Open mic and gigging for beginner - AN UPDATE

What's Hot
BlackjackBlackjack Frets: 80
edited October 11 in Live
hi folks, this is my first posting on the forum and I am really hoping I can get some help.  I have posted on another forum and despite 124 people reading the thread not one person replied. I do hope I am not too much of a beginner for the forum.

Firstly, I am a novice, middle aged lady guitarist who can play most open chords fairly confidently, have good musicality, a reasonable voice and a lot of enthusiasm.  I am not good with barre chords and have not yet really tackled any lead guitar to speak of.  

I currently play twice a week with two of my neighbours but neither of them are at all ambitious and are happy doing what we are doing, just playing indoors, without wanting to move forwards however I would like to push myself to the next level by maybe doing some open mic nights or very small gigs, anything really to push me to play in public and drive me forwards.  I played once at a small gathering of friends and family last year with my neighbours and am doing it again this October and I can't wait.  The buzz I got off of it was amazing and I would love to do it more often.

So, does anyone think I am up to doing some open mics or similar and if so how do I go about it, what would I need, how does it work etc.  Also any ideas about how I can find other people to play with would be great, really anything that might help this stupid old woman that wants to enjoy playing and get out in public.  Please be honest though, if from what I have said you feel I am not of a suitable standard please do say!

thanks loads, I look forward to your replies
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 6reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1374
    If you enjoy playing then go for it.   Where are you?   There might be a local member that can recommend nights to go that are welcoming - I know a few around here that would have been fine, a mate of mine runs one in Beverley that encourages everyone to join in and jam - letting whoever feels like it lead a song(s), so I figure there will be similar nights in your area. 
    Or find or form a band - local facebook musician groups would be a good place to look (or here perhaps)
    0reaction image LOL 1reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • benmurray85benmurray85 Frets: 903
    hi Blackjack, firstly I think I speak on behalf of the entire forum when I say that absolutely everyone of all levels of playing is welcome here. Its what makes The Fretboard amazing. Someone who's only been playing for 24 hours can often give a more"experienced" player an insight into something they might never have even noticed.

    Anyways, open mic nights sound like they will be right up your street. They can be different but most are pretty free form. Some you might need to put your name down at the beginning of the evening in order to make sure everyone gets a shot but most (in my area) are just free and easy and you get up if and when you want to. 

    You generally see all levels of abilities but I really would not be concerned at all about your playing. If you can do what you need/want to do you'll be fine at a jam night and you'll probably find people are extremely supportive of you. Its how I started "gigging" and it taught me loads. 

    In terms of moving yourself forward you might want to consider tackling those tricky barre chords as that will undoubtedly help you in the long run but all in all just chuck yourself into your local scene and most importantly ENJOY it!


    Good luck
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 7reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BlackjackBlackjack Frets: 80
    Guys, thank you so much for the warm welcome, good advice and helpful ideas! I am in North West Kent, Sevenoaks, Bromley kind of area, jct 4,5,6 of M25 and open to any suggestions of things that might help me. Think I am going to love the forum! 


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BigMonkaBigMonka Frets: 1363
    Hi @Blackjack welcome to the forum! An open mic/jam night sounds right up your alley, and all Ben's post above is bang on (particularly working on the barre chords).

    See if you can find a local night then just go along and see what's it like before coming back the following week with a guitar. 

    Good on you for wanting to get out there and make some music, be warned that its addictive though!!
    Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman, in which case always be Batman.
    My boss told me "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"... now I'm sat in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 5875
    Welcome to the forum. A reasonable singing voice is a significant asset. Lots of musicians won't even try. I have a terrible singing voice but I'll do shouty backing vocals (as appropriate). Most audience members are far more interested in the vocal than what's playing underneath so I can't see you having a problem going over well at an open mic. 

    Finding other musicians can be a bit pot luck. Again,  if you're willing to sing it's a significant start. Finding one other reasonable person to put things together with (whatever it is you have in mind) is usually a start and build from there. You might find other people at open mic nights or on the net -  joinmyband is a bit odd but if you don't mind sifting through idiots in hope it's fairly busy. There are Facebook musicians groups for most areas,  my local one is usually a list of ads for gigs but if anyone actually posts anything interesting they actually get a good response. I think the thing is not to be disheartened if you do meet the odd time waster, it's a common enough experience. 

    Hope it goes well. 
    Let's turn our attention away from the Lion King to the lion bastards - the politicians. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 3reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • cj73cj73 Frets: 499
    I see you have no frets.   Have thee a wis for finding this beacon of wonderesnous 

    there are plenty here who will provide you with help and advice 


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 385
    edited July 2016
    Hi @blackjack you'll find that this is a very friendly forum with lots of members willing to give help and advice at all levels so you've come to the right place

    You haven't mentioned what sort of music you like to sing and play and that might, just might, have a bearing on what sessions or open-mics to aim for. For example, in my area there are sessions that focus on country music, folk & blues, chart material, 'golden oldies', etc. Also some where just about anything goes.

    I assume you play acoustic guitar so you may find that you are either expected to have a pickup in the guitar or you may be provided with a guitar mic. Either way you are likely to need the guitar amplified except in the quieter folk type clubs. Likewise you will probably be expected to sing into a mic and you'd be surprised how many find that a little disconcerting at first. You'll soon get into it because of your enthusiasm.

    As far as guitar playing is concerned, knowing most open chords will get you through a fairly wide repertoire and you can, of course, use a capo to play those chords farther up the neck in other keys so don't worry too much about barre chords.

    As others have said, at open-mic sessions you might meet others you could team up with if that's what you'd like. Otherwise just go out as a solo performer. There is rarely any payment for performing at those type of sessions but they can sometimes be a gateway to paid work if you make an impression.

    Anyway, go for it and enjoy.

    BTW - middle-aged isn't 'old'. There are plenty of members here who are not youngsters but are still gigging regularly and enjoying every moment of it.

    Edit: I've just seen that your avatar is a very nice LP so perhaps the comments about acoustic guitars don't apply B)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BlackjackBlackjack Frets: 80
    Wow, thank you so much for the replies and the welcome!! There is a great level of support and encouragement there and I am incredibly grateful! 

    Please can someone explain the frets on the forum to me, don't know what they are or how they work.

    i have got an Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro, the one in my signature pic, and a Taylor electro acoustic.  I have also got a mic and stand from when we did the little gig last year so hopefully equipped ok. 

    I am am not worried about getting paid, I just want to get out there and play!! 

    Thank you you loads for the help and encouragement, it's wonderful!!! 
    0reaction image LOL 1reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 1656
    edited July 2016
    Hiya BJ, haven't really got too much to add to the excellent responses from the guys here but just wanted to add my warm welcome to the forum too - and to add that I'm envious because I wish I could sing! (it really does give you a real edge). It's great you want to 'get out there' and open mic nights can be a great way to start building up your experience (you usually get very warm and appreciative audiences).  

    Re Frets, I think it's the total number of LOL's/WOWS/WISDOMS responses you've had from others on your posts.  These icons are at the bottom of each post and are ways you can acknowledge posts that have had an impact on you.

    Oh, and re. being middle aged - don't worry, you're a youngster and I'd love to be middle aged again!  LOL! 

    What type of music do you like to sing and play?
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • maltingsaudiomaltingsaudio Frets: 697
    edited July 2016
    Quick google came up with this http://openmicfinder.co.uk/England/Kent/Sevenoaks/ just bowl into one and have a go first step is the hardest but have a go don't get drunk till afterwards and have three r four songs you can do with your eyes closed and you'll be fine. Long time ago I used to go to a folk club where one bloke sang the same two songs every time he played and went down a storm
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • thomasross20thomasross20 Frets: 3238
    If you can sing you're most of the way there...
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • cj73cj73 Frets: 499
    ^ half way?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • djspecialistdjspecialist Frets: 278
    ^ "I woke up with my feet nailed down / and my head moving the speed of sound" ...
    Trading feedback
    FS: Nothing just now   |   WTB: Nothing just now
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • cj73cj73 Frets: 499
    ^was going for cheesy Bon Jovi ref but will bow to your Soundgarden raise


    Sorry OP...back on track

    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • @Blackjack, it wasn't until I started doing open mic/ jam nights that I really became a "proper" musician I think. Get out there and have some fun :)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BahHumbugBahHumbug Frets: 114
    Hi @Blackjack . Definitely get yourself along to an open mic, or dare I say it, a folk club. I go to several of these regularly as well as playing in a few rock bands. The variety of competence that you will see at open mics and folk clubs/ acoustic nights is huge. If you are worried about not being good enough, then don't be. it's a great way to build your confidence and a great way to observe the way others go about doing their performance. It's also a huge personal challenge. Performing a song is really very exposing when it's just you and a guitar. Playing in a band is easy by comparison cos you can hide amongst the band. But playing solo is very fulfilling when it goes well. Just take your acoustic guitar. Most events are either un-amplified or will have all the gear to amplify you....so just take guitar and sing. Have fun. Obviously if you want to be sure about what you are getting into go and have a look at an event before you go along to play. But make sure you do it. You won't regret it.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • have a look at lemonrock.co.uk and navigate to the jam/open mic page to see if there are any listed near you. go along have fun.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BlackjackBlackjack Frets: 80
    Well, I cannot believe that over a year later I am resurrecting this thread with an update! 
    I am hopefully playing my first open mic night on Tues 24 October! Probably just me and my Tele for company but possibly my neighbour that I play with as well, time will tell re that part.
    I have been put down enough by people (not on here I hasten to add!) that have never heard me play and know bugger all about playing. I am fed up with being told I am not good enough to join a jam night or go to open mic and intend to prove them wrong! 
    Some very nice comments made recently by a friend who does know his stuff has given me the push to give it a try. Whether I fly or crash and burn remains to be seen but if I don't try I will never know!
    Wish me luck....... 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • notanonnotanon Frets: 141
    Erm ok . .. good luck :-) Remember ppl slated Hendrix in the early days, and Joplin, . . . IMHO you got a good attitude ;-)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BlackjackBlackjack Frets: 80
    @notanon I am not sure I am doing the right thing, it might totally remove what tiny shred of confidence I have left but if I don't try I will never know! 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • notanonnotanon Frets: 141
    The only thing I can suggest is practice, practice, practice . . . It will become internalised . . . then nail it. Others are more experienced than myself, they'll give additional tips soon ;-)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • notanonnotanon Frets: 141
    . . . Don't forget to report back how it went! 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Blackjack said:
    @notanon I am not sure I am doing the right thing, it might totally remove what tiny shred of confidence I have left but if I don't try I will never know! 
    Your only playing a song or two, no one will get hurt.... Will they? ;-)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RolandRoland Frets: 1261
    Blackjack said:
    I am fed up with being told I am not good enough to join a jam night ...
    There people with recording contracts who fall into that category. For starters take early Oasis.

    Enjoy the jam. It's a great feeling
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • CarpeDiemCarpeDiem Frets: 57
    It can be nerve wracking to start, but go for it. If something goes wrong, try not to get flustered and keep going. People are generally very supportive at open mic nights. Your obvious enthusiasm should be well received!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • aord43aord43 Frets: 200
    Good luck, I am sure it will go well.  Play what you know and keep practising obviously so that you are ready for it. Also little things like how to start, how to end, and make sure you are comfortable playing standing up if you don't normally ! 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • You'll brick yourself befor you start, bimble through it and then wonder what all the fuss has been about and start planning for the next one. Enjoy and have fun. Two tips, tune your guitar befor you go on, and keep a couple of plectrums and your capo in your back pocket, trying to extract either from a front pocket with a guitar over it and snotty handkerchiefs getting in the way is no fun. Oh and if you get word blind repeat first verse and chorus ad infinitum theyll never know!
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 3082
    Hope it all goes well for you tomorrow.
    You may have noticed me at the R.E.M. gig - I was in the corner, under the spotlight.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BlackjackBlackjack Frets: 80
    Thanks loads @HAL9000 ;
    I am scared and excited all at once. 
    As long as I don't die of embarrassment tomorrow I will post how it went afterwards. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • PlectrumPlectrum Frets: 310
    @Blackjack I'm sure you'll do fine. Try to get there early if you can and get on as soon as they'll allow you. Start off with the easiest song in your set. A simple song performed well will always be well received and it'll give you a huge confidence boost. All the best.
    One day I'm going to make a guitar out of butter to experience just how well it actually plays.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.