My depressing open mic pity party.

John Backlund

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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.

I've been playing 'for myself' since 1966, sometimes you just develop a need to get out of the basement.
 

John Backlund

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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.

The only other person I would be willing to to play with would be my wife 'Trixie', but even though she could play rudimentary chording on a guitar when I met her in 1983, I have been unable to get her to pick up a guitar ever since. I kept telling her that it would be a hoot to play live together, but she'll have none of it. She's even more painfully introverted than I am...if you can imagine that.
 

MisterZ

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Apr 29, 2016
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Finger Lakes of NYS
I've written about my open jam debacle in another thread, so I won't rehash it here. This is water off a duck's back, dude. Grow from it, go back next month, and slay them in their seats.
 

Linkslover

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Mar 16, 2017
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Naples, FL
So I'm doing an open mic and one of my favorite songs is Ripple which I've only played about 10,000 times and there's a mandolin player there.

I ask him if he knows it. He says "what key?" And I'm as excited as all get out to play the sing with a mandolin accompaniment.

Well, I'm playing and singing and something doesn't sound right. Just about the time I figure out which chord I'm supposed to be playing (not the one I am playing), he whispers "C".

S**t happens. So what.

I've listened to hundreds (thousands?) of Grateful Dead concerts and half the fun is catching Jerry or Bobby singing the song verse or forgetting the words.

You're being way too hard on yourself.

LL
 

zimbo

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Jan 15, 2007
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Rochester, NY
I'd be willing to bet that only 5-10% of the members on this forum play out (if that). Just enjoy it for yourself. You need a hobby and there aren't that many good ones out there like guitar playing. Not only do you practice and play but also research new gear and guitars. It's a whole lifestyle.
 




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