Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
uncle fester

Open Mic Starter Kit

Recommended Posts

Ok - update on my equipment list.

 

I added the p'up as a quick inexpensive solution to not liking the output I was getting by mic'ing the guitar. Getting a little playing time, I'm finding the p'up can be 'plinky' across the high strings.

 

On the other hand, I've been playing around with pics, and got a blue chip that had kind of taken a back seat due to 'dulling' the sound.

 

But match 'dulling the sound' with 'plinky' and you get - pretty alright ;)

 

---------------

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok - update on my equipment list.

 

I added the p'up as a quick inexpensive solution to not liking the output I was getting by mic'ing the guitar. Getting a little playing time, I'm finding the p'up can be 'plinky' across the high strings.

 

On the other hand, I've been playing around with pics, and got a blue chip that had kind of taken a back seat due to 'dulling' the sound.

 

But match 'dulling the sound' with 'plinky' and you get - pretty alright ;)

 

---------------

 

 

 

Well, if you would prefer 'plunkity' instead of 'plinky', I saw a Baggs M1A pickup at a shop so after enjoying and experimenting with the costlier Baggs M80....I bought it. I like it a lot. So easy - put in soundhole, tighten screws, plug in. Take out after if you like, put it in another guitar. It has a preamp in it, so you can plug direct to a PA mixer if needed for that quick and dirty guitar set. I like the Fishman Pro EQ to pull the highs, stray mids, boomy bass off but not fully needed.

 

The other thing I was thinking off is that casual master of the open mic - swing in, put their name on the list and ask to borrow someone's guitar! Years of open mic experience! I remember one guy because of course, he borrowed my guitar, jumped up and was sensational. Never seen him again... :mellow:

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

Edited by BluesKing777

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fear you're over-thinking the open mic. It's an open mic, not Carnegie Hall.

 

The most important tool you need to pack is preparation. Make sure you have your lyrics memorized. Avoid a music stand or iPad at all costs. They are crutches. You don't need to start your public performance career on crutches. Memorizing lyrics is not that hard. Plus, unless you're playing classical music or you're in some big band, music stands lend an air of unprofessionalism. (And, yes, I've seen some pro acts use them. But you're not them. Memorize your songs.)

 

Why can't you mic your guitar? People plug in too much. Yes, there are some circumstances where you might want to plug in, but is this venue one of them? We spend big bucks on high-end guitars that sound great, then we put a soundhole pickup in it so it sounds like a cheap Yamaha. Plus, if you're using a microphone for the guitar, you're forced to stay still, which might help you concentrate. Your energy is directed into your performance.

 

Above all, have fun and have a good attitude. Watch (and support) the other acts. Take notes when you see acts you like or acts you don't like. What did the performer do that made his/her set effective? Is it something you could/should do? What did the performer do that turned you off? Is it something you also do? You can learn a lot at an open mic, and smart performers use them to improve their acts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fear you're over-thinking the open mic. It's an open mic, not Carnegie Hall.

 

The most important tool you need to pack is preparation. Make sure you have your lyrics memorized. Avoid a music stand or iPad at all costs. They are crutches. You don't need to start your public performance career on crutches. Memorizing lyrics is not that hard. Plus, unless you're playing classical music or you're in some big band, music stands lend an air of unprofessionalism. (And, yes, I've seen some pro acts use them. But you're not them. Memorize your songs.)

 

Why can't you mic your guitar? People plug in too much. Yes, there are some circumstances where you might want to plug in, but is this venue one of them? We spend big bucks on high-end guitars that sound great, then we put a soundhole pickup in it so it sounds like a cheap Yamaha. Plus, if you're using a microphone for the guitar, you're forced to stay still, which might help you concentrate. Your energy is directed into your performance.

 

Above all, have fun and have a good attitude. Watch (and support) the other acts. Take notes when you see acts you like or acts you don't like. What did the performer do that made his/her set effective? Is it something you could/should do? What did the performer do that turned you off? Is it something you also do? You can learn a lot at an open mic, and smart performers use them to improve their acts.

 

 

This is wisdom

You’re not at the open mic to sell equipment or a guitar

It’s all about the actual human singing a song

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use to go to a blues jam night at a famous hotel here....there is a big difference between ‘open mic’ and ‘blues jam’ sometimes. This one had a ‘pro’ house band that started the night with 4 or 5 tunes...kicking off at 9.30pm and most jammers arriving later. The gig closed down and the blues jam moved to the other side of town at a lawn bowling club.

 

Because of accusations of the various bars around getting a free ride by having open mics and not paying anyone, the blues jam started having paid feature acts for 45 minutes starting at 8pm with doors open for dinner at 7pm and the jam finishing at 11pm because of noise complaints. And you are not allowed to play anything except blues. In the rules! Too far away from where I live to do it regularly but I have been to see the solo feature acts quite a few times. Great night. Left before the electric jammers got up....

 

 

BluesKing777

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fear you're over-thinking the open mic. It's an open mic, not Carnegie Hall.

 

The most important tool you need to pack is preparation. Make sure you have your lyrics memorized. Avoid a music stand or iPad at all costs. They are crutches. You don't need to start your public performance career on crutches. Memorizing lyrics is not that hard. Plus, unless you're playing classical music or you're in some big band, music stands lend an air of unprofessionalism. (And, yes, I've seen some pro acts use them. But you're not them. Memorize your songs).

 

and make sure the venue allows vocals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overthinking - maybe a little, but more so just thinking out loud to have a conversation about it.

 

Mic vs pick up - Maybe it's the mics I have or the PA etc.. but practicing I had not been able to get the oomph out of the guitar I wanted in a couple of spots in my songs trying to mic the guitar. My end game is to match a good pickup to a tone dexter to get the pickup volume but acoustic sound of the guitar, but that's down the road.

 

Preparation, noted.

 

Vocals, got them down

 

Not Carnegie hall, ...not yet.

 

Have fun... This is bucket list fun! Been a dream forever and nothing but looking forward to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Bill!!!

 

Buc touched on this the audience is not quite the same as if you were playing a solo gig in a bar. The open mic crowd is usually quite supportive of the musicians playing, even the guys with their name on the sign up sheet will be encouraging and positive especially the veterans. I've never really seen any one who is competitive. They want to hear you and like Buc said, they are on your side. They came to listen, they're not there to watch the Sox and play keno, and you just happen to be there working the room that night. Big difference.. And all the players are there for the same reason. Share their music.

 

At first it's always a little tenacious to put yourself out there. But just stay in your wheelhouse, doing songs that fit your style well. You only need a handful.

 

Try to keep the butterflies in check, Too much of those and you're gonna lay too hard on the gas pedal. Keeping the right tempo also helps your breathing stay on track. Good luck! let us know how it goes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill, I would give some serious thought about greasing your chest and leaving your shirt open.

 

haha! but -- is it art??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use to go to a blues jam night at a famous hotel here....there is a big difference between 'open mic' and 'blues jam' sometimes.

 

The only thing close to an open mic I've been to was a Thursday night talent contest at the Palamino in North Hollywood (when the Palamino used to, you know, exist).

 

I was hard up for a job and answered an ad in the paper for a piano player to help this guy practice vocals and trumpet. I did that for a couple hours, then the guy asked if I wanted to hit the Palamino and enter the talent contest. Sure.

 

We played some up-tempo blues. Palamino had a piano, which I played, and a backing band, too. This guy had the stage presence of God, I kid you not. He was incredible. And then he blew his horn. He blew the place away! The crowd went nuts. It was something. I took my 12-bar solo, gave the guitarist 12 bars, who was good. We won that talent night. I think it was $150 payoff, which we split. Never saw the guy again. But I went back many a time with a chick blues singer, who could also really belt it out. Fun times!

 

 

Never been to an open mic, though.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nerves of steel of which I would never have. Best of luck Billroy

 

It's pretty easy once you figure out what you can do and what you want to do Keith. A few years a go, I never thought I'd be doing solo acoustic gigs. I used to be in a duo, and one of the places we played called and asked if we were available. The duo wasn't really doing much, but I told him if he wanted a solo acoustic, I'd be game. That was fine with them so I booked it, and set about crafting a 3 50 minute set lists. by the time the gig night was at hand, I was ready and it went over real good.

 

After performing with bands and a duo for so many years, it was for sure different doing it alone, but it was pretty easy to pull off. You could do it easily, people would love to listen to you perform. I know I would. It would go over, I'm sure of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill, I would give some serious thought about greasing your chest and leaving your shirt open.

 

...and you say that like it isn't already in the plans. been working on my Fabio hair as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing close to an open mic I've been to was a Thursday night talent contest at the Palamino in North Hollywood (when the Palamino used to, you know, exist).

 

I was hard up for a job and answered an ad in the paper for a piano player to help this guy practice vocals and trumpet. I did that for a couple hours, then the guy asked if I wanted to hit the Palamino and enter the talent contest. Sure.

 

We played some up-tempo blues. Palamino had a piano, which I played, and a backing band, too. This guy had the stage presence of God, I kid you not. He was incredible. And then he blew his horn. He blew the place away! The crowd went nuts. It was something. I took my 12-bar solo, gave the guitarist 12 bars, who was good. We won that talent night. I think it was $150 payoff, which we split. Never saw the guy again. But I went back many a time with a chick blues singer, who could also really belt it out. Fun times!

 

 

Never been to an open mic, though.

 

Sounds like a movie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought of one other piece of advice: When you're on the stage, own it.

 

What I mean by that is when you get up to play, make sure everything is how you want it to be. The stage is your workplace for the next 15 minutes/three songs (or however long your set is) so make sure you're comfortable.

 

Don't know if you're a fan of the British comedy "Detectorists," (if not, you should be; it's hilarious) but in the first season there was a great storyline in which one of the protagonists, Lance, wants to play a song he wrote about his ex-wife down at the local pub's open-mic. He plays mandolin, but he's accustomed to playing at home, sitting cross-legged, lotus-style, on a pillow. Then he realizes he can't play standing up or sitting normally. So when it comes time for the open mic, he heads to the pub with his mandolin -- and a pillow. When it's his turn, he plops his pillow on a stool and climbs up on it and crosses his legs. It looks bizarre, but he's comfortable and nails the song.

 

Bottom line is, if you need to take a pillow to be comfortable, feel free to do that. For 15 minutes, it's YOUR stage.

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O2J5tv0Paqc

Edited by dhanners623

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought of one other piece of advice: When you're on the stage, own it.

 

What I mean by that is when you get up to play, make sure everything is how you want it to be. The stage is your workplace for the next 15 minutes/three songs (or however long your set is) so make sure you're comfortable.

 

Don't know if you're a fan of the British comedy "Detectorists," (if not, you should be; it's hilarious) but in the first season there was a great storyline in which one of the protagonists, Lance, wants to play a song he wrote about his ex-wife down at the local pub's open-mic. He plays mandolin, but he's accustomed to playing at home, sitting cross-legged, lotus-style, on a pillow. Then he realizes he can't play standing up or sitting normally. So when it comes time for the open mic, he heads to the pub with his mandolin -- and a pillow. When it's his turn, he plops his pillow on a stool and climbs up on it and crosses his legs. It looks bizarre, but he's comfortable and nails the song.

 

Bottom line is, if you need to take a pillow to be comfortable, feel free to do that. For 15 minutes, it's YOUR stage.

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O2J5tv0Paqc

 

LOL - Own the stage - noted, and the detectorists, we had watched the series, and thought that episode with him getting up on stage with the pillow was one of the funniest things I've ever seen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a guy at my local o/m who thinks everyone is there to see him, I think. He finds it necessary to talk forever and relate the story of how the song came to be, what it means to him, etc, etc. We only get to do two songs as the venue is usually packed and time is short (2 hours). Even if it's late and there are 4 - 5 more players lined up, he talks incessantly.

The other night, he needed the PA turned down between songs, because he needed to put his guitar in a different tuning for his second song. That's when I left, and I never leave before the end out of respect for the players.

 

I only say all of this to say: don't be like him. Others will soon resent you, no matter how good you are.

Rb

Edited by rbpicker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a guy at my local o/m who thinks everyone is there to see him, I think. He finds it necessary to talk forever and relate the story of how the song came to be, what it means to him, etc, etc. We only get to do two songs as the venue is usually packed and time is short (2 hours). Even if it's late and there are 4 - 5 more players lined up, he talks incessantly.

The other night, he needed the PA turned down between songs, because he needed to put his guitar in a different tuning for his second song. That's when I left, and I never leave before the end out of respect for the players.

 

I only say all of this to say: don't be like him. Others will soon resent you, no matter how good you are.

Rb

 

Excellent advice. If you spend a long time explaining the song, it's probably not a well-written song. Keep introductions short. Figure out what you're going to say beforehand; I know performers who even rehearse their introductions. Sounds corny, but at least when they get up on stage, they're not losing their train of thought. Intros are a part of your act, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent advice. If you spend a long time explaining the song, it's probably not a well-written song. Keep introductions short. Figure out what you're going to say beforehand; I know performers who even rehearse their introductions. Sounds corny, but at least when they get up on stage, they're not losing their train of thought. Intros are a part of your act, too.

 

 

the best advice here is, you're not there to talk,, shaddap and play... this guy sounds a bit narcissistic. he needs to go on tour...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a guy at my local o/m who thinks everyone is there to see him, I think. He finds it necessary to talk forever and relate the story of how the song came to be, what it means to him, etc, etc. We only get to do two songs as the venue is usually packed and time is short (2 hours). Even if it's late and there are 4 - 5 more players lined up, he talks incessantly.

The other night, he needed the PA turned down between songs, because he needed to put his guitar in a different tuning for his second song. That's when I left, and I never leave before the end out of respect for the players.

 

I only say all of this to say: don't be like him. Others will soon resent you, no matter how good you are.

Rb

 

 

Exactly! No one cares why you wrote your song. All you need as an intro is something like, “Wrote this for my mom.” Then start your song. We don’t care for the minute details——unless your performance is not musical, but maybe you’re reading a short story. If you want to spend 5-minutes explaining why you wrote the song, then you’ve only got 10 minutes left. Also, if you’re changing the tuning of your guitar, that’s part of your time too. If you can re-tune in 10-15 seconds, and some folks can, them that’s fine. Otherwise, you’re boring everyone to death and losing your performance time. Everyone wants their chance to play and no matter how good you think you are (and you just might be that good), you’re 10-15 minutes are no longer than anyone else’s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the one moderating the open mic would need to step in and let everyone know that the idea is, "please go up and play, with out the diatribe about the depths of despair and woe that you were in when you wrote the song" sounds easy no?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So.... Have you played the open mic yet, Billroy? If so, how did it go? We want a full report.

 

If you haven't played it yet, just remember to go and have fun and be nice to everyone. The music world can be a small one, and once you get a reputation for something, it tends to stay with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for checking in but no, haven't played yet (it's a week from thursday). I did do a live dry run this afternoon though with the family and a few friends by the campfire (received accolades, and one pair of women's underpants).

 

Full volume, full performance start to finish. Was surprised at how nervous I was sitting down to start but once got into it was good. I did focus on nothing for a bit, but after a some - started to look at folks, with good expressions. Was good to do before the real thing, will post how it goes.

 

PS - noted on being a d1nk, people remember.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...