Guitar Zen: Tips for Touring GREEN!!


The famous Crying Indian shedding a tear from the Keep America Beautiful campaign!

Hitting the open road with your band can be an exciting and rewarding experience. To travel to new places and experience the beauty of nature and it’s surroundings in each location is a privilege in and of itself, aside from the thrill of the stage. But with so many bands out there touring, it’s important to take a moment to think about Mother Earth, so that we can insure the longevity of this beauty that we so often take for granted. After all, if she dies, then the beauty that inspires us will be lost and there will be no more roads to travel, and ultimately no more audience to play for. So in the spirit of all my Tree-hugging brothers and sisters of yesterday and today, I’d like to share a few simple tips that can help your band do it’s part by staying as Earth friendly as you can while on the road.

Turn It Off!

Whether touring in a van or a bus, staying at a hotel, or crashing on a sofa at a fans place, it’s easy to become complacent and leave things like lights, TV’s, radios, computers and other electronic devices on when we leave or are not really using them. It’s true that the hotel pays the electric bill, but the key is to conserve power so the less you use (even when away from home) the more we conserve. Little tiny things like unplugging your phone or iPod charger when not in use (which still draws power from the outlet even though it’s not plugged in to your device) can make a big difference and over time can add up to a lot of savings. So unplug more often and always turn off that light on your way out of the room!

Drink Up But Recycle!

Plenty of icy cold and piping hot beverages get guzzled down on the road and they all get poured out of some kind of container which in many cases just becomes a waste product. On one 2-3 week tour 4-5 guys or gals, plus crew and management can burn through enough soda cans, water bottles and beer kegs to fill a double decker tour bus till the windows are poppin’ out. So invest in a cheap stainless steel or reusable plastic water bottle and refill it when you can. Many venues will have a water cooler or sink with a filtration system and carrying your own bottle on your hip all day will also insure you stay hydrated too! Also put an extra bag in your van or bus for cans and bottles and either periodically or at the end of the run, drop them at a local recycle station. It’s the small efforts that makes a huge difference!

Spread The Word!

The best thing that you can do is set the example and then encourage your fans to do the same. I can remember looking at the floor after countless shows and seeing beer cups, cigarette butts and empty packaging all over the floor and wondering why people are too lazy to just throw it away when a trash can is 10 feet from them. Encourage your audience to join with you in your efforts to clean up the planet and ask them to respect the venue and throw away their trash and to help do their part to “join the band” in healing our Mother Earth. You’ll be surprised at how many fans will follow in your footsteps if you just lead the way!

So turn it UP, then turn it OFF! Drink it UP and SAVE the container. Charge it up then UNPLUG it! You CAN make a difference and that my friends is music to Mama Natures ears!!!

Scott “SVH” Von Heldt is a staff writer for SMG. Scott is currently the lead guitarist for Brian “Head” Welch (ex-Korn) and has worked with members of White Zombie, Cirque Du Soliel and many others. In late 2008 he released the first book of his Mystic Art of Self-Discovery series entitled Mind Over Metal: The Musician’s Guide to Mental Mastery.

Email: SVH@sharemyguitar.com

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  • Well done SVH! Here’s a topic that I don’t think I’ve run across on other guitar blogs 😉

  • Thanks Homie! I got another good one just about finished for ya on how to build a fan base and avoid stalkers!

    • Now that sounds like the bees knees SVH! Look forward to reading it!!

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