Reminder: Always bring your #2

Buell

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Jul 27, 2020
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Bagley, mn
This weekend, we had our final rehearsal before our 1st gig in a couple of years. We ran thru the set and were working thru it again and just killing it. All of a sudden, bwam, broke a string on my number 1. My number 2 was in a case at my house and no 2nd set of strings. Practice over.

I'm thinking something or someone was trying to tell me something. Like, "hey dingdong, don't forget your number 2 guitar!". At least it was rehearsal and not at the gig!

It also got me wondering if anyone has had anything like that happen AT the gig?
 

Telecaster582

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Jan 24, 2022
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I really don't like reading these when my first gig is going to sometime this summer lol. If I bring my acoustic though I'll bring spare batteries, strings, string winder, and picks. Electric is just some picks and extra strings if I have any in stock. I'm only going busking though so it seems a little too much to bring two guitars to the farmers market.
 

Flaneur

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Rehearsal is a reminder- and a waste of your band mates' time.
Similar events, at a gig, would be unprofessional.

I carry a guitar, set up especially for slide. This can easily be used for everything, if necessary. Folks who take just one, to a paid engagement, are trusting to providence.
 

AAT65

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I'm the only one in our band who brings any spares to a gig.
Our acoustic guitarist at one gig popped one string, carried on strumming, broke a second one a song or two later and retired to the sidelines to watch (just missing one and a half songs so it coulda been worse).
Our lead guitarist has never turned up with more than one guitar for a gig and on at least 2 occasions has finished a set using my backup.
And I've broken a string just once, I think, with this band, and swapped to my backup -- though when I played in another band back in the 90s I had a real stringbreaker of a Contemporary Tele (locking nut, System 1 tremolo and .008s... a deadly combination) and learned to always have a second guitar on hand...
 

radtz

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Wisconsin, USA
I always kept a full set of used strings, a tuner and fresh batteries for my bass and tuner in my bass case. I changed strings for every venue.
 

39martind18

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I only bring 1 guitar to a gig anymore ( maybe 15 years now) I just can't carry much gear or lift anything- so all minimal on gear

I change strings on my guitars about every 3 gigs, never break strings anymore, and carry 2 sets of new strings in every case or gig bag.
Like @Chiogtr4x, a combination of frequent string changes and careful, light picking attack, has made breakage a thing of the past. I cannot remember when I last broke a string onstage. There was the time when the magnetic pickups on my Nashville Power Tele pooped out on me. I managed to get through the last set on a combination of the piezo and GK3 pickups- not an optimal situation, but it worked.
 

Ricky D.

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I only bring 1 guitar to a gig anymore ( maybe 15 years now) I just can't carry much gear or lift anything- so all minimal on gear

I change strings on my guitars about every 3 gigs, never break strings anymore, and carry 2 sets of new strings in every case or gig bag.

That sounds like my approach. I only had one guitar, an old LP-SG Custom. I was playing an average of five or six hours a day between the five sets five days a week plus practice, jams, rehearsals, etc. New strings every two weeks. Spare set in the case. Never broke a string.
 

andy__d

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Apr 21, 2014
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Saint Petersburg, FL
I always take a #2 and spare strings whenever I play. When I was gigging regularly, I would also have an agreement with someone in our ‘entourage’ to change the string on my #1 if the worst case happened.

But, I am still haunted by the day when the D string popped on my #1, I quickly picked up my spare, any my buddy Jeremy jumped into action to fix the string: but, I hit a high bend within a couple of minutes of using the #2, and… Ping! There goes the E string.

And then it happened, as a now very stressed Jeremy fumbled to change the string on my #1…



…a bass solo…

The horror… The horror…
 

KC

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Mar 16, 2003
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Missoula, Montana
here in the wild northland, it's not unusual to play a gig that's a three-hour drive from your house. Therefore: spare guitar, spare strings, spare fuses, and a plan for a backup amp. As noted above, having a #2 with you is great for setting it up for slide.
 

kennl

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Feb 6, 2007
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Moon Township, PA
1980
changed strings on my Burns Baby Bison before a gig
While i had the strings off, I buffed the frets, cleaned the instrument, dropped some pencil lead into the nut slots, lubed the saddles, and applied DeOxit to the control pots. DID NOT TEST THE GUITAR BEFORE HEADING TO THE GIG.
At the gig, I got no signal from the guitar. Pulled out #2 and played the gig.
Upon arriving home afterwards, I discovered that, when tightening the hex nut on the volume control after cleaning, the pot rotated slightly so that the + tab shorted out on the case of another pot.
Since then:
1) I test the guitar electrically after string change or setup adjustments
2) always bring a #2
 

bsman

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Jun 8, 2003
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Santa Clara
The only time I've actually broken a string while playing was at a gig. I just swapped out the guitar for my number two and was on my way! I always bring extra cables, an extra guitar, and if I can manage it - an extra amp...
 

985plowboy

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South Louisiana
I play in a 4 piece band, lead singer, bass, percussion and me on guitar.
If I suddenly stop playing it’s an issue.
I bring a backup guitar.
During setup, It is tuned, has a strap in place and is on stage on a stand within easy reach.
I’ve had to grab it on two separate occasions.
Once because of a broken string. I finished the tune in progress then swapped out for the backup.
Second time there were electrical issues (found out later it was a broken solder joint) with #1 and it went dead mid tune. The boys ran the chords for the verse a couple times and I swapped out right quick and the show went on.

We get paid to play, which on some level makes us a professional band.
I try prepare myself and my gear as such.
 




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