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Howlin Hobbit
08-10-2008, 06:01 PM
Maybe you're thinking you should go hit that open mike.

Well, you should! It's a terrific way to work on your performance and just generally share your joy of music.

But you need to remember the difference between practice and rehearsal.

You practice the pieces. You rehearse the whole.

I'll expand a bit.

An open mike will probably have one of those "x songs or y minutes" rules for performance length. On average you get 2 or 3 songs.

So you practice those songs. The ones you're going to make a "set" of. You practice the chords, strumming patterns, singing, etc. Those are the pieces.

Then you rehearse the whole show.

Yes, it's a show.

You play each song straight through. You think of (and practice) what you're going to say as an intro to each tune. Then you run through them again, with intros, to rehearse the show.

Then you run through them again.

And again. (Don't forget to time things. You don't want to be one of those stage hogs that cuts into other people's time.)

When you get it all down, you go, you play, and you collect your well-deserved applause. You've shown that, even though you may be an amateur -- and remember, the word "amateur" comes from the Latin root "amor" and simply means someone who does something for the love of it -- you still put on a "pro show."

You can do it.

Practice, rehearse, and go get that applause you earned.

h-drix
08-10-2008, 06:10 PM
must spread rep, thanks for adding. real good advice.

UkeNinja
08-10-2008, 08:48 PM
Good advice. Sounds a lot like working on an academic presentation (my job): nothing worse than headless-chicken, badly-improvised, not-even-half-done-when-the-time-is-over, presentations. Lots of misplaced excuses, sweating, and half-funny attempts to cover it up...


How did you come up with this, own experience, response to another thread?

freedive135
08-10-2008, 08:49 PM
Great advice

I get to do a public show just about everyday!!!
When it is slow in the Kayak shop I work in I'll pick up my uke and strum till someone comes in, more than a few people have told me to finish the song I am playin or sometimes I go sit on the ledge out in front and play.
Just about everyone walking in or by smiles!!! (cuz I am not singing I'm sure)

This Wensday I am doing a show for real, the school where I am taking my lessons is having us play for the other classes. It's our last day!!!

UkuLeLesReggAe
08-10-2008, 09:33 PM
^ everyday! :(
the close i can get at the moment is playing at my school stage..

dhkane
08-10-2008, 10:07 PM
Yea, I play my ukulele outdoors and indoors, wherever I can, everyday. People are always attracted to the sound of the ukulele, especially kids. They would stop and stare at you while the parents are still walking by. :)

I play music at the Hawaiian Style Grill every Tuesdays and Fridays. It's a great place to hang out, family oriented and the food is great. We normally practice and hand out new music sheets (we're up to about 500 songs or more) on Tuesday and people still come in and watch us practice. Friday night is the show night.

A few things to consider:

Practice playing your songs at home... standing.

Practice at home as if people are watching you. Pretend there's a crowd in front of you.

Practice your playing and singing before you go on. Warm up. Get the fingers going.

Practice "live" on a mic, know when to bring the mic close to your mouth and away from your mouth. Push your mic away from you when singing high notes.

Watch your tempo for each song. It's one thing to practice at home, but it's a lot different in front of people. I have a tendency to speed up when I'm anxious and nervous.

Always, always finish the song, don't stop. Wrong chord or forgetting the words, keep playing.

Stay calm in the storm, people will be talking and walking around while you are singing, keep playing, dont stop, well unless there's an earthquake. Make sure you're playing loud enough.

I usually start up with a slow to moderate song first, just to warm up, then faster songs.

Actually, I don't think about these things when I'm up there. I just jam...., ainokea. You're in the "zone" and before you know it, people are clapping. That's the fun part. :nana:

Britna
08-10-2008, 10:31 PM
Great advice =]

Thanks!!

grappler
08-10-2008, 11:47 PM
great tip guys.
i've got stage fright and also i get embarrassed when i play infront of ppl, i guess its something i gotta build up.
ive never played infront of more than 2 ppl. :(

remy
08-11-2008, 07:41 AM
Cool! I think I'd rather be an amateur than a pro if you put it that way!

joe28601
08-11-2008, 07:58 AM
I actually played while i was getting a haircut lol

sukie
08-11-2008, 09:38 AM
Great advice HH. I hope someday to be able to use it.

+1

Howlin Hobbit
08-13-2008, 04:31 PM
Good advice...

...How did you come up with this, own experience, response to another thread?

The concept of "practice the parts, rehearse the whole" was presented to me in some magic book or another way back when. If I had to take a guess I'd say it was probably one written by Eugene Burger but I could be wrong there.

Much personal experience there too.

Lots of good advice from dhkane, especially:


Practice "live" on a mic, know when to bring the mic close to your mouth and away from your mouth. Push your mic away from you when singing high notes.

Always, always finish the song, don't stop. Wrong chord or forgetting the words, keep playing.

It always amazes me how many so-called pros don't ever consider microphone skills to be worth working on.

Now let me take a moment to append my first post. I was speaking in the "macro" realm there, let's speak in the "micro" here.

Everything I said about a show applies in the micro realm when referring to a song. You practice the chord changes, the lyrics, that tricky bit in the bridge, y'know? You rehearse the whole song.

When you rehearse the song you follow dhkane's advice. Don't stop, go all the way through as if you're playing in front of real, breathing people.

Don't just practice your songs, rehearse them too.

UKISOCIETY
06-04-2009, 10:19 AM
I'm reviving this thread to ask a question about open mic performances - How many songs are best for a set? I'm preparing some songs for the Uke World Congress, but I'm not sure about how many to schedule. What's too little? What's too much?

Thanks!

Harold O.
06-04-2009, 02:26 PM
I'm reviving this thread to ask a question about open mic performances - How many songs are best for a set? I'm preparing some songs for the Uke World Congress, but I'm not sure about how many to schedule. What's too little? What's too much?

Thanks!

Revive? More like resuscitate. But well worth the effort. Thanks.

Open mic at my local Guitar Merchant has a rule of two songs or 8 minutes. They won't send the hook unless you get way out of line. That said, it is bad form to bend the rules in a friendly venue.

I suggest preparing 5 songs. Keep a clock running when you practice and take note of how long each song is. Then when you show up and they lay a time constraint on you, you'll be able to adjust.

Reading through this thread, there is some solid information already. As a public speaker, I am often given as much time as I want (about 30 minutes is about all I can stand as a public listener, so ...). In the early days, it was common to have a set amount of time. Practice with an eye on the clock. Once you get close to keeping the correct time, record your set. Play it back and check your time. You'll likely hear where/when you can speed up/slow down to make time. Do it again from end to end. Soon enough it will be showtime and nothing will scare you.