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View Full Version : Played my first open mic on Friday



benmealer
03-08-2009, 09:29 AM
It was lots of fun. I was really nervous. My leg was shaking so much that I had to keep a beat with it to stop it from looking crazy. It didn't go bad, but I need to work on my banter with the people and I couldn't really look at the crowd too much because of nerves. I know it will get better ofter a few more times. I played with my friend Nobu. He was on the guitar and I played the uke and sang. We played "In the Pines", "Hello, Mary Lou" and then gave them a choice between a Journey song and "Summertime". They picked "Summertime". If anyone's around NYC they should come out and play. Everyone was really nice and there was even another ukulele/guitar combo that played that night.

sukie
03-08-2009, 11:34 AM
Congrats! That's not an easy thing to do.

Pippin
03-08-2009, 11:48 AM
Congratulations!

The jitters get much easier to handle the more you perform for the public. If you get a chance to see Jake Shimabukuro in concert, check out how he handles the crowd. Jake is a master when it comes to working the audience. He is very smooth, polished and professional.

benmealer
03-08-2009, 12:08 PM
Thanks alot, Suki. It wasn't easy, but I'm glad I did it. I was just happy that my voice didn't crack or my fingers didn't freeze up.

Pippen: Thank you. I will check him out next time he comes here. I hope to be comfortable enough to play in the subway or the park by this summer and make a couple bucks for a drink or two afterward... maybe :uhoh:

deach
03-08-2009, 02:26 PM
Congrats! Any vids?

benmealer
03-08-2009, 02:48 PM
Deach, I wanted to tape it. I brought my video camera. I had a nice spot to set it up at, but then everything started going so fast I didn't have a chance to do it and I was already a little self conscious because there were alot of really good musicians there and I was pretty sure I was already going to look foolish and choke in front of everyone so nothing got recorded. Maybe this friday I can record.

nikolo727
03-08-2009, 02:50 PM
:music:I also just recently had my first open mic at a local coffee sh.....well the only coffee shop around. I played 5 foot 2. I messed up really bad right in the middle of it, but i improved and then went back to the real song. no one noticed. score. lol

Howlin Hobbit
03-09-2009, 08:20 AM
I hope to be comfortable enough to play in the subway or the park by this summer and make a couple bucks for a drink or two afterward... maybe :uhoh:

If you're going to play in the subway you should check out MUNY (Music Under New York). You're allowed to play even if you're not a MUNY registered busker, but if one of them comes along and wants your spot, you're SOL.

freedive135
03-09-2009, 08:38 AM
Congrats on the open mic!!!!

I know how hard it can be I had some friends over Sat night for cocktails and they wanted me to play a couple songs and I froze up!!!

UKISOCIETY
03-09-2009, 08:40 AM
... I couldn't really look at the crowd too much because of nerves. ..

An old trick I learned in public performance is to look at people's foreheads instead of their eyes. That way you can concentrate on what you're saying and avoid noticing the reaction thru the audiences eyes. And it looks like you're looking at them too. I had to introduce Garrison Keillor at a performance at the Palace Theater in Louisville once and ad-libbed the whole thing. Not looking at the audience's eyes helped me get thru that!

dominicfoundthemooon
03-09-2009, 08:52 AM
congrats!!! open mics are GREAT!! that is how i first got started! it was about 2.5 years go when i first played.. it was guitar.. and i played one verse of a bob dylan song! just one verse! and then about 3 weeks later.. at the end of the same open mic i did one full song "shelter from the storm" we had the open mic every wed! after a while they asked me to take over hosting one of the weeks.. i always find it funny when i am hosting things.. i am often the worst person there!! but it is all in fun!! after a while.. i kind of liked looking at peoples eyes.. it was an odd connection with them..

if anyone is in Kansas City and wants to play.. i host www.myspace.com/kcmidtownopenmic (http://www.myspace.com/kcmidtownopenmic)

come play!!

and once again congrats!!!

mctrmt
03-09-2009, 02:00 PM
Way to go, Ben! I'd love to see some video.

katreetrunk
03-09-2009, 02:24 PM
woohoooo open mics are always fun! but i definitely understand the nervousness you get when you're up on stage. try blowing on your thumb before you go on stage, it works wonders

Howlin Hobbit
03-09-2009, 04:55 PM
try blowing on your thumb before you go on stage, it works wonders

Blowing on your thumb? :confused:

benmealer
03-09-2009, 05:09 PM
If you're going to play in the subway you should check out MUNY (Music Under New York). You're allowed to play even if you're not a MUNY registered busker, but if one of them comes along and wants your spot, you're SOL.

I was actually going to get in touch with you for pointers before I did any busking. I'm pretty sure you only need a one of those banners if you're playing with amplification. I not too worried about getting bumped out of a space. I wouldn't need one of the higher profile places. I'd be happy with a corner somewhere. There're plenty of spots.

GrumpyCoyote
03-09-2009, 05:16 PM
I was actually going to get in touch with you for pointers before I did any busking. I'm pretty sure you only need a one of those banners if you're playing with amplification. I not too worried about getting bumped out of a space. I wouldn't need one of the higher profile places. I'd be happy with a corner somewhere. There're plenty of spots.

Congrats on the open mic - definitely record it next time.

I used to busk for a living up here in Seattle back in the '90s - made a ton of cash and met some real characters. Pike Place market in the summer was (is?) a Busker's paradise.

You'll have a blast.

benmealer
03-09-2009, 05:19 PM
An old trick I learned in public performance is to look at people's foreheads instead of their eyes. That way you can concentrate on what you're saying and avoid noticing the reaction thru the audiences eyes. And it looks like you're looking at them too. I had to introduce Garrison Keillor at a performance at the Palace Theater in Louisville once and ad-libbed the whole thing. Not looking at the audience's eyes helped me get thru that!

It wasn't really that I couldn't look them in the eyes, it was more like I was concentrating too hard on playing and just wasn't able to look up. I wanted to look, I just couldn't right then.
Garrison Keillor, that's huge. I had to google him because I'm horrible at celebrity names, but once I saw that he was the Prairie Home Companion guy my mind was blasted :bowdown: I used to listen with my dad all the time. I like the News from Lake Wobegon.

benmealer
03-09-2009, 05:26 PM
congrats!!! open mics are GREAT!! that is how i first got started! it was about 2.5 years go when i first played.. it was guitar.. and i played one verse of a bob dylan song! just one verse! and then about 3 weeks later.. at the end of the same open mic i did one full song "shelter from the storm" we had the open mic every wed! after a while they asked me to take over hosting one of the weeks.. i always find it funny when i am hosting things.. i am often the worst person there!! but it is all in fun!! after a while.. i kind of liked looking at peoples eyes.. it was an odd connection with them..

if anyone is in Kansas City and wants to play.. i host www.myspace.com/kcmidtownopenmic (http://www.myspace.com/kcmidtownopenmic)

come play!!

and once again congrats!!!

Thanks alot. I wish I could come and check out your place. Next time I'm in Kansas, I'm there (the first time I'm in Kansas, I'm there?)

benmealer
03-09-2009, 05:31 PM
Way to go, Ben! I'd love to see some video.

Me too! Next time, M-A. I'll get video next time.

benmealer
03-09-2009, 05:37 PM
woohoooo open mics are always fun! but i definitely understand the nervousness you get when you're up on stage. try blowing on your thumb before you go on stage, it works wonders

like to blow up your muscles? pump them up?

benmealer
03-09-2009, 05:45 PM
Congrats on the open mic - definitely record it next time.

I used to busk for a living up here in Seattle back in the '90s - made a ton of cash and met some real characters. Pike Place market in the summer was (is?) a Busker's paradise.

You'll have a blast.

for a living?! that's so cool. there's lots of competition up here. did you have a gimick? funny hat? no pants? there's an old man that plays the keyboard around here and he has about 5 or 10 of those dancing dolls set up around him like a creepy little concert.

benmealer
03-09-2009, 05:47 PM
nikolo and freedive, thanks for the support. it means alot.

ricdoug
03-09-2009, 10:17 PM
Good job, Ben! The longest journey begins with the first step. The more you do it, the easier it gets. I don't have a fear of audiences as I'm a retired Marine, but I'm like many in that I want it to be presented right. Lot's of practice and performing in front of a crowd will remove those obstacles. The hardest part's over for you, now. Ric

stanny
03-10-2009, 01:39 AM
Hi ju st watched and listenrd to your hello mary lou song,just liked to say well done i loved it especially when you laff lol
Keep on strumming
Stanny:music::music::music:

Baron K
03-10-2009, 05:52 AM
Congrats Ben! Too bad you didn't film it - I'm sure you will next time. Would be fun to see. The open mic things is sweet - I don't know if we have any of those places here in stockholm. I'd really wanna try it...

Busking is cool too - I was about to go out a couple of weeks ago when I didn't have a lot of work, but then business picked up and I didn't do it, but I think I might try it when it's warm enough to play without freezing your fingers off.

Make sure you tape it if you get out there!

Cheers

Robin

hoosierhiver
03-10-2009, 06:06 AM
I need to get the gang together and do another open mic.It's fun and good practise playing in front of strangers.I think you walk away feeling more confident about your playing.

dominicfoundthemooon
03-10-2009, 06:10 AM
Congrats Ben! Too bad you didn't film it - I'm sure you will next time. Would be fun to see. The open mic things is sweet - I don't know if we have any of those places here in stockholm. I'd really wanna try it...

Busking is cool too - I was about to go out a couple of weeks ago when I didn't have a lot of work, but then business picked up and I didn't do it, but I think I might try it when it's warm enough to play without freezing your fingers off.

Make sure you tape it if you get out there!

Cheers

Robin

baron

i love busking! while i am still learning and not all that great i still do it from time to time and have ever since i had a guitar! i went busking when i only knew about 3 chords! its amazing.. if you find a good spot.. people will just drop a dollar in your case.. i live near a swanky urban shopping area.. and i plan on hitting it up when the weather gets nicer! this will be my fist year doing it with the uke.. i will be curious to see the reaction i get! not many ukes in KC!

d

carpekd
03-10-2009, 07:07 AM
congrats...
I wish they had open mics around my area

russ_buss
03-10-2009, 07:19 AM
congrats on your first open mic Ben! that's cool that there was another uke/guitar combo too. good luck on the next one!

rayan
03-10-2009, 02:10 PM
It was lots of fun. I was really nervous. My leg was shaking so much that I had to keep a beat with it to stop it from looking crazy. It didn't go bad, but I need to work on my banter with the people and I couldn't really look at the crowd too much because of nerves. I know it will get better ofter a few more times. I played with my friend Nobu. He was on the guitar and I played the uke and sang. We played "In the Pines", "Hello, Mary Lou" and then gave them a choice between a Journey song and "Summertime". They picked "Summertime". If anyone's around NYC they should come out and play. Everyone was really nice and there was even another ukulele/guitar combo that played that night.

The shaking legs is normal. Happened to me on my first gig as well. There is no greater rush than performing in front of people though. I'm glad you got a chance to experience it.

Howlin Hobbit
03-10-2009, 05:08 PM
After three pages of forbearance, I just have to say... It's "mike" dammit! (http://www.sambayer.com/tirades/whymike.html)

No. As a matter of fact, I don't care what it says on the poster.

If you're unwilling to read the above linked tirade, just ponder this... on a fine spring afternoon, do you go out for a ride on your bic?

benmealer
03-10-2009, 05:35 PM
ricdoug: Wise words. Thanks.

that's what I like to hear, stanny.

Baron: I'll make sure I record it this time (Nobu's going to be singing Bon Jovi so watch for it!)

hh: I totally know what you're saying about feeling more confident about your playing after your finished.

Dominic: I'm curious to see what the average Joe on the street thinks of a uke as well.

carpekd: i've just realized that I could go to one every day of the week in NYC if I didn't have to worry about real life;)

Russ: the other ukulele/guitar combo didn't really utilize the uke part of the combo very much. the really only used on Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire on the little solo part in the beginning of each verse.

rayan: I think I'm hooked. If I don't get my fix this Friday I may start getting the shakes

benmealer
03-10-2009, 05:41 PM
After three pages of forbearance, I just have to say... It's "mike" dammit! (http://www.sambayer.com/tirades/whymike.html)

No. As a matter of fact, I don't care what it says on the poster.

If you're unwilling to read the above linked tirade, just ponder this... on a fine spring afternoon, do you go out for a ride on your bic?

I ride my bicrophone.

dominicfoundthemooon
03-10-2009, 05:43 PM
After three pages of forbearance, I just have to say... It's "mike" dammit! (http://www.sambayer.com/tirades/whymike.html)

No. As a matter of fact, I don't care what it says on the poster.

If you're unwilling to read the above linked tirade, just ponder this... on a fine spring afternoon, do you go out for a ride on your bic?

HH i love the link!!!! i am going to send it to a fellow host of the open MIC/MIKE that we do! i always wondered about it.. maybe i am just going to call it "open stage" as sometimes we do not have a mic, or a mike in the room..

thanks for the link.. love it

Ukuleleblues
03-10-2009, 11:50 PM
Congratulations! That is so hard to do for the first time, but like everyone said the more you do it the better you get or you explode into a cloud of nervours energy. But that's very uncommon. I'm gonna try the forehead trick someone mentioned. I have found that with summertime clothes some audience members wear it is very, very easy to look at them and smile.

Howlin Hobbit
03-11-2009, 09:15 AM
maybe i am just going to call it "open stage" as sometimes we do not have a mic, or a mike in the room.

I always thought "open stage" was a pretty good term. But if you call it an "open mike" you keep the mimes away. :rolleyes:

dominicfoundthemooon
03-11-2009, 09:43 AM
I always thought "open stage" was a pretty good term. But if you call it an "open mike" you keep the mimes away. :rolleyes:

well i never have an issue with mimes.. i just where my hanging mime shirt.. and they know they are not welcome! http://www.threadless.com/product/395/smallphoto.jpg
jk jk.. well maybe...

haolejohn
03-30-2009, 03:34 PM
:music:I also just recently had my first open mic at a local coffee sh.....well the only coffee shop around. I played 5 foot 2. I messed up really bad right in the middle of it, but i improved and then went back to the real song. no one noticed. score. lol

Welcome back nikolo. Haven't seen you in awhile, but I haven't really been looking lol. Just noticed you haven't posted in awhile.

bt93
03-30-2009, 04:04 PM
If anyone's around NYC they should come out and play. Everyone was really nice and there was even another ukulele/guitar combo that played that night.

im going to be there next weekend...whens your next open mic night?

Noob
03-31-2009, 07:10 AM
It's not an easy thing to do. I did a few with a guitar a long time ago. Needed some liquid courage before hand, but was generally pleased with the experience. Open mic crowds are pretty supportive for the most part, which is great. Keep it up. Hopefully I'll get to the point where I can try one with the uke as well.
Cheers,
J

UKISOCIETY
03-31-2009, 07:21 AM
After three pages of forbearance, I just have to say... It's "mike" dammit! (http://www.sambayer.com/tirades/whymike.html)

No. As a matter of fact, I don't care what it says on the poster.

If you're unwilling to read the above linked tirade, just ponder this... on a fine spring afternoon, do you go out for a ride on your bic?

I was going to play at an open mic night once, but I couldn't get my big fingers to fit properly on the frets of my sopranino. I guess big guys should stick to tenors..


/throwing gas on the flames.....:rotfl:.....

deach
03-31-2009, 07:22 AM
i was going to play at an open mic night once, but i couldn't get my big fingers to fit properly on the frets of my sopranino. I guess big guys should stick to tenors..


/throwing gas on the flames.....:rotfl:.....

ha !

Howlin Hobbit
03-31-2009, 07:47 AM
I was going to play at an open mic night once, but I couldn't get my big fingers to fit properly on the frets of my sopranino. I guess big guys should stick to tenors.

Tsk.

:old: (and stay offa my lawn!)

benmealer
04-03-2009, 03:34 PM
we should send that link to the people that make mikes and the things they plug into.

http://87.106.71.220/oma/hk/images/LucasSmart_Mic_In.jpg

Howlin Hobbit
04-04-2009, 11:35 AM
Actually the "mikes, dammit!" article points out that manufacturers of amps and such were the first people to use the "mic" abbreviation, so they probably won't listen either.

(My spell checker has no problem with "mike" but gives me the little red underline when I type "mic." Things that make you go, hmmmm.)