What Should Be In Your Keyboard Gig Bag?

Keyboardist Ed Diaz works as a product specialist at Roland, but he also has been making a series of video blog posts, sharing his thoughts on gear and experience with keyboards. 

His latest video looks at gear that should be in any keyboardist’s gig bag. Check it out and don’t let your synths get fried by a portable generator!

And, if you’ve got a tip of your own, leave a comment with your thoughts!

12 thoughts on “What Should Be In Your Keyboard Gig Bag?

  1. This is great but pretty sure he coulda wrapped that up in about 2-3 minutes rather than 10. Why do people talk so much?

  2. Ed, that was fantastic. Great job! When you got to the “flashlight” I literally said “Yup!” out loud.

    Here are a couple optional ones:

    * a music stand
    * a small battery-powered music stand light
    * headphones (even earbuds)
    * a few audio adapters (esp. 3.5mm stereo male, to 1/4″ dual mono male) to put a media player into the mixer
    * a DI box and a mic cable (usually the sound person will provide a DI, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an extra one with you. Mine gets used pretty often.)

    PLAN B:
    Let’s say you are traveling and your keyboard stops working. You may end up needing to borrow a keyboard. I’ve traveled with my laptop with a simple USB interface. Borrowing a simple keyboard with USB or MIDI i/o is not impossible. But getting a keyboard with built-in sounds you like is more of a long-shot. So I also bring my laptop with some good VI’s. Setting up patches for my set is pretty involved, but at least having reasonable substitutions on hand is a good back up plan.

  3. Great stuff, Ed.

    One thing I try to do is program redundant sounds on my keyboards. That way if there’s a problem with one keyboard, I’ve got similar sounds on the other keyboard.

  4. Great stuff from Ed. For those who think its too long here is the list
    *Surge Protector
    *Power cable extension (the orange ones)
    *2 Audio Cables per keyboards, Premium Brands with Lifetime guarantee. Color code audio cables
    *Extra Audio Cables
    *Sustain and volume pedals, with one extra of each
    *Mixer
    *Flashlight
    *Gaffers tape (to tape cables down to prevent accidents)
    *Extra power cables (the ones that get connected directly to your keyboard)

  5. Actually I’ve done the opposite – I try to reduce my rig to the point that no gig bag is necessary (ever had your gig bag stolen? I have…). If it doesn’t fit in the pockets of my keyboard case, I questions it’s use. I also have some bare-bones power cables/adapters permanently stowed in my car for emergencies. Minimum is optimum.

  6. I do all of the above. This is however great advice for newbies, good job!
    I would also add one more thing that is not considered here and that is time how long it takes you to set up your rig. This can be critical especially when you are work with other band members and especially a line up with other bands!

  7. I also do all the above.
    But I always take a screwdriver,another main board from the synth and a shotgun with me.
    So when it is necessary I do I main board swap.
    If that is not working I look out if the manufacturer is near to me or in the neighborhood and shoot him.

  8. I have a pedal board with everything I need. Run three keyboards in stereo with some effects pedals, sustain and swell pedals. Coming out of the board is a custom made loom with jacks, power cables and pedal cables, cut to the various lengths. All fed into an analogue summing mixer. At a gig, I set the pedal board down, place the keyboards and plug in the various cables to each board. I then take 2xXLR cables back to the desk and a single power cable back to a point and I’m ready to go.

    I can setup a nord stage 2, sustain, Hammond XK with swell and neo vent mini, roland fantom g6 with talkbox and sustain pedal in under 5 minutes.

    Ahhhhhh, thank you.

    (Cue the “why do you need a Hammond and a nord” questions)

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