8 ways $20 can save your life on tour
What is the best $20 you have ever spent? Go ahead and think about it, I’ll wait. A few months back I talked about spending money on your gear, and not going cheap for pro gear and great tone. Now let’s slide down to the other end of the economic spectrum. I have put together a list, in no particular order, of things you can buy for under $20 that will come in handy, probably save the day, and make you say, “That was the best $20 I ever spent.” Grab Andrew Jackson, and let’s go shopping.
A Tuner I can’t tell you how priceless this really is, especially since someone in the band will forget theirs. You can get one for way under twenty bucks almost anywhere (even Target and Best Buy now), and they are so small you can have one on your keychain. For you iPhone users, there are several apps for under $5.
Spares Rather than bullet these individually, I’ll just put them all together, because you really should have extras. If money is tight, then don’t get top-of-the-line spares, but enough to get you through the gig. You should have a spare strap, cable, and set of strings. The one time you don’t pack any of these, you’ll need them. Thanks, Murphy, and your cursed (and sagacious) laws.
Batteries If you have an active bass, then you’ll need a 9V. If you are running a tuning pedal, well, you get the point. Make sure you have back-up batteries for whatever you need batteries for. Even if you changed them before you left the house. Are you going to let a $5 9V battery ruin your $1000 paying gig? I’m no economist, but my Magic 8-ball says no. Make the small investment today, and get the return call later.
Gaffers Tape OK, duct tape users, listen up. There’s a new kid in town, and his name is Gaffers Tape. It’s actually not new; it’s been the choice of pros for years. It’s strong, comes in many colors, and doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind. You can secure cables on the floor and there’s no mess when you tear down. And it’s about $9 a roll. You may have to dig a little deeper than your local music store for this one, but I promise you, spend the couple extra dollars, and you’ll leave the duct tape for, well, duct work.
A Flash Drive In this wonderful age of technology, you can select a flash drive in the checkout lane of a grocery store. For those of you that don’t know what it is, a flash drive is a small, USB storage device that’s about the size of a stick of gum. I use it when I transfer files from my Mac to my PC, and save a ton on burning discs. No more making tapes of songs for the band to learn. Throw them on a flash drive and get them to everyone that way. The flash can hold lots of songs, set lists, back issues of Premier Guitar, etc, and can be had for about 8–15 bucks, depending on the memory size.
A Pocket Tape Recorder I can’t leave out my songwriting friends. How many times have you been driving along and had an idea for a song, and lost the idea before you got home? I have, and of course, I thought they were all hits and would have made me a fortune. So I went and bought a pocket tape recorder. These are a little more than $20 new, but any pawnshop has them for about $20, and used is not a bad way to go for these. I keep it with me all the time, and any idea, whether a melody or just a title, goes on tape. It’s also the perfect tool for songwriting sessions, the obligatory “note to self,” and for getting creative while recording.
A Guitar Stand Back to the stage now. This really goes without saying. If you have a guitar (or several) you are going to need a place to rest them. I am not a fan of “Catch the Slowly Falling Tele” as it slides off the front edge of the amp because someone thought the angle would hold. Next thing you know, you are replacing a tuning peg when a simple $12 stand would have saved the day.
And now the coolest way to spend $20: Craigslist! Today, right now, in your town, there is someone cleaning out his music room, and you can get just about anything you need to round out your rig. I have seen everything from gig bags to microphones to anvil briefcases (great for cables!) for under twenty dollars. Make a list of what you need, and get to craigslist.com for your next cool used-gear purchase.
So, there’s your economic help for the months ahead. Hopefully, you’ll get to the point where you have techs to worry about all these things, but for the rest of us, keep these items in mind when you’re out bargain hunting. It could be the best $20 you ever spent.
Steve has performed and recorded with a diverse range of artists, from Edwin McCain to Randy Brecker to Course of Nature. Steve is also an alumnus of Woodstock ‘99, performing with his band King Konga. His current projects include extensive touring and video production with Bucky Covington (Lyric Street) and writing a popular weekly tour journal on his website: shinybass.com.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.