Taking the band on the road can be stressful and complicated, but packing your equipment doesn’t have to be! Here are 5 ways to handle your equipment so everything will arrive safely.
Using the right cases for instruments, sound equipment, and documents is essential. Most stage monitors will travel fine with simply a cover. However, for instruments you’ll want to use a hard case to reduce impact on the instrument itself. Also, be sure to get the proper case- one with sturdy closures -for each instrument. One that’s incorrectly sized will do more damage than help. Inside, the case should have protective measures such as lining to prevent scratches or dents, or a cutout of the instrument’s shape to keep it in place.
You can get frustrated with your equipment sometimes, but your instruments are pretty temperamental themselves! Guitars, basses, drums, and most wooden instruments are affected by fluctuating temperatures. Be sure to keep them around normal room temperature while you’re on the road. The colder their surroundings, the more out of tune the instruments can become, so take more delicate pieces with you if your vehicle will be left in the cold for a while.
Your hard cases will prevent your instrument from being crushed under other equipment. However, you don’t want to just leave your gear in a hard case on the floor for your trip. Use something like towels to reduce impact around your equipment. Padding around your band equipment will add extra protection on bumpy roads.
If you plan on traveling by car, you’ll want to make sure to secure your equipment. Make sure to tightly loop straps and seat-belts to handles. With hard cases, bungee cords will offer very stable transportation. If you’re transporting band equipment in a rented truck, ask about moving techniques to keep the equipment snug inside.
For easy unloading, organize instruments by size, kind, and/or musician. Keep similar instruments in one row for the best fit. Also remember never to cram equipment in, because pieces can damage each other. Lastly, keep accessories like amps, cords, and stands with the instruments they belong to.
When you open a door, go over a bumpy stretch, or have to slam on the brakes, your equipment will stay in place safely if you keep these tips in mind!