1. Make Sure Your Gear Works
Before leaving for your gig, check your equipment in rehearsals or at home to make sure it’s all in full working order and able to survive the gig or tour. Create an essential “show stopping” spares list – amps, strings, guitars, fuses, sticks and drum breakables etc. Load them into a box and pack them in the van with the rest of your gear. You can then leave the box on the side of the stage throughout your performance for quick access! The last thing you want is for a rockin’ show to be halted by a blown fuse or broken kick pedal.
Look after your gear and be insured! Don’t leave it in a dodgy place overnight in your vehicle – in fact any place overnight unless you are assured it’s safe. If need be, sleep in the van with your gear! The last thing you need is a tour to be cancelled due to being ripped off mid travels. Also not being able to replace personal instruments or claim on the insurance could be a band killer.
2. Promote Your Gig
3. Get Your Merchandise In Order
This could be the difference between baked beans or decent meals on a tour. Merchandise can be the extra income that really makes a difference financially to a low paid gig or tour. Get a friend (if local) or driver (on tour) to sell it while you are on stage, and then after the show go to the stand and hawk your merch yourself. Sign it, bundle it, make deals and make friends!
4. Have A Good Sound Person
These people really are the 5th member or the band! (unless you are 5 members or more already… just add 1). It doesn’t matter how well you play, if the sound is bad, a lot of your good work could go to waste! This may well lead to your audience going cold and never returning to your future shows. Do rehearsals with your sound person and really work with them to get the sounds, volumes and cues right live. If you don’t have the luxury of your own sound person, it definitely pays to make friends with the in-house one at your gigs – so treat them well. And you never know, if they turn out good for you, you may be able to steal them for more shows afterwards too!
5. Practice Your Parts
If you’d like to learn more about how ACM can help you with your music career, why not come along to one of ACM’s Open Days.