Whether you’ve just branched out as a musician, or you’ve been in the game for many years, your number one goal will be to have as many people as possible listening to your songs and watching you perform. This means you’ll need to travel far and wide to build an audience and establish a presence.
Before you pack your bags and get on the road, here are some tips that can help you stay sane, keep healthy, and get your music out there.
If there is one tip that all traveling musicians can benefit from, it’s to pack light. This is because you don’t want to be carrying around bulky luggage. For those just starting out, the chances are you’re not going to be traveling by private jet or have the luxury of your own bus. For this reason, you need to be practical with what you’re going to take with you. Your most important baggage will be your equipment and instruments over everything else. If you’re going away for a lengthy period, it’s wise to bring some sentimental items like photographs of loved ones to stop you from feeling homesick. Also, make sure to bring clothes for all weather forecasts.
Make a Plan
Once you’ve packed your bags and you’re ready to get on the road, you must have a thorough plan in place. If you’re traveling solo, it’s up to you to be organized from start to finish. To begin, you should outline a list of places you wish to visit and try to stick to it. If you’re playing gigs, you’ll need to establish the locations of each venue and how you’re going to get from A to B. Once you do this, you’ll have more structure toyour travels.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Before you grace the stage and perform, you need to set aside time to practice. Whether you’re a solo musician or in a band, PIRATE has music practice rooms all over the world you can use to your advantage. PIRATE also has recording studios that are open 24/7. Any established musician will stress to you the importance of practicing, so even if you think you’re ready and raring to go, there is always room for improvement.
Perform as Much as You Can
Once you’ve practiced and perfected your craft, it’s time to start playing shows! As a traveling musician, any opportunity to get on stage and showcase your music can only be a good thing. If you’re new to the scene, even performing in front of a handful of people can benefit your career. After all, every musician has to start somewhere. The more gigs you play, the more experience you’ll get, which will give you more confidence and take your career to new levels.
Get On Social Media
Whether you love it or hate it, social media is a powerful tool for up-and-coming musicians. If you’re traveling around the country or heading overseas, letting people know where you are and keeping engaged on social media is key. This means it’s advised to set up a Facebook music page, launch a Twitter account, and get on Instagram. When you’re traveling to and from gigs, use this as an opportunity to get on social media and engage with fans.
When away from home, it can be easy to fall off the healthy eating bandwagon and gorge on junk food instead. Sure, it may be more convenient, but foods full of fat and salt aren’t going to do your mind and body any favors. It’s best to stick to a balanced diet when you’re traveling around the world. This will give you more energy, increase stamina, and keep you healthy and focused. Try and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day, and make sure you’re drinking lots of water to keep hydrated.
Get Plenty of Sleep
As a traveling musician, getting plenty of sleep is essential. Because you’ll be playing gigs late at night and always on the road, finding time to sleep can be difficult. However, if you forego sleep and run on adrenaline, you’ll soon burn out. If you have the luxury of someone else doing all the driving, use this as a chance to get some rest. A good night’s sleep will get your day off to a good start, improve productivity, and help you perform at your best.
Regardless of where you are on the road, you can never be too sure of who you’re going to meet along the way. If you’re an unsigned musician, there could be record label heads in the audience who are scouting out talent. This means you need to be making constant connections during your time on the road. Creating a great first impression will not only build solid relationships but could be the difference between making it big and staying unsigned.
Assemble an Entourage
If you have the finances and resources to do so, assembling an entourage to come with you on your travels can help you stay sane and organized on the road. Make sure you have people around you who can help with getting to and from venues. This will allow you to concentrate solely on your performances. Teamwork is a must when you’re traveling with others, otherwise, arguments can soon arise which can heighten stress and hinder how well you perform.
Having the right mindset throughout your travels is key for succeeding as a traveling musician. When away from home for long stretches, you’re bound to go through all kinds of emotions. However, staying positive and being optimistic can be a big help when you’re not in your comfort zone. You’ll need to be patient and put the groundwork in to build a following, so try and think about the future and how much you’ve achieved already while going from A to B.
No matter where you’re off to in the world, as a traveling musician, using any of the tips mentioned will help keep you focused on the road and on the path to success.