8 things every indie musician should have with them at all times

As a scrappy do-it-yourselfer in a tough industry, there are certain essentials you keep on your person at all times, for any occasion when you’re struck by inspiration or have an opportunity to plug your music.

Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog

Opportunitiy can strike at any moment. As an independent musician, you’re always on the lookout. Whether it be through making connections or showing off your skills at a moments notice, these essentials will back you up every time. Here are 8 items you should always have on you as a hustling musician…

Business Cards

If you frequent music conferences, you’re already aware of the power of a good business card. Even when you’re not heading to a big event, it doesn’t hurt to keep some cards on you at all times. You never know who you’ll meet out in the world. No matter who you meet, be ready to leave them with something to remember you by.

QR Code Stickers

Business cards not quite your vibe? I get it. If you want an innovative version for the modern musician, try QR code stickers. Exactly what they sound like, you can make your own QR codes that will link to your socials, music, YouTube channel, and more. Then, just print it on a cool sticker and you’re ready to go.

  • Zazzle and Stickermule are two great websites that can help you out with this. — With them, not only can you make a good quality sticker with a QR code on it, there are thousands of designs to choose from to make it unique to you.

Portable Phone Charger

Pretty self-explanatory. I prefer my phone alive and well, don’t you?


Like we mentioned earlier, you really never know who you’re going to meet out in the world. Having some fresh breath definitely doesn’t hurt your chances of making quality connections.

Google Calendar App

Definitely need a charged phone for this one! There are tons of apps out there than can help you keep track of meetings, events, and whatever else you’ve got going on. This one just happens to be my favorite. I use the Google Calendar app to quickly log anything I need to remember.

Next time you’re at your next live show, event, etc. and make a great connection, you can schedule your next meet-up right from your phone. Not only that, I also use it to jot down some notes about the conversation. That way you can go back in the next day and see exactly when and where you agreed to meet them while also refreshing your memory on what you talked about.


This one goes out to all the DJ’s. The amount of times I’ve been to a house party where I could’ve hopped up and played a set are too many to count. You really never know who is going to be there, and every chance to shine is a chance to get your face and music out there. As @itstiedye once told me at a house party in Tampa, “Never forget your USB! That’s Rule #1, man.”

20 minutes later, @carnage hopped on the deck. — Never again will I forget my USB.

Hard Drive

For those who travel with their laptop in hand, this one is absolutely essential. No matter where you’re working on your next track, you should always have a hard drive ready to back up whatever masterpiece you create. The last thing you want is to get a burst of inspiration and lose it to a bad wifi connection.


We probably don’t need to tell you this one, but a solid portable pair of headphones definitely comes in handy on the go. Sometimes you may find yourself somewhere where it’s hard to hear the person right next to you. If you want to show them your latest demo, you can hand them a headphone and play away. On the other hand, you may find yourself working on the go and in need of some peace and quiet. I never leave the house without a pair of AirPods.

In Conclusion…

Wherever you go, you should always be prepared for anything! In this industry, it’s all about connections. Being in the right place at the right time is one thing, but being prepared to make the most of any situation is the next step up.

You got this!

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