When you write songs it is all well and good to sit in your bedroom or basement and record them for your ears and your ears only. But wouldn’t it be fun to get other people to hear them too? If you’re at that level and you want your music to be heard by more than just you and your family, it’s time to take the show on the road. A lot of people think that in order to tour you have to wait for the major record label to come knocking on your door, but that simply doesn’t happen anymore. It’s a sham. So what you have to do is put your money where your mouth is and hit the road. It’s easier to do than you think.
The only difference between a touring musician and non-touring one is the touring one is booking shows for themselves and doing it. It’s really that simple. If you have some basic recordings, you can contact venues (start small, of course – coffee shops or small indie venues) and see if you can play. You’ll be surprised how often they say yes. Not always, and in fact a 10% success rate of booking is pretty decent. But when you have someone say yes, by gum, you’re touring. Then you can route a tour around that and you’re in business. This will be not only be fun but also will get your name out there and start the process of becoming a successful musician.
It’s also important to think about what kind of wheels you’re going to use. You can’t just take anything. You need something that’s reliable, road weary, and good on gas. Especially when you are doing it solo, you need to maximize every penny. So before you go out on the road, head to a place like san juan capistrano jeep and get something that will be good for the long haul up and around this great country. Start scoping out a good car at OC Auto. If you have something that will get you to the next gig, you’ll be in business.
Merchandise is really important. You may think the Compact Disc is dead, and it is, since people can download your music and almost everyone listens on Mp3 on their computer now, or if they’re true music lovers, on vinyl, which is difficult to get when you’re at the very early stages of a career. But when you’re on the road, the CD is still very much alive and well. People who hear you will want to support you, and they will buy your CD, especially if you offer to sign it. Same with any other merch you can get, like beer koozies. If you give them something to buy, they will buy it, and you will get more gas in your tank. It may seem like a gimmick, or you may feel guilty selling stuff like that, but you needn’t – that’s the way it’s done these days. The money is actually made on the road.