Question to those that gig or play out regularly.

David Garner

Gold Supporting Member
I've done it about every way it can be done. I had a pair of Mesa Expresses I gigged for a while, a 5:50 for gigs and a 5:25 for rehearsal and home use. I have a Deluxe Reverb I use for double duty a lot. I have a Ceriatone 18 Watt head that I use with a 2x12 or 4x12 cab, and I just leave the 4x12 at the rehearsal space and tote the head back and forth.

These days I like to pack light, so I've been using the Deluxe and the Mesa mostly.


When I played out - 1 to 4 times per week:

woodshedding: Micro Cube then upgrade to a THR

efx - Pedaltrain Jr (big) board & Nano (small board as needed
amp - '76 Champ, Deluxe then Z38 then Mesa 5:25 then Princeton then 15 watt ampeg, a 6L6 amp (Bandmaster then Fargen, etc.) depending on what suited the situation. basically small, medium & large

Guitars: I usually practiced with the one I would use for the next gig. Taylor 712, Tele style, 2HB style & a 3rd electric


I always have a usable rig in the car... if I need to sub in at the last minute (it happens), I grab the guitars I need and head out. There's a small 20W head and 1x12 cab in my car, a 906 to mic it with, my vocal mic and stand, and my main pedalboard. If I use a pedal to practice it's usually a single pedal and I don't need to be humping a large pedalboard in and out of the house. For a while I used to drive around with a cheap Tele back there too in case I got a call when I was away from home. That happened so rarely that I stopped.
Do you have a secure place to park? I'd be paranoid leaving that gear in my car all the time.


Or did you have “your main rig” that you packed and unpacked every time?
That's what I do.

Just about all of our songs have some tricky transitions, I have my gig rig set up to practice hitting the right pedals at the right time; as well as the right pickup and knob positions on the guitar. Plus, it's all set up in the basement, so I can crank the volume to stage levels, to make sure everything sounds the way I want.

If you are in a band, you probably keep your main rig at the rehearsal space
The rehearsal spot is about an hour from my house, which could make picking up stuff on the way to a gig VERY inconvenient.


Silver Supporting Member
Do you have a secure place to park? I'd be paranoid leaving that gear in my car all the time.
It's usually in my driveway. (Knock on wood) there's nothing in there that would catch a thief's eye... my PedalTrain case is usually out of sight, and so's the head. Someone looking hard would see the 1x12 cab, black paint on a small wooden cab that's pretty beat up & looks like junk. The rest are just random bags with cables in them.


I used to keep a 4x12 or a 2x12 w/roadcase in my trailer and just throw my head and pedalboard in for gigs. Now, I use a Kemper. I use mine as a normal amp, though and still keep a cab in the trailer. The trailer is backed up against my deck and parked in by at least one vehicle most of the time.


I have simlar amps and pedalboards in my home office and rehearsal space. The equipment at the rehearsal space lives in road cases and gets taken to gigs.

My favorite guitar goes everywhere with me. There are two identical Strats that stay in the rehearsal space and are used for backup and alternate tuning.


I've always used the same gear both live and at home. Of course, my rigs have never been very much to carry around either. I've never taken more than one guitar to a gig. My pedalboards have always been small enough to fit in a Mono Tick bag strapped to the M80 gig bag. And I've always used either lunchbox heads with a 2x12 cab or a combo amp. So packing/unpacking my entire rig only takes a couple minutes, and it's easy to carry everything in one trip.


I have a small suitcase w/ pedals, cables, spares, setlist, etc. I check it before every gig, sometimes swap a pedal. I have 2 amps, one that goes to almost every gig, the other for outside, or larger rooms where I know I'll need more headroom. I also have a 'direct to the board, no amp' solution for those occasions where there's a really awful load-in, or it's just a quick run-through practice and it's about cues and transitions and not about tone. Guitars are usually a heading out the door decision. But there's a couple that almost always go along. I don't have an exclusive gig rig. Practice, I bring the same thing.


Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Silver Supporting Member
My gig rig is distinctly different than my home practice rig and is always ready to go.

I gig with an ES-335 with a backup. Used to be my American Deluxe HSS QMT Strat but will be an ES-137 Custom when the gigs start happening again. Amps are Fender George Benson Hod Rod Deluxes with Celestion Century Vintage Neos (one or two run in stereo depending on the size of the gig) with a Fractal Audio FX8 multi-effects pedalboard.

My home rig is usually my semi-hollow Fender Pawnshop Offset Special partscaster with an American Elite ebony board neck into an Axe FX III into a pair of Atomic CLRs or a Mesa Triple Crown 50 depending on the mood. But right now, due to the space limitations of my current temporary residence, I'm running the Axe FX into a Quilter MicroPro 200 8.

I like to use separate guitars for gigging and practice to save fret wear on my gigging guitars and tend to use the modeler when practicing because it sounds better when run at low volumes. In addition, after practicing traditional Jazz using a clean tone I like to mess around with gain tones and effects and the Axe FX III allows me to get multiple amp tones and any effects I want, so for noodling it's ideal. But sometimes I'm in the mood to just do the tube amp thing with a little reverb and that's where the TC-50 comes in. It has a great master volume so I can get excellent tones from it from TV levels down to bedroom volumes.

But for the gigs, the Benson HRD and an ES-335 give me the tones I want without a lot of complexity. It's very much a plug and play rig. During the very few times I use gain tones on stage the FX8 more than covers those bases with excellent emulations of the Zendrive and BB Preamp, the two pedals I had been using previously. It eliminates patch cables, enables me to switch multiple effects (delay, chorus, rotary, etc.) and gain all at once by pressing one footswitch eliminating the tap dance. So far it's proven to be bulletproof not failing me once with years of use.

I like to keep it simple on stage but definitely like to have a wide variety of options when at home.


I've got an A rig that I use for primary gigs and home use.

I've also got a B rig that I use when I'm double booked so I can keep the A rig at one venue and bring the B rig to the other venue.

And I've got an alternate home rig I can use or practicing without unpacking and setting up my A rig when needed.
Old fashioned.

Everything goes home with me. I decide about 30 seconds before I load up what amp/guitar I'm bringing, usually if any pedals it's a few and I add/remove batteries at the rehearsal/gig. What always comes with is a gig bag of spare stuff: strings, tubes, digital effects unit to go direct if **** hits the fan, little tools, spare cables and extension cords, spare mic, et cetera.


I'm blessed to have some nice gear and enough of it to cover a handful of situations simultaneously if needed.

- 85% of the time my gig rig (for the past 12 or so years) has been a Dr. Z Z28 1x12 combo, a pedal board with about 10 pedals and one of my guitar's. Its always ready to grab and put in the car.

- At home I have a smaller pedal board with many duplicate pedals from my gig board and for the past couple of years I'm playing through a Carol-Ann plexi based on a 67 JTM50 through a Dr. Z open back 2x12.

- For the bigger gigs I grab that Dr. Z 2x12 cab and use one of my three 50'ish watt heads depending on my mood. But I always have something great sitting at home ready to go. I also have a Dr. Z M12 1x10 combo for small rehearsals/gigs and vacation road trips.

When I was gigging 3-5 nights a week in my early twenties, I had one rig - a Marshall "half stack" - and that was it. So I rarely brought in from my car to play. Having the gear I have now is really nice.


If you are in a band, you probably keep your main rig at the rehearsal space (unless it’s a modeler that’s super portable). If you are a sub, I’d assume you’d have stuff ready just in case
I can always pull a rig from the house if need be. I have redundancy. I may do that also if the gig is closer to me than the rehearsal space.


Three guitars: a 335, a Strat, and a P90 Les Paul.
Amps depending on the room, indoors/outdoors, etc., but generally a 40-50 watt 2x12.
Pedals: a clean boost, an analog delay, a 6-band EQ.


Supporting Member
it depends on the gig

I try to have a rig that "I dont have to" leave at places but it would sure as heck be easier on the back!

I've been in bands that have had practice spaces and 'residencies' (i.e. the bar will let us keep our amps and **** in the back since were there every week) and that was convenient ... only the guitars would go home with me

However lately everything has been ad hoc and I've just been setting up and packing up the same board / amp combo , recently went to a smaller hx stomp board


Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Silver Supporting Member
I keep all my "connectivity" stuff along with 2 foldable guitar stands, a small tool kit in a 26" roller carry-on type bag. The rest is pick which amp and 2 guitars to take, put the pedal board in it's case and we're off. I do have a small pedal board at the rehearsal space that sometimes gets the call, that's set-list-dependent. If I can get away with the smaller board, it's there.


Silver Supporting Member
For the past couple of years I was playing in two different cover bands. We were gigging so much that we didn't really rehearse - 3-7 gigs a month. One band often tried new songs during soundcheck and if it sounded good it was added that that night's setlist.

My rig basically stayed in the back of my car for two years, all except for the guitars.
I would work on material at home with a little practice amp.

I had two main guitars for one band that both had floyds and coil splitting humbuckers. If I didn't have a chance to change strings between gigs I would just grab the other.

My other band didn't require that much versatility so I often took one of my stop tail Gibsons for gigs. Usually kept at least a couple of my Gibsons strung up with new strings so that I could just grab on the the day of a gig and head out the door.
The one issue I had (not complaining) was with that band I sometimes agonized over which guitar I wanted to use that night :)

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