1. Plan it Out
Probably the most important parts aspects of touring is getting to your destination, unfortunately this requires someone driving the rest of the band for hours until they’re too tired to continue. This is bad for a few reasons. The first thing wrong with this scenario is that no one should be driving for 6 or more hours, you start to groggy and wont be able to keep alert. Another issue with this method is inevitable short straw, sooner or later there is going to be an argument over who’s turn it is and how this just isn’t fair. The way around this bogus adventure is to schedule out shifts for each band member, make it a list and put in your touring bus/van for all to see. I like to schedule each band mate for 2-3 hours worth of driving, this way everyone will need to drive and everyone will get the chance to rest up. It should be obvious but make sure than anyone who is scheduled to drive after a show is sober, its not worth ending your tour over a few drinks.
2. Stay Healthy
Its a good idea to keep yourself and the rest of the band feeling good throughout the tour, it makes for better shows and better moods. Keep lots of of water handy, maybe bring a cooler along with you so you can keep your drinks and snacks cold. You might also want to invest in a bottle of vitamins, contrary to popular belief food is not always food so you need to get your nutrients where you can. Lastly you should do your best lay off the fast food and stay rested. Getting over worked will ruin your shows and cut your tour short.
3. Be Prepared
Anything can happen when traveling from city to city and it usually does, this why you need to prepare for everything. This one is a no brainer but you’d be surprised how often its overlooked… bring a first aid kit with you, as a matter of fact bring 2 or 3. All it takes is one drunken stumble down a flight of stairs to end a tour so make sure you have the supplies to get you through all the bumps and bruises along the way. Its also a good practice to look up the nearest hospital to the gig your playing when you arrive in town. Another way to prepare for all the randomness of touring is to avoid it all together, plan out how much time you’ll be spending in each town and follow the schedule strictly. This way you’ll avoid a bunch of the nonsense that will most likely only slow you down.
4. Lock it Up & Shut it Down
Its pretty sad how often this happens but there are plenty of folks out there who just cant wait to steal your equipment. You should always keep your gear locked up and when necessary you might even have to bring your stuff into the hotel with you… better safe than sorry. You wanna make it as difficult as possible for these “would be” thieves to jack your gear. Always back the van or bus in up against a wall so they wont be able to get your stuff out. If your sticky hand adversary is lying in wait backstage to run off with your gear, which is often the case it may be wise to stay with the instruments instead of at the bar. You can take turns with your band mates this way everyone will have a chance to mingle or enjoy the other groups at the show.
5. Stay Connected
This may sound silly being that your going to be sitting right next to each other the whole time during the tour but its important to have scheduled band meetings. Personally I like to have one after every show, usually the next morning. This way you can go over what went well or whats not working. It gives the band a chance to hash things out in a structured way. Having frequent meetings is much better than everyone blowing up on each other out of no where 2 weeks into the tour. Most of the time thing stuff thats pissing everyone off or just not working well only takes a small adjustment so getting it all out in the open early on can save your tour.