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Open Mic Starter Kit

#1 User is offline   billroy 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 06:54 AM

Alright folks, i'm looking to go big. I'm looking to step beyond the kitchen table, patio camp fire, chickens... and heading to an open mic.

Trying to avoid laying a big fat egg, I've been playing around with playing through a PA etc - mocking up the real show. As a result - here's a pic of what I put together as my open mic starter kit (it's still 3 weeks off, but fingers crossed)

Posted Image

...any of you all remember when you were green enough that this was a big deal to you?
'18 Gibson J45, vintage
'86 Guild D25
'00 Fender Strat (American Standard)
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"Want people to listen to your stuff, don't play boring stuff..." heard somewhere.
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#2 User is offline   duluthdan 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 07:12 AM

Stuff a small set list in your hat, you will forget.
Don't drink. You may think it will help take the edge off, it doesn't.
Don't be first.
You'll have a blast.

i had one of those Dean Markely woody sound hole pickups, used it once, I think, before quickly upgrading to a Fishman Rare Earth
Smile Fierce !!!
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#3 User is offline   rbpicker 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 07:16 AM

Small bottle of Imodium, maybe? ��
Remembering my first open mic.
Just kidding. Preparation is the key. With your philosophy, chances are you’ll be better than most who get up there. Have fun.
Roger

This post has been edited by rbpicker: 31 August 2018 - 07:18 AM

Pura Vida
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#4 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 07:36 AM

Best of luck with the open mic debut. On my first Open Mic outings wayyy back, my mental preparation was to practice in my living room and then when I was on stage to just pretend I was just still playing in my living room. I am talking, really pretending the whole time on stage that I was just playing in my living room. It totally neutralized my stage fright and shyness to be on stage and made me relaxed when I was on stage. To this day, at my many gigs, I still on stage keep myself as relaxed as though I was in my living room with the audience wherever I am at all just to me an extension of the living room feel I keep in mind. Worked for me back then and still works for me.

What it really translates to is focusing on the music you are playing, not what the audience is doing. If you focus on what you’re doing, the audience then can focus if they choose on what you’re doing and come along for the ride for the tgexwhole thing or at least parts of it. If you focus on the audience, you’ll be along on their ride and not focusing on what you’re trying to do. On the other hand, if they start focusing on your focus, then you can possibly get that total communion feel with the audience, which is always quite cool when it happens. One of the challenges of open mic scenarios is the audience isn’t paying to see you, so don’t expect to automatically get their full attention. If you focus on what you’re doing, they may just come along for the ride.

Best of luck. Enjoy your initial outing.

QM aka Jazzmam Jeff
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#5 User is offline   LPClscPremPlus 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 07:41 AM

A cheap active DI box to like the Behringer Ultra DI100 to give that passive pickup a stronger signal. I've seen plenty of good guitars sound thin and tinny trying to send a passive pickup straight to the board.
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#6 User is online   blindboygrunt 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 08:18 AM

You have all you need there for an open mic
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#7 User is online   BluesKing777 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 08:26 AM

View Postbillroy, on 31 August 2018 - 06:54 AM, said:

Alright folks, i'm looking to go big. I'm looking to step beyond the kitchen table, patio camp fire, chickens... and heading to an open mic.

Trying to avoid laying a big fat egg, I've been playing around with playing through a PA etc - mocking up the real show. As a result - here's a pic of what I put together as my open mic starter kit (it's still 3 weeks off, but fingers crossed)

Posted Image

...any of you all remember when you were green enough that this was a big deal to you?



+ preamp, strings cutters, plyers, gaffa tape, strap, bandaids, aspirin, gum, sunglasses, blue suede shoes...

3 bourbons + chasers and a glass of port and a joint/snort, you know - to make a good impression on prospective employers. [smile] see Keef memoir...

Start set with your BP Don’t Go, followed by Roadhouse Blues and finish with Not Fade Away. :mellow:



BluesKing777.

This post has been edited by BluesKing777: 31 August 2018 - 08:31 AM

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#8 User is offline   Hall 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 08:49 AM

As Dan said, just don't drink or go first.
"The empty vessel makes the loudest sound." w.s.
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#9 User is offline   billroy 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 09:02 AM

Thank you all for the responses, will take the tips to heart!

View Postduluthdan, on 31 August 2018 - 07:12 AM, said:

Stuff a small set list in your hat, you will forget.
Don't drink.
Don't be first.

i had one of those Dean Markely woody sound hole pickups, used it once, I think, before quickly upgrading to a Fishman Rare Earth


Noted, and the p'up - I realized mic'ing the guitar wasn't good enough. Kidblast got me turned onto this as a budget friendly means to take the first step.

View PostQuestionMark, on 31 August 2018 - 07:36 AM, said:

Best of luck with the open mic debut. On my first Open Mic outings wayyy back, my mental preparation was to practice in my living room and then when I was on stage to just pretend I was just still playing in my living room.
QM aka Jazzmam Jeff


Was kind of looking forward to imagining everyone in underwear, duly noted though - don't be distracted by the audience find my happy place, give the music I'm playing my attention.

View PostLPClscPremPlus, on 31 August 2018 - 07:41 AM, said:

A cheap active DI box to like the Behringer Ultra DI100 to give that passive pickup a stronger signal. I've seen plenty of good guitars sound thin and tinny trying to send a passive pickup straight to the board.


I think that may be a step 2, I started trying to mic the guitar and it didn't work as well as I had hoped, and this p'up gives me the added volume I was hoping for... for now.

View PostBluesKing777, on 31 August 2018 - 08:26 AM, said:

+ preamp, strings cutters, plyers, gaffa tape, strap, bandaids, aspirin, gum, sunglasses, blue suede shoes...

3 bourbons + chasers and a glass of port and a joint/snort, you know - to make a good impression on prospective employers. [smile] see Keef memoir...

Start set with your BP Don’t Go, followed by Roadhouse Blues and finish with Not Fade Away. :mellow:





BluesKing777.


BK... a bad influence you are :)
'18 Gibson J45, vintage
'86 Guild D25
'00 Fender Strat (American Standard)
'90 Fender Strat (Korea, bought in an open market in Korea... yeah it might be real)
'68 Gibson SG
'17 Several 3 String CBGs

"Want people to listen to your stuff, don't play boring stuff..." heard somewhere.
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#10 User is offline   Buc McMaster 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 09:12 AM

Chew bubble gum.
J35 - J45 Vintage
Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been.
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#11 User is offline   Cabarone 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 10:47 AM

I'm sure you'll do fine...just have fun w/it...confidence is high...

And, be sure to close w/Freebird...or Stairway To Heaven...
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#12 User is offline   Lars68 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 11:22 AM

Best of luck! Tell us how you did once you are back.

What songs do you plan to play?

Lars
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#13 User is offline   drathbun 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 02:38 PM

The thing that has always bugged me about open mics is not being able to either hear my own voice or my own guitar or both. So making sure you have enough gain in your monitor so you can hear both voice and guitar is important. Of course, that means feedback. So I suggest one of these:

Posted Image

With your Dean Markley soundhole pickup, since the feedback plug is just rubber, you can carve it up to accommodate your pickup so it looks something like this (without the Fishman price tag):
Posted Image
A music stand for lyrics or an ipad with the lyrics on it and an iPad mic stand clip is also useful.
Beware of Doug

Posted Image

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#14 User is offline   ThemisSal 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 02:43 PM

Have fun!

Keep it simple. The more things you bring to worry about the more you will be stressed. Have an extra set of strings/battery/cutter in your case.... a few picks...tuner...and you are good. Dont sing Roy Orbison.

Be yourself. You will see many guys our age at open mics trying to recapture their youth... dressing the way they dressed at nineteen. Be natural you.

I will dissent from the no drink crowd. Have a beer....
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#15 User is online   Murph 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 05:02 PM

The only open mic I've ever done, I guess, was at the Bluebird Café in Nashville many years ago. You had to stand in a long line for a long time to assure a spot, and I think I was # 34. You got ONE original song.

There were signs all over the place telling the audience to BE QUIET, SCHHHHH, stuff like that. I was a seasoned veteran of the stage having been playing bars since the age of 12. Seriously. But....

When I got up there, plugged in my J-45, got "THE SIGNAL" from the sound guy, and bumped a few strings to check my level/monitor, I looked out at an eerily QUIET, ATTENTIVE and FOCUSED crowd of people. It was a bit scary. I had NEVER played for sober people who were there to LISTEN to my song. You literally could have heard a pick drop on a table at that point. I blasted away with one of my goofy ones and within a few lines had em' hooked in and it went quite well, they loved it. I mean, I wasn't signed on to a songwriting team or picked up my MCA or anything, but got a good applause and stuff.

So yea, don't sweat the jitters, it happens to all of us at some point, just play your best and be as relaxed as possible. It doesn't matter if you ARE relaxed as long as you LOOK relaxed.

Best of luck.
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#16 User is offline   MissouriPicker 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 05:17 PM

I agree: have a beer. Be relaxed and have fun with it. Try not to compare yourself to each performer—-that can cause a lot of stress and kill the fun part of it. Chances are that there will be a couple of kick-*** performers there. Don’t let it freak you out. Use it as an inspiration to keep improving. And maybe try to pretend you’re just playing at home—-and consider the fact that literally everyone there will make a mistake and most people won’t notice it or care or remember—-most folks will be very supportive.. And the advice about dressing like who you are is “spot-on.” Also, before the show starts, talk with the gal/guy who is running it. Find out what they are expecting of you in regards to performance time, sound check, song content, are covers allowed?, politics allowed? They will appreciate it. Some places want to avoid politics, some only allow original songs, and some venues are family-friendly and don’t want any 4-letter words or raunchy songs (no matter how cute they are). Still, some places allow whatever you want. I’m running 5 open mics each month and they’re all different. .........The pickup you have is fine for what you’re doing,but like Dan said, you’ll likely want something more after a while. As everyone is saying, have fun with it. Don’t make it a competition, because it’s not. Just take your time, try not to stress, and be “you.” [thumbup] [thumbup]
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#17 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 05:34 PM

I just looked in the case of the guitar I took to the hootenanny last night. The were three single strings of different brands and a strap because this place is SRO so getting a stool or chair is not easy.

I would, however, recommend a capo. My wife keeps one with her and uses it a lot.

Other than that bone up on your G, C and D chords.
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#18 User is online   BluesKing777 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 07:34 PM

If you have your stuff sorted, first up is the way to get attention while the audience ears are fresh. A plan of attack is helpful.

When you play everywhere, you are always....first...and last! And it is terrifying but once you get trundling along it is great. A couple of timesat open nights, I have gone first because I couldn’t stand the others dickin’ around like chooks...so put myself in.

I am not sure about the making out you are at home advice either, bring your best, learing megolamanic Zappa face. [blink] [blink] [blink] You’re a STAR. Show them.
And plan a return bout.



BluesKing777.

This post has been edited by BluesKing777: 31 August 2018 - 07:36 PM

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#19 User is offline   Cougar 

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 08:14 PM

View Postbillroy, on 31 August 2018 - 06:54 AM, said:

Alright folks, i'm looking to go big. I'm looking to step beyond the kitchen table, patio camp fire, chickens... and heading to an open mic.

Good for you, billroy! Have fun!


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#20 User is offline   fretplay 

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 04:50 AM

I think there is a lot to be said for cover versions of songs if the audience like the song you are more than half way there. Walking through a subway last week I heard a busker playing the Beatles Eight Days a Week not very well but the money was coming in!
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  1. Murph