Connect With Us

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 

  

• MTT POSTS BY CATEGORY
SEARCH
« How To Become A Successful Performing Artist In The New Millennium – Part One | Main | How To Pre-Plan & Manage Your Band's Tour Finances »
Thursday
Sep032015

13 Awesome Apps For Touring Musicians

Hi everyone, this is Razz from the band Direct Divide.

Nowadays there are tons of musicians taking it upon themselves to pack up their gear, hop in a (hopefully) working vehicle, and hit the road. Touring is tons of fun and definitely worth the cramped spaces, long haul drives, and occasionally tense moods. We’ve gone out touring 4 times in the past couple of years (for a total of 7 months road time – woo!). We’ve had a bunch of time to figure out some helpful tools along the way. Here are 13 of the top apps we recommend for the road, organized by type.

Travel


Gas Buddy

Gas BuddyGas Buddy is by far the most useful app in this whole list. Just tap on the big circle labeled “find gas near me” and poof!  – a list of all the prices in your area. Use the map function while driving to find the cheapest stops along your route. This will save so much money your head will spin!

 

Waze

Waze is another super handy app. This one is for navigating through traffic jams and construction – particularly in major cities. Waze is awesome at finding strange back routes to get you to your destination. You can even send ETA updates to contacts directly from the app! You can also link it into Google maps directly and use all the functions from there.

 

TripAdvisor

Trip Advisor is a great place to find the best quirky local restaurants and places to visit no matter where you are. We love visiting out of the way local food joints and have stumbled upon a lot of them via Trip Advisor. Since there’s a lot of down time (or “hurry up and wait time”) while touring, you can find a ton of cool things to do with this app.

 

 

Audible

Audible has definitely been an entertainment lifesaver. When you’re playing in tons of loud bars and clubs most nights, sometimes the last thing you want to do is listen to music on the road. Audio books are a really fun alternative and make the miles whiz by! You can purchase an Audible subscription and get a free download every month plus discounts. Or you can pay per audio book. We tend to like nonfiction autobiographies by comedians like Kevin Smith, Steve Martin, and Tina Fey.


Spotify

A really cool part about touring is meeting a ton of other bands. A lot of them will want to swap CDs which is great! Unfortunately we don’t have a CD player in the van – just a tape deck (reppin’ 1994). So we use Spotify to listen to the groups we meet on tour. We have a paid subscription but even the free radio and artist settings work well.

 

Lodging

Couchsurfing

As we all know, touring can get expensive! It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to afford hotels every night of the week. We tend to supplement hotel stays with RV parks and couch surfing. Couchsurfing.org is a great place to hit up for cheap/free places to stay! Make sure you list how many members are in your band, what kind of music you play, and any other details that’ll help potential hosts get a sense of your personality. Although staying with hosts is free it’s good etiquette to bring gifts. We usually give out a nice merchandise pack including CDs, t-shirts, and a live acoustic concert. Every person we stayed with was amazing and lovely and definitely saved us a lot of hassle. Make sure to plan this out at least a week or two in advance though!

 

Air BnB

AirBnB is another great lodging option. You may have to scour for deals depending on where you’re going to be, but you can find some great deals and awesome people too! This may only work for smaller bands with minimal crew as finding a spot that can accommodate over 4 people can be a challenge. 

 

Business

Square

If you aren’t already using Square there is only one way to say this. GO GET A SQUARE, DAMMIT! Or any other kind of phone compatible credit card reader (PayPal has them too). Being able to take credit cards for merchandise is critical and can really help your bottom line. I like Square’s auto deposit feature, their free sticker sheets and card readers, and their easy to use interface that keeps track of your sales. Welcome to 2015 people, you need to be able to take credit card sales.

 


Bandsintown

There are tons of ways to display your upcoming shows to fans, but my favorite lately is Bandsintown. The app is very easy to use, the integration is awesome across a ton of platforms, and fans can set notifications and follow you very easily. Sometimes gigs get changed, cancelled, or added on the road and it’s important to keep your fans updated.

 

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is our go-to for managing our mailing list. Their app is pretty good although I think their web tools are better. There is an iPad only app that you can set up for a digital mailing list signup, but in general it’s a good idea to keep track of your mailing campaigns and list numbers.

 

RhymeZone

Touring is a great time to write new songs. You’re in tons of new places and always meeting new people. The good, the bad, the fun, and the just plain gross will give you excellent fodder for new songs. I love having Rhymezone at my fingertips at all times in case I want to jot down ideas but am having trouble coming up with the right words. The tools are very easy to use and extremely useful. Don’t forget to also use the attached Thesaurus lookup for word alternatives – super helpful!

 

Set List Keeper

If you are like us and forget to write out your set lists until the last possible second, you’ll want to have this app. There are bunch of other options for set list apps but we like this one because it’s free, you can enter the length of your songs, and you can email copies to the whole band. We find it the most helpful when trying to craft sets for particularly long gigs (2+ hours).

 

Voice Memos

This last app comes with all iPhones. If you aren’t an Apple person try to find another voice recorder app, you won’t regret it! This is another very helpful writing tool. We record snippets of melodies, guitar riffs, drum patterns, or anything else that may jog our memories later.

 

So there you have it! 13 apps that we use almost every day while we are on tour. There are a ton more that could be listed, especially on the entertainment/downtime section (games, netflix, kindle, etc). But these apps are the ones that make me appreciate how many people must have been involved with touring before cell phones and internet. We hope this list was helpful and inspirational! Let us know if there are apps we missed that should be added to this list.

Keep rocking and head over to our Direct Divide website for articles, music, videos and more.

www.directdivideband.com

 

Direct Divide proves that the violin belongs in rock music. The band is headed by 6-string electric violinist and powerhouse vocalist Razz and multi instrumentalist and engineer Kevin Proctor. With a backdrop of synths, guitars, drums, bass, and piano behind the powerful front duo, Direct Divide executes dynamic, orchestrated rock songs that draw listeners into an intense sonic landscape. Originally formed in Seattle, the Direct Divide spent 2014 performing multiple tours across the country - landing in Monterey, CA to produce their next EP ‘Own Your Ocean’.

13 Awesome Apps For Touring Musicians

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>