More often than not, live-off days are the result of minor gaps in a given booking schedule.
Some musicians use these days to work on various adjustments to their live sets. Others just kick back and try to recuperate, understandably.
Giving your body and especially your mind a chance to refrain from the entanglements of live touring is an essential part of artistic growth. Many processes of development happen subconsciously.
In some cases this “cool-down” can have a mixed effect on the subsequent live dates: You have to regain a certain groove, build up the same momentum you had during the last playing phase, while trying to present everything you have from the first date on.
To give you some food for thought on how to make the most out of your live off-days, we gathered several pointers on how to enjoy this free time, without running into danger of cooling off completely.
Let’s start with the music:
Just like big portions of learning-processes happen at night, when we sleep, musical experiences have to settle in and sit for a moment, before they are implemented the next time around.
I know a lot of drummers that record their playing during gigs. Keeping an archive of live recordings can be a valuable tool for self-sufficient learning. It can also relieve your mind from trying to fixate everything that happened on.
Knowing that you’re sitting on great sounding live material can give you the peace of mind.. Even if you detach yourself from the live situation for a couple of days, you’ll have a recording that shows you exactly where to pick up.
Band dynamics vary greatly
Some musicians stay very close on off days, exchanging thoughts and sometimes even going out for drinks, just like any other gig night. Finding the right mode for yourself is extremely important, and also the exchange different views on this topic. While off-days can be used to talk freely about certain tensions and ways of keeping them out of the live-game, it should be respected if individuals feel the need to completely disconnect, sometimes even communicatively.
during off-days can be incredibly uplifting, yet again group dynamics should be considered when pursuing these kinds of off-day endeavors. Tensions can arise when parts of the group feel the need to continue the musical process. Others might get pushed into a kind of “slacking” persona. This is due to their unwillingness to jump right back into the music.
Dealing with production plans and responsibilities prior to going on tour can be quite advantageous, meaning giving everyone involved the same overview of what needs to be done and which deadlines have to be met, even in the course of a tour.
Regaining a form of centricity
This is vital and needs time. The constant buzz surrounding a tour can be quite unnerving. Developing strategies of losing this feeling of constant movement should be a priority on off-days.
This can be habitual, for example by means of a re-occurring event (special meal, drink, place to be). Being aware of this effect of slowing down is a first step in adapting to a reduced speed of things. Just like getting of a high-speed highway, your mind needs a moment to adapt.
Getting subsequent plans straight
PRIOR to heading into the off-days can greatly help you dive into a peaceful relaxation phase. Inform everyone about where things are going. Especially without the need of excessive mail-exchange or itinerary adaption.0 be the first one to show some appreciation for this!