If you’ve caught the bug of playing live music with friends or solo, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of gear out there and have no idea where to start. Fear not – we’ve been through the work and the trial and error and are here to help you along the way with five tips for getting your band rolling, and doing so without breaking the bank!

Do Your Research

A lot of bands get gear fever as soon as they have any bit of money to spend. Slow down! Sleep on any big decision related to equipment – look around online and figure out what’s the best place to invest your money and where you can go with cheaper options. For example, it’s a gig-ending problem if your amp stops working, but it’s not so bad if a guitar cord fizzles out.

Sound Good Unplugged

They say that it’s a poor carpenter who blames their tools, and it’s the truth! Practice unplugged and work on your playing every day before buying autotune, flashy and expensive equipment, or anything else that promises to make you sound better. Rely on yourself to sound good and on your gear to enhance what’s already there, not to create something from nothing.

Learn Electronics

Be careful with this one, because can you get hurt if you work on a high-powered amp without knowing what you’re doing! If you’ve got a passive guitar or bass, learn some basic electronics maintenance techniques and you’ll be keeping your gear in top condition in no time. Even better, you can head to sites like Amazon or Overstock and seek out parts with the knowledge that you’ll be able to clean any dirty pots and replace any old instruments with ease, fixing 95% of most problems with old instruments. To save even more money on these types of sites, search out codes and coupons from places like discountrue.com.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Pack yourself the essentials: duct tape, extra cables, extra strings (look for the ones you can buy in bulk – you can save huge amounts of money that way!), electronic tuners, and maybe a cheap microphone. There’s nothing worse than having to make a panicked Walmart run for broken gear, and this will help prevent that situation.

Buy Used Gear

If you follow all the tips above, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that used gear is the best choice – and you’d be right! Used equipment and overstock equipment falls far below the price of new gear, saving you a huge amount of money. As mentioned before, a similar truth goes for strings – buy them in bulk and you’ll see the savings pile up.

Starting a band doesn’t mean you’ll go broke in the process – far from it! With a few simple preparations, some research and knowledge, and wise choices in equipment, a little money can go a long way. Think it through before you shell out the money and enjoy yourself along the way!