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Best Music Gear for Student Musicians

Not sponsored, these are just the pieces of equipment I love

By Blake DylanPublished about a year ago 5 min read
Best Music Gear for Student Musicians
Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

Gadgets & Gear:

1. VOX Bass Personal Amp

For those of us living in a shoebox with paper thin walls, this is the perfect solution to getting in those late night practice sessions without risking a complaint from Betty Sue across the hall. This compact amp fits in your pocket and plugs directly into your electric bass guitar and provides big sound directly through any regular set of wired earbuds. The bass version includes a built in drum machine, perfect for practicing grooves in your motel room before the big gig. In addition to the bass guitar version, there are guitar versions which include built in effect pedals and generic versions for quiet on-the-go practice for any electronic instrument.

2. Hybrid In-Ear Monitors

These wired monitors completely changed my listening game. They deliver solid high-quality sound across all registers and frequencies, fit snugly but comfortably, and don't move even a millimeter no matter how hard you rock out. I have used these as in-ear monitors during live performance and in my bedroom mastering recordings, they are the ideal solution for great quality sound and comfort.

3. Hi-Fidelity Ear Plugs

As a young musician one of my greatest fears is risking my long-term hearing, and all good musicians know that protecting your ears is a must. These ear plugs are so comfortable you forget they are there, and don't compromise sound, just reduce the volume to a more safe level. They even come with a tough metal carrying case and clip to attach them to your keys or gig bag.

4. LEKATO Bluetooth Page Turner

Don't be that performer who still has to tap their iPad to turn pages. How embarassing, when this affordable bluetooth page turner exists. Easy to set up and connect, it integrates perfectly with the forScore app, as well as PDF readers, to turn pages both forward AND backwards with a simple touch of the foot. It is lightweight and compact, fitting easily into any bag.

5. Fender Rumble 40 Bass Amplifier

If you are a traveling gigging bassist and you do not own this amp, trust me, it will change the game. Before the Rumble 40 came into my life, I was dragging a massive 65 pound amp, which barely fit in my car and I had to tote around on a cart, to all of my gigs. This amp weighs less than 20 pounds and packs as powerful a punch as any industry standard. It features multiple options for input and output and has three-band EQ control. Lightweight, compact, excellent sound, big volume, this is my all time favorite amp and I will not be going back to any other brand any time soon.

6. Amazon Basics Folding Guitar Stand

Another must for the gigging life. It folds and unfolds with ease, provides a secure spot for your guitar or bass, and won't break the bank. Stop laying your instrument down or trying to prop it up on a wall between sets. This stand has an adjustable width and height to accommodate most regular size guitars and basses, and there is plenty of room for it in your gig bag.

7. Rayzm Guitar Footrest

Okay, I promise this is the last thing for my gigging friends. But when you're sitting in the pit in the second act of Mama Mia the last thing you want is leg and back pain from sitting in an awkward position while trying to hit all the riffs in Voulez Vou. This foot rest gives just enough prop to put your instrument in a more natural 'standing' position, enhancing your playing and relieving the muscle aches from before (I speak from experience). It folds flat and has an adjustable height to fit your perfect angle.

8. KYY Portable Monitor

Sometimes you just need an extra screen to finish up that recording session or that english essay, or to have on a YouTube video while pretending to pay attention on Zoom. This no-frills option is perfect for an on-the-go musician; it is easy to set up, plug in, and go.

Apps:

1. iReal Pro

THE app for gigs. It hosts thousands of charts and lead sheets across all genres within the app, can transpose all of them to any key, has backing tracks and a built in metronome for practice sessions, and allows custom charts to be uploaded. You can create set lists, easily share lists and tunes among other performers, view chord diagrams and TABs for guitar, bass, and piano, and chat with performers across the globe via their online forum.

2. GoodNotes

While not exclusive to musicians, this is an app I use daily for all my school and business needs. Beyond taking notes for class, I upload contracts and other documents to fill out, mark up, and sign, create stage diagrams and set lists to share with stage managers, and even compose using their sheet music template. It also syncs between my laptop, tablet, and phone, so I have all of my necesary documents within reach at all times.

3. forScore

forScore is the industry standard for score and sheet music reading and for good reason. PDF files of music easily integrate and can be sorted by composer, genre, style, and custom tags to organize music. The app support most external page turners, and the scores can be written on using a stylus or finger.

4. TonalEnergy Tuner

Using any other phone app for a tuner and metronome is a sin. This app not only has an advanced tuner, metronome, and sound board, but tracks practice progress and allows you to make and store recordings in the app. My favorite feature of this app is the metronome, it allows complete control and has extensive advanced options for dialing in tempo and meter. It also logs practice time without manual input; it listens for sound and records the amount of time spent playing for an accurate analysis of how much time was acually spent practicing.

5. Canva

This app is IT for marketing. It has templates for posters, flyers, social media posts, business cards, logos, and more. There are thousands of FREE templates, clip art, backgrounds, fonts, gifs, and more. The paid version, for me so far, has not been necessary. Signing up and using an account is free, and takes your marketing to the pro league.

6. Adobe Creative Cloud

The creative cloud is great for more advanced marketing, production, and product design. I mostly use photoshop and indesign for creating covers for my music, acrobat for compiling and exporting the PDFs of my work, and Premiere Pro for everything video.

I hope that these products help you bring your music career to the next level! Comment below your favorite music gear or tech tips for upcoming musicians!

product review

About the Creator

Blake Dylan

Just a dude looking for my voice to be heard.

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    Blake DylanWritten by Blake Dylan

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