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Open Mic Protocol

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bluewine, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    When there is a housse band at an open mic. How do you approach someone if you want to play.

    I went to one last night and it seemed impossible.
  2. the engine

    the engine Guest

    If they don't have a sign up sheet, or a guy running around asking if anyone wants to play, or at least stop playing long enough to say "Who wants to get up and play?", then it's not really an open mic night. I was the house bassist at an open mic for a few years. I took a beater bass so that if somebody wanted to play it, then go for it. Or you could use your own. We used my rig. We would warm up with 3 songs and then ask if anyone wanted to get up and jam. If nobody jumped up we would do 3 more and so on. Just to be clear, I have seen some "open mic nights" that weren't exactly that. They would allow any LEAD instrument or LEAD vocalist to get up and perform with the HOUSE band. But that was about it. Bassists, drummers, etc....forget it.
  3. Open mic/jams in my area are terrible. Most of the time it's some arrogant douchebags playing tired old blues tunes. Walk in, sign up and if you don't have your blues hat on get a comfy seat because you can sit and wait all night but the guy who just walked in with the fedora hat and a beat up fender is going to play before you. That's my experience anyway.
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Some friends of mine host an open mic night and they have sign up sheets (kinda like karaoke) on tables and in strategic areas. You sign up, if it's just you, you pick a song you know of of a big list of tunes they know, and you give it to the band. If you have your entire band with you, they'll let you do three or so tunes back to back.

    Me? I just walk in and the bass player throws his bass at me and usually comes back about the end of the set. (Our 2 bands go waaaaay back!)
  5. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Cool that is what i thought, they let this guy play lead guitar and a couple of guys playing blues harp (Mississippi Saxaphone).

    I did not get to play, however both guitarist were top notch.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
  7. sign up sheets seem the way to go around here.
  8. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    Might also try getting there before it starts so you can grab whoever looks like the leader and find out the sign up protocall. One jam I went to never had a signup, if the leader recognized you he'd toss you up-or if one of the other musicians knew you they'd say something. Otherwise you had to go ask to play on a break and they'd fit you in.....usually towards the end of the night.
    Another one had a signup sheet, but for some reason it was on stage under the singers feet which made it a little awkward to grab.....
    Make friends with the house bass player on a break, lots of times they'd rather sit and relax than play another 1/4/5 so if they find out you play bass they'll toss you up.

    I'm with the poster that said they get handed a bass and the bassist dissappears...... has happened to me a few times :).

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