The subject of equipment is a popular topic amongst the music community. When asked to determine the most important piece of equipment needed by a musician starting out, the responses that we gleaned on Facebook revealed some unique insights that approached the topic from different directions.
One respondent pointed out the importance of the digital age in the music industry. "Now that the interweb has become the go-to place for band promotion, an easy-to-operate Mac computer will enable any aspiring musician to record via the Garage Band app, publish a website, network socially on all the right outlets, sync to Spotify and Mog, post videos to YouTube, and so much more. Those who go without will go without," said Guy Arnston, freelance writer based in Chicago, Illinois.
Although the methods of how music is recorded have changed, another contributor to the discussion offered some sound advice regarding safety equipment. Bassist Sean O'Bryan Smith (who has performed and/or recorded with jazz artists like Randy Brecker, Brian Bromberg, Rick Braun and Larry Carlton to country artists like Keith Urban, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts) suggests that musicians acquire "a good set of headphones and use them at a REASONABLE level. Get in the habit of saving your ears from the beginning."
Drummer and percussionist Jeff Fish, who has played with Chaka Khan and Mick Marrs (Motley Crew), took a more traditional approach and suggested "a music stand and a metronome with a light and sound" as an important piece of equipment.
If you're a new musician, it's important that you learn all you can by staying up-to-date. Never be afraid to ask the pros for advice. As you can see from the varied responses in this article, the topic of equipment is indeed an interesting and expansive subject.