Going from Hobbyist to Open Mic/Jam player

Dik Ellis

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Not sure if you can find one, but a Fender GDEC amp is a great practice tool for any level player. Also lots of jamming vids on You Tube.
 

Stringbanger

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I would not go with 3-4 songs. First I would get a full repertoire of 40 songs, and be able to play them all fairly well. This will take time, but it will give you a better foundation and more versatility. It doesn’t matter if they are just strummed.

During the time you are building your repertoire, teach yourself to sing, or take voice lessons. Playing guitar without singing limits your possibilities.

Next, try to find at least one guitar player who is better than you to jam with. You
won’t get better playing with people who are not as good as you. You need a guitar buddy, man or woman.

Use all of the tools at your disposal: Craigslist, Facebook (some towns have their own FB page). See if any local businesses like grocery stores etc., have bulletin boards where you can hang a poster seeking other musicians to jam with.

Honestly, I don’t think you are ready to play at an open mic, but you could start attending them (as someone else mentioned), just to see what goes on. I’m not trying to discourage you here, but I’m trying to be candid.

The reasons that I don’t think you are ready:

1. You have been playing for 16 months and don’t know any songs all the way through.

2 The mindless noodling.

Use the time you mindlessly noodle to work on learning new songs. My two cents.
 

swarfrat

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I'd also recommend video yourself. This is for watching yourself, not for uploading just yet. Do it until you can watch without cringing
 

ndcaster

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I have been playing guitar for 16 months now and think I need to start making some goals for my playing beyond mindless noodling and learning parts of songs.

Now the world is opening up I am looking to start playing out with others but have no clue how to do it. I suspect my goal should be an open mic or jam setting but I have no idea if I am good enough yet or when I'll be good enough.

My plan of action is:
1) Learn some songs all the way through
2) Find people to play with
3) Book or arrange to play at a venue to motivate practice and give reason to playing.

Any words or wisdom on how to achieve the above is very much welcome as I have never done this before.
solid plan

record yourself playing the songs all the way through

play with the metronome as if it were a snare on 2 and 4

to find people, you have to be findable yourself

make this your mantra: "if it isn't scheduled, it doesn't exist"

get yourself signed up for mic nights: people don't want to go hear someone rehearse
 

swarfrat

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I'm on this journey too which is why I've been hijacking the thread after the OP dropped out. I knew about recording yourself. I didn't necessarily think about video though.
 

39martind18

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I'd also recommend video yourself. This is for watching yourself, not for uploading just yet. Do it until you can watch without cringing
Hell, I've been playing over 54 years making money at it, and I still cringe watching myself on video!

(It's not my playing, it's just that I'm UGLY!)
 

telestratosonic

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Got a tip off last night of a new bar/music venue being opened in a few weeks looking to host a weekly open mic and band night. Girlfriend knows the owner and staff so may be a good place to check out and then see if I feel confident enough to put my name down for one night.

I cannot sing (unless I get 6 months of vocal coaching) so it's a struggle to think of how to do an open mic (I don't like playing to a backing track). Do I need to find a singer or do I try doing one guitar instrumental music?
Don't sell yourself short.
The best and only way I know of to learn to sing is to start singing. You 'will' improve with repetition.
I'd start with 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' and 'Jingle Bells'.
Seriously.
Good luck.
 




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