My depressing open mic pity party.

John Backlund

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After a particularly painful open mic experience last night, I came to the conclusion that I am unable to participate in these sorts of things, and come away from them feeling that I let myself down in my performance, did not have anything resembling fun in any manner, and no matter how much I practice at home, I repeatedly suck when it counts to not suck.

I did four songs, blew two of them by forgetting lyrics that I've done flawless at home innumerable times, muffed some ridiculously common chords, and did it all to a handful of uninterested people.

The host wanted me to get back up and do a couple more, but I was too deflated by then to want to do it again, so I picked up my toys and went home.

The peripheral damage from this, is that when I got home I told 'Trixie' that I will not do another open mic, ever, and that I was going to sell off 90% of my musical gear, mostly guitars, amps, and a few misc items (unused Shure M55 series II microphone, etc.).

I will keep all of my remaining, useless, Backlund guitar wall-hangers, of course, but every other guitar that I have, except for my old telecaster, Kala thin body electric classical, and my 120 watt Boss acoustic amp that I run them both through, are going bye-bye, and listed on a local Facebook musician page this morning.

So far, I've sold my Epiphone Swingster and Gretsch resonator, with interest in several others 'percolating'.

It's going to be a musical instrument selloff blood bath...the purge has begun.

I have little interest in selling this stuff off on the internet, but in some cases, will undoubtedly have to, but I am unwilling to sell and ship very heavy items such as 100 watt half-stack amps, which I have two of. And I would not be at all comfortable shipping my $3000 (new price) Taylor 500 series 12 string, so I will just keep reducing it's price until it goes locally. I have it starting at $1800, but will almost certainly have to take a severe 'bath' on it to get it out of the house.

I truly feel that I will be relieved by unloading as much crap as I can.

And no more public playing, ever.
 

johnny k

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After a particularly painful open mic experience last night, I came to the conclusion that I am unable to participate in these sorts of things, and come away from them feeling that I let myself down in my performance, did not have anything resembling fun in any manner, and no matter how much I practice at home, I repeatedly suck when it counts to not suck.

I did four songs, blew two of them by forgetting lyrics that I've done flawless at home innumerable times, muffed some ridiculously common chords, and did it all to a handful of uninterested people.

The host wanted me to get back up and do a couple more, but I was too deflated by then to want to do it again, so I picked up my toys and went home.

The peripheral damage from this, is that when I got home I told 'Trixie' that I will not do another open mic, ever, and that I was going to sell off 90% of my musical gear, mostly guitars, amps, and a few misc items (unused Shure M55 series II microphone, etc.).

I will keep all of my remaining, useless, Backlund guitar wall-hangers, of course, but every other guitar that I have, except for my old telecaster, Kala thin body electric classical, and my 120 watt Boss acoustic amp that I run them both through, are going bye-bye, and listed on a local Facebook musician page this morning.

So far, I've sold my Epiphone Swingster and Gretsch resonator, with interest in several others 'percolating'.

It's going to be a musical instrument selloff blood bath...the purge has begun.

I have little interest in selling this stuff off on the internet, but in some cases, will undoubtedly have to, but I am unwilling to sell and ship very heavy items such as 100 watt half-stack amps, which I have two of. And I would not be at all comfortable shipping my $3000 (new price) Taylor 500 series 12 string, so I will just keep reducing it's price until it goes locally. I have it starting at $1800, but will almost certainly have to take a severe 'bath' on it to get it out of the house.

I truly feel that I will be relieved by unloading as much crap as I can.

And no more public playing, ever.
It is not about how bad you play, it is all about how people are having fun. Don't sell anything would be my advice, maybe since it is an open mic thingie, try to get some people on stage to sing a song. I haven't played in a tight band in 10 years, but the fun of doing stuffs wrong is making it right because it turns into a plus.

You forgot about the lyrics ? Stop dead in your tracks and ask the audience, i need some help with the words ! let them do a chorus on their own, join in and start singing again.

Seriously. Don't sell anything that you might regret.

edit and if anybody cares about singing along, start something like she will be going down the moutain, because everyone knows the lyrics.


 
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Toadtele

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Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.
Let’s not do anything rash John. I’m all for purging now and then. And I myself will never do another open mic.
I do think you need to slow down a little and think this through. Or send me a list of what you’ve got for sale.
 

Tele-beeb

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After a particularly painful open mic experience last night, I came to the conclusion that I am unable to participate in these sorts of things, and come away from them feeling that I let myself down in my performance, did not have anything resembling fun in any manner, and no matter how much I practice at home, I repeatedly suck when it counts to not suck.

I did four songs, blew two of them by forgetting lyrics that I've done flawless at home innumerable times, muffed some ridiculously common chords, and did it all to a handful of uninterested people.

The host wanted me to get back up and do a couple more, but I was too deflated by then to want to do it again, so I picked up my toys and went home.

The peripheral damage from this, is that when I got home I told 'Trixie' that I will not do another open mic, ever, and that I was going to sell off 90% of my musical gear, mostly guitars, amps, and a few misc items (unused Shure M55 series II microphone, etc.).

I will keep all of my remaining, useless, Backlund guitar wall-hangers, of course, but every other guitar that I have, except for my old telecaster, Kala thin body electric classical, and my 120 watt Boss acoustic amp that I run them both through, are going bye-bye, and listed on a local Facebook musician page this morning.

So far, I've sold my Epiphone Swingster and Gretsch resonator, with interest in several others 'percolating'.

It's going to be a musical instrument selloff blood bath...the purge has begun.

I have little interest in selling this stuff off on the internet, but in some cases, will undoubtedly have to, but I am unwilling to sell and ship very heavy items such as 100 watt half-stack amps, which I have two of. And I would not be at all comfortable shipping my $3000 (new price) Taylor 500 series 12 string, so I will just keep reducing it's price until it goes locally. I have it starting at $1800, but will almost certainly have to take a severe 'bath' on it to get it out of the house.

I truly feel that I will be relieved by unloading as much crap as I can.

And no more public playing, ever.
On the bright side, at least you had the chance to play out. I hope you try again… for all of us.
 

boneyguy

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Perhaps 're-tooling' your approach is what's needed. What comes to mind is that you might consider finding a partner and forming a duo. It doesn't have to feel overly serious or require lots of commitment if you find the right person. Personally, playing solo holds no interest for me and even considering it makes me aware of a vague anxiety coming over me. It feels far to 'naked' and revealing to me. There is strength (and comfort) in numbers. If you forget a lyric you can turn to your partner and share a smile or laugh....it's no longer you 'against' a room full of people. In that regard I'm convinced stand-up comedy is the absolute toughest gig in show biz. So, maybe consider sharing the task with someone.
 
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johnny k

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And from the videos of yours i have seen, you are good at the finger picking. It is just like losing a game of pool, and saying i will never play pool again. It is not the correct way to do it. You get beat, you ask for a revenge. You get beat again, you put 50 cents in the billard and ask for the revenge of the son of the revenge. It is all about making fun out of it.
 

tomasz

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Come on, it's an experience that you need, it's an important step and learning stone, to get to own the stage, the lights, the mic and the people. Be able to play a song for them just as you were chatting with friend at a bar. This doesn't come immediately. I know it's putting your guts out there on a plate and standing there without a shield, but they don't see it like that. They listen, if it's an interesting performance, they will be in, if not, that's a signal for you, to get better - not to give up. Cheer up buddy and get yourself together! You did good for the first time!:)
 

JL_LI

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I think you’re overreacting to a bad night. It happens to everyone. You don’t give up over something like that.

Learn to make fun of yourself. In public. Just say something like, “I knew the words yesterday.” Or if you miss a chord, say something like, “If I play it wrong twice it’s right.”

You’re not playing Shea Stadium. You’re playing in a coffee house or a bar. No one will ever take your mistake in a venue than that as seriously as you will.
 

loopfinding

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i have literally apologized to puzzled bandmates for playing poorly when no apology was necessary. i've also played shows actually awfully, completely drunk in my youth. i've had shows where equipment caught on fire or magic smoked and either put me in a tight spot or ended the set.

stuff happens, you'll forget about it soon enough. it's the sum of experiences, not nailing it every time. it's not sports (and treating it as such is counterproductive to good music, unless you're some classical player trying to follow form to a T).

murphy's law is also always in effect, part of playing live is getting a sense of accounting for it. in some regards playing live is a sleight of hand thing more than a graceful execution. most people you see live are playing at 75-80% of their level (yeah I know, some people’s 75-80% is scary good, but they worked that out through failure). come up with informal contingency plans for catastrophe, outside of the heat of battle, after the fact.

and if the vibe isn't right, find a better set and setting to play.
 
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middy

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I’ve never done a song solo for an audience. I’m an accompanist. I’ll play lead guitar or bass in a tasteful way and make you sound better.
But carry the song all by myself? Nope. I’ve led some instrumental jams, but that’s all.
 

dented

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Thanks for putting yourself out there! It's difficult. By the way I've seen Guns n Roses and Prince get booed off stage. Take a few days to open the steam valve and relieve some pressure. I'd be proud of you getting up and giving it a try. If I got up people would leave before I plugged in....😝
 

Toto'sDad

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I don't play anymore, because I'm too old and cranky to do so. When I did, I made sure I had plenty of this one ingredient that precludes all others in playing out. You can be talented, but men totally without talent have become rich and famous in the music world and you KNOW who they are. You can be intense, but that's been WAY overdone. You need to take a deep breath and quit selling off your equipment, (you'll only buy another motorcycle that you don't need, or really even want) and develop this one all-important character factor. You must learn to channel your inner:

1649358314198.png
 

johnny k

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I’ve never done a song solo for an audience. I’m an accompanist. I’ll play lead guitar or bass in a tasteful way and make you sound better.
But carry the song all by myself? Nope. I’ve led some instrumental jams, but that’s all.
It is a job on its own. I do admire people getting on stage by themselves. And i wish i could that. Of course i could learn myself to sing and play at the same time. Bit would be scare out my head.



Or hasil adkins...
 

Ron R

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Slow down, John. Don't go overboard in reacting to a rough outing. performing on stage in front of people is hard and takes practice. And nothing is as effective at improving your on-stage performance as, wait for it, performing on stage in front of people. No amount of at home practice can ever fully prepare you for it. Note-perfect, flawless performancees are pretty rare. The key is learning how to gracefully navigate those little bumps in the road - a skill that gets honed the more you play out.
The fact that the host asked you back up for a couple more is a pretty clear sign to me that you didn't fail as miserably as you're leading yourself to believe; i.e, you're being too hard on yourself. Music is best when shared - get back out there and do just that!
 
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985plowboy

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Been there.
A bunch.
You can either quit or keep going.
Realize that you are the only one who’s actually being hard on you.
If you can power through that you can keep going.
If you truly feel you are in need of a break, no shame in that either.
Retreat, reassess, refocus, redirect, reattack.

Just for damn sure don’t surrender.
 

John Backlund

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I think you’re overreacting to a bad night. It happens to everyone. You don’t give up over something like that.

Learn to make fun of yourself. In public. Just say something like, “I knew the words yesterday.” Or if you miss a chord, say something like, “If I play it wrong twice it’s right.”

You’re not playing Shea Stadium. You’re playing in a coffee house or a bar. No one will ever take your mistake in a venue than that as seriously as you will.

I'm overreacting to a lot of bad nights. ;)
 




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