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open mic jitters


fretgirl

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I am playing my first big room open mic tomorrow night and I am really nervous about it. My bf says just block out the crowd and concentrate on the songs but i find that impossible. I am doing a taylor swift song tears on my guitar and sheryl crow song called the difficult kind. do you think those are good songs? they are the ones I do the best so i am told. Ive done open mics before but this is a bigger place and lots of people ususally go there on Sat nights. Those of you who play out all the time, what do you do if you mess up during the song?

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good luck. jamming downtown saturday night. how cool is that? those are awesome tunes, too. if you've practiced enough and know your stuff, you'll be fine. we all make mistakes live. its a hurdle to overcome like anything else in life. the way you react helps you grow as a performer. if you do mess up, don't panic. be cool about it the same way you would if you tripped on a crack in the sidewalk when you're out with friends. laugh it off. make a light-hearted comment or slightly self-depricating remark. say "i meant to do that" - something that will put the crowd at ease as well. you'll get a little giggle and you'll relax, too. little flubs like string and chord changes or dead notes - nobody hears them. johnny cash once said 'the crowd can't tell the difference between what i thought was a great show and what i thought was just a good one.'

knock 'em dead.

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Best of luck to you fretgirl. Hope you have a great show!

 

I've found the best thing to do is to just keep going. Nothing kills a performance quicker than someone stopping in the middle of a song and saying, "sorry, I messd up. I'm going to start over.". We all have hit wrong notes or missed chords at one time or another and it's no big deal.

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Here's some free advice from someone who performs regularly:

 

1. I almost always get nervous. 100% normal and, frankly, it's part of the thrill.

 

2. 99% of people won't recognize a mistake unless you acknwledge it. So, if you forget a line or hit a bum note, just ignore it and move forward.

 

3. If you mess up for whatever reason and it's impossible to hide, try to laugh about it. Crowds love to see the human side of performers. For instance, I've forgotten lyrics...to songs I've written myself. Laugh it off.

 

4. It never hurts to look at people when you sing. Shoe-gazing puts a wall b/w you and the crowd.

 

5. Booze can be your friend, but don't go overboard.

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Don't matter if'n it's a small pub with 7 stools and 4 tables and a mascot dog or Carnegie Hall... It's just people.

 

Greet the audience while you adjust your mic. Tell 'em who you are and say, "Howdy."

 

If'n it helps, close your eyes and just sing.

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Just relax, be confident, and have fun. Remember that you are on stage for a reason. You are there doing what you love. If you can show that through your playing, the audience won't care if you make a mistake. They will appreciate the fact that you are up there giving it everything you have. Good luck and I hope you knock em dead!

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Fretgirl....if you can practice with an amp and mic BEFORE you get there and they put you on an amp and mic. It is REALLY different than just plucking your way on the sofa.....good luck. I know what you are going through.....break a leg!!!

 

Good advice.

 

Practice like you're gonna play. Stand or sit. If you sit' date=' take your own chair. This is important as all chairs are not created equal and they can be at different heights. This could put the guit tar in an awkward, or unfamiliar position, throwing your fingering off.

 

Mics force you to move different on stage than you would at home talking with friends. If you are singing and you perhaps want to look left, don't turn your head left, your mouth moves away from the mic. Then we can't hear you. Learn to rotate your body and head so your mouth is always pointed at the mic.

 

Find a comfortable distance from the mic and stay there, unless you want to really belt out a note, then back up or you'll over load the mic. A cool decrescendo can be accomplished by backing up, but keeping your voice the same.

 

Probably too much to master or practice on the eve of your performance. But keep it in mind when practicing.

 

I've seen music majors, at their senior recitals, that DO NOT KNOW HOW TO WORK AROUND A MIC! default_eusa_wall.gif Usually these are non-voice majors. It's a shame. Apparently that's not part of the curriculum.

 

 

Finally, before mounting the stage... check your fly.

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1. I almost always get nervous. 100% normal and' date=' frankly, it's part of the thrill.

 

2. 99% of people won't recognize a mistake unless you acknwledge it. So, if you forget a line or hit a bum note, just ignore it and move forward.

 

3. If you mess up for whatever reason and it's impossible to hide, try to laugh about it. Crowds love to see the human side of performers. For instance, I've forgotten lyrics...to songs I've written myself. Laugh it off.

 

4. It never hurts to look at people when you sing. Shoe-gazing puts a wall b/w you and the crowd.

 

5. Booze can be your friend, but don't go overboard.

 

[/quote']

 

I play at least twice a month....this is good advice right here, couldn't have said it better. Pay very close attention to rules #2 & 5.=D>

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Stage fright is something you create yourself. You imagine bad scenarios of things going wrong and you convince yourself something from your fantasy will come true.

 

Remember yourself in the audience. Are you looking to heckle people? Do you really care if the person is perfect?

 

The whole idea of an open mic is to provide experience to people who want to perform in public. If you relax and just enjoy having an audience instead of being intimidated by them, you will play well and things will go fine. You are making this out to be more important than necessary. It is an open mic, not a command performance in front of the Queen of England.

 

You have it in you to play the songs and to perform well. Just do it like you play at home. Be calm, assert yourself musically and dismiss negative thoughts.

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Fantastic, fretgirl !!! I think that requesting more songs is a sure sign that they enjoyed your set.

 

I guessed it would go well, and I'll draw on your experience when I give it a go later this year. And I think it is a great idea to have some other songs ready to go in the event they request more. Smart of you in that regard.

 

Patty Loveless. Great. She's from my home county in Kentucky :-)

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Thanks to all of you!!! It went great! Fantastic! they even asked me to do 2 more songs and I did another sheryl crow song strong enough to be my man' date=' and patty loveless shackles and chains!! :))) i didn't mess up even once!!

 

thanks!![/quote']

what venue/club did you play? i'm local and always looking for interesting new acts to open the shows i do around the area. i have some singer song writer stuff coming up. dar williams, leo kottke, richard thompson etc. those are all at the palladium theatre in st.pete. getting ready to do some things on the beach as well. always looking for fresh faces.

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Thanks to all of you!!! It went great! Fantastic! they even asked me to do 2 more songs and I did another sheryl crow song strong enough to be my man' date=' and patty loveless shackles and chains!! ^_^)) i didn't mess up even once!!

 

thanks!![/quote']

 

Girl... you can play my honky-tonk anytime.:)

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