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Road Tips for Rookies: How to Prepare for Your First Tour

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The following is written by music teacher and guest writer Cassidy Klint.

Total ticket sales for developing artists (including DIY musicians and unsigned artists) rose to 50% in 2019 from 36% in 2016 — demonstrating a growing demand for live music from lesser-known performers, Billboard reports. Touring is crucial for any singer or musician serious about developing their career. Live performances help get your name out there, win fans, and generate income. As long as you’re properly prepared, you can have an amazing first experience on the road as a rookie musician.

Find the Right Car

Ideally, you’ll need to find an affordable, reliable car with enough space to suit your needs as a musician. It’s useful to read consumer opinions to get a good idea of what to expect from each car model. You can then make an informed purchase decision. Hatchbacks, in particular, are great for musicians who play smaller instruments (such as the violin, guitar, or keyboard). They also provide space for compact equipment like music stands or amplifiers. Despite their expensive interiors, hatchbacks are pretty small on the outside. This means you’ll have an easier time parking in tight spots and navigating towns and cities.

Plan Your Route

It’s important you plan your route properly and ensure you have enough time to get from one venue to the next. Budget at least an extra one or two hours for each journey you make, so you’ll still have time even if you get held up. If you’re traveling with others, make sure you’re all clear on what time you’re leaving the day before to avoid anyone being late. It’s also important to remember to schedule oil changes each time you drive over 3,000 miles. This should take just 15-20 minutes, but you may be waiting in a queue if it’s busy.

Stay Healthy

Looking after your health on the road ensures you stay in top form for your performances. Long drives and late nights are a recipe for exhaustion, so make sure you’re always well-rested before driving. Keep bottled water in a small cooler to keep yourself hydrated and alert. Rather than snacking on fast food and junk food, fill up on healthy treats. Fresh and dried fruit, nuts, and veggies and hummus are nutritious and satisfying alternatives. They’ll provide you with the energy needed to keep performing night after night.

It’s no secret touring can be a challenging experience. But, as long as you plan and prepare adequately, you’re bound to have a fun, safe, and unforgettable time on tour.

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