ridiculously obvious. But think about it: How many shows have you played where one or more of the other bands asked if you have any duct tape? And if you're in one of those bands that asks another band for duct tape, do you really mean to say that no member can run to a place like Home Depot or Lowe's and pick up a roll or two of duct tape (preferably black or gaffer's tape, but if nothing else, the gray tape will get the job done)? And for the truly creative, duct tape has uses that border on the potentially insane - like bands who wear Christmas light-impregnated duct tape space suit costumes.
I shouldn't have to mention the infinitely countless times that duct tape has been the lifesaver of the gig, and its many other uses, so I'll stop here. Besides, Christmas light-impregnated duct tape space suit costumes is a tough act to follow.

This one goes out to the many of you I see lugging larger cabinets and other heavier gear. Uh, I hate to break this to you, but you've been breaking your backs for nothing on load in and out. The idea here is to make use of that timely invention known as the wheel. All you have to do is get a two-wheel dolly cart. My personal favorite is the kind that fold down into almost nothing that you can get at a place like Home Depot or Lowe's for $25-$40. At that price, you should get a couple.

Another way to save your back is to install casters on the bottom of your cabinets and/or amps. You can get a set of casters for cheap at places like Home Depot or Lowe's, and they're easy to install. Yet another option is a four-wheel mover's dolly, cheap and available in different sizes. You can also go deluxe with the RocknRoller Multi-Cart, which looks like something out of a Transformers movie that had a really, really low budget.

The wheel was invented for a reason. Take advantage of it.

Merch Table
You should know that selling merch is just one of several objectives of playing a gig. While several of the better venues already have tables for that purpose, or will at least let you use bar tables, what tables they have might have already been grabbed or hogged by other bands on the bill. So it's a good idea to bring your own. I personally like the ones you can get at places like WalMart in different sizes that fold in half. Depending on what size you get, these tables can be had for $30-$50.

While on this subject, and while at that WalMart, pick up some of those wire clothes racks to hang your T-shirts, etc. Also, be sure to bring your own lighting. This could be floodlights, utility lights, flashing lights—anything to light up your merch table so people can see it. Finally, whenever possible, place the table by the door. Remember, people aren't going to buy your merch if they can't see it! All can be had for very little money.

Spare Cables, Strings, Sticks, Tubes, etc.
Yet another painfully obvious one. If you're using a wireless (be it for guitar or vocal mics), you should still have a cable handy. You never know when a wireless will crap out. While on the subject of wirelesses, always make sure you have a fresh, alkaline battery in it. If you're using rechargeable batteries, make sure they're fully charged. If you're using a wireless mic, please get the best one you can afford—or your vocals will sound like ass, the soundman will hate you, the audience will leave in disgust, and send out tweets about how bad a vocalist you are. You don't want that. Also, if you can, it doesn't hurt to bring a spare guitar, snare, or whatever. If you're a wild frontman who is going to fling the mic around by the cable or anything like that, it's a good idea to bring your own mic and cable or again, the soundman will hate you. You don't want a soundman to hate you.

Guitarists, bring plenty of picks. Tape them to your mic stand, guitar, amp, or whatever so you always have a pick within easy reach. Don't embarrass yourself by being seen picking up a pick when you drop it. And you can always toss a spare pick out to that fetching female and/or male in the front.

Equally as important as spare strings, etc., is having your gear ready before the show. Hopefully, you will have rehearsed a day or two before the show. This is the time to re-string your guitar, because the rehearsal gives you the chance to "play in" the new strings and retune as necessary. That way, you will have virtually eliminated the chance of going out of tune on stage—assuming you know how to properly string up your guitar.

A pre-gig rehearsal is also the time to make sure your gear is functioning properly. Check your effects, make sure you have fresh or fully-charged batteries, your cables are in good working order, etc. Drummers: make sure your kit is good to go as far as tuning, properly muffled, pedals are lubed, etc.

There is nothing worse and more amateur than tuning your instrument out loud where the whole crowd can hear it. Tuners are relatively inexpensive. If you're using special tunings, even chromatic tuners are cheap.

Laptop, iPad, Tablet, Smart Phone, Binder and/or Clipboard
You more than likely don't have someone you can depend on gig after gig to capture email or social network information, so guess what? You're elected! Don't let the stage adrenaline or crowd love get to your head and cloud your logic. Get out there with a binder, clipboard, iPad, laptop, smart phone, anything and grab as many emails and social network urls as you can. And make sure they print it neatly so you can read it. Better yet, let them type in their contact info on your laptop, iPad, smart phone, or whatever. Even better still (if you can) is to bring a laptop, iPad, smart phone, or whatever, and get your new fans to sign on to your network site, social network, or whatever, right there on the spot.

Monitors/Earbud System
So far, most of the items I've mentioned cost little or no money, and are pretty much absolute necessities. So I know buying your own monitors or an earbud system is stretching it for many of you. This would likely apply to the more upper-level local bands. And unless you have someone in or with the band who is good with this sort of thing, earbud systems (like sequences and backing tracks) can be difficult to get working properly. So you will need someone who can patch the system in and out of different house PAs, and do so quickly, which means someone you'll need to pay (unless that someone is a band member).

The good news, however, is if you can afford an in-ear monitor system, and get it working properly gig after gig with different house PAs, the benefits can be well worth it. In particular, the most obvious benefit would be never again having to worry about the house monitor system, or if there is even a house monitor system at all.

Here are a few last tidbits to help you be ready for your next gigs. While they should be obvious, it boggles my mind how careless some musicians can be when it comes to their instruments and other gear. Ask any club or venue, and they'll tell you how common it is for musicians to leave instruments and other gear behind.

Stencil Your Gear
For cripes sake, I can't believe the bands that don't do something so easy and costs almost nothing. All you need is a computer with some kind of stencil font and some cardstock. From there, you just cut out the outlines and get a white spray bomb. Or what works equally as good is to just slap your band sticker (if you have one) on your gear. The idea is to make it easy to identify your gear and cases.

Black Cloth
If you can do so and space in the venue permits, it's best to stack your gear in a corner at the venue after your set. Bring a black cloth or tarp and cover it up until the end of the night. It will more than likely be safer there than leaving it outside in your vehicle. Another reason for doing this is to give you more time to work any new fans, sell merch, kiss babies, have babes kiss you, etc. Then load out at the end of the night. This will also make you look more professional when you're not seen loading out in the middle of the crowd—especially if the venue has no back door.

Case Up Your Instruments
Yet another mind-boggler is musicians who have no cases for their instruments! I've seen so many bands with nice instruments—even expensive Les Pauls and other high-end gear, and no case. Totally ludicrous. You preferably want hardshell cases, but if you can't afford it, even a gig bag is better than nothing.

I've only touched on some of the things bands should bring to every gig. And I'm sure there are other things that some of you might think of that I didn't. But hopefully, even the most inexperienced of you will now have a better perspective on the subject. Most of the things I pointed out cost little or no money, so not having them is simply inexcusable. Of course, there's nothing you can do to guarantee that nothing will go wrong during your set. But you can at least minimize the chances of going through those Spinal Tap mishaps. The idea is to come to a gig prepared to quickly recover from anything that Murphy's Law can throw at you. Never assume the venue, the other bands, or anyone else involved will have what you failed to bring.


Harbor Freight is a great place for savings. 80 stores in CA.
Got a 24" x 36" dolly for <$50, replaced the 4" wheels with 2.5" (did not fit on top of rack in trunk). OK, had to drill new holes and buy some hardware but one trip is better than 5!
GR- 55 in small alu case, <$20
Other case for mics, clips, cables and light
Allen keys, and all types of tools, tape...
They have 15 - 25% coupons flying around which is great for big items.
And they just opened a new one 3 minutes from home.
Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart. Andres Segovia


Make your own Glow in the Dark Labels for your music gear

Epson LabelWorks LW-400 Label Maker

Epson LabelWorks Glow-In-the-Dark LC Tape Cartridge ~3/4-Inch Black Glow-in-the-Dark (LC-5ZBU1)


For all gigs, I always carry one or two of these multi-drop AC power cords, I typically plug it in near the Bass player, and then run it over to my side of the stage for my stage amp, and then to the front of the stage for powered PA cabs  / pedal boards .

Yard Master 3030 25-Foot 3-Outlet Garden Extension Cord with Evenly-Spaced Plugs



Clip-on tuners are one of the most useful tools in my gig bag - I saw this one and had to order it. It's backordered so will be a few days before I get it. Looks like a lot of tech in this little device.


So what is your opinion Elantric ? I noticed you had listed the Polytune as the most accurate clip on before.
Does the Snark HZ-1 improve on that?
Gibson L6S /gk2a , Bradley mini strat  /gk2a VGA-7 amp ,GR-33 , GP-10,SY1K, RMC breakout box, PK5 midi pedals,CM-64 sound module, Oberheim EDP  ,Boss RC-300,Digitech TRIO and TRIO +, Alesis DM5, GX2 Gear Shifter and GKPX-14


I find use for both types.
At the moment i prefer the Snark HZ-1, its very fast acting and accurate. Much improved mechanically compared to the older Snarks (which often break) and Snark HZ-1 is only $14

The PolyTune Clip is a great design, (I own Two) but I find it turns off too rapidly, and then I fumble to turn it back on for a spot retune mid song  -  and its metal housing  = more Mass  = more likely to "fly" off my headstock mid solo ( I move around while playing)  - and I'm not finding it to be as accurate as the $14 Snark HZ-1, and the HZ-1 stays on the guitar because its very light weight.

The most accurate clip on tuner remains the Peterson Stoboclip


Thanks for your reply ! I value your opinion highly.
Gibson L6S /gk2a , Bradley mini strat  /gk2a VGA-7 amp ,GR-33 , GP-10,SY1K, RMC breakout box, PK5 midi pedals,CM-64 sound module, Oberheim EDP  ,Boss RC-300,Digitech TRIO and TRIO +, Alesis DM5, GX2 Gear Shifter and GKPX-14