Being on the road for a tour as a musician is one of the most exciting opportunities and experiences an artist or band gets in their entire lifetime. But as exhilarating as it may be, it’s also exhausting and hard to keep up with your own physical, mental, and emotional health while on tours. With that in mind, here are some tips for living well as a musician while on the road.
1. Make sure your gear is road-ready
When you’re on the road, you’re not going to want the hassle (and cost!) of transporting a baby grand piano. Instead, you’ll likely opt for a high-quality keyboard. Touring musicians need instruments that are transportable, durable, and still high-quality. At each stop on the tour, whether you have a crew of roadies or you and your bandmates are the crew, someone will be moving the instruments from the vehicle and into the venue. As such, your instruments need to be light enough while still being durable to withstand the constant moving around.
Some musicians even opt for instruments specifically for travel. If you’re a drummer, for example, the Yamaha Drums from DCP are high-quality, durable, and great for transporting.
2. Try to keep a healthy diet
A healthy diet is an important component of your health and wellness whether you are on the road or not. Since you spend most of your time either playing a show, sleeping, or traveling on the tour bus, home-cooked meals are an extreme rarity. The time crunch and stress of touring often causes artists to eat nothing but fast foods throughout the tour.
Make it challenge for yourself and the band to find a local, healthy lunch spot to go in every city before you perform. Research restaurants that are open late and have healthy meal options near the venues where you’ll be performing. With a plan in hand, you will already know where to eat rather than grabbing something unhealthy last minute because you’re tired.
3. Sleep as much as you can
Sleeping is one of the hardest things to keep up with while on tour. Routines and schedules are almost obsolete. You’re in a different city almost every night, working or traveling all day then performing all night, and spending your free time practicing. It’s challenging to find the time to get an adequate amount of sleep not to mention quality.
A lot of nights on tour are going to be spent on a cheap bunk on the bus with the noise of other people and the road. Take advantage of the nights that you stay in a city and have a hotel bed. Go to sleep as soon as possible and sleep in as late you can, so you get as many peaceful hours of sleep in a supportive bed as possible.
4. Exercise regularly
Exercise is another part of your health that could take a downfall if you don’t take it seriously while on the road. It’s not only important to your health, but it can actually clear your mind and spark inspiration for new music and material. To keep up with your exercise, you could either research workout plans that are compact enough to do in the extremely limited space of a tour bus. Alternatively, you can find a local park in every city, or purchase a gym membership that allows you to hop around locations nationwide.
Being on tour may seem like the glamorous life, but it’s no secret that staying healthy and living well while on tour takes time and effort. The most important things to do are equip yourself with road-appropriate instruments, eat a balanced diet, sleep as much as you can, and find time to stay fit.
Featured image: Seth Macey/Unsplash