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Smart Touring for Emerging Musicians: Keys for a Lucrative Tour

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Submission by Mike Wright, Founder and CEO of SongCast

Touring the Right Way – Six Tips for an Effective Tour

Most bands would count a successful tour as one where the band members all get along (for the most part) and the band connects with fans. While both of those outcomes are great, a tour also needs to make money, especially if the band is planning future tours.

Bands that are starting out or don’t have massive followings can’t really negotiate pricing with club or concert hall owners. There’s no leverage on their side, so they’ll be paid the typical amounts for each show. So for a band to protect their profits they have to carefully manage expenses. You want to develop a fan base, and spend money when necessary, but the band has to survive.

Following these six tips can help musicians enjoy their tour and hopefully bring home some case when the road trip is finally over:

  1. Stay for cheap. Lodging costs eat up a lot of your budget, but you can’t all sleep in the van, so you need a decent play to rest for the night. Consider booking rooms before leaving on the tour, and then checking rates frequently to see if you can find a cheaper alternative. Sites such as Expedia and Hotels Tonight offer good last-minute rates, which can help you grab a nicer hotel for less money. Also look for free Wi-Fi and take advantage of free breakfasts if available. Going out for pancakes for five people can easily cost $60 or more, so grab any freebies.
  2. Bring your own food. Even if your food tastes are Chipotle and Arby’s, you still want to avoid a constant stream of fast food. The costs will add up, and you’re going to feel sluggish after a while. Eating out is a massive touring expense, so try to bring your own food (within reason) to help avoid a constant drain on the budget. Buy some snacks at Costco, and bring your own water bottle and fill it up whenever you can. Dropping $20 on snacks and water at every gas station will really add up over a long summer tour.
  3. Sling that merchandise. Selling merchandise isn’t just about earning some extra money, it’s a way to create “walking billboards” and grow a fan base. You should always have merchandise on hand while you’re on the road, both at the gigs and during any restaurant or gas stop. Never miss an opportunity to pull in some cash.
  4. Embrace efficiency. A long road trip means a lot of fun miles traveled, but that also means costs in terms of gas and maintenance for your vehicle. Pick a van/SUV that gets decent mileage and try to avoid a trailer unless absolutely necessary, as it will drop down your MPG. Have the vehicle inspected and fixed before the tour begins and set aside some budget for any unexpected issues.
  5. Avoid the bar tabs. Unless the club lets you all drink for free, then you should avoid knocking back drinks before, during, or after the show. It is fine to have some celebratory drinks every once in a while, but if the whole band has 15 drinks a night, you’re looking at $150 or more just in bar money. BYOB if you need a beverage to loosen up before a show, but don’t burn all of the money you received for a gig on pricey cocktails and craft beers.
  6. Contact the local press. Local TV and radio stations need to fill dead blocks of time – there’s simply not enough news. Contact local stations about your upcoming show and they just might give you a free plug. Be sure to talk about what makes your band unique so the news has a decent “hook” for your story. Hustling for this type of publicity can get people in the door, and more money in your pocket.

These six tips aren’t meant to turn an amazing tour into a penny-pinching and painful odyssey. However, making money is important for the band’s success. The bandmates need money to pay their bills, you need to pay for better mics and equipment, and you need to reach more fans.

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Gear News

New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @loritabassworks @meridian_guitars @alpherinstruments @phdbassguitars @mgbassguitars @mauriziouberbasses @utreraguitars @sugi_guitars @branco_luthier @blasiusguitars

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Gear News

New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

D’Addario’s New Humidipak Absorb Protects Instruments Against Excess Moisture…

Utilizing two-way humidity control technology, D’Addario’s new Humidipak Absorb protects against damage to wooden instruments in environments with too much humidity. 

Humidipak Absorb allows players to safely return an instrument and case to the ideal relative humidity level. Using Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control technology, Absorb automatically soaks up excess moisture at a safe rate, re-establishing the right humidity level and eliminating the guesswork of revitalizing your instrument. 

Like all the Humidipaks before, using Humidipak Absorb is easy—there’s no dripping sponges or manual adjustments. All players need to do is put the humidification packets in the included pouches and place them in the instrument case, close the lid, and relax. The instrument and case will remain at the optimal 45-50% relative humidity level for 2-6 months. 

D’Addario’s other Humidipaks, Restore and Maintain, are still available for those who need to increase and sustain the humidity around their instrument. 

To learn more about Humidipak Absorb, visit ddar.io/absorb-pr 

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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