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Touring advice?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by 4StringFire, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. Does anybody have any advice on touring? If you've done it before, please feel free to reply this and give me some tips!
  2. leftundone


    Mar 14, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    My advice is not to spread your band to thin. Start off local doing shows in many towns of the state you live in. Pack those clubs & it will build a buzz that will travel all over. Then see where your possiable markets are that you can bring in people & give it a shot.

    This is from experience.

  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If you're talking about "months in a row" touring, maybe things haven't changed too much from when I used to spend most of the year on the road.....

    - #1 - Be in the best physical shape you can be. Sleep and nutrition are for people who work in offices. Much of your self-promo is done AFTER your show at radio station wing-dings and at the hotels. IME, your body is going to be seriously sleep-deprived and food-starved.

    - #2 - Be as kind and generous to everyone wherever you play. The "gift" is not letting them hear you, the "gift" is giving you a place to play. If you get a radio station interview or newspaper interview in some jerk, back-water, town, treat them as if they were LA or London. The more "bridges" you create, the less you have to cross.

    No one invites a band of pricks back. Guns n' Roses can hardly get a gig at a YMCA these days or with an experienced promoter.

    - #3 - If you have an irreplaceable piece of gear, don't take it on the road. Just take a piece with a backup that you know you can count on and won't be a disaster if it gets stolen. That's one reason why you see so many touring bassists using a common Fender who have their bass treasures back at home.

    - #4 - If you, personally, didn't put it in the pipe or in your drink, don't touch it. There are lots of losers out there who get a thrill out of messing you up.

    - #5 - Booking agents can (not "will") be a good thing. Check them out well ahead of time for thier track records. The good ones can eliminate a lot of bad surprises....."oh, we thought you brought you own stage lighting" and even help if a van/truck with the gear breaks down.

    Basically, just use all of your street-smarts and have the time of your life!!!
  4. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    I toured a couple of summers in a backup band for a variety show. Our accomodations were pretty bad.
    17 people, 3 stationwagons and two equipment trailers. One night stands with between 250 and 800 miles between shows. We usally only had a room 3 nights a week because of the driving time.

    I had the time of my life, I was in my teens and unattached.

    Things I would recommend,

    Eat healthy, pretend your momma's with you. It's hard to find healty food one the road (let alone good tasting). Try to eat salads and fruit once in awhile and for breakfast, cerial (hot or cold) won't weigh you down all day and it's easier on the budget.

    Get a lot of rest. Sleep when you can. I learned to sleep pretty well sitting up. After a show you're pumped up and it's hard to relax. A lot of people go until they drop or they start drinking or druging to RELAX. Try to keep the celebrating under control.
    When you're tired you tend to get cranky and snapping at people. There will be enough tension in the group without sleep deprivation.
    Really, try to get some rest, by the end of the tour your body and bandmates will thank you.

    Budget your money. Set a limit for daily expenses and stick to it. You may be temped to buy souvenirs, and thats ok just try to keep it undercontrol. Think, do I really need these sealskin mukalucks and wolfshead hat from FlinFlon? I didn't.....(after I bought them)!
    If you want a souvenir of the tour you could save your money and buy that sweet bass you've been lusting after.

    Remember to enjoy yourself.

    I hope some of this helps.

  5. Rudreax


    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    Bumping this to see if others can give more insight.
  6. bombpop14


    Apr 10, 2010
    Irvine, California USA
    Endorsing Artist Ampeg Amps
    Drink lots of water, don't drive after 3:30 am, wear a condom, be nice to people, lock the van.....
  7. LaklandBass


    Jan 26, 2005
    eat well. sleep well. dont bring super nice gear. get some backups. my current band is thinking of touring soon and rather than bringing my brand new stingray5 im probably going to pick up a pair of mid-level used soundgears.
  8. LaklandBass


    Jan 26, 2005
    BTW for a backup head i always suggest Peavey. Dirt cheap, rock solid.
  9. ducknturtle


    Dec 28, 2006
    New Jersey
    Touring can be fun but it's also a tough grind. Pace yourself, and be especially aware of "security". Never leave any equipment alone and unattended. Little things like "where is the bathroom" become highly imortant. We used to check out the bathroom first thing when we got to a new club and give it a grade (A to F). Most were C's, meaning that you could use them if you were carefull, but some were F's, meaning that they were unfit for humans. In at least one case there was no working bathroom at all. Have fun.

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