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  • Writer's pictureCatelyn Picco

Acoustic Musician Set Up: What I Use

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I am frequently asked by young musicians ready to take on the gigging life what my musician set up is. I am here to share with you everything that I pack into my car and set up for my shows. A small tip for new aspiring musicians out there, show up early to your gigs. I recommend at least 30-45 minutes because of the amount of time to unload your car, set up and of course post to social media about your show! Ready to see what I pack? Read below!


Amp

Ever since I was 16 years old, I have been using the same Fishman Loudbox. It may look small, but it is mighty. It is perfect for acoustic artists who just need to amplify vocals and acoustic guitar. The volume is perfect to control for any environment whether that be a coffee shop gig, a large farmers’ market all the way to bar gigs. It is versatile for the situation and if you ever want to upgrade, you now have a monitor! The Fishman Loudbox also has effects like reverb to make sure you are performing with quality sound. I have been using my same amp for at least 8 years and honestly have no complaints.


Microphone

Well if you are a singer, you are gonna need something to amplify your voice! I use Shure microphones. I have an example of one linked here! I believe it works well with my own belty higher voice and really gets the job done. I have also obtained and used this microphone for the last 8 years and have not had an issue with it. For me personally, there is not much to say about this microphone except for it works well and suits my voice! If you have seen me in action, then you will see if this microphone works well for you too!


Cables

I cannot express enough how much you need cables!!! You need a power cable for your amp, a guitar cable and a microphone cable. Then you NEED backups for all of these things! I keep a backpack full of cables because you never know when a cable will have a short in it or completely die out. The last thing you want is to be setting up for a show and no longer have a cable. ALWAYS have a back up and you will be set up for success and less stress!


Stands

If you are singing and playing, you will need a microphone stand! The one I use compacts nicely and really gives me enough space in my car. I also love that this microphone stand comes with two types of microphone clips. I thought when I purchased this one, I would love that it came with a bag, but actually you have to take the whole thing apart to make it fit.


Second, if you have a long show and want to take a break, I recommend a guitar stand. It terrifies me when a musician takes a 10 minute break and sets their guitar on the floor. A nice basic guitar stand keeps your instrument safe and you can take some fun set up photos with your guitar!


Marketing

I cannot recommend enough that you have marketing supplies even at your first few shows. Now, I am not saying that at your very first gig ever you need CD’s, T-Shirts and all the gear. But I do recommend having business cards and stickers. There are so many times I have performed at a show and someone inquired about me performing at their own event or venue. In that moment, I am able to hand them my card with information and it is extremely professional. When doing this, don’t forget to have everything like your website and social media up to date! When you are booking more and more shows, add to the merch pile. My current merch stash contains: T-Shirts, Stickers, Pens, Wristbands (that glow in the dark!) and Business Cards! I set those items right next to my tip jar!


Overall, that is the basics of my sound system show set up! I hope to upgrade in the near future and share with you about my new purchases, but for the last 9 years of playing, this has worked wonders and I would recommend it to any aspiring musician! If you haven’t learned much from this post, please remember when you are out performing to always have a backup of everything!! I promise it will be such a life saver!


Musicians! Did I miss anything that I should add to my own set up? Comment below! Let’s connect and don’t forget to see my set up in action at a show sometime soon!


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