In this Tour Tips segment, the Americana/folk artist, Ira Wolf, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips below:
1: Live in your tour vehicle. If you have the ability to buy or build out a little home-on-wheels that you can live in while touring, it’ll make life on the road so much more comfortable and fun. I’ve lived in a van for almost 8 years now, but when I first started touring I slept in the back of my Buick most nights. Just having a space that’s familiar and comfortable helps me feel grounded as I travel to new places and meet new people each night. Plus, being able to cook and sleep in your vehicle saves a huge amount of money between gigs.
2: Quit drinking, start sleeping. When I first started touring it felt like every night was a big party. I realized I was on a quick road to burnout, and now I stay sober for the majority of the time that I’m on the road. I started treating shows more like a job, and in an effort to remain sustainable and professional, I quit making booze such a big part of my nightly routine. Now I prioritize rest and I’ve noticed a major improvement in the health of my voice, my creativity, and my overall well-being.
3: Collaborate with friends and other artists. Some of my very favorite shows have been in the backyards and living rooms of friends and fans. Ask around your social circles and fanbase for people who want to help put together a unique show. It’s a fun way to get to know new people and share your music in a really intimate way.
4: Prioritize relationships. I tour solo, which can get incredibly lonely at times, and being on the road for 9-10 months of the year makes it hard to maintain relationships at home. I try to set aside time every few days to connect with at least one person I’m close with, and will oftentimes spend a couple extra nights in a place where I have a community to tap into.
5: Start a journal or photo album. It’s fun to have something to look back on after the whirlwind of a tour is over. Even the nights that might not have seemed important at the time can hold some of my favorite stories and memories.