11 Music Career Secrets I Learned From Going On Tour For The First Time

by Tom Hess

Is going on tour one of your music career goals as a professional musician?

Then listen up:

Here are 11 things I learned from my first world tour that you should know if you’re hoping to tour someday:

1. The tour can be just about anything you want it to be. Thrilling or boring. Filled with alcohol and drugs and overeating... or healthy enough to make your doctor proud. Filled with parties... or be all about business. (I always opted for the latter.... and I'm glad I did.)

2. Your first tour (likely) won’t make a lot of money for you personally.

As such...

3. ... you’ll be really glad if you set up your career as a professional musician the way I teach in the Music Careers Mentoring Program and the Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle (to give you the freedom of time and money to ‘go’ on tour and not stress about money).

Yes, building a teaching business will help you build your music career (and help you with going on tour) even if you have no desire to be a guitar teacher long-term. (You can always stop teaching music later if you so choose... at any time. But you cannot easily start a music teaching business the very moment you decide you need one.)

Here is what you need to know about starting to teach guitar (or any instrument) to support yourself as a professional musician =:

How to start a guitar teaching studio

In addition...

4. It’s best to think of a tour (especially your first tour in the music industry) as a musical vacation... one that gives you powerful credentials and experience to reach the next rung of the music career ladder.

5. If you’re sensitive to light – the bright lights on a big stage can be blinding and disorienting. 
(This is why I typically wear sunglasses on stage).

Which reminds me:

6. The best way to prepare your parts for the tour in the music industry is to simulate the stage conditions as much as possible. (In my case: I practice with strobe lights at full blast while wearing my stage clothes and sunglasses.)

7. The most unpredictable time each day of the tour is between 11pm-2:30am. When you hear about “rock stars” getting into trouble, it’s almost always in this 3.5-hour window.

And because of the crazy hours...

8. You’d better get used to waking up at around 2pm and going to bed at around 5am.

9. You can easily go through 5 sets of clothes in a day. (Yes, really.)

10. Your stage show (how you move on stage) is planned and choreographed down the tiniest detail (especially if pyro is involved).

11. The (professional) music industry photos you get from being on tour become your biggest credential that open MANY doors for your career (and help you make a lot more money ‘after’ the tour ends).

That said, knowing how to make the most of your first tour is nice... but what’s even more important is knowing how to build your music career to the point where ‘going on tour’ is even in the cards for you.

To learn how, check out this music career article

Tom Hess
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains musicians how to leave their day jobs and build successful full-time careers in the music industry.

Learn even more about making it in the music business.

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