Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Performing at pub open mic sessions

Northerner 14 Feb 12 - 10:46 AM
Acorn4 14 Feb 12 - 11:21 AM
Northerner 14 Feb 12 - 11:24 AM
Will Fly 14 Feb 12 - 11:29 AM
saulgoldie 14 Feb 12 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 14 Feb 12 - 12:41 PM
Leadfingers 14 Feb 12 - 01:14 PM
paul vaughan 14 Feb 12 - 01:24 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Feb 12 - 01:41 PM
tonyteach1 14 Feb 12 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 14 Feb 12 - 03:01 PM
Bert 14 Feb 12 - 03:23 PM
Blues=Life 14 Feb 12 - 04:34 PM
Charley Noble 14 Feb 12 - 04:50 PM
foggers 14 Feb 12 - 05:48 PM
Will Fly 14 Feb 12 - 05:59 PM
Acorn4 14 Feb 12 - 06:11 PM
DrugCrazed 14 Feb 12 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Klumper 14 Feb 12 - 07:23 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 14 Feb 12 - 07:54 PM
CupOfTea 14 Feb 12 - 08:22 PM
Roger the Skiffler 15 Feb 12 - 06:18 AM
matt milton 15 Feb 12 - 06:47 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Feb 12 - 06:48 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Feb 12 - 06:50 AM
Will Fly 15 Feb 12 - 07:20 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Feb 12 - 07:41 AM
Northerner 15 Feb 12 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 15 Feb 12 - 10:04 AM
Tootler 15 Feb 12 - 10:06 AM
Northerner 15 Feb 12 - 12:37 PM
Bert 15 Feb 12 - 12:57 PM
Jon Corelis 15 Feb 12 - 01:49 PM
Tim Leaning 15 Feb 12 - 01:53 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Feb 12 - 03:23 PM
Gibb Sahib 15 Feb 12 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,Guest Mikel2 16 Feb 12 - 09:56 AM
Blues=Life 18 Feb 12 - 06:30 AM
Northerner 18 Feb 12 - 06:45 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Feb 12 - 06:57 AM
Tootler 18 Feb 12 - 11:43 AM
GUEST 19 Feb 12 - 07:36 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Northerner
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 10:46 AM

A pub near me has jut started open mic sessions so I thought, nothing to lose, I'll pop along and see what it's all about. Anyway at the first session I read a couple of poems and at the next sang a few folk songs.
It's not very easy - most of the audience just keep talking over you. I'm also not very happy yet using a microphone. At the folk club I go to it is all acoustic. I do use a microphone when I read poems at local poetry events but am not very comfortable with it yet. I'm going to a poetry workshop later in the month and I've asked the workshop leader for some experience using a microphone and she has agreed. So hopefully my microphone technique will improve.

I wondered if anyone had much experience doing this kind of thing and had any tips? I sing unaccompanied, mainly traditional British songs. Ideas of song repertoire would be appreciated.
I don't know how long this open mic will last. The pub isn't getting many performers yet. The MC for the sessions is a young aspiring pop singer, and he is very keen and is helpful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Acorn4
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 11:21 AM

The sessions differ so much from the dire to the very good, and sometimes from week to week in the same venue.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Northerner
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 11:24 AM

Thank you. Hmm, it's probably nearer the dire at the moment as we don't have enough performers yet. The MC is keen though and that is all to the good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 11:29 AM

I go to a local open mic fairly regularly - you might want to think about:

1. Mic/PA sound. Don't be over-ruled by the guy doing the sound levels/mixing levels. Before you start, check you've got the sound you want and don't start doing your thing until you're happy with volume level, tone balance, etc.

2. The mic is an instrument - use it like one. Get good sound balance about 12" from it - then you can lay back and give your own voice projection some volume away from it, or ease into it and whisper sweet and low - or any combination of the two depending on the effect you want.

3. Accept that many people at an open mic are only interested in their own performance - they'll ignore other people who perform and chat away. Where you get a lot of amateur performers, it's essentially a fairly selfish environment. The one I attend has lots of good players, so there's a lot of respect and a reasonably interested audience. So treat it as a rehearsal session for yourself, to give you some performing experience, and don't worry too much about the actual reception.

Good luck!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: saulgoldie
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 12:29 PM

From Kathy Mattea:
"You got to sing like you don't need the money..."

Sing for yourself. And if folks hear you and like it, so much the better. IMHO.

Saul


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 12:41 PM

Just go along with the idea that what really should be the best of all audiences, will always turn out to be the very worst.

But if you can play to that audience - then you can play to any sudience.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 01:14 PM

Doing a set in a Pub environment is vastly different to a Folk club !
At the club , people are there to listen , whereas in a pub , for the majority its just Audio Wallpaper . The thing with an Open Mic is to use it as a 'live ' rehearsal , snd try to develop your technique with Microphones etc .
Best of luck


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: paul vaughan
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 01:24 PM

I started an open mic night about 10 months ago and it's only really got going this last few weeks, so please hang in there it may take a while to pick up.
From a technical point of wiew, I have a condenser mic for occasional use on acoustic instruments but it is also great for vocals when you need a more sesitive response, it needs careful handling as it is prone to feedback but may be worth suggesting to your guy.
By the way, where is this held? You might pick up a few punters from here!!

Best of luck,

Paul.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 01:41 PM

terrific experience. You'll learn more about real folk music, and making an effort to perform, and communicating with an audience than just working to audiences that fawn on you politely.

You will also learn to be philosophical - sometimes you meet people who are so partisan they make noises through everybody else's act - there are some really horrid characters.   And you just have to accept defeat, but decide this is what I want to do. Its important to me. Prats of any colour will not stop me. This is wonderful training for ignoring some of the human warts on the folkscene.

And in the final accounting its all profit, and you will return to folk clubs with more appreciation, more ability, more confidence - and probably less patience for the people who haven't bothered acquiring those skills.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: tonyteach1
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 01:45 PM

Sorry but it is an opportunity to hone your performing skills and learn to use a mike
also everyone will be nervous and focussed on their own performance. It is up to you as a performer to learn to project your personality so that the audience listen to you

Thats the art of performing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 03:01 PM

pretty much what others have said.sometimes it goes well and people encourage and sometimes its hard to identify anyone listening at all.
but sometimes even then someone later has enthused about the performance,- to my surprise.i try to encourage others as they might be thinking the same.i hope it picks up and more come.one thing i find encouraging is seeing audience listening as they are not worried about getting up and are there to listen.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Bert
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 03:23 PM

Performing in a pub is more demanding than on a stage, but it will give you skills that will benefit your stage performances.

1. You need to connect with the audience, look at them, catch an eye or two here and there.

2. Your repertoire will need to be different. Pub audiences will ignore dreary poems and ballads but will light up to lively tunes. Also give saucy, bawdy and suggestive songs a try. Pub audiences will respond better.

3. You will need to put more energy in your performance. Take that microphone off of the stand, hold it upright just below your mouth and sing over the top of it, let them see your face. Move about the stage, turn your body to face the member of the audience that you are looking at.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Blues=Life
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 04:34 PM

"Get good sound balance about 12" from it - then you can lay back and give your own voice projection some volume away from it, or ease into it and whisper sweet and low - or any combination of the two depending on the effect you want."

"Take that microphone off of the stand, hold it upright just below your mouth and sing over the top of it, let them see your face."

This is very interesting advice. Totally wrong, in my opinion, but interesting. :) It may be just where and how I'm used to performing.

When I sing blues with a band, if I was off the mic 12", all you would get would be feedback from the guitars. The louder the background, the closer you need to be to the mic. That's why the Monitor levels are so important... otherwise, how would you know if your voice is cutting through the mix?

And the advice to hold the mic upright under your mouth might work for the spoken word, but it's not what you want for singing. 30 some years ago, when I started singing with a mic, the advice was to hold it like a coke bottle when you're taking a drink. Sing right into the mic, not over the top of it. People shouldn't care what your face looks like, they want to hear your voice. A good mic, like a Shure 57, is unidirectional. It NEEDS you to sing into it.

Oh, and that's the last thing. Use a good vocal mic. All microphones are not created equal. I play my harp into a Shaker mic, and then step up to the Shure 57 to sing. The harmonica sounds great through my Shaker, and I sound, well, like me when I'm on the Shure. A condenser mic works great in studios and with choirs, but I'll agree that feedback is an issue in a bar.

My Two Cents. Spend them as you wish.

:)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 04:50 PM

Northern-

I believe you said you were singing unaccompanied. In that case you probably need to be a lot closer than 12 inches from the mic, depending on how loud the song is. In my case, assuming the mic is similar to a Shure 57, I'd sing a ballad about 3-4 inches from the mic, and a loud shanty 5-6 inches from the mic.

It is also important to stay focused on the mic with your mouth, not wander about from side to side or up or down.

The sound manager should be your friend. Ask him or her what would be best for you.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: foggers
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 05:48 PM

Good points made; use it as a chance to hone your performance skills. The thing might grow in popularity and become more lively which will give you more folks to watch and pick up some tips from. See if you can talk to the bod on the sound desk to find out what kinds of mike are being used and the best distance to position yourself.

In terms of repertoire I agree that shorter punchy numbers with a jokey or bawdy edge or a twist in the tale are good material to use. Make sure you know the material well and focus on delivering the song through the mic. It will get easier with practice!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 05:59 PM

If you're singing in a blues band then of course you'd need a totally different relationship to a mic than singing solo. But you're not in a blue band - which is quite obvious from your opening post - so that advice is pointless. If you're too close to a mic then there's the possibility of plosives popping and other extraneous noises coming across. Get a decent balance without being too close or too far away and then vary your distance as you need to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Acorn4
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 06:11 PM

Sometimes people are listening "out of the corner of their ear".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:03 PM

Advantages of people talking over your set: When everyone shuts up and listens, you know you've done good. I had it happen last week, and I'm still scared.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: GUEST,Klumper
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:23 PM

Caution is advised re: direct eye contact and projecting body language towards certain individuals in local pub audiences.

Beware potential bunny boiler stalker groupies; or psychotic possessive husbands and boyfriends !!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:54 PM

Something to think about when you are in a noisy environment.

Once you are set up and singing, never try to out shout a noisy crowd. You can't win!

What always seems to work for me is to perform a really good song at very low volume.

I find that some of the audience become aware that they can't hear me very well, and they start shushing others until the noise level dies away.

If I've chosen the song well, I've usually got an attentive and moderately quiet crowd for the rest of the set.

If nothing works, just put it down to experience and don't lose heart. Next week's crowd may be totally different.

It often is hard work, but sooner or later you'll get that silent pause after a song, followed by genuinely enthusiastic applause, and there's no better buzz than that.

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: CupOfTea
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 08:22 PM

I've been doing open mics regularly for the last couple years, mostly with the same MC/soundguy in a couple different coffeehouses. One place the people are polite, listen, or keep conversations down to a quiet level in the back. The other place intermittently noisy. As Acorn said above, some places vary from week to week. Charlie, who's been hosting these open mics in three locations a week for YEARS is unfailingly encouraging, gentle with people who aren't very good (like me at the start!) and quick to ask the assembled crowd to respect the performers. He's also been known to gently ridicule the folks who have the regular habit of only staying til they play. If they still don't get the ethos of listening to everybody, he'll schedule them later in the evening.

I do a different monthly open mic that's a good distance from home because it's such a great group of people. They inisist on acoustic only, and no poetry. I've never seen a dud performance there & it's made me do the absolute best I can each time. There are AUDIENCE regulars who come to listen each month. Some of the performers have recordings already or are professionals in their day jobs (one songwriter is a church musician for a living).

There aren't enough days in my week to try out all the open mics, so I've kept to a couple.There are open mics with rock, blues or Christian orientation available in ny area. I found the ones where my style of traditionally based song would work best. If you are in at the outset of of an open mic, you can help shape what it will be like by being a reliable regular. Encourage people YOU would like to hear to particpate. Get used to folks talking while you sing, without letting it distract you. (something I learned the hard way in Irish sessions). Just as there are nights you'll be great and others not so great - so 'tis for the whole evening. That variation in quality and possibility of surprises is what makes an open mic the adventure it is.

Joanne in Cleveland


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 06:18 AM

My experience as audience at a weekly open mic is similar to Will Fly's above. As encouragement, I can say that I've watched several people grow from being nervous first-time public performers to confident ones who now get paid gigs. The styles vary, not all to my taste, but I'm impressed how many young peole are accomplished performers on their instrument. The standing joke, if it loks as if the line-up is a bit thin, is:"Roger, have you got your kazoo?" (does the Pope crap in the Vatican?) which usually stimulates someone else to get up and fill the slot! It is for young talented performers to gain confidence rather than ancient and too confident no-talents like me to empty the room!
It does fill the pub on a dead night.

Roger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: matt milton
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 06:47 AM

"The thing with an Open Mic is to use it as a 'live ' rehearsal , snd try to develop your technique with Microphones etc"

I agree. I have a love/hate relationships with open mics. Sometimes I find the fact that few people really listen renders the whole thing pointless. Sometimes I really relish that and take the opportunity to throw caution to the wind, trying out new songs I haven't properly prepared yet, or trying out fiddly riffs/ad libs I wouldn't dare to try in a pin-drop-quiet environment.

(Of course, there are some exceptional open mics that are great, where everybody listens, and the standard is just as high as at a folk club.)

I quite like the "entertainment" side of open mics: I'll tend to use the opportunity to try a few new covers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 06:48 AM

"Take that microphone off of the stand, hold it upright just below your mouth and sing over the top of it"

Nope, completely wrong.
Microphones (especially dynamics like the ubiquitous Shure SM58's that you usually find provided for vocals at open-mics) should be sung into (as Blues=Life says, like a coke-bottle when you're taking a drink), not across. If you sing over a mic, it doesn't pick up so well, and it will sound thin and 'gutless'.

I partially agree with Will, in that you need to be slightly off the mic, but 12" seems too far for a mic such as an SM58, and would make most peoples' voices who aren't used to working a mic sound thin and pretty inaudible - 3" to 4" works better, 2" best IME. 12" may work for someone who's developed fottball-bladder lungs and leather-tonsils from years of un-mic'd singing, but in a noisy pub you need to be on the mic, not pulled back from it.


Usual disclaimers...IMHO, done it for 50 years, etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 06:50 AM

Fottball???

F***ing dyslexic fingers!! FOOTBALL!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 07:20 AM

leather-tonsils from years of un-mic'd singing

Yup - that's me! I quite enjoy fottball, by the way - or should that be frottball...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 07:41 AM

Me too, Will, and I enjoy fottball too. Not sure about frottball though! :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Northerner
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 09:42 AM

Thank you all for the feedback. It sounds as if I am doing the right thing - and for all the right reasons. A chance to add to and try out new material for my repertoire and to do it in a live environment. And to improve my performance skills. I should be having some coaching in how to work with a microphone soon in a poetry workshop that I go to.

I'm trying to use a different repertoire of songs than I would want to use in the folk clubs. The first songs I sang at the pub were The Wild Mountain Thyme, The Lord of the Dance and The Lewis Bridal Song - all chorus songs. Perhaps a little hackneyed for folk clubs but I was hoping that some of the pub audience may have heard some of them before. Seemed to be right because I bumped into one of the bar staff the day after and she said she reccgnised one of my songs -she also said "Well done!"

Thank you for all of the advice. I will read it over now more thoroughly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 10:04 AM

Most all of the sessions or "open mic nights"(call them what you will) around here that I have attended in Sevenoaks, Southborough, Tonbridge area and Romney Street have been held in parts of the pub, dedicated to that event so the problem of clashing with people who are there just for a drink and a chat never arises. Aim for those type of venues and your performing experiences will be much the better enjoyed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 10:06 AM

Which pub is it?

I live near you. I have run into you at Stockton Folk Club.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Northerner
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 12:37 PM

Hi Tootler. It is the Coronation, on the corner of Acklam Road in Middlesbrough. Thursday nights from 7.30 onwards. We are needing performers!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Bert
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 12:57 PM

I'll say it again ..."Take that microphone off of the stand, hold it upright just below your mouth and sing over the top of it"...

Well I learned that technique about half a century ago when I was square dance calling and HAD to be understood.

I know that microphones have changed a lot over the years and many modern ones have been made idiot and amateur proof, so that you can sing directly into them without explosive popping. But you will still find many venues that use omnidirectional moving coils where the technique will work well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 01:49 PM

Since I'm not a musician, my open mike experiences have been reading poetry, but some of them have mixed poetry and music. The big problem that I've noticed is that too many venue managers seem to think that all music, including laid-back, intimate folk songs, will sound better if they are amplified at REALLY HIGH VOLUME. Preferably over a cruddy cheap sound system which will sound even more painful than usual at REALLY HIGH VOLUME. And best of all is music played over a cruddy sound system in a room with brittle bounce-off-the-wall acoustics at REALLY HIGH VOLUME.

Blues or rock at a bar might have some some excuse for being played at REALLY HIGH VOLUME so it can be heard over the enveloping cacaphonous bacchanal. But a coffee house? A folk-and-poetry open mike? Perhaps some venue managers reading this could explain what perplexing process of ratiocination leads to the conclusion that this is what their patrons want.

Jon Corelis
Kaleidoscope: Great Poems Set to Music


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 01:53 PM

"Thank you all for the feedback. It sounds as if I am doing the right thing """

:)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 03:23 PM

Don't use an SM57. It has no pop shield. It is an instrumental mic. Use an SM58 or better a series 1 AKGD880S, AND put a pop shield on. Sing into the mic, but not TOOO close. About a thumb's length to a handswidth off your nose is good. Maybe a bit closer or further away depending on how much proximity effect (the bass boost when you get really close to a cardiod or supercardiod mic) you are going to want and how often you are going to want it. The nose is an important resonant cavity.

The foldback (or monitors) are there so YOU can hear what you are doing. They are NOT the same mix as the front of house. With them set right you will hear only them (maybe a bit of acoustic sound from your own guitar and/or the sound of the backline - oh, and the drummer) and maybe a bit of woolly backwash from the FoH (bass is omnidirectional, treble is very directional). You DON'T need kick drum or bass guitar in the monitors.

Be awkward until the monitors are right - not providing what you want to sound like but providing what you need to make sure you are in time and in tune and the right level relative to the other members of the band (if you are sharing a mix - it differs if there are several monitor channels). The soundman SHOULD have headphones switchable to every monitor channel and do exactly that.

Only after the monitor is right should the sound man then bring up the front of house - and you have to trust him to get that right. You can't hear it. I usually bring the kick drum up to instant puke (if I have enough power) and then turn it down a bit and then add other stuff over it. It may help to have a sensible and knowledgeable friend who understands your band and your sound and sound production stand next to the soundman to advise - not to criticise, to advise.

Oh, and if the soundman is not driving, a beer for him is good too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 04:13 PM

Don't you know the look of shame?...well, look of shamING. Think of any teacher you've ever had. He/she would walk into the classroom while all the students were chatting away. Then she/he'd say something and/or give a look to shut everyone up. Cultivate that.

I am only partly being serious. But yeah, eye contact with audience helps to get their attention. If you are "reading" poetry off of paper and your eyes are down, then you don't have much chance. Memorize it; perform it. If music, greet the audience first. Let your intent be known that you are engaging them. Otherwise they will tune you out as "background" music. People are so accustomed to background music these days that when a performance happens they often assume it means "OK everybody, now is your turn to talk freely." The "backround" even makes some people feel more comfortable about talking. as it's a kind of noise that makes their own conversations feel less naked.

I sing at a weekly open mic which is small enough that I actually never use the mic (everyone else does). Funny thing, while other people are strumming guitars and have their head into the mic, I have my head up and I'm in front of mic (closer to audience), even moving towards individuals. I don't know if it's just shame or actual interest in what this weird fellow is doing singing so loudly standing in the "middle" of the room, but everyone shuts up and listens!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: GUEST,Guest Mikel2
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 09:56 AM

hi

Don(Wyziwyg)T has given some good advice - it's spot on.

Something I did when in a similar situation is to try to contact any friends to see if they play or sing and/or they like folk music. Get them to come as a party to help you feel at home. Worked for me cos they helped "control" the noisy parts of the audience.

Just be yourself and go with the flow. Everyone has to start sometime. You will find that you will get more support than aggravation.

Cheers
MikeL2


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Blues=Life
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 06:30 AM

Richard, you are so right about the SM58. I kept trying to type an 8, but these damn fingers kept putting in a "7"! Bad fingers, bad!

Shure says that 0-6" away works in loud environments, and 6" or more works for more natural sound. I always try to get folks to be able to put their slightly spread hand between lips and mic. And if someone stays to close? I turn them down. A lot.

I would say in this environment 6-8" is a good distance. I would also say to talk to the sound guy, and of course buy him a beer! He can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Make him your friend!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Northerner
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 06:45 AM

Thank you all. My most recent night went better for me. The first two songs were a bit early in the evening. Later was better - I sang a third song. Quite a number of the singers like the 60s, so I sang some of the songs that were popular at that period - Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, We Shall Overcome, and Copper Kettle. I got a very good reception to the one later in the evening and one of the audience came up to me after it and said I was a beautiful singer. Very welcome praise! It's lovely being appreciated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 06:57 AM

I like Crappy Kettle. A useful reminder of the last time the US used its official army against its civilian population protesting an unfair policy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Feb 12 - 11:43 AM

Northerner,

Thursday's not a good night for me, unfortunately. I go to the Wilson's club at the Welly that night.

There's an open mic at Middlesbrough Rugby club on the fourth Tuesday of the month. I have been thinking of trying it as I know one or two people who go, but haven't got round to it yet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Performing at pub open mic sessions
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 12 - 07:36 AM

..."Take that microphone off of the stand, hold it upright just below your mouth and sing over the top of it"...

Are you the guy that advised John Major on microphone technique during his orange box/ save the pound bus tour?

The technique you mention DID enable JM to make himself heard above catcalls like 'Oy John! Still shagging the cook...?' and similar witticisms and pleasantries, but he didn't half look a prat. Although to be fair, JM got it a bit wrong and held the microphone under his nose.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 September 6:36 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.