Musicians interested in writing rock music often gravitate to playing instruments and even joining band. For those composers who are seriously interested in playing, the time will come to look at equipment such as mikes, pedals, and amps. The following is a selection of entry level equipment.


Choosing the right equipment can change how audio is being projected. Picking the right mike and sound system can spell the difference between a great performance and a lousy one. Vocalists and other band members need to communicate with the audience. Working with a limited budget does not always equate to using substandard tools. Here are a few quality tools that do not cost an arm and a leg to purchase.

There are different types of mikes to fit different needs. There are wired microphones on stands, wireless mikes and lavaliers. Vocalists will benefit from using a wireless mike or a lavalier for a hands-free performance. For band members playing instruments, a mike on a stand is more convenient. The mike can be positioned directly towards the instrument for a clearer recording.

For vocalists, there are a number of brands and models to consider. Vocalists looking for a hand-held mike should look into the Nady UHF-3 Wireless System. The Nady UHF-3 System is able to pick up sound within a range of 250 to 500 feet. For $150, the system is able to deliver 120dB. There is minimal handling noise or feedback to worry about when using the system. Vocalists do not need to worry about losing power during a performance as an LED system indicates when power is low.

A cheaper alternative is the DKW1 Wireless System by Nady. For less than $60, vocalists can sing and perform within a decent range of 250 feet. The device also uses an LED lighting system to indicate power and audio peak.

Audio-Technica has the ATW-251 Freeway VHF. This wireless system uses a lavalier mike, allowing vocalists to perform without any hassles. What makes it impressive is the small receiver which stabilizes any electrical changes. The system also works great with reducing background noise.

Also worth considering is the Nady Encore II LT. This lavalier system works for up to 500 feet. The AF 5-LED display allows technicians to monitor audio level and signal strength among others. Powered by a single 9-volt battery, the mike works for up to a total of 15 hours.

When considering mike stands, bands should consider purchasing packages to get better value. The On-Stage Mic Stand Package costs less than $100 for a total of six booms on stands. A bag is included which allows for easy transport.

Smaller bands looking for packages that include more accessories should consider the Gear One Garage Band Package. Each pack includes two types of stands, mike cables, an XLR adapter and a pop filter. For $40, bands can start performing live concerts or in a studio. The overall height and boom can be adjusted to fit a wide range of positions and directions.

These are but a few models available for less than $150. Do the research and ask around before buying. Ask family, friends, neighbors and fellow musicians from rock band classes for tips on other recommended models. Spending more time doing the research can help in getting the best value for money.


If you are starting out as a guitarist, and you have worked hard to build up your chops as a player, it is time to start thinking about your tone. The easiest way to change the way you sound is to insert a pedal into the mix, and a distortion pedal is your best bet if you want to make an impact on your tone immediately. Different distortion pedals flood the market at different prices, though. If you are experimenting with your tone, you should start with something no more expensive than $150.00.

For about fifty dollars, the Electro-Harmonix Nano Muff Overdrive distortion effect can make your guitar sound like a snarling demon. Its beauty lies in its simplicity as it contains only a volume knob and no other controls. It is available at most major music stores, so check it out the next time you get a chance.

Approximately $80.00 will get you a Boss DS2 Turbo Distortion effects box. This is one of the most versatile and powerful effects pedals on the market, and it is a great value. It can give you a wide range of tones ranging from a delicate, milky sound, to a raging thunderstorm of sonic sludge.

If you have about $100.00 to spend on a distortion box, you might want to give the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer a try. It is a classic effects box that is easily manipulated to make tweaking your tone easy. The name implies an effect that will make your guitar wail with a silky tone, and it is not misleading.

If you are looking for something a little heavier sounding and you are able to spend $150.00, then the Krank Distortus Maximus stomp box might be a good effect for you. It is a very musical effects box that can make your guitar sound like a freight train on fire.

Prices for these effects vary, and new models are being released quite frequently. Visit your local music store with your guitar so you can try these, and other pedals out. Soon, you will find an effects pedal that can turn your guitar tone into a force of nature.


Finding the right equipment is important if you are considering rock band classes. As far as amplification goes, there are nearly as many choices for amps as there are for guitars. Assuming you already own a guitar or guitars, The next component of your electric axe setup is the amplifier. Amps are available in many colors and flavors, all offering different tones. If you are starting out, and you are interested in taking rock band classes, there are some amps under $100 that can get you out of the gate sounding great.

The Audition practice amp for electric guitars costs about fifty dollars, and it is made by Peavey. Amps made by this world renowned manufacturer are known for their durability and quality tone. This is a great amp for a beginner.

For about $70.00, you can obtain the classic Marshall tone by getting Marshall's MG4 Series MG10 amplifier. The guitar sound that is heard on countless classic and modern rock albums can be yours at a great value with this little demon.

If you are looking for something that will stand out, you might want to try the Pignose Legendary 7-100 Portable Guitar Amp for approximately $75.00. Its look is very distinctive, and the name says it all. Most importantly, the tone is amazing for such a small amp.

Loud and proud, the Pignose PG-20 is available at most major music stores for less than $85.00, If you like the Pignose sound, but you are looking for something larger and louder, this might be the amp for you.

For a few more dollars, Behringer offers the entry level model in their V-Tone series: the GM108 modeling amplifier. You can get in on the ground floor of the modeling craze with its 27 available unique amp tones. This is a great choice for the budding gear enthusiast.

If you plan on taking your playing to a slightly higher level, you can get genuine Fender amplification with their 25R Frontman Series II. It is a brilliant looking piece of gear that achieves tremendous sonic clarity. This amplifier sells for about $100.00, which is at the high end of what one should pay for a beginner level amp.


Good luck to everyone  writing rock songs and playing in bands!