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I go to open mikes to . . .


#30012 by RhythmMan
Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:50 pm
Most of the open mikes near me have under 50 people at any one time. Sound quality is good, for each open mike has a sound guy sitting at the board, making corrections if needed.
The number of musicians ranges from 10 to 25, or there-abouts, depending on the open mike . . .
You play 2-3 songs, - or some places have a time limit, instead. The time-limit places are a lot better . . .
. . . nothing more boring than to have to listen to some guy (who can't play very well), - who plays, as his first song "American Pie." Then, for the 2nd song, whatever it may be, - he adds 4 more verses to extend it to 12 minutes . . .
You know the type; he doesn't want to leave: "Look at me!! I'm on stage!! Hi, mom!!"
:) He tunes and talks and plays (and bores everyone) for 25 minutes.
Then the next guy comes up, a real pro with a mega-ton of experience. And he blows the other guy off the face of the Earth . . .
The pro just jacks in, says 'Hi," plays 2 - 3 songs, and in 9 minutes is done and sitting back in the audience, drinking his beer, or coffee, or whatever . . .
I've met a lot of nice people at open mikes, and a few who are really excellent musicians . . .
So, K. G, what did you learn (good/bad) at that open mike?

#30025 by Kramerguy
Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:33 pm
RhythmMan_BluesRockFolk wrote:So, K. G, what did you learn (good/bad) at that open mike?

The Good:

Being prepared and well practiced pays off. Myself and the drummer have been devoted to learning the songs intimately and getting them tight. Going into it with just the two of us, we would have bombed if we hadn't devoted that level of attention and practice to all of the songs.

Seeing people get up and dance while we're playing, the applause... what a great feeling.

Meeting tons of new people.

All the people who approached us between sets praising us, we were totally floored by the amount of positive feedback and sheer attention we got.

Free drinks! (since we hosted). And I drank water all night :shock:

The Bad:

I stepped on a guitar cable wrong and broke it, realized that collateral damage is a price of playing out. Really not so bad I guess.

Drunk guy getting on drums. He played like an ape with roids , was flailing so violently that he could have seriously damaged the drums, the drummer kicked him off quickly, but still...

People who come without instruments or any gear and want to use yours. Being the hosts, we don't want to be a-holes and refuse to let people come up, but at the same time, we're not there to rent our gear out for free either...

Breaking down and loading/unloading all that gear.. ugh , I just want to chill after playing for 5 hours..

Having to keep an eye on my gear between sets, no matter what were doing, mingling, etc. One of us always has to have one eye on the stuff or people start helping themselves to playing with it, or walking off with it. Nothing got stolen, but we were pretty on top of it the entire night.

That's about it. Overall, I think it went extremely well and the good really outweighed the bad tenfold (this time). I'm sure we have days ahead that will be trying.

#30041 by philbymon
Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:22 pm
Ya know, it baffles me why I'm here!

Every musician I ever met to play with, I met at an open mic.


Guess I'd best go back to what works, eh? Even if it only works in the short-run, at least I'll be playing again.

Gotta wait until Tuesday, & drive 30 miles to play 3 lousy songs & I might not even get to play bass...then Thur I'll go 25 miles in the opposite direction & try out the new one out there I haven't seen yet.

I'll letcha all know what happens, after.

#30057 by Irminsul
Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:09 am
Well managed open mics can be great. But when they are dominated by one or two attention whores (who usually have little to no real talent) they suck ass. A year or two ago, I went to something that was advertised as an open mic, but it turned out to be five semi-tolerable jazz players who basically took over the instrumental positions and never moved off to give anyone else a chance. It should have been called "Five semi-tolerable jazz guys in concert".

#30065 by philbymon
Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:42 pm
Irm...I was working with this guy - a pretty good guitar player, but an egotistical twit...he started this open mic, but said he didn't feel comfortable "giving up the stage to unknown quantities."

So it turned into a "jam with me" mic...what a jerk he was! When he took a break, the music stopped...I only did 2 of these, & got paid both times, but it made me & the drummer look bad, & we quit...I felt like a whore for playing it at all.

Needless to say, it shut down cuz ppl quit coming, so he started up at least 2 more, with the same format, & they shut down as well.

Damn it was embarassing...I met some ppl I thought were pretty cool, but in some cases they wouldn't even play cuz it seemed like a contest or something.

When I ran mine, I gave everyone at least 2 songs no matter how bad they were. (I DID toss a few ppl off after about a minute, though, for obvious reasons.)

When I used to go to these things, I would ask whoever was running it if I could play alone, so I could try out new songs that I'd written & no one could possibly play them with me without knowing them...I was surprized at how often I was told NO! Always thought that was pretty rude, myself.

Perhaps there should be a distinction between an "open jam" & an "open mic."

Kramer - one thing you might want to do is have a sign up sheet, & NO ONE gets to the stage without checking with you 1st. Keeps things organized, too, cuz you know who gets to go next by the sheet. It can get hectic when it starts to get successful & there's a lot of ppl there to play.

I would tell ppl they get 3 songs or 10 minutes, & if they're really good, let them play longer if time allows. This keeps the audience interested, too, as well as weeding out the undesireables.

Setting your amp on standby & unplugging your axe can stop most ppl from going up uninvited, but occasionally there's just an a-hole you hafta speak harshly to. Keep extra cords & stuff out of sight, & extra amps turned off until someone is ready to play.

I used to gently belittle ppl who just stepped up uninvited.

NO ONE uses my gear, unless I know them, or know the ppl they're with. I tell ppl if they were really ready to play, they'd have brought thier own instruments. After instrument is the tool I use to make $, & it costs a bunch. Sorry, man, but bring your own next time.

#33220 by RhythmMan
Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:56 am
I had an interesting experience at an open mike, Monday.
I called a friend & told him I was playing.
He showed up with his Djembe.
Ok, cool - but he doesn't know any of my songs . . . and I only play originals . . .
(For those of you who aren't familiar with a Djembe: it's an African Drum that looks like a mushroom . . .)
So, ok . . .
The House band, which usually opens & plays for 45 min or so, was waiting for the drummer to show up, and so we were invited to play as soon as we arrived, at 7:20 or so.
So, ok, I expected to play 3-4 songs with my friend, Alin (I'm Alan) who did not know any of my songs; we'd never played together . . .
So, ok, we play, get a good response, and the drummer shows up after about the 3rd song. So I'm getting ready to go back to my table, and everyone's asking us to play some more. The guys in the house band were some of the ones asking us to play some more, and that was kinda cool.
What made it cool, was that the guys in the house band are good; real good . . .
So, anyway, we played another song.
And another song . . .
And another . . .
We finally played for 35 minutes straight.
I felt kinda bad - there were several other musicians waiting to play, but the audience was asking for us to keep playing . . . I kept telling everyone to let me know when to stop playing - no problem . . .
. . . hey, it WAS an open mike after all . . .
But - it was cool to get that kind of response.
And every song was even a different style of music. (hey, I play what I want to play)
And - for those of you who 'dis' original music - hell . . .
We played 13 original songs in a row, songs that no one there had ever heard before: no cover tunes.
So - there's hope for all you people who want to perform originals.
. . . and the drummer didn't even know the songs (but he's good) . . .
13 original songs; no covers.
Results? . . . enthusiastic crowd response, lot of hand-shaking, an offer to play at a party next month, and several new musician friends . . .
Kudos to all the people at June's Outback, in Killingworth, CT.
It was a pleasure playing there . . .

#33222 by Black57
Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:07 am
Yes, it is important to go to open mics. Espcially as a flutist, many have no clue as to the sensuality and versatility of the flute. I love sharing my instrument with others and giving my students the experience of playing for a crowd. Many gigs can be got at an open mic.

#35922 by RhythmMan
Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:01 pm
Tabor Arts Blues Jam
Branford, CT
The Jam, which was supposed to be on the Branford Green, TONIGHT, will be held inside at the Tabor Center, due to rain.

#43280 by RhythmMan
Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:44 pm
. . . several new faces aroud here since the last response.
. . . so . . .
What's your latest experience w/ an open mike?
Here's my latest open mike experience:
I played a new open mike tonight, at the "Pattaconk 1850," in Chester, CT. (I've been looking for a bass player) . . .
Ok, so what's the 'experience?"
I played 24 songs, - at an open mike.
I don't know about you guys, but the usual open mike seems to be 2 - 3 songs . . . but I played most of the night . . .
I know, I know, I should've been paid . . . shouldn't give it away . . . . The owner bought one of my CD's, anyway . . .
But - what the hell - I would have been home practicing, anyways. And I worked out another song w/ my singer. We just used someone else's equipment, that's all . . .

#43348 by ted_lord
Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:15 pm
played an open mic with one of my neighborhood buddies whom I never played with before...tried a song I hardly remembered (had a few beers before getting on stage...wasn't wise) and the place wasn't totally empty when we decided to save face and run off the stage hahaha good times

#43350 by fisherman bob
Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:21 pm
I used to go to open mikes. I almost always ended up playing half the night. I guess for some people it's fun. I"ve hosted blues jams before as well. There's too many negatives for me. I"m providing free entertainment. People who play my bass can be real ABUSIVE and also mess up the settings on my amp. The jams are also musically boring, twelve bar blues tunes over and over and over. Once in a while a really good player shows up, a good way to find other musicians once in a while I guess. They never have done much for me I guess. I'd rather go in and do the whole show, maybe once in a while have my musical friends who I know and trust come up and play a FEW TUNES, that's about it. Later...

#43387 by RhythmMan
Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:40 am
Yeah, I wish people would at least practice enough to learn the song they're trying to play on stage . . .
I've gotta say - some open mikes are a LOT better than others . . .
mmm . . . I'll just try to forget about those 'others' . . . they sure can be boring . . .

#43388 by fisherman bob
Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:51 am
The first jam session I ever attended was an eye opener. I was about the fifth person to go up onstage. We started playing and the band leader's eyes got really big, and the bass player who was drinking was giving me an evil eye. Anyway, the guys started soloing and then the lead singer called out "bass solo." So I started playing all sorts of weird dissonant crap, literally not knowing what the hell I was doing, and the crowd went friggin nuts. I ended up playing two whole sets with the band. All the other jammers were playing one or two songs and they kept me up there. The next few jams I went to went about the same way. I got tired of playing half the night for nothing. I haven't gone to a jam session for about ten years. Later...

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