In this Tour Tips segment, the indie rock band, Super Sparkle, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
Touring as a band can be the absolute best, the absolute worst, and is usually a combination of both. Here are a few of our road-worn tips for staying sane and enjoying the ride!
1. Plan Your Stops – Long drives are going to require a few stops for gas and respite. Make sure to hop out of your vehicle, stretch your legs, and relieve yourself. But if you find yourself at a mini-mart that is giving out free snacks as part of a promotion, CHOOSE WISELY. Some free salt and vinegar potato chips may seem enticing at the moment, but could quickly prove problematic when they cause you to drink too much water and have to stop again quickly after. Go for the gummy bears instead.
2. Sleeping Arrangements – One of the most consistent elements of touring, is inconsistent sleeping arrangements. When not on a couch or corner of the floor, more often than not, you’ll find yourself sharing a room (or probably a bed) with someone. Build some familiarity into your touring routine by choosing a bandmate to be your sleeping buddy. Make sure it is someone who won’t argue with you over your snoring, need for white noise, etc., and enjoys some pillow talk time before bed.
3. Shared Music Playlists – When we travel, our music listening choices are critical to the enjoyment of the trip, and one method we’ve found to make it extra fun is to create collaborative playlists. The person who starts the playlist sets the mood, and each band member goes in order selecting the next song to add, attempting to keep the vibe going for as long as possible. It is always fun to hear which artists and genres each person brings to the playlist, and keeps everyone engaged in attempting to match the tone.
4. Choose a Navigator – Nothing like accidentally driving nearly an hour in the wrong direction, turning around, stressing for the next 7 hours of the drive, and rolling up to the gig fifteen minutes before your set time to make you realize the importance of planning your driving route. Make sure you have a dedicated navigator in the car who is carefully following directions.
5. Laugh Often – Our band loves to laugh. Like a lot. And I’m pretty sure we never laugh harder than when we all travel together. The combination of being with people who make you laugh and ending up crammed together in hotel rooms, sharing an awful meal at a restaurant recommended by a promoter, or any of the other ridiculous scenarios you may find yourself in makes for some hilarious memories, and a stronger bond as a band. It also makes touring way more fun.