When you’re a hopeful artist or band, you would want nothing to get in your way of achieving your dreams: that’s playing the music you love and receiving warm adoration from people you never thought could look up to you.
So if you really want to make it big, aim for it. Aim for it high. Plenty of singers, songwriters, and bands get their name around starting from their backyard, their local fan base, but many also prefer the thrill of hitting the road with a lucky charm gripped tight and their spirits soaring.
However, hitting the road is a major life decision that also comes with consequences when the road to fame is not planned out step-by-careful-step. Below are a few reminders to kick your gut when riding toward a life goal of landing gigs that become seamless—eventually.
Not many musicians have just money in mind when they’re on the road to rock-and-roll glory. It’s not about playing and going home with fat wads of cash in the pocket; it’s about music, the passion, and inspiration that go along with it.
As you hop your wheels and dream about inspired faces and new locations, remember to run the numbers because what’s a road to success with an empty wallet in the end? From food, accommodation, gas, to emergencies like busted engines or hospital visits, it’s important to always have allocated money.
There’s split budget, there’s group budget, there’s allowance, and there should also be savings or stash. Don’t rely on your combined money for every cost; save some for yourself for one of those rainy days. Know your expenses, and spend wisely at all times. Stow away some cash from every show you play in.
Planning the Tech, Routes, and Performances
Hitting the road might have its adventurous appeal at the beginning, but it’s also strategic to have a ready-made plan. One should know where one goes and what opportunities lie ahead (and along the highway).
For example, summer is a great time for festivals as many students want to buy tickets to watch both new and popular artists. Now’s your opportunity. Plan this three to six months in advance. Knowing what you’re getting into ahead of time is better than jumping into a chance without being fully prepared. Make sure to contact events people, introduce your band, and stun them with your music tracks. Keep a list of the e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and locations.
Additionally, make sure your instruments and equipment are loaded in properly and are consistently sound-checked. Doing all this will definitely save effort, time, and money.
Set Ground Rules
We know it’s all fun and games until someone gets into some form of trouble. The guitarist may have partied too hard the other night and is hungover and there’s a show the next day. Or the drummer got too crazy and slammed his/her toms to the ground. Yikes!
Times like these, remember to look after yourself. It’s okay to say no if you feel it’s not the perfect time to agree to something especially if something more important is coming up. See to it that each member of the band is dedicated from the start because dedication involves less negligence and more discipline.
Hitting the road is set up to be one heck of a roller-coaster ride. You’ll form connections with fans, inspire one or a dozen and more people, create laugh-out-loud memories, and most of all, taste delight from the triumph of a dream achieved. However you’re going to hit it and make it (and you will!), have buckets of fun.
I Musician Digital. 2017. “How Do I Plan My First Tour?” Accessed January 31, 2017. http://www.imusiciandigital.com/en/blog-article/tour-planning/.
McDonald, Heather. 2016. “First Tour Survival Guide for Musicians and Bands.” October 15. The Balance. Accessed January 31, 2017. https://www.thebalance.com/first-tour-survival-guide-for-musicians-and-bands-2460486.