On the Road: 6 Tips for the First-Time Touring Musician

Touring for the first time is a very exciting prospect. When you get the call, you might start thinking of all the places you will visit and all the experiences you will have. What many first-time touring musicians do not know is that touring is harder than it sounds. It is almost impossible to understand how hard touring can be until you have experienced it yourself. But there are a few things you can do to make it better, help you adjust to the new routine, and have a great time.

Have an Itinerary

Having an itinerary is the one thing you cannot overlook. In most cases, your agent or tour manager will make one for you, but you might have to work one out with your bandmates.

A good itinerary should include everywhere you will go and everything you need to know about all the days you will be on the road. To ensure everything goes smoothly, try to make it as detailed as possible and stick to it.

Budget Wisely

While you will make some money on the road, it is likely that the trip will cost you quite a bit. Before you start the tour, ensure you have a budget at hand. Once you have an estimate of what you will earn, budget for what you know you will need, and then set some money aside for emergencies.

It is important that you do not rely completely on what you will make from each performance but, instead, have enough to support yourself if the performances do not bring in as much as you thought.

Take Care of Yourself

When you are on the road for hours on end, you can forget to do the simple things. Taking care of yourself can take a back seat as you concentrate on your next performance. This is why it is so important to take the time to plan everything out and to schedule some time to take care of yourself.

Try to take some time off from driving and share this responsibility with your bandmates. Because you are always on the road, you might be tempted to survive on takeout and fast food. Resist the temptation to do this and instead, plan and cook some wholesome meals.

As for sleep, ensure you get as much of it as you can. Get a good mattress, the softer the better. A good mattress not only ensures you get the number of hours of sleep you need, but it also ensures high-quality sleep, which is what you should be aiming for when touring.

Set Ground Rules

Things can, and often do, get out of hand quickly when you are on the road. Too much partying, infighting, and poor time management can all come up when you are a few months into the tour. To avoid all this, set some ground rules. Let everyone know that your performances are the most important part of the tour, and everything else comes second.

Drive Safely

Driving can take a lot out of you. It is when you are tired that mistakes happen. Know your limitations, and when you get tired, take a break, or let someone else drive.

Keep Finding Inspiration

There will be a lot of time between performances. You can use this downtime to find inspiration for new songs or performances. This downtime is also a great time to sit with other band members to write something new. Since you will be on the open road, try to derive inspiration from the things that you see and experiences you have on the road.

Touring for the first time comes with its own unique set of challenges. But, if you plan everything properly, remember to recharge and use your free time wisely, you will have a much better tour than you thought possible.

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