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My gear box

Back to the Gear Room

Feb 08, 2010 3:50 PM GMT

So now that I'm jaming more at friends and bars. I think I have what I may need in my gear box. Would like to know what others carry with them when playing??

I have in my gear box. 8 Harps, mic's,(3) FX pedal, doo rag, beez wax ( lips) nose spray,Key chart ( what harp to use). pages of songs.

Is ther something I shoud add?



Playing the Blues for life

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Comments (15)

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Feb 08, 2010 5:33 PM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

You have more in that box than I carry. We'll see what the pros recommend, but the only thing I can think of is a couple of back-up harps in case one in a common key gets tight or whatever.

What kind of box do you use?

Feb 08, 2010 6:04 PM GMT
walterharp Replied:

duplicate harps in every key, spare mics and cords, spare tubes for amp, bottle of water, special harps (low ones, xb-40), for a long show a spare shirt to change into if the first one gets to sweaty. now, we have a song about cowbell, so a cowbell!

Feb 08, 2010 8:29 PM GMT
skullShaker Replied:

I do have my cords in there too, Ifound a service hard case ( photos soon) did some mods I need to get more harps. and learn to fix them too. now I'll add the extra shirt& thaks for the tube idea too. I want to be ready to Jam and it takes gear I'm finding this out.


Playing the Blues for life

Feb 09, 2010 3:00 AM GMT
walterharp Replied:

also, arrange your harps in the case in a circle of 5ths so you don't need the chart to remember the keys.. it will help you memorize the circle

Feb 09, 2010 3:18 PM GMT
John P Replied:

Impedance matching transformer.

Feb 09, 2010 5:28 PM GMT
skullShaker Replied:

Thanks good stuff I like the idea about laying out my harps very cool.

May I ask about the impedance matching transformer??

Playing the Blues for life

Feb 09, 2010 9:15 PM GMT
Mondo Replied:

Most people seem to like the "rat tail" design. It puts less strain on the input jack and won't damage your amp if the cord gets pulled or tripped over. Here's one:

Feb 10, 2010 3:56 AM GMT
John P Replied:

Re IMT: I don't know if you are using PA style low impedance mics that have an XLR connector or Bullet style high impedance mics that have a quarter inch jack. I also don't know if you carry your own amp.

Anyway, if you have a low impedance mic and you want to plug into an amp or an older PA board that does not have XLR jacks, you will need an low impedance to high impedance IMT.

If you have a high impedance mic and want to plug into a PA board, most boards have quarter inch input jacks as well as XLR jacks, so you are usually ok. BUT, if you need to make a long (over 20-25 feet) run to the board, you will get sound/signal degradation unless you convert to a low impedance signal which requires XLR connections. So you either use a direct box or a high impedance to low impedance IMT.

If you play out live, it's a good idea to be prepared. you need an IMT to be sure you can plug in to whatever you need to plug in to. 8 harps should cover you for most blues situatuions, but it's prudent to carry a spare set. You never know when a reed might fail or jam. Personally, i carry a full set of harps, but if you are primarily playing blues in 2 or 3 positions you can get by with 8.

If you carry an amp, spare fuses for your amp are probably more important than spare tubes. If you carry an amp, surge suppression in a power strip or power block with a very long cord is not a bad idea, and the extra electrial outlets on it will come in handy. In the alternative, a long heavy duty extension cord is essential. Personally, i carry this sort of gear separately from my harps and mics which are in a gig bag. Cords and IMTs go in both places (that way, i have spares with me if I'm packing my own amp & pedal board and i still have everything i need if I'm travelling light w/just my gig bag).

btw, if you power your pedals w/batteries. you definitely need to carry spare batteries and a little screwdriver to open the pedal enclosures. Personally, I always power my pedalboard w/AC.

Feb 10, 2010 3:42 PM GMT
skullShaker Replied:

Jhon P You are my new best harp playing friend, that is why I joined this site to learn from other players your information was so much HELP I'm just getting into going out and playing jams and have been asked to play with groups so the more I know ( learn) about being ready to play gigs the better, THANKS BRO. I will take all the help I can get and only hope to pass on any help I may be to other players. all of you have helped this old coot Blues player

Playing the Blues for life

Feb 10, 2010 7:41 PM GMT
walterharp Replied:

yeah, spare fuses, though when a fuse goes, the amp is generally the cause and the next fuse will blow till it is fixed... or the power input is wrong, which will blow the fuse...

Feb 11, 2010 6:44 AM GMT
BlowsMeAwy Greg Replied:

I would add the other 4 key harps. Sooner or later you're going to get up there with a Stevie Ray Vaughan/Albert Collins/BB King/TBone Walker wannabe - those guys frequently played in Eb, Ab, Db or F#, the weird keys. In some cases THEY are actually playing in A but they tune their guitars a half-step down to loosen the strings and make bending easier. So everyone else is in Ab to be with them. If I go to a jam only once a week, and I'm gonna get my 3 tunes, and some guy calls one of those tunes in Ab, I'll be damned if I'm going to miss out because I don't have the right harp.


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Feb 11, 2010 2:58 PM GMT
skullShaker Replied:

I do want more Harps and understand about have the right keys when it's my time to play I want to play so being ready is the key.. Maybe with some tax $$ I'l add to my harps

I have A,Ab, B, Bb, C,D,E,F,G. (JUST GOT THE Bb)

Playing the Blues for life

Feb 11, 2010 5:37 PM GMT
John P Replied:

You DEFINITELY need an Eb so you can play in Bb which is a commonly called blues key, especially for playing with keyboard and sax players. (It's lso used for C minor dorian in third position. And it gives you G natural minor in fifth position.)

You will need an Eb harp more than you will an E harp.

I agree w/Greg. But if you add an Eb to the harps you already have, as a practical matter, you can get alot of mileage out of those 10 harps. Your B harp will be the one you will use the least.

Feb 12, 2010 2:57 PM GMT
skullShaker Replied:

I was told by others that when you start getting gear you can get hooked. So now I just found a Delay for $20 new WOW! it's fun to play with gave me a BIG HARPING Smile...

So last night my good friend that works at Mackie here in woodinville is having a employ sale i give her my wish list. Blackheart tube AMP,Mackie power montar. Mackie mixer, OMG I'm hooked!!!!! But very LUCKY too my home studio is going to ROCK I just got the Ableton live softwear setup, I'm going to need to learn so much more and have so much more fun too


Playing the Blues for life

Feb 12, 2010 4:42 PM GMT
John P Replied:

The mic preamps in Mackie boards sound phenomenal.

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