It’s been a long day at work, you’re itching to get out to a jam and lay down some tunes. Traffic was pretty bad and now you’re late, and your friends are texting you to hurry up. When you get to your jam session, you grab everything from your car, but decide to leave that amp, or mixer, or whatever instrument you thought you could always get later if you needed it. The session goes well, you’re relaxed, but on your way out you find that your trunk has been popped open and everything is gone.
We’ve all had a similar experience or know someone who has, and it seriously sucks.
Here are some tips to help protect you and your gear:
1. Your Car Isn’t a Safe.
Cars get broken into quite regularly, so don’t keep anything of value in them. Besides, the sometimes quick temperature changes in the car can really mess up and warp your gear. Don’t leave your gear in the car! If you have absolutely have to, cover it with a tarp so it’s not as noticeable to passersby.
2. Don’t Leave It Unattended.
Treat your gear like a child. Don’t leave it unattended. Even when moving things in/out of your car, lock it up when you’re away from it. We’ve heard horror stories where bands have had gear stolen as they were on their way out to grab another load.
3. Hide It.
Are you playing in a garage or somewhere consistently where people can hear? Well, cover the windows when you leave. Don’t make it obvious that you’re keeping your expensive gear inside. If there are jam spaces in your area, consider renting one by the month and storing your gear there. Jam spaces have many security measures in place, which will give you peace of mind that your gear is safe.
Take inventory of what you have, save receipts, and take photos of your gear. Serial numbers can be removed so you should also secretly mark your instruments and cases so you can easily identify them if and when they’re recovered. You should also claim shared gear, such as patch cables, so you know who owns what when you file a police report.
Homeowners or Renters insurance is pretty cheap; just make sure you look at the fine print to confirm that musical instruments are covered. There are some companies, such as MusicPro, that specifically insure instruments and gear.
There are plenty of other tips and gizmos to help prevent your music gear from getting stolen, but at the end of the day, if you have it with you, it’s locked up, or no one knows about it, you don’t have much to worry about.
About the Author
Shaan Singha, from Toronto, Co-founder of DownToJam. Musician, but new to guitars.