The Nuts & Bolts of Touring – FREE Video Seminar

by Jason on June 2, 2010 · 13 comments

in Business, Gigs, JPQ Tour, Marketing/Promotion, Pay-What-You-Want, Thoughts

Fresh on the heals of my highly successful tour with The Jason Parker Quartet, I decided to give a free touring seminar on Ustream today. I had such a great time talking with all sorts of wonderful musicians about what worked and what didn’t. It was an amazing experience to have us all in one place. To have people I know from Seattle talking with people I only know through Twitter and Facebook was heartwarming, and really fostered a sense of community.

With all the negative talk about the industry and the economy, I wanted to show that it can be done. I gave the seminar to share what I learned in the hopes that it can help you have a successful tour as well. With a little planning and some good ideas you too can have a fun, successful and profitable tour! My goal is simply to share what I learned and help you live your dream, as I just lived mine!

I recorded the whole seminar and present it here for your viewing pleasure. It’s about an hour and a half long and there’s all sorts of info in there. Topics covered include:

  • booking
  • creating electronic press kits
  • press releases
  • budgeting
  • marketing & promotion
  • finding transportation and lodging
  • finding non-traditional gigs
  • breakdown of income & expenses
  • social networking
  • “pay-what-you-want” models
  • community building
  • fair wages

…and many more!

Since I couldn’t figure out a way to save a transcript of the chat that went on during the seminar, I wanted to make sure you had all the links that we discussed:

I hope you enjoy the info and use it to help you live your dream!

If you feel you got some valuable information and ideas out of this seminar and would like to show your support, I would truly appreciate you taking a minute to help out in one or more of these ways:

1) Copy this link and send it to your musicians friends who you think could benefit from the info

2) Post the link to your Facebook wall or send it out in a Tweet to your followers

3) If you feel so inclined to show your financial support, click the button below to get to my PayPal account. There you can choose to donate any amount you feel is fair. $1, $5, $25…whatever works for you. As a working musician I appreciate any and all support!


I am looking forward to giving more seminars in the future on a variety of topics that are important to us as working musicians. If you have any suggestions or feedback on this seminar, or requests for future seminar topics, please leave them in the comments below or send me an email.

UPDATE: I did one bit of math incorrectly and wanted to make sure to give you the right numbers. Our Net Revenue from the tour was 35%, not 55% as stated in the video. Still nothing to sneeze at!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Venti June 3, 2010 at 6:12 am

There is some great information here for any musician looking to book their own tour (not just jazz musicians).

I highly recommend watching the whole video. And take notes!

Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
June 3, 2010 at 9:31 am

Thanks for tuning in, Mike! I had a blast doing it and hope to do more soon.

Twitter: glennydrums
June 3, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Hi Jason
Thanks again for doing this class. I found it throughly interesting and can relate to so many of the things you talked about. My only regret is that I wasn’t present at the time you recorded it, I was playing at a wedding 🙂

The whole presentation was very friendly and informative and I found myself to be very inspired.

I wish you all the best

Elli Fordyce June 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Hey, Jason. Loved the video and the chance to get to know you better. Really exciting how you “made things go right.”

More to come …



joe e June 5, 2010 at 10:10 am

hey jason,

saw your link on hypebot. dope sounds and dope blog! you’ve got a subscriber in me

JD June 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm

That was great Jason, I would agree with most everything put out there. You just do it

Jeremy Kerns June 9, 2010 at 9:45 am

Thanks so much for the info-organized, relevant and useful information. Very cool Jason-good luck and keep up the goodwork!

Kai Weber
Twitter: fruehlingstag
June 14, 2010 at 11:26 am

Hi Jason, congrats on your success! And once again I’m amazed by the interesting ways you play all the modern media to get your points heard within this noisy world. It’s so cool that even as a simple music-fan (i.e. non-active musician) you always get me interested in the business side of your life. Sure, it’s not so illogical, because a music fan must be aware that he needs to support the art that he likes and consumes.

Dave Dolengewicz June 22, 2010 at 9:29 am

Great Video Jason!

I watched the whole thing and took notes. I too would be very interested in gleaning some tips from you about booking and playing weddings. As far as beard tips, have you ever tried to grow a long beard? I’m having trouble keeping my beard under control without sacrificing length, at least until I can get a few braids in there.


Camden Hughes | Learn Jazz Standards July 7, 2010 at 12:44 am

Wow these are some powerful ideas! All of a sudden a tour seems possible. I’m going to post this on my facebook right now!

Camden Hughes | Learn Jazz Standards July 18, 2010 at 12:59 am

I love this video so much that I feature it as one of “10 Great Resources for the Professional Musician,” available at:

Thanks for this great resource! Very helpful.

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