The life of a full-time touring musician is rather unique among occupations in this world. It can be an extremely rewarding job full of variety and surprises. On the other hand, it can be quite a lonely and treacherous path to travel too.While on the road, most musicians have experienced amazing highs and lows, euphoria and fatalism, trials and tribulations, and at various times have loved and loathed the work. In some respects we all have, irrespective of our chosen vocation. Here is a list of ten questions which will help you to determine whether or not you think you can do this job for the long-term. If you answer most of these questions with a 'yes' then you are a likely candidate for this job. These ten questions are by no means exhaustive regarding this subject, yet failure to answer some of the questions below with a "yes" leads most International touring musicians to becoming discontent with touring and subsequently leaving after a short-period of time. THE TEN QUESTIONS 1. Am I a team player that can commit and align my goals with others? 2. Can I both live AND work together with a group of people for months at a time? 3. Can I handle playing covers of other people's music night after night? 4. Can I handle playing music I don't like night after night? 5. Do I have a partner and/ or children and if so can I handle being apart from them for extended periods of time? If you have answered 'no' to any of the above then maybe this lifestyle is not for you. However, continue reading anyway. Here are the last five: 6. Can I live out of a suitcase for months on end? 7. Do I love traveling and living in strange places? 8. Am I comfortable living in a country where I don't speak the National language? 9. Do I have the necessary self-discipline to work steadily and without supervision? 10. Can I leave behind a career, musical or otherwise that is just starting to blossom? If you have answered 'yes' to all of the questions then there is every chance that you are a perfect candidate for the life of a Top 40 touring musician. If for any reason you have answered 'no' then you may have to reassess your priorities and ask yourself why you answered 'no' to any particular question. Of course, everyone's circumstances, needs and desires change as time passes. You may find that after a period of time that you find that you can't bear to be away from your kids or that you are tired of playing covers so you leave. The questions are however formulated for those of you that are contemplating embarking on this type of career. It reminds of a very famous saying "Prevention is better than the cure" A friendly chat Take your time when answering these questions and be honest with yourself. The life of a touring musician comes with consequences and its own set of rare and trade-specific down with your loved ones and friends, and other musicians or people that you know that travel as part of their job and chat with them. Tell them about the questions and ask them to give you their opinions and real-world experiences and their thoughts about how they think you would or could cope with life out on the road. Written by Joshua Rogers


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