5 Great Open Mic Night Tips For Musicians

After you learn to play a certain instrument or join a band, there will come a time where you will want to share your talent with the world. One of the best places to begin your performing career is at Open Mic Nights. You can find Open Mic Nights in just about-about every town, and a quick search on the internet in your area will uncover a list of them including the days of the weeks and times available.


When I first started playing at open mics, I wish someone would have given me a few pointers and tips to make my experience a better one. So with that in mind, this post is directed at saving you some growing pains when you fell it's your time to take the stage and share your talent. Here are the 5 tips for a great open mic night:


1. Lighten Up

Think of an open mic night as practice. Don't take it so serious. It should be fun, not nerve racking. Remember this is not your big shot to make it. Open mics are for testing out your material, working on your performance, and for networking with other musicians, so keep it light-hearted and fun.


2. Focus on the Other Performers and Audience

Remember it's not all about you. Before your performance, take your attention off yourself and pay attention to the other performers. Listen to their lyrics, melodies, guitar riffs, and give them sincere feedback and support. Observe the room, watch how the fans react to the other performers. It's easy to get nervous when you think it's all about you.


3. Tell The Audience About Yourself

Although it's not all about you, the audience is much more likely to stay engaged if they like you. Don't give them your entire life story, just a little background in a few sentences such as where you're from, what you do for a living, what made you start playing music, anything to help them better understand where you are coming from.


4. Tell the Audience About Your Song

A song may mean a lot to you but if the audience doesn't understand it, they are more likely to tune you out. For example, I have a song that I wrote about a situation where I went to the grocery store and tried to dodge an old friend because I didn't feel like talking called "No Offense". Every time I play the song, I tell people what the song is about and it is amazing how people stay engaged, laughing and nodding their heads. The funny thing is that the song itself is not that great, but people can relate to it, so they get into it.


5. Keep It Short

When doing originals, audiences typically have a shorter attention span than with songs/artists that they already know, which is why many bands do cover songs. Keep your songs under 4 minutes, preferably 2 - 3 minutes. Save your long drawn out instrumental parts for your album or solo shows. Your audience will thank you



So there you have it. Follow these steps, and you will have the crowd nodding, clapping, and patting you on the back in no time. And remember: "Life is an experiment, not a test. It's not about what you do or who you are. It's about how you do what you do and how you become who you are that's important, so enjoy it!"

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What are some other great open mic night tips?

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