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billroy fineman

Open mic #3 tonight

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Hey folks, got my 3rd open mic tonight and pretty excited about the venue - a 'listening' audience (vs the bar room crowd who like to get down and groovin'). I'm not dissing the bar room nights, they're fun and I'm proud to say I got some toes tapping, but anything quiet just gets talked over. With the listening crowd I feel I've got more leeway in my song choice... Will see how it goes, gonna kick it off with an acoustic version of David Essex',

. Nothing but cool.

 

Anyways, this got me thinking, to all you folks that like to play out, what's the ultimate gig? To me I guess the ultimate gig is one where everyone comes to hear you play your own stuff and/or covers of your choice. But starting performing the north side of 50 i've yet to develop the massive following i was anticipating.

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Ideal gigs are fun to speculate about, even if - in my case, at least - it's more nostalgia than anything else. My idea is to have a following that actually looks forward to seeing you, listening to your music, and enjoying your humor and such in a low-key environment. Getting paid decently's not bad, either. Ah, the fantasy!

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My idea is to have a following that actually looks forward to seeing you, listening to your music, and enjoying your humor and such in a low-key environment. Getting paid decently's not bad, either. Ah, the fantasy!

 

With the exception of getting paid decently, think what I have to do is to come up with a plan to develop that following. I was thinking of busking on the town commons - I like the idea, but my kids are horrified.

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Ideal gig? Bill that is interesting question... if money isn't the object, and it rarely is cuz the money can be short sometimes. I think it's the right environment for what YOU as a performer is prepared for. It may be different for everyone.

 

A rowdy bar just wouldn't be a great place for me. I do have some upbeat rocky tunes, but a lot of it definitely more on the "easy" on the ears side.

 

I was hired to do a solo gig at a restaurant that had out side dining/bar area. People hung around, ate, drank talked, but also seemed they listened, and responded too. A few made requests, and was able to accommodate some of those. It was my first time there, but I was kind of surprised how many people were there for a Wednesday night. It was at cap all night. I thought.. "Well maybe it's just busy here all the time."

 

At the end of the night the manager pays me twice what we agreed on, and hired me for three more dates. "Music was perfect, volume was great, everyone liked you.. we had the best bar take in 6 months"

 

?Really?

 

When in the hell does a bar manager cough up twice the contracted amount? Answer is NEVER. Went home feeling pretty good about the night, with twice the dough I planned on, and three more dates to plan for.

 

For the soloist in me, THAT was the ideal gig.

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Good luck on your upcoming open mic, billroy. Just relax and have fun. Listening rooms tend to be more relaxed anyway.

 

Living in Kuwait ("Where Music Goes to Die") my ideal gig is one where someone in the audience does NOT request "Hotel California." Seriously. They are crazy about that song over here for some reason. Solo acts do it. Bands do it. But I don't. I'd say that of my last six shows here, it's been requested five times.

 

For me, the ideal show is in a nice, intimate "listening room" environment. People can hear the songs and I can see how they are going over. We feel a sense of community.

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Ideal gig? Bill that is interesting question... if money isn't the object, and it rarely is cuz the money can be short sometimes. I think it's the right environment for what YOU as a performer is prepared for. It may be different for everyone.

 

A rowdy bar just wouldn't be a great place for me. I do have some upbeat rocky tunes, but a lot of it definitely more on the "easy" on the ears side.

 

I was hired to do a solo gig at a restaurant that had out side dining/bar area. People hung around, ate, drank talked, but also seemed they listened, and responded too. A few made requests, and was able to accommodate some of those. It was my first time there, but I was kind of surprised how many people were there for a Wednesday night. It was at cap all night. I thought.. "Well maybe it's just busy here all the time."

 

At the end of the night the manager pays me twice what we agreed on, and hired me for three more dates. "Music was perfect, volume was great, everyone liked you.. we had the best bar take in 6 months"

 

?Really?

 

When in the hell does a bar manager cough up twice the contracted amount? Answer is NEVER. Went home feeling pretty good about the night, with twice the dough I planned on, and three more dates to plan for.

 

For the soloist in me, THAT was the ideal gig.

 

Made up story

 

You must think we all fell out of the Christmas tree

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Living in Kuwait ("Where Music Goes to Die") my ideal gig is one where someone in the audience does NOT request "Hotel California." Seriously. They are crazy about that song over here for some reason. Solo acts do it. Bands do it. But I don't. I'd say that of my last six shows here, it's been requested five times.

 

I think I woulda just done the damn song request. Sometimes half of not sucking is playing what they want to hear/song selection

 

then maybe a song of mine

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Open mic where the crowd listens?

 

Sounds creepy.

 

Ideal gig? Probably the movie style gig where nobody seems to carry anything and you only do about a half a song, everyone goes “Hooray” and you go back to the penthouse suite.....is that it?

 

But seriously, I played quite a few multi- line up outdoor concerts in bands and I just love playing guitar outside! Must be because of all the stinky bar gigs and working inside - I just love outdoors! But I have never, ever played an acoustic gig at an outdoor stage....I suppose people do that? So yes, a nice ideal gig would be playing solo acoustic at various outdoor festivals, just take the guitar.....

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I'm running four open mics each month and they're more work than play..........My ideal gig is one I'm fortunate to have been doing for over six years now. I play every week at noon on Wednesday. There's a large junior college a couple hundred yards across a field and the coffeehouse is literally always busy. Students, business people, soccer moms, joggers, bicyclist, business people. Lots of interaction with the customers....They pay me $25 for 2hrs, plus tips. Leave a tip and take a CD. I've got 47 cents in each CD and folks rarely leave less than 2-3 bucks for a CD. I'm on a "first name" basis with lots of customers and the young women who are the baristas are gorgeous.. The owners of this coffeehouse have really built their business and it's a cornerstone for the local community and they've taken me along for the ride. I play the neighborhood festival and have gotten birthday party gigs from customers. I play the student union at the college on the 3rd Thursday of each month and had an article about me in the school newspaper----------ALL BECAUSE ONE DAY I WALKED-IN AND SAID "YOU GUYS EVER CONSIDER HAVING SOME LIVE MUSIC IN HERE?" I'm a long ways from being a good musician, but I'm even a longer ways from being shy. I have no issues about getting-up in front of people and playing my songs. Anyway, I consider myself extremely lucky to be doing what I get to do. Not "big time," but definitely "good time." I started-out in libraries and ended-up in coffeehouses.....LOL......I'm having a blast.

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I think I woulda just done the damn song request. Sometimes half of not sucking is playing what they want to hear/song selection

 

then maybe a song of mine

 

Unless you've got Don Felder and/or Joe Walsh backing you up, the song is going to suck. Plus, it's not a very good song anyway. Remove the guitar histrionics and it is lyrically a mess. (Without looking it up on Wikipedia, tell me, from your own memory, what the song is about. What story is it telling?)

 

Here, they just like it because it has the word "California" in the title and they think that makes it cool. If the song were titled "Hotel Indiana," nobody would care about it. They have no idea what the song is about, and they don't care.

 

I can do a couple of other Eagles tunes -- "Take it Easy" and the Gene Clark-penned "Train Leaves Here This Morning." But I'm not doing that damn bit of Nixonian-era paranoia.

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Open mic's can become a way of life.....[thumbup]

 

Some very active ladies and gents in their 60's and 70's playing out 6 or even 7 nights a week....:blink:

 

The host can make or break the event

 

Sometimes a noisy crowd can be the best....when things veer towards a 'knees up'.....dry.gif

 

At an event recently, the crowd were very noisy, the relatively inexperienced host turned up the PA to compensate.....resulting in amplified crowd noise, requiring louder speech to be heard over...…[thumbup]

 

Mixing in instruments other than guitars can relieve the monotony sound-wise.....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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At this point I think it not so much about the audience (which is mainly spouses, friends and a few drunks) but the fact I get to jam with my buddies have a few drinks and laughs.

The ultimate gig? After many years in my youth of cover bands, smokey bars and gritty honky tonks I always put it this way...

"You load $3000 worth of gear into your $1500 car drive 200 miles to make $50" (after you pay your bar tab)

At this point does it make me happy? Yea I think it does. Would I try to make a living doing it again? Not on your fu**** life!

HH

Sko7IK4.jpg

Edited by Holiday Hoser

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With the exception of getting paid decently, think what I have to do is to come up with a plan to develop that following. I was thinking of busking on the town commons - I like the idea, but my kids are horrified.

Kids are always horrified, one way or another. I say go for it!

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I'm running four open mics each month and they're more work than play..........My ideal gig is one I'm fortunate to have been doing for over six years now. I play every week at noon on Wednesday. There's a large junior college a couple hundred yards across a field and the coffeehouse is literally always busy. Students, business people, soccer moms, joggers, bicyclist, business people. Lots of interaction with the customers....They pay me $25 for 2hrs, plus tips. Leave a tip and take a CD. I've got 47 cents in each CD and folks rarely leave less than 2-3 bucks for a CD. I'm on a "first name" basis with lots of customers and the young women who are the baristas are gorgeous.. The owners of this coffeehouse have really built their business and it's a cornerstone for the local community and they've taken me along for the ride. I play the neighborhood festival and have gotten birthday party gigs from customers. I play the student union at the college on the 3rd Thursday of each month and had an article about me in the school newspaper----------ALL BECAUSE ONE DAY I WALKED-IN AND SAID "YOU GUYS EVER CONSIDER HAVING SOME LIVE MUSIC IN HERE?" I'm a long ways from being a good musician, but I'm even a longer ways from being shy. I have no issues about getting-up in front of people and playing my songs. Anyway, I consider myself extremely lucky to be doing what I get to do. Not "big time," but definitely "good time." I started-out in libraries and ended-up in coffeehouses.....LOL......I'm having a blast.

Outstanding!

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I have never been lucky enough to play an afternoon gig. Not sure about ideal but my favorite gigs" were side project things. Often the pay was free food but they provided a certain freedom I loved. The best was a band I put together named Southern Can (the title of a Blind Willie McTell song). The bass player enjoyed it because it gave him the chance to put the Fender P bass down and air out his old Kay doghouse bass. The singer, who had this whole Etta James thing going on, enjoyed the change in material and was chomping at the bit to launch into some of the more jazz tinged blues like Georgia White's "I'll Keep Sitting On It (Before I give it Away)". My deal was we included a really amazing ragtime/blues player (she was playing a 1950s Gibson LG1 that I had given her so I guess she figured she owed me). Not only did I think she was a better picker then me but bringing her in freed me up to play some mandolin and blues fiddle.

 

These days I go to two open mics. One is held in an old mansion at a state park every other Thursday. They have been going on for decades and are seasonal (and will be kicking off at the end of the month) because the place does not have any heating or cooling. Three large rooms going at the same time with a SRO crowd. Thing about them though is the old timers have been at it so long they have pretty much become a band. I tend to have to adjust my style to more of a Leadbelly thing relying on bass notes and runs combined with strumming. Pretty structured though.

 

The other is a real ad hoc affair every Saturday night in a music shop after it closes at 7:00 pm. You never know what to expect. We basically just go in a circle with everyone getting chances to call out a tune. My favorite of these so far was when a drummer showed up. I do not know what possessed me but when it came my turn in the rotation I launched into "Wipe Out". That thing must have gone on for 15 minutes at times slowing it down to a blues. The thing though is it reminded me why I started playing music. OK so I didn't get the girls but it was a whole lot of fun.

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Thanks all for the input, definitely some ideal situations described, my goal is to see what I can evolve to!

 

Last night went well (sorry no video, had a hard enough time getting the wife there last night, didn't dare ask for a video :) Probably better, I fub'ad the first song big time... talk about mixing up lyrics and putting a different version together (sorry David Essex). Muscled through it though and recovered with the next 2 so no worries. The other performers were awesome (some less so, but everyone enjoyable). Some prodigal kid on piano, an italian singing guy accompanied by piano - truly felt like we were in part of 'the Godfather'. Then the piano guy goes into some Dave Brubeck stuff, An acapella women (had to 80+ yrs old) belting out Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday finishing up with 'Jeepers Kreepers' that got the whole place singing! A good group of acoustics as well, but the guy that sticks out finished up with a Charlie Paxton song you just got lost in.

 

I'm enjoying playing, but have to say through the baby rearing years I've taken a hiatus to going out etc... , and although it's still not frequent really liking getting out and just seeing some live music - good stuff!

 

 

Some of the 'ideal' gigs:

My idea is to have a following that actually looks forward to seeing you, listening to your music, and enjoying your humor and such in a low-key environment.

 

Ideal!

 

At the end of the night the manager pays me twice what we agreed on, and hired me for three more dates. "Music was perfect, volume was great, everyone liked you.. we had the best bar take in 6 months"

 

 

Double Ideal!

 

 

For me, the ideal show is in a nice, intimate "listening room" environment. People can hear the songs and I can see how they are going over. We feel a sense of community.

 

We had that last night, old church turned community center, and a great bunch of performers and audience!

 

 

My ideal gig is around a campfire beside a lake in north Ontario with all my old friends. It's an annual gig I've had the pleasure of playing for most of the last 25 years!

 

double thumbs up for that, I love campfire gigs!

 

a nice ideal gig would be playing solo acoustic at various outdoor festivals, just take the guitar.....

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

BK at Red Rocks is what I imagine.

 

I'm running four open mics each month and they're more work than play.........

 

My ideal gig is one I'm fortunate to have been doing for over six years now. I play every week at noon on Wednesday. There's a large junior college a couple hundred yards across a field and the coffeehouse is literally always busy....

 

1) The person running the open mic definitely isn't sitting still, kudos to you for doing it.

2) Awesome gig - I want an MP T-shirt!

Edited by billroy

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Glad to hear it went well. Don't worry about screwing up a song. Everyone here has, plenty of times. We still do. It is a part of performing.

 

The trick is to get to a point where you are comfortable on stage. And to have fun!

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So it went well enough for a future #4 then.....? Each appearance is just a million lessons, isn’t it? And you wouldn’t be the first to ‘write a new song live’ in the first song! Trouble is, when everyone wants you to do it again!

 

And I was thinking of outside gigs (for myself) a little more humble than Red Rocks....like the local firefighters afternoon.....and that ilk. Mostly, the solo acoustic performer plays between bands while they muck around, not without its foibles but you just plug your guitar into the stage box, mumble a bit in the mic, point at your ears a lot? Well that is the ones I have seen. [biggrin] Best paying outside gig is obviously at the front of the supermarket - you have to get paperwork.

 

 

BluesKing777.

Edited by BluesKing777

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I have never cottoned to the solo performance kind of open mics. I have never subjected the music loving world to my voice so limit myself in those situations to backing a singer. But as far as developing for me the key was playing with others. When I joined my first band I had a lot more chutzpah than talent. The interaction with others taught me more than all the practicing on my own could.

Edited by zombywoof

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Made up story

 

You must think we all fell out of the Christmas tree

 

 

not, and I hope you were kidding, cuz I wouldn't do that.

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I have never cottoned to the solo performance kind of open mics. I have never subjected the music loving world to my voice so limit myself in those situations to backing a singer.

 

I never started out singing, (and I know 3 performances doesn't make me a performer) but think it's a vanity thing for me. I was trying to figure out ways to put my 25+ years of kitchen table playing on display, and being in the background for someone else just didn't sit well, so I made the commitment to sing. I'm really not good, but in such a way that it is (rock what you got)

 

Thinking out loud though, I'd love the opportunity to hear the 'ZW' play, whether you sang or not.

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