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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: tips for the touring musician
Category: Touring
From: les hutchinson (seattle/usa)

Hi Pat-Any good tips,advice,or warnings for the touring musician? Any tricks of the trade you've acquired over the years would be appreciated. Les Hutchinson

Pat’s Answer:

touring is hard - but it is not THAT hard - often times i hear about or see musicians crying the blues about how difficult the life is, and i have to admit i kind of think to myself how lucky we all are that we even get to play - for me i consider every chance to play or to do a gig something very special and a real privledge.

to me, one thing about touring that is important is to exercise some - the guys who seem to get really miserable are to a person the ones who don't do anything at all to maintain their physical stamina. it is so easy to get into a thing where all you do is go from hotel to van to soundcheck to gig to airport that literally months can go by without you doing anything except what you have to do onstage. for me, just running a little bit each day really helps - for other guys it is the gym or swimming or exercising in their rooms or just schlepping the gear around if you are at that level (but watch out for your chops!).

some guys start out a tour trying to maintain a physical thing, then as they get tired, they slack off - for me, when i am most tired is when the exercise thing pays off the most for me musically. there are many days where you are just dead from the travel, etc. for me, if i run a little, then take a little short nap (could be just 15 or 20 minutes) then a shower - i am as good as new - and i KNOW i will play better than i would if i just walked on the bandstand. but, having said all that - that is what works for me - everyone is different, actually wildly different in this dept. whatever works.

one other thing for me that helps is to keep kind of a little diary about how the tour/gigs are going - it helps give me short term and long term perspective on things. there is without question a kind of reality shift that happens after 3 or 4 weeks of touring that can be disorienting - writing things down helps me keep my perspective on the music and the vibe of everything that is going on, whatever it is.