Into the unknown.........

Guitar Tricks Forum > The Musician's Life > Into the unknown.........

Rufus267

Registered User

Joined: 03/02/17

Posts: 14

Well folks, I only joined very recently, and have about 30 years of inexperience behind me. For YEARS my guitar playing, (at home), has been about 6 chords and a halting, awkward delivery, no vocals and no confidence, (in playing).

Now, I'm 12 months into SERIOUS practise, discovered my voice, and have GT and a real human tutor.

I fully intend to go "out there", even if only to play "open mic nights", and I intend to do this before May 2017.

Here's the question.......

What long term preparation would YOU do? What advice would you give? (I'm 58, btw).

Ta!

R.

#1

Well folks, I only joined very recently, and have about 30 years of inexperience behind me. For YEARS my guitar playing, (at home), has been about 6 chords and a halting, awkward delivery, no vocals and no confidence, (in playing).

Now, I'm 12 months into SERIOUS practise, discovered my voice, and have GT and a real human tutor.

I fully intend to go "out there", even if only to play "open mic nights", and I intend to do this before May 2017.

Here's the question.......

What long term preparation would YOU do? What advice would you give? (I'm 58, btw).

Ta!

R.

Guitar Tricks Admin

Full Access

Joined: 09/28/05

Posts: 2684

Hey Rufus,

Going to open mic nights can be a really fun time! Plus, you're brave for doing something like that.

The best way to prepare is to develop good habits. We recommend you practice 20 to 30 minutes a day, whenever you have time. As long as you practice a little bit each day, it will go a long ways in developing your methods of learning, and the more you practice, the better at practicing you'll become, and before you knowit, you're killing it at the next open mic.

One day at a time.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

#2

Hey Rufus,

Going to open mic nights can be a really fun time! Plus, you're brave for doing something like that.

The best way to prepare is to develop good habits. We recommend you practice 20 to 30 minutes a day, whenever you have time. As long as you practice a little bit each day, it will go a long ways in developing your methods of learning, and the more you practice, the better at practicing you'll become, and before you knowit, you're killing it at the next open mic.

One day at a time.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

Rufus267

Registered User

Joined: 03/02/17

Posts: 14

Thanks, yes... I try to get 1 hours practice per day, but it doesn't always happen, (I often work away for a few days). I think that believng it's possible, (really believing it), is critical to me. But, therein lies the spectre of self delusion too....

#3

Thanks, yes... I try to get 1 hours practice per day, but it doesn't always happen, (I often work away for a few days). I think that believng it's possible, (really believing it), is critical to me. But, therein lies the spectre of self delusion too....

Rufus267

Registered User

Joined: 03/02/17

Posts: 14

Only a few weeks now to my open ham performance..... Any more advice welcomed.

(I meant mic, not ham).

No, wait.... It probably IS ham!

#4

Only a few weeks now to my open ham performance..... Any more advice welcomed.

(I meant mic, not ham).

No, wait.... It probably IS ham!

maggior

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/13

Posts: 1722

Congrats on picking things up and really ramping up your playing. I think you have a great idea getting out to an open mic to start getting out there. Especially when you are starting out, there is nothing like the excitement of performing for an audience.

A few years ago, I was in your position but playing in a band rather than a solo act.

Some random advice based on my experience...

- If you haven't already done so, scope out the open mic venue as an audience member. This way when you come to perform, you will know what to expect.

- Be sure to practice the songs you plan to perform a LOT with the gear you plan on using. If you plan to stand and perform, practice standing up.

- Though you strive for perfection, don't expect it. Don't let a missed chord change, a bum note, fumbled lyrics, or anything like that ruin the experience. Have fun!!!

- When you are practicing, play through your mistakes. On stage, there is no stopping and starting again.

- Choose songs you can play really well and are 100% comfortable with. You will have enough to stress about...you don't need to stress about performing a song that is quite challenging.

- Stick around to watch the other performers. There is nothing worse than going on at the end and there are only 1 or 2 people left. They sat and listened to you, you should return the favor :).

- Talk to your fellow musicians. It's really great to get to know others that have the same passion as you for music. You may very well find a collaboration partner!

- Be respectful to the people running the open mic.

- Understand that each time you get on stage it gets easier. If you are a nervous wreck your first time out, don't let it deter you from going out again.

Hope some of that helps. Have fun and let us know how it goes!!

Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

#5

Congrats on picking things up and really ramping up your playing. I think you have a great idea getting out to an open mic to start getting out there. Especially when you are starting out, there is nothing like the excitement of performing for an audience.

A few years ago, I was in your position but playing in a band rather than a solo act.

Some random advice based on my experience...

- If you haven't already done so, scope out the open mic venue as an audience member. This way when you come to perform, you will know what to expect.

- Be sure to practice the songs you plan to perform a LOT with the gear you plan on using. If you plan to stand and perform, practice standing up.

- Though you strive for perfection, don't expect it. Don't let a missed chord change, a bum note, fumbled lyrics, or anything like that ruin the experience. Have fun!!!

- When you are practicing, play through your mistakes. On stage, there is no stopping and starting again.

- Choose songs you can play really well and are 100% comfortable with. You will have enough to stress about...you don't need to stress about performing a song that is quite challenging.

- Stick around to watch the other performers. There is nothing worse than going on at the end and there are only 1 or 2 people left. They sat and listened to you, you should return the favor :).

- Talk to your fellow musicians. It's really great to get to know others that have the same passion as you for music. You may very well find a collaboration partner!

- Be respectful to the people running the open mic.

- Understand that each time you get on stage it gets easier. If you are a nervous wreck your first time out, don't let it deter you from going out again.

Hope some of that helps. Have fun and let us know how it goes!!

Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

Rufus267

Registered User

Joined: 03/02/17

Posts: 14

Thank you! Sorry I didn't respond faster. For some reason I wasn't notified of your post.

You make good, and logical points, and I wonder how you feel about a specific issue I have:

I've prepared 3 songs and played them about 6 times a day at home. I can play them easily.... I sing them easily...... BUT, doing both is a challenge. I can coordinate the guitar/singing ok, but I have no reserve brain power. ONE error in lyrics, timing, chord, and I go blank. I mean everything goes to hell!

I know practising is essentially the key, but do you have any thoughts/experiences to share? I'm hungry for ANY experienced advice, please!

#6

Thank you! Sorry I didn't respond faster. For some reason I wasn't notified of your post.

You make good, and logical points, and I wonder how you feel about a specific issue I have:

I've prepared 3 songs and played them about 6 times a day at home. I can play them easily.... I sing them easily...... BUT, doing both is a challenge. I can coordinate the guitar/singing ok, but I have no reserve brain power. ONE error in lyrics, timing, chord, and I go blank. I mean everything goes to hell!

I know practising is essentially the key, but do you have any thoughts/experiences to share? I'm hungry for ANY experienced advice, please!

maggior

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/13

Posts: 1722

No problem...glad I can help.

When you practice, you have to practice the way you plan to perform. You say you can play the song easily and sing it easily...and that's great, that's step number one! Now you need to practice putting to two of them together. It's a separate skill.

I know it's hard. I sing backup in my duo and never sang and played prior to being in this duo. When I first tired, it felt horribly awkward!!! Over time, and I don't think it took too terribly long, I was able to do it.

When I'm singing, I'm mostly strumming chords. Playing a riff or fingerpicking would be much more difficult. The closest I come there is Already Gone by the Eagles. I can play the riff and sing the chorus. That took some practice.

Anyway, I would suggest you now only practice this song singing and playing together. When you make a mistake, play through it. You forgot how a verse starts, just keep strumming the chord you are on until it comes to you. If it's a song other folks will know, you could even say into the mic "anybody know how the next verse starts!?!?" It will get you a good laugh and you'll get started again. Turn that verse into an instrumental if you have to. Do this in your practice if you get lost or messed up...think of it as dressed rehearsal.

Practicing both together will help your brain tie the two together and wire what your hands are doing with the words in the song. You may get to where you can't sing the song without a guitar in your hand...my duo partner is that way with some songs.

Hopefully some of those random thoughts and ideas help you out. Good luck!!!

Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

#7

No problem...glad I can help.

When you practice, you have to practice the way you plan to perform. You say you can play the song easily and sing it easily...and that's great, that's step number one! Now you need to practice putting to two of them together. It's a separate skill.

I know it's hard. I sing backup in my duo and never sang and played prior to being in this duo. When I first tired, it felt horribly awkward!!! Over time, and I don't think it took too terribly long, I was able to do it.

When I'm singing, I'm mostly strumming chords. Playing a riff or fingerpicking would be much more difficult. The closest I come there is Already Gone by the Eagles. I can play the riff and sing the chorus. That took some practice.

Anyway, I would suggest you now only practice this song singing and playing together. When you make a mistake, play through it. You forgot how a verse starts, just keep strumming the chord you are on until it comes to you. If it's a song other folks will know, you could even say into the mic "anybody know how the next verse starts!?!?" It will get you a good laugh and you'll get started again. Turn that verse into an instrumental if you have to. Do this in your practice if you get lost or messed up...think of it as dressed rehearsal.

Practicing both together will help your brain tie the two together and wire what your hands are doing with the words in the song. You may get to where you can't sing the song without a guitar in your hand...my duo partner is that way with some songs.

Hopefully some of those random thoughts and ideas help you out. Good luck!!!

Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

Rufus267

Registered User

Joined: 03/02/17

Posts: 14

Thank you. Yes, that makes very good sense.... I'll write a progress report to reinforce it's development. Frustrating though it is, learning new skills, (at any age), is the essence of acheivement. Crackin'!

#8

Thank you. Yes, that makes very good sense.... I'll write a progress report to reinforce it's development. Frustrating though it is, learning new skills, (at any age), is the essence of acheivement. Crackin'!

maggior

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/13

Posts: 1722

Originally Posted by: Rufus267

Thank you. Yes, that makes very good sense.... I'll write a progress report to reinforce it's development. Frustrating though it is, learning new skills, (at any age), is the essence of acheivement. Crackin'!

Something else that occured to me is to not be afraid to isolate problem areas and slow them down to analyze how you want to synchonrize your guitar playing with your singing...to the point of "when I sing whis word, I down strum on this chord" or "I change chords when I sing this word".

Playing through mistakes is important too, but you also need to identify problem areas, analyze them, and fix them.

This is probably obvious, but I thought it beared mentioning.

Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

#9

Originally Posted by: Rufus267

Thank you. Yes, that makes very good sense.... I'll write a progress report to reinforce it's development. Frustrating though it is, learning new skills, (at any age), is the essence of acheivement. Crackin'!

Something else that occured to me is to not be afraid to isolate problem areas and slow them down to analyze how you want to synchonrize your guitar playing with your singing...to the point of "when I sing whis word, I down strum on this chord" or "I change chords when I sing this word".

Playing through mistakes is important too, but you also need to identify problem areas, analyze them, and fix them.

This is probably obvious, but I thought it beared mentioning.

Go here to check out some of my playing
Go here to check out some of my duo's work

Rufus267

Registered User

Joined: 03/02/17

Posts: 14

Nothing is obvious if you fail to think of it...... I often don't think of the right thing at the right time!

Your input is greatly appreciated by me, and I suspect, by others reading this thread.

#10

Nothing is obvious if you fail to think of it...... I often don't think of the right thing at the right time!

Your input is greatly appreciated by me, and I suspect, by others reading this thread.