Here’s a few pointers I’ve picked from the few small tours I’ve been on. These are things that no one tells you, but you end up learning the hard way.
- Don’t open a tab
So you’re at a bar and you open a tab for the night. The next day you realize you forgot to close out your tab and get your credit card back. You’re also 5 hours away from that bar and will not be heading back there for the rest of your tour.Don’t do this! Use cash always!!!
- Listerine has multiple uses
The first use is obvously your breath. Don’t underestimate this use.Second, use listerine to sanitize your toothbrush. Often, musicians keep that toothbrush in a travel bag and use it outside the van. Pour a little listerine on it to sanitize.Third, use Listerine to clean microphones before use. You don’t want to get sick on tour, and you have no idea how many germs are on the house mics. One club I knew of stored their mics where cats would hang out. It caused a friend of mine to have a major allergic reaction during the show. Even if you’re using your own mics, give it a listerine wipe down.
- Take off your shoes and socks
Whenever possible and especially during long travels, take off your shoes and socks. If not, your feet and shoes will smell up the entire van. You should probably change your socks after a show, as well. You just sweated up a storm in those bad boys. There’s only so much a foot can take.
- Avoid hand cramps
Touring can take a hit to your diet. Dehydration and lack of nutrients can cause your hands to cramp up when playing guitar. To avoid this, drink tons of water and make sure to have potassium supplements.
- Buy a case of bottled water
It’s cheap to buy a big case of bottled water. The benefit is having water easily available when you’re on stage. If the bar is busy, it can be a struggle to get even a cup from the overworked bartender. Which sucks when you need to get on stage in five minutes, and you’re still dehydrated from the night before.
- You have the right to remain silent and say no to searches.
Cops love pulling over bands. For them, it’s an automatic drug bust. However, your 4th and 5th amendment rights will protect you. First, be polite, but don’t talk to the police officer. Smile and comply, but don’t talk. If you talk, there are only two things you should say: “Am I free to go, or am I being detained?” and “You do not have my permission to search my vehicle.” I did this and got out of a vehicle search. Guess what? We had open containers and marijuana. We would’ve been screwed if searched.Learn more about dealing with police and knowing your rights by visiting FlexYourRights.org.