How to prep for a first solo performance?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by markal, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Holic

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    Great suggestions here: know your music, audio recordings, video recordings, stack the deck, etc.

    A few additional thoughts:
    1. Practice like you want to perform. With an iPad or without, with charts or without, plugged in with a mic, monitor or in-ears or not, etc. Try to minimize what's new besides the venue and audience.

    2. Baby step: Invite a few friends over for beers or dinner and a small house concert. Play a few tunes.

    3. Next baby step: Hit an open mic night or two with your one best tune. Then with go do it again with 2-3 tunes. etc.

    At the end of the day the hardest thing to achieve is a sense of pride and well-being for where you are as an artist today, while striving to be a little better tomorrow. Good luck!
     
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  2. markal

    markal Tele-Holic

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    Nothing yet. Have a gig with the band tomorrow night. I’ve been practicing (and refining) my songs and hope to get out to an open mic or two in March. At this point that’s as far as l’ll go.
     
  3. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    I need to work up few good solo acoustic tunes and get out there. The whole solo acoustic singer songwriter type thing was my goal when I first started playing.

    Just when I was starting to feel good enough about my skills to start doing some open mics, I started getting together with some friends from work to play. I found myself playing electric lead (reluctantly) in an ensemble, so the solo acoustic stuff sat on the back burner.

    Playing with others is great, but it’s sort of embarrassing when someone see’s my nice acoustic and asks me to play a song, and I can’t play and sing a simple cover song with any confidence at all.

    Sorry, I’m rambling. My point is, don’t be like me, get out there and do it!
     
  4. markal

    markal Tele-Holic

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    It’s hard to find time for it all! Especially if you have a day job and music is a hobby.
     
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  5. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Tell me about it!
     
  6. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    I guess that's how I started so I was always pretty comfortable with acoustics and chords and all. Took me a while to work on remembering lyrics.

    Pick easy stuff where you already know the words, mostly. Easy progressions. Stuff that's popular, Petty, Dead, Neil Young and work on that so you know it inside and out. Then just get out and do it!
     
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  7. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but I could be wrong:

    practice with the metronome

    why? because you may have good time from 0:00 to 0:59, but then you may get flustered, and 1:00 to 1:30 may get wonky, and by 2:30-3:30 you're out of wack

    good time is GOOD TIME FOR FIVE MINUTES STRAIGHT

    then you can relax

    not until then

    practice with the metronome until you forget it's even there
     
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  8. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not sure that *I* would do that for a solo open mic prep. What I find is that nerves will make me play too fast over the whole thing. I did a song the other night (Driver 8) and I just ended up playing the riff too fast so the whole thing was too fast. Maybe a bad example. You know when you're too fast if you can't get the words out.

    Though I use my drum machine all the time when I'm working up stuff for my band...that's how I know my drummer is WAY TO FAST!

    When I prep for something, I go all out. I sing it aloud, loud like I would at the actual event. Usually through my PA since I like to hear all the strings and hammers on and stuff (and I got a nice new PA). But I think some people think they are practicing the whole thing but only end up playing couch guitar. (like my old band mate.....allegedly could nail it on the couch...but only worked on the guitar part...stand up at the mic in the basement rehearsal? not so much).
     
  9. Derwood

    Derwood TDPRI Member

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    I've never used a metronome....
    I usually roam around the house with my acoustic singing and playing my chosen songs a day or two before the open mic. Distractions, dogs, etc. don't always make it easy to get through songs and I figure, well that sucked but it is what it is.
    But then once I get started at the open mic there always seems to be a good reaction and it ends up going over really well. People are always impressed if you can play harp and guitar reasonably decent at the same time.
    I'm not a very outgoing person in general but if I have songs I know well and am comfortable with I'm usually pretty much at ease on stage.
    And Petty and Neil Young do seem to go over really well.
     
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  10. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Ok so here's what not to do. Prep like hell all week on the couple songs you're going to show off and totally chunk them.

    Happened last night...song I picked it sort or the same thing all the way through. Chorus and verse are pretty much the same progression.


    I started out and on the first line snagged a bit of the chorus and way going to come back around for the verse but my brain locked up and I could not think of it. So I just stopped and grabbed my lyrics and took it from the top...made a big joke that it didn't count as my two songs. The host is cool, the crowd is cool and the night was plagued by other people having technical issues.

    Host was takking to me through her mic at the board so maybe that's where I got distracted. Or the beer. Or the cold I thought was coming on but was probbaly just allergies. Anyhow.

    Second song was also clunky as a result. Lesson learned. I lived through it. Nobody cared but me I'm sure.
     
  11. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Always remember that the audience (unless you are in the wrong venue) is on your side. They’re rooting for you, and will forgive some mistakes. They’re rooting for you because they are imagining themselves up there in your place.

    Another thing to remember is that it is just a moment in time that will flash by, mistakes and all and directly into the past. Even if it is a total disaster, look at it as “paying your dues”, a learning experience, as well as a good story for later!

    My first open mic was a disaster, but everyone is OK and it IS a pretty funny story.
     
    Flat6Driver likes this.
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