Tips and Tricks for Touring.
In my previous blog “Tips and Tricks”, I had talked about the importance of keeping original material handy while going for a music tour and about the importance of using social media. In this blog and some blogs to follow, I am going to cover as many crucial tips and nuances of touring as possible, to help indie artists.
Some successful artists do not have an Instagram account and are sometimes not active on Twitter. There are uncountable social media sites at this point and they keep changing. While the more music centric ones may be beneficial for you, do not fret if you do not have them all. Just start with the basics and you will keep adding on from there. And remember to use an e-mail service to create lists and track what you send and who opens it. You can include a link to your music and know how many people actually open the link to your music.
Chart a Route for The Tour
As I have written in my blog “Music Festivals”, any indie band or a solo indie artist, no matter how talented, is likely not going to become famous overnight. Understand that success doesn’t happen in a day. Be reasonable in your aspirations and act smartly. Mark important places around you on a map that can be beneficial to you for a performance. Aim at getting a festival gig in these places and give your best at those performances. If you are really good, there is a high chance that you will grab an offer at one of these performances. Otherwise, you will at least become famous locally, which is the first step forward in your career as an indie artist.
Thereafter, plan where to go next. You may even choose the whole country! Once you have experienced playing around locally, expand my horizons. Think about towns where you have some support of folks who can host you for a house show. Then, move to music venues, bars, etc. Smaller regions can be covered first, to build the stamina required and assess if you really want to continue to do this.
Book Shows in Advance
Most places have started closing bookings for shows 6-12 months in advance. Many desirable venues (financially) book in advance and there’s quite a competition there. When you’re ready to plan a tour, you should have experience playing locally and making sure your set is polished and professional. Make sure you send the application ahead of time to avoid missing out the opportunity.
Have a mix of places to play at, be creative in your choice. Typically, you should be prepared for not being paid at such places, however, these music venues will give you a chance to be noticed by bands, fans and if you’re lucky, even bookers.
Vineyards and breweries will mostly have a different kind off fan base which is very supportive and consists only of happy people. They pay you for your time and talent, and also give you beer and wine.
House shows also pay well, are refreshing, give you a chance to build dedicated fans who are supporting and wonderfully intimate. Try to have a mix of places to perform at. This will balance cost and get new fans for you. The variation keeps you going and the tour becomes enjoyable instead of monotonous.
If you plan to make a video for your song, do it while you are touring. This will give you an option to shoot in different places, without having to travel especially for making the video. Make necessary arrangements for recording. I have talked in my blog “Making Music With Less Money”, that it is not easy to look good on camera and this has nothing to do with your looks. The audio-visual combination is inconceivably unnatural. However, so is performing live before an audience. It takes practice to get the hang of it. So if you will be acting in the video, practice that with an expert.
In my next post I am going to write about a few more things that indie artists should keep in mind while planning a tour, including marketing and booking requirements, choosing a place to stay and commuting options.
Do share your experiences in the comments section and I will include them in my future blogs.