8 Tips To Avoid Music Gear Theft

For a musician, climbing a stage and performing for a crowd is the ultimate reward for hours of practice. It’s an experience that will sharpen your abilities and confidence as a musician. But while there’s much to learn on the way to the top, one experience you’ll want to avoid is getting ripped off.

Your actions, equipment and environment, as well as the crowd and musicians you’re working with, are just a few of the things you’ll need to monitor onstage and off to prevent getting ripped off. Let’s face it, any gig you play is likely to be loud and dark, there’s talent to check out and you may be drinking. In short, you’ve got to watch out for yourself, because a preoccupied musician is no match for a focused and motivated thief.

First, you are at your most vulnerable during load-in and load-out. In addition to the challenge of securing gear in two separate places, you need keep your eyes open so you don’t get jumped or duped into turning your back on your gear, even for a moment.

To help you avoid the heartbreak of losing your gear and having to come up with the scratch to replace it, Reverb offers some simple guidelines to follow:

  • Never run late for load-in/soundcheck
  • Never rush yourself and don't let anyone else rush you
  • Never take shortcuts when tearing down
  • Never leave your vehicle unlocked
  • Never leave your equipment unattended during load-in or load-out
  • Never leave a mess; stack cases, gear and amps neatly and out of the way
  • Never depend on someone else to watch your gear
  • Never get distracted before your gear is secured

Always keeping your keys in the same pocket is a ridiculously simple and effective thing you can do to speed and simplify the process of opening and securing your gear.


These guidelines may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many musicians routinely ignore or forget to follow these important suggestions. Realize that the most important factor in preventing instrument or gear theft is you.

Ever been ripped off before or after a show? Give us the benefit of your bad experiences below.

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