Thoughts on Open Mics

I went to the Open Mic at Sky Stage on September 24.  And then I went to the Open Mic at Dublin Roasters the next day.  I think what I enjoy most about open mics is when there are unexpected groupings.  Folks just start playing together and singing together.  I love having folks hop up on stage with me!  I know it is not always easy for working musicians to get the time to play at open mics, but I want to encourage folks to do just that.  For several reasons.

#1 – lots of times open mics have new performers, folks who are just getting started and hoping that maybe something might click and they will be on their way to being a professional musician.  These folks need some role models.  They need to see and learn from people who know what they are doing on the stage.  It is good for them to be right there with seasoned pros to see how they handle an audience.  How do they handle a broken string?  How do they handle a heckler?  How do they respond to an audience clapping (please bow humbly and say “thank you.”)?

#2 – an open mic is a great place to try out a new song.  You may not want to take a new song for a test spin at a high-paying, high pressure gig, especially if you think there are some bugs that need to be worked out.  But an open mic let’s you try some things out – do those words really flow?  Does that ending really work?  Do people “get” the song? 

#3 – An open mic is an opportunity for a seasoned musician to connect with the music community.  I am often playing out some place on a Friday or Saturday, so its hard for me to go and listen to other performers.  An open mic can be a place where a variety of performers can hear each other and sing with each other.  You probably won’t get that chance at a paying gig.  And who knows what arrangements might work out?  You may discover a really cool lead guitar lick that fits perfectly into the song, or a harmony that works really well on the chorus.  When it comes to recording time, those ideas are helpful.

There are a bunch of Open Mics around the County.  I hope that you will attend some and try some things out.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato



Leave a comment