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5 Things Every Touring Musician Needs

Essential items, tips, and tricks for touring musicians that will help keep you healthy, connected, and efficient on the road.

Stay Connected with a Power Bank

1. Power bank - There are tons out there on the market. I suggest a 10k capacity with a built-in cable. Our business runs on being connected to field job offers, hotel bookings, last-minute changes of plans, chatting with followers, or listening back to studio files and remote sessions. Don't get stuck without juice or have to fight a 20-year-old in pajamas sitting on the dirty airport floor next to the only outlet in Terminal B.

Keep Clean with Hand Sanitizer Spray

2. Hand Sanitizer Spray - Obviously, it's for your hands when you sit down to eat and can't get to a sink (airplane, van). But also, use it to clean surfaces like tray tables, toilet seats, hotel room remotes, or rental car steering wheels and gear shifters. Oh, and that nasty seat belt buckle on the plane (they don't clean those, FYI).

Hydrate with a Metal Water Bottle

3. Metal Water Bottle with a Loop (to hang on a backpack) - Water is so overpriced everywhere. So, when you can fill up at a Starbucks (it's filtered) or fill it with those free bottles of water you sometimes get at a hotel. Often, the water at bars at venues tastes odd, and tap water, depending on where you travel, can have different levels of chlorine or pass through old pipes - best to avoid tummy issues on the road, enough said.

Comfortable Shoes for Long Days

4. Low Ankle Converse - A slim, lightweight pair of shoes takes up like no space in your luggage and is great to wear during the day while your show shoes don't get all messed up. Also, keep them wrapped in a plastic bag when you pack them in your luggage (you can get this from a hotel housekeeping cart, a small one). Bonus: grab those plastic hotel dry cleaning bags in the closet and just pop your dirty clothes in them before you pack.

Bring Your Own Microphone

5. Your Own Microphone - I have been touring with my own setup for 10 years. I use the Shure Beta87A (not sponsored) There is nothing worse than getting a busted SM58 covered with some green stuff smelling like a keg or worse, covered in lipstick. This can make you sick - so carry your own mic on tour and put your name on it with a label maker or Sharpie. Make sure the sound team knows it's your mic.

Let me know some of your tour hacks @aidenjamestour.

Aiden James, a nationally touring singer-songwriter based in Philadelphia, has been featured by MTV LOGO, SiriusXM, WXPN, HuffPost, Advocate Magazine, and The Boston Globe. Listen to his new single "Straight Up," out now everywhere -


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