10 Killer Ways To Make The Most Of Your Band Tour

Art here. Credit for this goes to the band The Sheepdogs as well as to our friends at Alternative Nation. Thought you might like this for those musicians venturing out on tour for the first time, or even if you have been touring awhile and need some tips on surviving a trip together without strapping your singer to the car hood, much like our poor friend Max in today’s featured picture. That, or missing out on the great areas that you’re driving through and playing at.

Here’s the top 10:

1. Pack Light!

For instance, one of the band members in the Sheepdogs says they used to bring a small library of books to pass the time, but now only bring 1-2 tops and if they ran out would borrow a book from another band member. It was also a great way for them to get introduced to books they would never have otherwise read.


2. Pick Your Spots When Partying!

You’ll be really tempted to go out and party and booze it up every night, especially within the clubs you may find yourself in. BUT you should also weigh the fact that you’re going to feel like crap the next day especially when traveling. That will get old fast on a long tour, so space it out or attempt moderation.


3. Exercise!

You’re going to be traveling in a vehicle for most of your days and you’ll be eating food of the sort not necessarily of a healthy nature. Not only will working out be beneficial for your health but it will contribute in a great way to the energy of your shows!



4. Watch What You Eat!

With very, very few exceptions, most food you get on the road is extremely unhealthy for you. If a chance for you to eat healthy (or healthier) comes up, take it when you can.



5. Be Nice! Especially To Sound Guys, Venue Staff & Your Audience

What comes around goes around guys…there are countless stories of musicians who have encountered some roadblock or issue where it was helped out by someone at a club, sometimes by total strangers, because the band showed kindness and consideration to others. Pay it forward, bro. You never know when you might get into a rough spot and someone takes you in or cooks you a meal or helps you out of a situation.


6. Don’t Sell Your Merch For A Huge Amount Of Money

The Sheepdogs tell a story where they started selling their CDs for $15, then everyone said they should have sold for $20. So the band dropped the price to $10 and they sold a TON more than they would have otherwise. Don’t be hardasses when it comes to negotiating a price on a t-shirt or ballcap, etc. It’s still your name you’re getting out there, so just do what you can to get yourself marketed and out there.


7. Look Out The Window When You’re Traveling Between Towns

You may be stuck in your vehicle spinning away the time with a book or movie (or nap), but a great suggestion by the band is to put on some good music, and watch the world go by. You’d be really surprised at the sights you miss otherwise.


8. Try And See Some Of the Cities You Play In

It can be tough, especially if you’re on a tight timetable on tour, but if all possible even if it’s just a quick walk around, make a point to check out the city or town you’re playing in. You wouldn’t believe what you would come across that ends up only being a few blocks from your club or hotel. It’s also good to get a stretch in and take your mind off of the constant go-go-go!



9. Make Friends With Other Bands

This ties in to #5 but keep in mind that no one sympathizes with the good times and the bad times that you have as a touring and performing bands, than OTHER touring and performing bands. AND a great networking opportunity, bands love playing with other bands they know and like.


10. Sleep Wherever You Can!

You won’t be on a 9-to-5 schedule here, there will be many late nights and many early to rise mornings. Learn to adapt so you’re able to crash out in the tour vehicle, on a couch, even in a ratty green room before you go on. One thing you will not have consistently is a good night’s sleep so make the most of it!



Great stuff! Thanks again to The Sheepdogs and Alternative Nation for a highly entertaining list that many musicians should adhere to!


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Art Gurley

Art Gurley has been working as a respected music professional and producer/engineer in the greater Los Angeles area for many years and enjoys live performances, tweaking his Pro Tools and Logic Pro X setups, and long drives on the PCH.

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