Some Live Gig Observations

If you are not doing live gigs, then selling music online and trying to be a professional musician is a huge uphill battle. Mainly because if no one has heard of you why would they even listen to your music, not to mention even have heard of you?

Bernie practicing the Chapman StickIn todays music industry, live is the fastest way to some level of success. Playing live is not for the faint at heart, but it can be overcome.

If you have never played live, an open mic is probably a good way to start.

Performing solo is the most logical way to start, and that was the case for me. I can sing and accompany myself so that is how I started gigging in this new music business model.

So here are some observations I have seen…

  • Memorize at least 6 songs of varying tempos and keys so you can do an open mic.
  • Challenging yourself is the best thing you can do to improve quickly.
  • Stick around after an open mic and network with the other performers.
  • Practice singing with a mic on your own and looking up at the crowd (even if they are not theatre when you practice.)
  • Use a tuner and tune before going on stage.
  • Arrive early.
  • Bring business cards, post cards and other items, because some people will want your contact info.
  • Know your instrument and set up requirements. Be in control of your sound as much as you can before you are connected to the sound system.

Now this is not an all inclusive list and I will add more items in a future post.

If you have any observations, please feel free to comment.

PS: always be prepared to listen and learn!

Another open mic night

It’s open mic night at Brutopia on Crescent street in Montreal.

Brutopia stage
Elisha setting up the stage

Tonight I played Stick with no effects or any other gadgets or looper.

I have no choice because all my gear is at home except my Chapman Stick and 1 cable.

So let’s make the best of what I have and make it as percussive as is possible. After all it’s a solo performance….

(1 hr later) played 4 songs:

  • Stormy Monday
  • The Lie
  • Cause we’ve ended as lovers
  • I’m a Man

Very well received but a bit awkward without the effects pedals and my amp. Played through the house system.

A very laid back but wonderful crowd.

Look forward to do it again.

Thanks to Elisha (the musician who hosted), Wes (The bar man with great insight into Vietnamese coffee), Kamal (musician / music enthusiast) and everyone at Brutopia.