The DIY Musician's Complete Guide to Touring: Presented by CD BabyOver the years, CD Baby’s DIY Musician Blog has posted a thing or two about touring. Here are our favorite touring tips, bits of advice, and shared wisdom, organized below by category, and compiled as The DIY Musician’s Complete Guide to Touring. Whether you hit the road for 3 months at a time or only gig regionally, there is something here for you.  Click the individual links to read each corresponding article and learn how to book better gigs, play better shows, travel cheaper, sell more merch, and stay healthy while you’re away from home.


Touring Strategy

How to Book Your Band So You’ll Sell Out Every Show: Why Smaller Venues Are Your Best Friends

How to Tour as an Indie: Strategies for Booking, Promoting, and Thriving on the Road

7 Tips on How to Transition from Open Mics to Longer Gigs

5 Tips to Filling an Out-of-Town Music Club with Fans

Make Your Own DIY Venue for One Night: Get Creative with Your Performances Spaces

How to Design Your Ideal Performance Venue in 4 Steps

Booking Basics: the 5-Pointed Star Technique

How to Defeat Your 4 Touring Enemies: Lack of Time, Lack of Money, Gas Prices, & Geography!

New bands, you might not be ready to tour

Play In-Studios and In-Store Performances to Maximize Your Promotional Punch

Club Booking 101

How to Gig-Swap So You’ll Play to Packed Rooms When You Travel Out-of-Town 

A Booking Strategy That Works: Make Sure You’re a Good Fit

10 Things Bands Can Do to Book More Live Shows 

Gig Swapping Made Easy with 

Some Summer Touring Extras

Double Your Gig Possibilities and Earn More Money by Preparing a Stripped-Down/Acoustic Set

Top 3 Articles about Busking: the musical art of street performance

Outside-the-Box Busking Tips: An Interview with Headwater

Count it All: The Actual, Hard Costs of Touring

 How to Book Your Own Successful Tour

Gig Details

How to Make a Stage-Plot/Input List for Your Next Show

Is Your Live Show Any Good? : 2 Performance Tune-Ups with Tom Jackson

How to Properly Advance Your Next Show

 Cover Charge Considerations: How Much Should Your Show Cost?

5 Tips to Selling More Merch at Shows 

How to Act like a Professional at Soundcheck 

10 Rules of Gigging

The Summer Touring Checklist

F@&%$#!!! What to Do When You Make a Mistake on Stage


Musical Approach

 Keep your old songs from going stale so that every show can feel inspired

Why you should give an empty room an equally energetic performance

 The pros of playing cover songs at gigs

The cons of playing cover songs at gigs

 50 Reasons People Might Not Be Coming to Your Shows

3 Ways to Smooth Over an On-Stage Mistake

Why visual presentation matters to your live show

The Most Important Rule of Live Performances When You’re Playing a Festival, Conference, or Showcase

Why You Should Spend A Lot of Time and Thought on Your Live Show

Building the Perfect Set list 



Travel Advice

Ditch the Van: Alternate Modes of Transportation 

Bandago: Affordable Van Rental for Touring Bands

5 Tips for Better Health and Travel While Touring

5 Cheap or Free Ways to Sleep Comfortably on the Road

Tour Europe By Bicycle 

Go by Train, Plane, Bike, or Foot



Tour Promotion

How to Make an Effective Band/Artist One-Sheet for Tour Press and Radio Promotion

Using Social Media on the Road to Engage Your Fans While Touring

Using Instagram to Promote Your Music

 Consigning Albums at Record Stores in Towns You Tour Through

How to Create Digital Gig Posters on Your iPad or iPhone 

How to Use QR Codes on Your Concert Posters

Why You Should Document All of Your Live Shows

Make Live Show Recordings


How to Book Your Own Successful Tour