If you haven’t already seen it, the Rolling Stone recently released their list of 100 Greatest Guitarists, and none other than Jimi Hendrix has topped the list. We thought this was an excellent pick – his distinct style continues to inspire and influence musicians to this day. Hendrix is a true rock legend – and if you want to get to that status someday, you’d better keep working hard.
Yesterday we discussed 7 must-read tips for planning your band’s tour as you start organizing and contacting promoters. If you don’t have a lot of cash saved up, though, the idea of a tour may be much more difficult to conceptualize. Luckily, it’s still possible to tour while on budget. Just consider that a part of the adventure! Here’s how to make it work:
1. Consider how you will be traveling. For most bands this will mean long hours in a van of some type. Before you set out, have the vehicle serviced at your local shop. Have your mechanic change the oil, check the spark plugs and wires, air filters, radiator fluid, washer fluid, tire pressure, A/C operation and anything else that you can afford. This will help to uncover any issues before you find yourself on the side of the road outside Podunk, Iowa. Repairs on the road can be costly and interrupt your schedule.
2. Prior to leaving, determine how many hotel rooms that you’ll need and any special requirements. Do some homework and know how far you will travel each day and where you plan to spend the night. Check the Internet for hotels in the area and for special deals. Some of the discount websites can offer great savings, but be sure to read the fine print. Sometimes calling the local hotels directly will actually get you a better deal. Ask to speak with the general manager or reservations manager and explain your situation. If they can rent several rooms together, they might offer a lower price. It never hurts to ask!
3. Food can also be a major expense if not handled correctly. In the van, bring along a large cooler and purchase drinks at the grocery store prior to departure. These are cheaper than at a gas station and will prevent some unnecessary stops. For breakfast, consider the complimentary breakfast if your hotel offers one. Also: sometimes before your show, the venue you’re at may provide food. Always ask the venue owner about this possibility and you can even use it as a negotiation point.
4. Payments for gigs should be immediately deposited into a bank account. This can be done via an ATM or bank drive-through. Before you leave, check your bank for locations in the area of your gigs. This will prevent you from spending this money and limit you to the budget that you have prepared before departure.
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