My depressing open mic pity party.

Kandinskyesque

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I hope you don't call it quits John.
I think everybody goes through, not just the one bad gig, but a run of them. You can only know it's a bad gig when you're aware that you can do better, so obviously you have the chops and are getting frustrated at the point of delivery.

However, a gig is worth 5 rehearsals and everybody has awful rehearsals.

Try filming yourself at home; playing it back is good mental rehearsal, also try a metronome and jack it up a few bpm faster than you would play it. Also go to few open mics as a spectator, because there's nothing more enthusing than watching people that you know you can play equally as well as.

I hoping to resume gigging/open mics later this year after a long health dictated hiatus. Some of these 'comeback' performances are going to be appalling and no doubt I'll feel like you're feeling just now. I'll do well to remember my own words here.

On a side issue, I only found out about you own design guitars a week ago. I've been drooling over the Eastwood website daily since and working one of your guitars into my budget.
I can picture myself with one when I get my original material project live early next year. It's lifted my mojo at a time when I really need it.

So for what it's worth, you've had a successful week because you inspired somebody on this side of the pond.

Keep on keeping on.
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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I believe one must do what makes them happy, and if selling off a bunch of gear is what makes you happy, then so be it. I personally wouldn't have exercised the nuclear option over an open mic that went sideways, though. Bad nights are part of the syllabus at all levels. It's what helps keep us humble in a world of musician egos.
Who knows, you may find it is the change you've needed & didn't know it.
 

Mouth

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Not to blame the crowd, but playing in front of uninterested people sucks.

If you have a good crowd, they're rooting for you anyway so they don't care if you blow it. Mistakes are part of a live show. Big acts sometimes forget or jumble lyrics and screw up playing and most people don't notice(usually because it's somewhat hidden by other instruments and the song keeps on going in time).

I think you just had a little trauma with this event and now you're feeling deflated.

Forget about it. Get back on the horse. And maybe be more selective about the horses you choose.
 

Toto'sDad

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Not to blame the crowd, but playing in front of uninterested people sucks.

If you have a good crowd, they're rooting for you anyway so they don't care if you blow it. Mistakes are part of a live show. Big acts sometimes forget or jumble lyrics and screw up playing and most people don't notice(usually because it's somewhat hidden by other instruments and the song keeps on going in time).

I think you just had a little trauma with this event and now you're feeling deflated.

Forget about it. Get back on the horse. And maybe be more selective about the horses you choose.
Good advice right there. My first date didn't go all that well, I'm sure glad I didn't give up on women because of it!
 

Toto'sDad

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No, I'm not "hiding in a cave", and I'm selling a lot less than 'everything'.

Wanna good deal on a nice Taylor?

You know what John? Right now, you're wearing a hair shirt and banging yourself across the shoulders with a quirt! You don't have to punish yourself for failing. I got engaged for the first time at the ripe old age of eight! That hussy broke it off, and quit me, and I ATE the diamond engagement ring I personally purchased for her at the local five and dime. You know, in all seriousness, it was a really sobering event in my life. I pulled through though and found out there were other more trustworthy women than my ex-fiancé!
 

Barbeque John

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I'm 79 years old, and play an open mic at a favorite winery most Friday nights. It's not very organized, and some nights it's only 3-4 regulars, including the owner of the winery. Mostly older folks, and the regular patrons are not critical at all. Everybody has the occasional not so good night, and nobody cares, and we joke about it. Now and then my son comes in and plays his combined bass and lead thing with anybody who asks him, he makes everybody sound good. For lyrics, I use a tablet, for which I bring a compact stand, because I do have trouble remembering the lyrics to the couple hundred songs in my book, and I sure don't want to play the same songs every week. It's not about competition, it's about the musicians and the audience having a good time. Haven't played a real show since before the plague, and I don't know if I really want to.
A few years ago, son and I organized a weekly song circle at a craft beer store and bar. The only amp (small) was for bass, and a big table everybody sat around, and took turns leading songs. The regulars got a free beer or two. We had a lot of fun.
 

Chuckster

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I feel weird offering advice to the likes of John Backlund, but here goes:

I had a similar experience playing solo at our annual Father/Son camp. On any given night, there's 50-80 people at the fire, sometimes more.

I got up to play a tricky song that I've played a million times, and just absolutely f'd it up. Lost my timing, forgot the words, and when I was completely overwhelmed by embarrassment, I stopped mid-song and walked away.

My son caught up to me. He was probably 12 at the time. He said it was OK and I should go back, but I called it a night.

That night I realized I set a bad example: I quit when things got hard or didn't go my way.

The next night, I got right back up there, and joked about my terrible performance the night before. That took the pressure off and I could feel that everyone was pulling for me. And then I aced 3 songs without a single (noticeable) flub.

Music is a gift you give to others.
 

tap4154

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Come on John, if you went for a ride on one of your motorcycles, took one wrong turn and ended up in Florida, would you come home and sell all your motorcycles?

Stuff happens, people make mistakes, have bad days, and goof up all the time. Shake it off, and get back up there on that stage like Puddles, and knock them out!

 
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Old Verle Miller

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Something tells me you're fascinated with the tools, not the product. Put them back in the toolbox for a while. Master the vocals without instrumentation - not the other way around.
When you can deliver the song flawlessly without instrumentation (really listening to yourself over and over can be painful), start adding simple instrumental backgrounds to build on the performance. Add complexity once everything is perfectly in time.
 

Happy Enchilada

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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.
Easy big fella!
Take a deep breath and wait a week before you get out your cuttin' torch.
I myself have realized that my "glory days" might be over for performing out.
This after 12 years of worship services, sometimes four in a 48-hour period, 3 of which were back to back.

You might start by making a list of the gear you don't use much and go from there.
I'd keep at least a couple electrics and a couple acoustics because life is weird and you may get inspired.
And there's always those campfire singalongs ...

The first blues jam I went to in years turned out kinda bizarre, in that I have never sung in public, but the so-called singer they dumped in with our so-called band was going to do a song I brought so badly that I just stepped up and let 'er rip. Felt oddly high afterwards - no doubt adrenaline.

However, my GAS has forced me to accumulate more guitars and amps and gear than I will ever need.
And getting into building Teles didn't help neither.
I am also thinning the herd. And it can be painful.
I'm putting stuff on consignment at the local guitar shop.
Which works great, no randos and no shipping.
However, I walked in the other day and there was the Guild 12-string I never could afford as a college kid.
So I traded out the stuff I had on consignment plus some cash and probably got fleeced. But hey ...

Don't give up entirely John. You've spent a lifetime learning to play and enjoying the satisfaction that comes from it. And try to avoid making any sudden moves until you know it's right so you don't end up with regrets.
 

ReverendRevolver

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To me there are no mess up. Of course i like mojo nixon, who is the king of repartie. If the song goes good, it is good. If there is a mess up, I will start a joke, ( I got some good references from the post your short jokes thread) and keep up, it is goes wrong again, maybe switch to the next song. If there is a heckler, you got in for free, the exit is free too.
I've personally been itching for about 20 years to use the "excuse me sir, I don't come up into you place of work slapping the" "outta your mouth, I'd appreciate a little professional courtesy..."
I'll get fired if i say that to customers (or even shoplifters) at work, so gigs are an opportunity to use it.
Yeah, the 'Host' of this open mic told me right from the beginning that they usually allow people sit in on whoever's playing and 'jam' along. I've never shared a stage with anyone before, and I have 'my sound' with both guitar and vocals, and having another player unexpectedly forced on me up there throws me way off, and it did, even though the player (the host) was a much better player than I am. I practice with certain, specific amp, mic, and guitar settings (I take my own amp and microphone) and he broke my concentration, which was fragile to begin with.
Set crashers throw thing way off. The only people I would willingly play with in a setting like you've described are people I've been in bands with before. It's the only situation where the result is favorable.
 

Thoughtfree

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Various ruminations on the OP, take 'em or leave 'em:

There are many ways to be creative, many ways to make music, other than singing and accompanying oneself on the guitar.

Your brilliant designs show a talent that 99.5 percent of singers/acoustic guitar players lack, and many would wish to have - me, for instance. To have them manifested in actuality, as you have done, would be a thrill unimaginable by most any barroom musician.

I've played gigs as a solo singer/guitarist, and basically it sucked, though I can memorize words and sing on key. Fact is, which I had to admit to myself, I don't really enjoy singing, and I think audiences can sense that.

By contrast, I've played a lotta gigs as a lead guitarist or bassist, and they work out great for the most part. Because I like to play guitar. I feel strength, confidence, power with a guitar in my hands, and an audience responds to that.

It could be that, like me, the universe is asking you to do music in a way that does not involve singing much.

The entertainment marketplace demands vocals, by and large. I suggest that if you wish to perform, work with a strong singer - preferably female - who really can do the job. This has worked for me.
 

Wallo Tweed

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It seems to me that you've been thinking about this for some time, and the last open mic was the deciding factor.

JMHO but if you're not enjoying playing live, why stress yourself out? I think we have quite a few members that only play for their own enjoyment, and have no interest in live performance.

And if you have gear that you don't use, why not sell it and put that money towards something else.
 

stxrus

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There’s a huge difference between playing in Madison Square Bedroom/Livingroom than playing on a stage.
If I let the fact that I can bolox a tune keep from playing out I would have given up many, many years ago

Keep on trucking

Full disclosure-I haven’t read the entire thread and have to go work now
 




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