Have any pre-gig gear rituals?


Serial Acquisitionist
May 5, 2012
Milwaukee, WI
For me two days before I'll shine up the guitars I'm playing, change strings, and test my setup. I stack it up in the corner until load out. I always bring five things: Amp, Cab, pedal/cable case, and two guitars. When I load out it's really easy to count the five pieces, so I know that I'm set.

Last show I played though.... I broke my routine. Having just changed strings before our last practice five days ago, figured I'd save myself the five bucks. Get to the show, load all the gear on stage and tune my first guitar. WTF!!!!! Broken D string, happened in the case!!!! Changed the whole set before we went on, but that was a first for me, and probably punishment for not following the routine. What's your routine?
Change strings in the morning before the gig and play all day to break them in. Really the only thing I usually do. Same loadout: Amp, cab, pedal case, 2 guitars. I'm lucky with a white guitar where it doesn't show much dirt so polishing doesn't happen too often. Usually when I've got more Jeager stains than I feel proud of haha
I change strings during soundcheck, then wonder why I have to be at the venue three hours early just so I can listen to rack toms for twenty minutes.
I just make sure I have a fresh battery in my wireless all the time. Can't think of anything else of significance..
Most of the time we keep our gear in my trailer. I have a practice amp that I use most of the time. When we have 3 weeks off I will set up my stage rig and work on patches and practice our material. I only do 2 shows per set of strings so I keep guitars in a rotation. I cant say that I have a defined routine im just lucky to get to show some days.

If I do a sound job I will unload all guitar related stuff so when im working trailer is empty.

I seem to stay busy with work and family so our rehearsal routine needs to be streamlined. I have a large room downstairs with sound system set up all the time, roland td6 drums and media players set up too. When my guys show up we are working in about 10 minutes. I also keep a keyboard and drum machine set up as well.

I may be changing jobs so if that happens I will get much closer to a 40 hour work week.Thank god!!!! It would be nice to practice more often.
You guys don't have rituals, you just have habits. I have a ritual:

First I go into a cavern and slaughter a spotted bull, holding the bull's nostrils with one hand, and the knife in the other, while at the same time looking toward the Sun god. Then I banquet upon the hide of the slaughtered bull while reclining on a stone bench which is located on the side of a room that is whitewashed completely. The bull is eaten along with bowls of fruit, and copious amounts of intoxicating liquors are drunk.

After the feast, my guitar is placed on an altar on the other side of the room, and I make a vow to the mysterious god Mithras, to always play well and to ask for help in the fulfillment of my vow.

After the ceremony of the altar, two poisonous snakes enter the room, and consume the unfinished parts of the bull. When they are done, they leave the room, and dancing girls with tambourines entertain me to the strains of "Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight," played on the banjo by an old man wearing a Superman costume.

I then sleep for precisely one hour, shower and leave for the show with my instrument. My equipment is handled by specially trained servants called "Rodeez."

THAT is a ritual.
I usually come early, sit down with a beer and have a panic attack. Then I pray for people not to come, suspiciously looking around, giving people evil looks in order to scare them away. Then I have as many beers as possible to calm down (never works). After having about 3 minutes to tune and soundcheck both my guitar and flute (last two gigs), I suffer a minor heart attack, and I'm ready to play.

I finally calm down in about the middle of the gig, as a result of emotional exhaustion.
I change strings during soundcheck, then wonder why I have to be at the venue three hours early just so I can listen to rack toms for twenty minutes.

HAHA! So true.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
"Next one, please!"
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk...

I got nothing. I might change strings the day before if they need it. Otherwise, it's grab, go, setup, rock.
Do musicians still get attention from ladies during a gig? I havent been out in awhile.

I once had a stunning looking lass come up to me during a break and whisper something in my ear.

I think it was to tell me I was blocking the view of the singer! :(

My Pre Gig warmup would usually be a half pint or a whiskey but no more and a tune up and clean of the guitar.