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BS: playing in public

mike putt 11 Sep 01 - 03:55 PM
MMario 11 Sep 01 - 04:08 PM
Chicken Charlie 11 Sep 01 - 04:30 PM
Jelly bean 12 Sep 01 - 05:07 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Sep 01 - 10:54 AM
Pelrad 12 Sep 01 - 11:07 AM
Mrrzy 12 Sep 01 - 11:12 AM
Cappuccino 12 Sep 01 - 11:21 AM
KingBrilliant 12 Sep 01 - 11:25 AM
sophocleese 12 Sep 01 - 12:21 PM
mike putt 12 Sep 01 - 05:09 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 12 Sep 01 - 05:23 PM
Maryrrf 12 Sep 01 - 05:44 PM
breezy 12 Sep 01 - 06:15 PM
RichM 12 Sep 01 - 07:26 PM
53 12 Sep 01 - 09:33 PM
Mudlark 12 Sep 01 - 11:00 PM
Cappuccino 13 Sep 01 - 02:40 AM
Pelrad 13 Sep 01 - 08:22 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 13 Sep 01 - 08:31 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Sep 01 - 08:46 AM
Maryrrf 13 Sep 01 - 09:20 AM
O'Trasno 13 Sep 01 - 10:33 AM
Jeanie 13 Sep 01 - 11:05 AM
O'Trasno 13 Sep 01 - 12:05 PM
Hamish 14 Sep 01 - 08:26 AM
Cappuccino 15 Sep 01 - 03:43 AM
Cappuccino 15 Sep 01 - 04:12 AM
BlueJay 16 Sep 01 - 03:26 AM
mike putt 16 Sep 01 - 03:50 AM
Cappuccino 16 Sep 01 - 04:49 AM
Dead Horse 16 Sep 01 - 06:52 AM

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Subject: playing in public
From: mike putt
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 03:55 PM

I want to play in public, I am nervous but confident. I have suggested to my wife that I play in our local bar but she says she would be embarrassed my own lads all teenagers say I should go for it. Should I go to a strange bar were there is a session. What should I do. I am going to England for a week on my own next week I am thinking of bringing the guitar as I know a folk club in Newbury that welcomes visitors. advice please


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: MMario
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 04:08 PM

Take the guitar and try a session in England - but I would also talk to your wife - Why would she be embarrassed about your playing in a local bar?

after all,if your *kids* say go for it - you can be pretty sure that it won't be embarassing - because teenage kids are pretty dang sensative to having their parents do anything embarassing...


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 04:30 PM

Mike--

A guitarist in our group wants to add his baritone voice to our arrangements but is insecure and keeps asking the rest of us for "guidance." Finally I said, "The only guidance I can possibly give is for you to step up and do it." We've all started somewhere. If you flop in a bar, what's the damage done, on a cosmic scale?? If you don't debut, you'll never go on to improve. There are things about performing in public which ONLY performing in public can teach you. This is heretical, but as one married man to another, I'm not even that concerned about what your S.O. thinks (on this topic, that is). Mine has such different taste in music as well as different standards for what works and doesn't that I'm frankly not sure (with all due respect) that her opinion counts. After all, we married for love, not to co-produce a music group, if you see what I'm sayin'. CARPE DIEM, and whatever else you find lying about.

Chicken Charlie


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Jelly bean
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 05:07 AM

Come to Ripon Folk Club North yorkshire - sing-a-round every Sunday night at 8.30 pm you would be very welcome - If you are likely to be in the area let me know and I will post directions - Regards Ann


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 10:54 AM

Mike, I agree with the others about stepping up and singing.

I don't sing often, but I do once in a while. There are worthwhile songs that need to be heard more often. Pick something you like. A bonus point if it's unfamiliar to the rest of the group around, since that way they can learn a new song or tune.


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Pelrad
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:07 AM

Go for it, Mike. I would have a conversation with your wife to figure out what is behind her disapproval, but I wouldn't necessarily abide by her wishes. My husband was raised in a family where music and artistists are not suffered lightly, and he has a very difficult time reconciling himself to the idea that I sing. But music and the need to sing are such a fundamental part of my being that I can't allow his difficulty to stand in my way. I just wonder if your wife has similar issues...

At any rate, she can't be "embarrassed" by you all the way over in England, so I say do it!


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:12 AM

Just do it, say I, who hasn't had the gumption to do it myself yet - at least I've sung in front of Mudcatters I'd never met before, none of whom fell down laughing, but not yet in front of REAL strangers...If the wife is embarrassed by it, just remember all the things you COULD be doing that would be WAY more embarrassing!


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Cappuccino
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:21 AM

Can I offer a sort of psychological bonus? The very moment that you stand up in front of others - YOU are in absolute command, because you know what you're going to do, and they don't. The big difference, and I speak from awful experience, is in missing this psychological 'plus', and giving in to nerves at the very point at which you are actually in control!

Enjoy the experience of that moment, and it will serve you well.

Good luck!

- Ian B.


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:25 AM

Mike - is it a general session/singaround thing at your local bar? If so then I'd say go for it at the local. They'll be chuffed to see an erstwhile listener get up and have a go. Leave the wife at home if she'll be embarassed - take her along the second time.
you might as well crack the home turf first off.
Bestof luck,
Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: sophocleese
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 12:21 PM

Go for it! Once you get up there you may find that you love it and think of the pleasure you will have missed if you don't try it. YOu may make a mistake or two because you are nervous but it doesn't matter, you're far from alone. Play something you love and can play backwards and forwards easily. That way you'll have a less of a chance of making a mistake, or any that you make you can recover from quickly, and the love of the piece will show through and that's a lot of what people like to see in a performer.


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: mike putt
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 05:09 PM

many thanks to all that replied. England here I come


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 05:23 PM

I agree with Sophocleese. If you're not use to doing so, get comfortable with the song.

I usually walk a lot of places. There are still lots of places in town where you can sing at the top of your voice, if you wish, and not irritate people. So, if you need to practice, away from the wifey, start taking long walks. Say near the waterfront, or along a railroad track. Once you're familiar with the songs you want to sing, and you are comfortable singing them out loud, you should do fine.


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Maryrrf
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 05:44 PM

I've had two husbands (I'm now happily single!) who ridiculed my singing and did everything possible to sabotage and discourage me from singing in public. This despite the fact that I met the second one while I was out performing, and at the time was earning pretty good money at it. I have to say that I would seriously question why your spouse is not encouraging you to do something you obviously want to do and which is harmless! It's not something that's going to cost money, if you're up on stage singing you're not chasing women...I don't understand her problem. Well I won't get into marriage counselling but I would advise you to go ahead and sing at the local bar, and also in England, and wherever else you want to if they'll let you - open mikes around town, etc. I would leave the wife at home, however, as if she's not supportive I think that would be a drag and would make you nervous. Go for it - the worst that can happen is that you'll bomb and I've done that plenty of times (as I'd be willing to bet most of us who perform have!). I've also had some very good singing gigs where the audience obviously enjoyed the performance and I felt very good about that. Performing takes practice and you'll never get that if you don't just do it! I have two sons and one of them is very proud of his old mom and the other thinks it's absolute foolishness. But at this point I don't let the nay sayers affect me anymore! If the audience will listen, I will sing!


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: breezy
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 06:15 PM

hello Mike yould be welcome at the bull in redbourn on a monday for our informal sing and we are much closer than ripon to newbury as we are in hertfordshire england. go for it ,check your guitar's in tune, make yourself comfortable, do not apologise, look 'em in ,the eyes, sing from the heart, and as you sing, sing out, sing clearly, sing loud ? and once you start dont stop but keep going.well done kids.enjoy england.


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: RichM
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 07:26 PM

I encourage you to do an open stage--you know, where you can do 2 or 3 songs. Pick songs that you know very well! Don't worry about being embarrassed, or about making mistakes....You will!

But it's part of the process of learning...go for it!

And tell us about it after.

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: 53
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 09:33 PM

we are going to perform in public for the third time this coming saturday nite. what we do is practice the songs that we will be performing for the entire week before we go and then we just go and give it our best shot.


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Mudlark
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:00 PM

Mike...I too am a nervous performer (thanks, Ian, for the great tip about remembering who's in control!). The few times I've pushed past the fear I've felt great afterward....just choose songs you know backward and forward, songs you love and have sung a million times...and aren't too tricky! Best of luck!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Cappuccino
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 02:40 AM

Thank you, Mudlark. There's a great writer of contemporary Christian music (and I don't mean the wimpish kind, I mean the genuinely great kind) called Don Francisco, from Colorado. He told me something interesting about practising until you know things backwards and forwards - he said that when something really unexpected crops up, and it may simply be nerves, then you can have great confidence in your 'automatic pilot' being able to take over, while your conscious self gets it back together.

For myself, I suffer an occasional bizarre problem with this. When I'm convinced I know something backwards... well, it sounds as if I'm playing it that way!

- IanB


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Pelrad
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 08:22 AM

Mike, practice some grounding techniques along with your songs. It's a thousand times easier to stay calm onstage if you've already practiced some ways to be in control of your breathing, posture and nervousness. What works well for me is to remember to breathe deeply, take my time starting, and "grow roots" through the stage and deep into the ground. That keeps me standing straight and not leaning on one leg, and keeps me centered.

It also helps if you start with something you know so well you could sing it in your sleep. First song is not the time for your master showpiece; save it for third if you can, because by then you will be relaxed and able to do it justice.


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 08:31 AM

Good one, Pelrad, the 'rooted feet' thing was suggested to me by a friend once and it works for me. Flat foot and foursquare.


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 08:46 AM

It's not clear what your local bar is but if it's not a regular folk venue, I would suggest it is best avoided. Also, I would suggest that a venue that works informally is rather easier than a something like a singers night in a folk club where people typically get up in front of a mic to sing as you do tend to feel that little bit (sometimes a lot) more exposed when on stage.

As others have said, pick something you are familiar with and feel comfortable with but don't be surprised if the odd mistake occurs. Where I seem to disagree with many comments above is the value of knowing a song backwards. This is just my experience but I find that if a song is going to go wrong, it will do - even if its something like the Wild Rover that I've done thousands of times.

What I've found most valuable is learning the ability to recover when things do go wrong and I would put this down far more to experience than how well I know a song - something like singing "I've forgotten the bloody words" while keeping the tune going often gives me time enough to think and get back to the song...

One thing with the folk tpye situations is they are usually very friendly and helpful. I'd bet loads of us have been rescued by prompts for words from others...

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Maryrrf
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 09:20 AM

While it's true that you can mess up even on a song you know by heart and have done hundreds of times (I know, I've done it) I've found if you have the slightest hesitation when you're practicing you'll definitely forget it when you're on stage. So it is very very important to practice until you know it cold! Especially if you're just starting out - I can only reiterate the advice to do songs you're very comfortable and familiar with. Good luck! Oh by the way - I agree that if your local bar isn't a folk venue forget it. It'll be very difficult to win the audience over and that might really damage your confidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: O'Trasno
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 10:33 AM

Mike,

you might find it useful to check out another thread if you haven't already spotted it.First hand experiences instead of advice!

trasno


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Jeanie
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 11:05 AM

Mike - you describe yourself as "nervous but confident." I reckon that's the best combination for any performer and the best recipe for success. The groundwork and rehearsal give you the confidence, the nerves keep you focussed on the present moment. Go for it - and I bet you'll be back for more. Break a leg ! By the way - and this certainly applies in the theatre - audiences actually like it when things break, collapse or go wrong. So don't worry if it goes a bit awry at times, just smile, keep going and they'll love you for it !


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: O'Trasno
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 12:05 PM

OOPS! that last post from me should have included the words: YOUR FIRST TIME:BE HONEST ... perhaps this makes more sense now?!


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Hamish
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 08:26 AM

Mike:

Have a look at this which has some hints and tips for first timers, including Floorsinging for beginners and First time nerves. Also a link to Tudor Folk Club which isn't ever so far from Newbury.

And, yes, GO FOR IT!


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Cappuccino
Date: 15 Sep 01 - 03:43 AM

Hamish, that's a super couple of links.

- IanB


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Cappuccino
Date: 15 Sep 01 - 04:12 AM

Oh, Mike, there was something else I was stupid enough to forget... whatever you do, don't try to 'impress' them on a first attempt, settle for 'entertaining' them. Something enjoyable, played simply, is a sight more effective than trying to impress their socks off with how clever you are.

Oh, the number of times I've got that one wrong... !!! - IanB


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: BlueJay
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 03:26 AM

Mike- Lots of good advice here. I keep wondering, does your wife play or sing with you? Is that why she's shy?

The only remedy for stage fright is to get up on stage and do it. You seem confident in your abilities, but the principle is the same even if you know only three chords. Do it, whether at a local venue or out of town.

Our band has played some awful venues. And some really good ones as well. You never know until you get there and play. But our motto is to never turn down an opportunity to play, if feasible, even into the unknown. You will learn a helluva lot at each gig, whether it turns out good or bad. Thanks, BlueJay


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: mike putt
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 03:50 AM

Thanks everyone Lots of good advice, my own problem stems from the fact that I am self taught and so not used to playing with other people, my wifes problem is the fact that " A " She is quite shy and " B " I think she is afraid of me bombing . Now one other point is that I have played in public once. I was drunk and I paid a passing musician 10 pounds to borrow his guitar and he stood beside me and we both sang as I played at the Gaelic football game between Dublin and Kerry in Thurles, Co Tipp. this year. We made 40 pounds in about 20/25 minutes split it 50/50 and I joined my pals and drank a few more pints, but what I want to do is beat the nerves and play on a regular basis, not for money but for pleasure


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Cappuccino
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 04:49 AM

You can borrow my guitar for ten quid every time!

Good luck - Ian B


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Subject: RE: BS: playing in public
From: Dead Horse
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 06:52 AM

Don't do it. Elvis did it once, and just look what happened to him!


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