Open mic nights might seem like a waste of time to some people; you don’t get paid, you cant guarantee the people there will be into to your style of music and you cant even guarantee there will be more than a couple of people there. So why bother? Well there are several benefits of open mic nights, several of which I have seen first hand.
Firstly, while obviously everyone has different tastes in music the kind of people who attend open mic nights tend to be very open and supporting of different styles, considering they can never tell what acts they might see. Also, several of them are likely to be musicians themselves and be there to perform and because they know how it feels and what goes on they are likely to be more supportive (even if its only in the hope of receiving similar treatment from you) and this can give you confidence in your performance.
One of the best reasons for open mic nights in my opinion is that they give you a chance to try out new material. Performing new songs for the first time at your own headline show can be risky and very nerve-racking so giving them a trial run is really helpful and can give you an idea of how good they are. Also, gauging crowd reaction can help to decide between songs while writing set lists for other gigs and be a guide to which songs might be worth dropping or working on. Another key element to an open mic night is to practice your performance skills, which is especially important if you are new to playing live or have issues with nerves. Open mic nights are friendly and informal so don’t be afraid to engage the audience a little and swap some banter. Also, if you are friendly and approachable you can make friends on the local scene and might score yourself some more gigs.
So here are a few of my tips for getting the most of an open mic night and please feel free to comment with your own:
• Challenge yourself. Play some untested new material or some that you think may need work. This isn’t a huge gig so make sure you use the experience as a chance to experiment a bit.
• Try to be confident. Confidence comes across positively in your performance and interaction. If you are nervous or not confident, use this as a chance to practice faking it a little. You will soon see the benefits which will help you do it for real. However don’t go to far, overly cocky acts will rarely go down well with the other performers
• Make sure you are well practiced. This is an obvious point but always make sure you have prepared well and know what you plan to do, even if it’s new ground for you.
• Do some networking. Always be respectful of other performers and try to engage people involved in your local scene. It’s always good to know other local musicians as they can often get you gigs or help you out if a support act bails etc.
• Make sure you introduce/sign off well. Expanding your fanbase is a core responsibility for any artist so make sure you introduce yourself clearly and tell people where to find your music to listen to/buy and how to interact with you online.
So hopefully this will be helpful advice to some of you and encourage you to put some faith in open mic nights. If any of you have further tips or experiences you would like to share, please let us know in the comments.For more info about VIBEZOUT Open mic please click here
Written by Matthew Briggs Bands © 2013 Help For Bands
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