My depressing open mic pity party.

jimmywrangles

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I have always suffered from panic attacks so playing live for me is impossible, just the thought of it makes me nervous so I applaud your courage.
I play in my bedroom and love it.
Don't sell your stuff.
 

That Cal Webway

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John, you're probably being too harsh on yourself.

I'm good enough to do solo Open Mic but I often freeze up. But I even still do it once a yr or so because... what the hell!

But my silver lining is, thru the years I have backed up singer-songwriter types:
It gives me a chance to be creative with my input, and so to speak- hide behind another!!
And I don't sing.

So maybe playing with someone else might help the situation. Donut give up!

.
 
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Guitarteach

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Open mics just suck big time.. most are venues looking for cheap/free entertainment that barely exceeds karaoke for cringe.

I NEVER do them.. never needed them to be super busy and happy.

Then there are the needy ones who cruise them trying to show off the one or two riffs/tunes they know and who try to dominate / embarrass the less experienced ones trying to get a start and the youngsters trying to get some exposure.. and the audiences are not usually the best… either the local drunks and the other musicians all trapped in a hell.

Join / get a band or develop a solo act and commit to that… PA, lyric notes, your gear, your control and responsibility. Own it. Surrounding yourself with others who are either critics or jealous just sucks the fun out of it.. instead, having your team working together, changes the whole dynamic.

You really don't need open mics to focus on the craft. Open mics suggest an easy way but, IMO, they just suppress/ depress. It is the definition of aiming low.

In a band you can always blame the bassist / drummer too
 
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Flat6Driver

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Open mics just suck big time.. most are venues looking for cheap/free entertainment that barely exceeds karaoke for cringe.

I NEVER do them.. never needed them to be super busy and happy.

Then there are the needy ones who cruise them trying to show off the one or two riffs/tunes they know and who try to dominate / embarrass the less experienced ones trying to get a start and the youngsters trying to get some exposure.. and the audiences are not usually the best… either the local drunks and the other musicians all trapped in a hell.

Join / get a band or develop a solo act and commit to that… PA, lyric notes, your gear, your control and responsibility. Own it. Surrounding yourself with others who are either critics or jealous just sucks the fun out of it.. instead, having your team working together, changes the whole dynamic.

You really don't need open mics to focus on the craft. Open mics suggest an easy way but, IMO, they just suppress/ depress. It is the definition of aiming low.

In a band you can always blame the bassist / drummer too


That's a pretty depressing statement.
It's an easy way to test material ot test out your solo act. When I was doing it, I was happy to have someone else set up the PA, deal with the bar, etc. Did the bar get "free entertainment". Maybe. Do I care? Nope.
 

burntfrijoles

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

You will be. I've been slowly downsizing for the past 5 years. Guitars that I thought I would never part with are long gone and I don't miss them. There were some special instruments but I've got others I like just as much. Did I make any mistakes? Possibly. Do I have any regrets? No.
There's a certain freedom to have less instruments. Plus you "bond" a little more to those that remain. I'm not done. I already know of one guitar that will be departing soon and I am deciding which of my Strats should stay or go.
One caveat, don't sell on emotion or a loss of fire, which may only be temporary. I have found that my interest can wane at times when I don't feel I'm progressing or I'm in a rut. But it always comes back.
 

StratDal

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I have always suffered from panic attacks so playing live for me is impossible, just the thought of it makes me nervous so I applaud your courage.
I play in my bedroom and love it.
Don't sell your stuff.

There's a federal law prohibiting me from performing live... 80 years in Leavenworth if I'm prosecuted...

I'm king of my bedroom and living room and it suits me just fine. Maybe all the live stuff will happen in the next life!
 

Colo Springs E

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Open mics just suck big time.. most are venues looking for cheap/free entertainment that barely exceeds karaoke for cringe.

I NEVER do them.. never needed them to be super busy and happy.

Then there are the needy ones who cruise them trying to show off the one or two riffs/tunes they know and who try to dominate / embarrass the less experienced ones trying to get a start and the youngsters trying to get some exposure.. and the audiences are not usually the best… either the local drunks and the other musicians all trapped in a hell.

Join / get a band or develop a solo act and commit to that… PA, lyric notes, your gear, your control and responsibility. Own it. Surrounding yourself with others who are either critics or jealous just sucks the fun out of it.. instead, having your team working together, changes the whole dynamic.

You really don't need open mics to focus on the craft. Open mics suggest an easy way but, IMO, they just suppress/ depress. It is the definition of aiming low.

In a band you can always blame the bassist / drummer too

Wow. I have had mostly good experiences at open mics, with a range of talent and genres, and almost universally welcoming atmosphere. I want no part of being in a band, but enjoy occasionally trying out things in front of an audience, so open mics work for me.
 

StratDal

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Wow. I have had mostly good experiences at open mics, with a range of talent and genres, and almost universally welcoming atmosphere. I want no part of being in a band, but enjoy occasionally trying out things in front of an audience, so open mics work for me.

One of the local establishments had an open mic for a while and it was well received. A big part of it was the attitude of the manager. He was encouraging and kept everything light. It made it easier for the performers and everyone one in the audience was a good sport.
 

Old Verle Miller

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Others have made good suggestions regarding getting someone to partner with who can carry the show. Remember, Marty Stuart played with Lester Flatt then backed Johnny Cash long before he became a star on his own.
 

1955

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I experienced the feelings you described through hundreds of shows before I felt I’d done a good job. At some point, I found myself through the masks. I gigged full time as a solo performer for many years, under humiliating and daunting circumstances. Sometimes I would do 3 shorter private event type shows a day in people’s homes, businesses, etc., and then a 3 set show in a bar out of town that night. The stakes were so high at some gigs that I felt I’d have a heart attack. Anything that could go wrong did. There’s a reason you don’t hear about too many professional solo musicians.

It is not about you, it is about the audience, and the gift you are giving them. If you stick it out, you will find that the complexities of emotion experienced by the performer are very different from what the audience experiences, if your heart is right toward them.

There were many people who sat in with me, and lots of bands that I shared a bill with over the years. Many were much better on their instruments than I could ever hope to be. I studied the seasoned pros and asked them lots of questions.

The best were all about the audience. If it were easy, more people would do it. But most give up because they don’t understand why they are doing it enough to keep going when the going is tough. Every gig, you will learn priceless bits of wisdom that translate to all aspects of life.

I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t want to gig nowadays for reasons, but I have lived to tell, and I can say that the reward for sticking it out despite anxiety, butterflies, phobias, self-doubt, lack of confidence, failure, self-hatred, was a rare emotion that very few human beings get to experience. I never fought in combat, so I asked the WWII vets how they got through it. They just did it, and they made it, despite all odds.
 
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Stanford Guitar

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I sing and play guitar for friends and family all the time. I take requests for songs I don’t even know. I give a listen on spotify, hit the high points, and make up most of the words, usually dirty words. I make up words to songs I do know most of the time. Everyone has a good laugh. Everyone has fun. That’s what it is about.
 

Mjea80

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Open mics just suck big time.. most are venues looking for cheap/free entertainment that barely exceeds karaoke for cringe.

I NEVER do them.. never needed them to be super busy and happy.

Then there are the needy ones who cruise them trying to show off the one or two riffs/tunes they know and who try to dominate / embarrass the less experienced ones trying to get a start and the youngsters trying to get some exposure.. and the audiences are not usually the best… either the local drunks and the other musicians all trapped in a hell.

Join / get a band or develop a solo act and commit to that… PA, lyric notes, your gear, your control and responsibility. Own it. Surrounding yourself with others who are either critics or jealous just sucks the fun out of it.. instead, having your team working together, changes the whole dynamic.

You really don't need open mics to focus on the craft. Open mics suggest an easy way but, IMO, they just suppress/ depress. It is the definition of aiming low.

In a band you can always blame the bassist / drummer too
Every open mic Ive been at in the last 10 years was nothing but positivity and a super chill atmosphere where people who are interested in playing in front of others do their best to showcase themselves and have a good time.
 

Deeve

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Others have made good suggestions regarding getting someone to partner with who can carry the show. Remember, Marty Stuart played with Lester Flatt then backed Johnny Cash long before he became a star on his own.
So, you're saying I've got a chance, then?
;)
 

Jupiter

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So, you're saying I've got a chance, then?
;)
1653195466230.jpeg
 

Mindthebull

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To quote the movie Groundhog Day, you seem like a glass half empty kind of person. I would just say the fact they asked you to get up and play a couple more songs might suggest you weren’t as bad as you think. But if you really don’t enjoy it, that’s another thing altogether. I would just separate the feelings about your performance from the desire to purge gear.

Maybe purging gear is healthy anyways. Decide what it is you love or did love about playing and focus on getting back to that. Maybe it’s just one guitar and a metronome plus an iPhone to record. Nothing like recording your practice sessions with a metronome to gauge progress.

Venues can be mixed too. Some open mic’s are horrible, tough crowds. Others are welcoming folk/coffeehouse style places where everyone in the audience is a performer and everyone is encouraging everyone else. It can make a big difference to your confidence.
 

Synchro

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These days, I can take the stage and do a pretty good job, but for every minute of good onstage experience, there’s a back story of sub par performances, on my part. Performing in front of an audience is a skill, unto itself, and like any skill, it benefits from repeated experience.

Beyond that, anxiety/stage-fright is real, and some among us experience it. It’s like learning to ride a bike; you’re going to suffer some skinned knees along the way, but in the end, you will end up with a lifelong skill.

A third factor is learning to play in ensemble, with other musicians. Once again, it’s a skill, unto itself, and requires experience. Playing in an ensemble requires listening to others and adapting. It can be a great experience, but there is a skill involved, and the only way to master that skill is to get your feet wet.
 

zimbo

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Why play in front of people? Just play for yourself. Pick the hardest songs you know and learn how to play them until they sound good to you. That's all that matters. You don't have to entertain others.
 




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