For aspiring musicians, landing a tour can be a dream come true. However, it’s important to remember that touring is not something that happens overnight. It requires dedication, preparation, and a solid foundation in live performance. In this blog, we explore the journey from starting out as a new artist to booking tours and offer practical advice on how to build a sustainable career in the modern music industry.
Rehearsal and Stage Experience:
Before embarking on a tour, it’s crucial to hone your skills through rigorous rehearsals and live performances. Start by perfecting your setlist and ensuring that you can deliver an excellent performance consistently. Take every opportunity to perform on any stage that will have you, whether it’s open mic nights, local venues, or even dive bars. This allows you to refine your stage presence, interact with audiences, and fine-tune your show until it becomes undeniably captivating.
Creating a Sticky Experience:
Rather than resorting to pay-to-play tactics or relying solely on social media exposure, focus on curating memorable experiences for your audience. Seek out local dive bars or smaller venues and inquire about buying the door on a less crowded night, such as a Tuesday or Wednesday. This gives you the freedom to design a unique show and create an immersive atmosphere that resonates with your fans. It’s an opportunity to experiment, learn what works, and understand how your music brand can sell tickets effectively.
Perform, Perform, Perform:
One of the best pieces of real-world advice for any artist is to perform as much as possible. The more you showcase your talent, the more opportunities will come your way. While it’s essential to be selective about the shows you play and avoid doing too many free gigs, choose those that align with your vision and values. As you gain experience and start generating buzz, people will start trying to book you. This is when you can begin to identify your minimum requirements and determine your booking rate.
Earning Your Booking Rate:
In the beginning, setting your booking rate may not be within your control. Instead, focus on earning it through hard work and consistent performances. As offers start coming in, evaluate each opportunity based on its alignment with your goals, audience reach, and compensation. Identify your minimum requirements and negotiate accordingly. Gradually, as your reputation grows and demand increases, you’ll have more control over setting your booking rate and securing tours that align with your artistic vision.
Booking tours is a significant milestone in a musician’s career, but it requires a strategic approach and dedication to your craft. By rehearsing extensively, gaining stage experience, curating unforgettable shows, and performing consistently, you can build a solid foundation for a sustainable music career. Remember, it’s not about playing as many shows as possible, but rather choosing the right opportunities and earning your booking rate through hard work, talent, and a commitment to delivering exceptional performances. Stay focused, keep refining your skills, and let your passion for music guide you on the journey to touring success.
Hakim Draper, the founder, and CEO of Artist Intelligence Labs, is innovating the music industry by fusing his profound musical background with state-of-the-art technology. With a diverse journey encompassing early encounters with jazz legends, pioneering endeavors in Silicon Valley, and executive roles at Warner Music Group, Hakim is reshaping the landscape by equipping creators with revolutionary tools and data-driven solutions. His leadership, unwavering commitment, and trailblazing spirit position him at the forefront of the industry’s transformation, driving innovation and empowering artists to reach new heights.