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Open Mic Etiquette

Open MicNot be a minute. I'll just tune up.
Can I have the music stand please. It's a bit low for me, can you raise it please?
Now what will I sing? I Oh I know. It's in my book here. Now let me find it. Sorry about this I had it a few minutes ago.
Right, here we go (Strums a chord) Hang on that's in a different tuning, not be a minute. Has anyone a tuner I could borrow?
(Spends two minutes tuning his guitar)

Right, here we go. No idea who wrote this, I got it off an old LP. I must remember to give it back Ha Ha.
(Finally begins with a 60 second guitar instrumental introduction before he starts singing)

Oops - I can't sing in that key! Anyone got a capo I can borrow? Right here we go again.
Damn I can't read my own writing. I'll need my specs. I'll just get them out of my jacket - not be a tick.  Oh hi Sid, how are you doing? Haven't seen you for a while.
Here we go.
(Begins again - full guitar intro again - and finally does the song. Huge applause from his friends at the back - all of whom chatted to each other throughout his song.

Thank you so much. I've had a request, but I'm still singing. Ha Ha.
Now, what next. I know - its in my folder here somewhere. Got it.
Oh I need a harmonica for this one. It's in my guitar case, not be a tick.
Right here we go (Strums a chord). Ha ha, not in this tuning I'll not be a minute.
(Retunes his guitar then finally begins with a 60 second guitar introduction then plays a note on the harmonica)

Oops I've put my harmonica in the rack upside down. Ha Ha. I'll just fix that.
This is called Crossroad blues by the way. No idea who wrote it. Anybody know?
(Begins again - full intro once more and finally does the song. Huge applause from his friends again - none of whom really heard it)

Thank you, thank you. Pardon? I thought we got three songs? I've only done two. Oh OK then.

(Whips the lead out of his guitar making a noise like a shotgun come out of the speakers. Sits down with his mates and talks loudly and continually for the rest of the evening).

The guy above is fictional (any resemblance to any person, living or dead etc.etc), but I have seen all of the antics above at some time or other in open mics.

The standard of the performers at open mics is very variable but the audiences are usually very kind. It is nice if you are kind to them too. Here are a few guidelines - all common sense really.

It's worth having a visit to any new open mic before you commit to play, even if its just a quick look before you get your instrument out of the car. The styles vary very much. That said, most will accommodate any genre, but you may feel more comfortable at some than others.

A few words for the Sound Man

The standard of the sound man (it usually is a man, but it is sometimes a woman - but I'll use the term "sound man" as it's shorter and sounds better than "sound person") also varies greatly from open mic to open mic. The worst I have seen experienced simply pointed to the mixer and said "there you go". Most are much better. Here are the habits of good sound men

A good soundman is a great asset for any performer.  A bad one can discourage less confident musicians from ever playing again.



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Fining Corporations
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The Ambassador

Open Mic Etiquette

Putting the Earth into Perspective

Infinity and Beyond

Flying Saucers

Spend a Penny

The Pooper Scooper

The School Run
(Strong language)

Other sites by Ye olde Webbesmith are Twenty Forty Five and Tin Taxi.