Episode 021: Traveling light

Episode 021: Traveling light

Practical Bass
Episode 021: Traveling light

Can you cut your gig load-in down to one trip? Absolutely, listen and learn!

Music: JahzzarPlease Listen CarefullyspinningmerkabaUrbana-Metronica (wooh-yeah mix).

Show notes

Certainly gear for gigs will greatly depend on venue size and type, but for this weeks topic we will mostly talk about traveling light for those smaller gigs.


What does your mix of venues typically look like? What does your load look like?

  • Paul:
    • Bars/nightclubs, listening rooms, festival/outdoor stages
    • 2×10 cab + little class D amp
    • 1-2 basses
    • Pedal
    • Bag of accessories and tools
    • I usually bring PA though 🙁
  • Dave:
    • Most of my gigs are in smaller indoor venues so I’ve focused on becoming the one trip load-in
    • 1 – Mono Sleeve (bass/ipad/stationary/strings/leatherman)
    • 1 – 35 lb combo amp
    • 1 – Mic stand/bass stand velcroed together
    • 1 – Gig bag (cables/mic/2 pedals) – Chromacast 12*8*6
    • Sometimes an amp stand (2nd trip)


  • Paul:
    • Praise for the Mono bag, just got the Vertigo
    • Ability to pile everything into the smaller car, more relaxing drive
    • Only have to remember a small number of things
    • Clean up is fast; grab and go, when appropriate
  • Dave:
    • Feeds my obsession to minimize
    • I really feel like simplifying the load in helps keep my mind clear
    • Allows for time to focus on putting out any fires, helping my bandmates, and talk with the fans
    • Carpool! – It’s good for the environment.

What are some of the downsides?

  • Paul:
    • Have to cut out things you might normally carry “just in case” and help out a buddy
    • Insecurity of not having all your stuff at hand; even if you don’t need it
    • Something breaks down?
  • Dave:
    • If you’re not in a traveling light routine, it’s super easy to forget a key item
    • If the gig is light but far from home, forgetting something requires a MacGyver solution

Any tricks of the trade on this one?

  • Paul:
    • Works best if you can depend on your bandmates
  • Dave:
    • Use the light traveler as a basis for your big rig – avoiding forgetmenots
    • Be inventive with your gear (velcro/metal skewer trick/Ikea luggage)
  • Paul:
    • I love the light solutions here… velcro neck strap on the amp!
    • Share your tips on traveling light with us!

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