Here is the results of my open mic “7 Day Mini Tour – Feb 24th – Mar 2nd“.
- Jam session at the Black Lion Pub (performed Saturday February 24)
- Brutopia (performed Sunday February 25)
- Ye Olde Orchard (performed Monday February 26)
- Grumpy’s (performed Tuesday February 27)
- Jam session at Crobar (I showed up but they cancelled the event Wednesday February 28)
- Mariposa (Performed Thursday March 1)
- I found an open Jam in someone’s house in Roxboro, QC. (Performed March 2)
Well after the week, I had a new perspective on endurance and stamina… you can only build stamina by doing the gigs, not just by practicing alone or as a group in the basement. Like Joe Walsh says, “You play for 2 years in the basement until you no longer sound like “sh*t”, then you go through the whole process again when you start to play live… you sound like “sh*t” until you’ve done it for 2 years, recording… (not word for word, but this is the essence of his message.)
So a few lessons learned:
- When you challenge yourself, make it a bit harder than what you would feel comfortable with. 7 nights in a row is harder than it seems… by Wednesday , day 4, I was feeling the exhaustion from working during the day and playing at night.
- Have several songs at an open mic, because if someone before you plays a song you will be doing, you should not play the same song. You need some alternate songs.
- Select your songs in an order that makes some sense, or builds to some planned conclusion. Treat it like a mini set. Also, at some open mics people like to sing along, try to have a song they can join in on.
- Have some business cards with you.
- You can ask your audience, that if they take pictures or video to post them on social media with your hashtag. In my case “#bernielandry” or #bernieonthestick”.
- Get to know the staff and the key people who might book or refer you.
- Accept comments in a professional manner. Audience participant “Wow, you were fantastic”, you reply “Oh, it’s nothing, I made a few mistakes…” NOT! Answer more like “Thank you, the practicing is paying off”. (You know more about what you are doing than the audience. If they like it, accept graciously.
- Network with other musicians
- Have a good time.
Of course there are many more, but suffice it to say that, everyone’s experience is different.
As a closing note, a few of my musician friends commented on how the “7 Day Mini Tour” was a cool idea.
Now that’s cool that I inspired others with this simple experiment.
Experiment, get out there and make it happen.
Have any open mic stories of your own, please leave a comment and share.
PS: A shout out to The Audio Barn for listing all the open mics in Montreal