Written by: Lars Mullen
It’s the first few weeks of a new year, dark mornings and afternoons, some folk can’t wait for longer daylight hours, for musicians it’s almost the norm, they’re used to the dark, no matter what time of day it is.
It’s also New Years resolution time, a time when musicians look into the future to the year ahead and strive to climb a new wall in 2018.
While it’s easy to let your resolutions slip away after a few weeks, if you can manage to stick it out with these ten resolutions, you can make 2018 a fantastic year to be a travelling musician!
1. Be Healthy & Keep Fit
Eat healthy on the road and avoid those all so easy fast food options.
Don’t forget the small things either. Apply lip balm daily in the cold winter months (and hot summer days), because what could be worse for a trumpet player cracked lips, or even worse… the dreaded cold sore.
Make sure you enjoy keeping fit too.
Get into a dance routine - it’s all good cardio vascular stuff that will help you bounce around on stage. Audiences enjoy that anyway, so no more shoe-gazing when singing or playing guitar.
2. Keep on Fingerpicking
If you are a fingerpicking guitarist, strive to look after your nails on your picking fingers and avoid dry stone walling.
It’s also a myth that eating jelly cubes will strengthen your nails. There are plenty of natural alternative food sources available.
3. Protect Your Voice
Cut down on the double espresso and chocolate, especially before a performance.
Your voice is a muscle, you can’t swim 20 lengths of the pool if you don’t train for the event; same applies with the vocal chords.
There are plenty of places to train at full pelt, compete with classic radio in the car, but keep the windows closed at the traffic lights!
4. Remember to Relax
Make time to relax before a gig, this will help your performance.
Keep yourself amused on the tour bus with a puzzle book and leave the phone alone.
Get out of the hotel room and see the sights, walk about and get some exercise, camera phone allowed. Take your own pillow too, paper thin hotel pillows are just not rock n roll.
5. Buy The Right Gigging Equipment
That brand new guitar looks so cool in the shop window, but do you really need another one just for the sake of it? And that new amp, same applies.
Pick up the new equipment you really need and spend wisely, choose gear that will make your life on the road easier… like a brand new gig bag for example.
6. Look After Your Instruments
Keeping your equipment clean and regularly serviced offers peace of mind during a show, any thoughts about breaking strings or failing amps are not good for confidence on stage.
Look after your instruments when travelling and cut down on how many bags you take on the road (or get a Fusion Bags gig bag!).
7. Don’t Let Used Equipment Go to Waste
There are many musicians financially less fortunate than yourself (there really are).
Make good of old equipment that’s been untouched in the cupboard for a year, give it away, there are plenty of kids who want to learn to play music but their parents can’t afford to buy instruments. If you really are that skint, sell on eBay.
8. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
Brush up on your skills, stretch yourself, and maybe learn another instrument.
Make a conscious effort to nail that riff without the painful solo face, or reach that high note without the exploding forehead veins.
9. Inspire Your Writing
Make a conscious effort to write lively songs with memorable lyrics and catchy hook lines this time, no more sad songs in A minor about feeling down because the fridge has packed up.
Set a goal, and then aspire to go higher. If you are a guitarist, maybe write a song for brass or woodwind.
10. Promote Yourself
Learn the plus and minus points from other bands.
Go to local gigs and festivals, what a great way to enjoy homework! Are you adequately handling the in’s and out’s of social media and bookings, or are you now at the stage where you need a manager?
Remember, the best resolutions are to keep positive, take it a day at a time and to aim high.
Tell Us Your New Year’s Resolutions…
These are our suggestions for making 2018 a great year to be a travelling musician, but what are yours?
Tell us your own musical new year’s resolutions on Facebook, and while you’re at it why not kick start your resolutions by picking up a brand new Fusion Bags gig bag?
Written by: Lars Mullen