Lessons From The Road

Ok, so I’ve been on the road for a week and a half.  I’m sitting in another McDonalds sipping on a cup of coffee, using the very unreliable wifi…I’m fairly new to the touring.  I do this big trip twice a year and other smaller trips other times.  I’m working on doing more tours.  Next year I will be focusing on doing more 3-5 day trips.  I’ve done a few things on this trip that cost me a little more money than what I’ve wanted or thought…I’ll try to make some points.

Plan the route smart.

Yeah, duh…well I could have done this better…I went to Wichita KS on a Monday.  It was three hours south, then three hours back northeast to my next stop.  I played for tips and made $27, sold no Merch, and I don’t know when I will ever get back to Wichita.

In my head…I will go down to this big city of Wichita and gain fans, people will love my music, buy a few CDs and I’ll make enough in tips and merch sales to pay for gas and room…

Now, it would have been smarter if I was driving through the town on my way to the next, not drive 3 hours out of my way.  If I had a guarantee that would warrant the drive, that would be different and I could add that stop as a regular stop on the tour.

Play Where You Plan On Going Back

Ok, tonight I’m playing in a little town south of Kansas City in a coffeehouse.  The route isn’t bad, it is better then the Wichita trip…but in a way I feel I might be wasting valuable time playing at a place that I might not ever be coming back…tonight, it will help me with some gas money and the slim chance that this town will fall in love with my music, but I could have planned the location better.

If I never come back to this area and play for these people again, then it isn’t building my long term career.  When planning tours in the future I’m going to plan specifically where I want to build fans, where I can go back and grow the fans.  But again, there might be other nights like tonight where I’m doing a legitimate drive through stop for some gas money, and it is what it is.  Just made me realize and ask, why am I playing here, and can I be smarter about it.

Also, I might add, I could plan on an area, but find out it’s not working in that area and it’s the town like tonight that becomes the better area for building fans..

What To Do During The Day

So I’ve had a lot of time to kill waiting on the show each night.  I tried to get stop that were no more than 5 hours of driving each day.  During the day, I would find a coffee house or today a McDonalds, buy a coffee or water and spend part of the day trying to work like I would at home, at least get caught up on things.  I would find the local music stores and stop in and talk to them and get the low down on the music scene for that town.  I would try to talk to as many people as I can in each town.  Also, will I sit here, I’m always watching people (in a non weirdo way) and listening.  You can learn a lot about an area.

It would be easy to go sit in the hotel room, or sit in the van at a truck stop and nap or do nothing, but I think it is important to stay productive the best you can.


Ok, this is my worn out, tired, road weary ramblings of a guy who is trying to grow his music career.  I learn things the hard way, and thought I would to write about it….





One thought on “Lessons From The Road

  1. hey jason you sound a little bummed thought i’d put you in touch with a friend of mine named Dan Stevens a local connecticut blues entertainer with whom I got my first lesson in blues guitar at a community workshop. He is a great guy and I bet he would give you a tip or two since he’s been at this a while. danstevens.net he is also on twitter @dantherambler

    chin up

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