In this Tour Tips segment, the singer-songwriter, Victoria Canal, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
1. MAKE FRIENDS OUT OF STRANGERS ALONG THE ROAD.
The crew and staff at the venues you play are often the most underappreciated and least-rewarded members of the team that make YOUR show happen. It’s always a good idea to keep the vibe light, healthy, and generous when around people who are catering to you. Be mindful and grateful towards them. It makes a difference.
Everyone loves to pull all-nighters after a sick show, getting high on the bus or van with your friends… but don’t get carried away. More than one or two nights of really little sleep will affect your reactivity towards others, your performance itself, and just overall your mental well-being. PRIORITIZE SLEEP, even if it’s not that rockstar.
3. KEEP A JOURNAL.
And not just one for sentiment – keep your inventory and checks ORGANIZED and documented. Tours fly by and before you know it, and if you’re not careful, you won’t only forget what cool moments happened where, but also, which checks you collected and for how much; merch count; gear list (if you’re like me, you’re highly likely to leave some gear behind at every venue you play… save yourself the trouble of 250 Guitar Center runs and write down your damn stuff.) But on the emotional side – you wanna document the crazy adventures that happen on tour to read them back later.
4. YOU CAN EAT HEALTHY ON A BUDGET.
And it’s important to keep track of what you’re feeding yourself because it’s really easy to fall down the post-show-Gummy-Bear-binge hole a few weeks in. A great trick I learned from Tall Heights – skip Burger King (super cheap) and Whole Foods (way overpriced) and head to Target for some mixed greens + loose fruit and veg. If each member of the band chips in with their favorite salad topping and shares with everyone, you feed a band of 7 for basically $1.40 each. It’s a life-saver.
5. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR FANS.
This applies to so many areas – people are devoting their time and money to come to see you play, so it’s your job to make them happy. You do this by paying attention to the songs they respond to and crafting your set to that along the tour; taking the time to meet them and sign things after the show; take pictures with people even when you don’t feel like it; give thanks for the people who are responsible for your artistic livelihood. They’re the reason you’re here!