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There’s nothing quite like going on a music tour across the country in a van with your band and nothing else. Going out and performing to a different audience every time is a far more different experience that playing the same gig every night to a crowd that knows and likes you. If you are thinking of taking the leap of faith and going on a tour, here are some of the things you should remember:

  • Not Everyone Will Like You

As harsh as this sounds, we learned the hard way that people who have never seen or heard of you don’t really care about you when you go and perform for them. This, as mentioned before, is possibly the toughest part about going on tour. So before going on the road, it’s always better to have your expectations in check.

  • You Will Have to Sell Merchandise

Remember that most of what you earn through gigs will be spent on food, fuel, and van maintenance. So you will have to make earn money through selling merchandise like t-shirts and signed instruments.

  • The Fatigue Will Get To You

You probably already know this but going on tour is going to be tough on your body and mind. You probably won’t be getting enough sleep, and even if you do it won’t be comfortable. Riding in a van with all your gear is going to be frustrating, and the changing time zones will get to you. If you want to work from the road while touring, you’ll have the additional stress of having to check your emails on time.

  • But You Will Love it

However, despite all the reality checks mentioned in this blog, mark our words that you will love this time more than anything in your life. You will meet new people on a daily basis, your bond amongst your band will strengthen, you will learn new things about yourself and about others, and you will be playing music for weeks on end. So despite all the hardship and the work, if you are thinking of going on tour right now, go ahead and just do it!

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So we thought we would share some tips of how we first started performing. It’s important for new bands to be familiar with the direction they want to go in, and know how they can get there. We feel like for a young new band, much like we were some years ago, it isn’t very easy to actually go out there and start performing. So we want to help by sharing some of our tips and personal experiences that might help you guys land your first gig.

  • Practice Makes Perfect

This may sound like a cliché, but you need to practice your skill like crazy before you can actually convince someone to let you play at their café, or bar, or concert. It’s always better that you as a band know what kind of music you want to play and in what capacity you see yourself playing. Are you going to be a recording band, or are you content with playing small gigs just to fulfil your passion? Are you a rock band, or do you prefer playing jazz? Know yourself before you go in front of anyone to ask for a chance to play.

  • Have a Demo Ready

In this day and age, the idea of creating a demo may seem old-fashioned, but trust us when we say that it helps a lot in convincing someone they should let you play at their event. Work hard on a demo, record a video if you can, and you’ll see how interested booking agents will get when they actually see what you can offer.

  • Ask for Help

If you have friends or family that need some live music at one of their events, or better yet if another band that you’re tight with needs an opening act, ask them to give you a shot. Be willing to play a few events for free if you have to. Ask your network to let you know if any opportunity comes up.

  • Play Smaller Gigs

It’s better to start small in these kind of things. If you happen to land a small gig at a restaurant or a bar, ask your friends and family to come at all costs. Gather some people to show the bookers that you’re worth it. It’s always tough for a new band to catch public attention, so you need to ask for help from those who are close. Having this kind of support pays off a great deal in the end.

Another important thing to do is to reach out to booking agents. Go to bars that play live music, familiarize yourself with the atmosphere, the process. Have a drink with the booking agent, show them what you can do. Drop your contact information with them, and move on to the next place. Just be ready to do some work, keeping improving your skills, and you’ll get a gig in no time.