Attending open mic for the first time

Hi everyone!
I was attending an open mic as an audience at my local pub last night.
I have wanted to try this out for some time now, but i have not had the time or guts before now.

Last night was only as audience, but i showed up early so i could get a «feel» for how this works, and maybe to speak to someone… all the people were great and it seems like a safe place to have a go for it… they wanted me to go for it right away and wanted to borrow me a guitar, but i said thanks but no thanks, i said i needed my own guitar and needed to be a bit more prepared.

Everyone who played there had a high level and they all sounded amazing, quite a lot of people there too, a lot of students. But all ages were present.

Anyhow… i signed up for next wednesday. So my question for all you guys is… can i use my phone as a cheat for lyrics? Just put it on a stand next to me. I know the two songs im gonna play by heart, but still… i know im going to be super nervous, and if i dont remember the lyrics im pretty sure im going to have a hard time to find my way back without the lyrics there to help me…
Also. I have to use a mic… any tips on how to sing in a mic?

Any tips on how to prepare is very much appreciated :grin:


Whoo hoo! Nice one Trond. What a treat people are going to have. Make sure someone records it please. :slight_smile:

I’d say yes to having the phone there with you. When I do my, in person, OM I’ll be using my tablet just in case.

Do you know what sort of mic it is? Condenser or (and the name escapes me at the moment) t’other one?

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Oh. That was a good question. I have no idea what kind of mics they have. But, they have quite a few to chooses by. So my guess is that i can have almost whatever i like…
they have a sound guy there that can help me out setting it up.
I am also planning on amping up the acoustic.

Yep. I am leaning very much against have the lyrics there with me just in case… :grin:

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My thought would be and I’m not pro OMer here. That maybe a condenser would pick up too much room noise, so it will possible be the other sort. If it is, you’ve just got to get right up close to it when you sing.

Are you amping up your guitar?

I would do Trond. I mean, first time and everything. Belt and braces is what you need. :+1:

Thanks a lot Stefan, i will have that in back of my mind. It looked like that sound guy there knew what he was doing, so iguess he can help me out with the details…

Yes. I am amping up the guitar, otherwise i think the guitar sound will ve way to low…

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This is great Trond. Seems good to have lyrics as a backup. Sod’s Law - if you don’t have them you’ll want them / if you have them, you’re less likely to need them? Takes away the fear of ‘what if’ the nerves take over. Any idea yet, which song/songs you may do?

Im pretty sure i dont need them, but i do need them for nerve purposes as you said :rofl:

Yes, im pretty sure about the two songs. Its the songs i did in my open mic on this forum a while back.
Pearl jams immortality and jack johnsons a pirate looks at forty.
I have refined them a little bit since then.

But the lyrics is still the same and i have done those two under pressure before. So that is my gameplan :rofl:


When singing into the mic, be aware many are directional. In my first ever open mic I noticed my voice faded as I turned my head to look at the fret board while singing so I had to try to finger the C chord without looking which didn’t really work.

Had I positioned the mic so it came in from my left rather than my right it would have worked better.

I figure you are better to have your phone available should you need it. Your nerves will be far worse then they need to be :wink: so anything you can do to minimize those pesky nerves is a great idea.

Good luck!!!


That is my biggest concern Tony. That the mic is in front… i have an tendency to be all over… sonthis has to be my main focus i think…

I have nothing constructive to add :laughing: but I just wanted to say congrats on signing up for the OM! I’ve been too chicken to do that so far, but I really want to in the future. I admire those that can step up and put themselves out there! :clap:

+1 for this. I had to learn this lesson early on since the mic we have at home was directional and my voice would fade every time I would look down at my hands. I still have to look down, but I work on only doing it when needed and quickly looking back up to get my voice going straight into the mic.

I would think that nobody would really be paying much attention to your phone, so I would just go for it and have it out. Hopefully someone can take a video of your performance. Would love to see it!


Great news Trond, look forward to hearing how it went.
Never done a real Om but could only add the following advice.

For the song/lyrics as a prompt, should not be a problem but maybe a tablet rather than a phone - thinking size. Get a copy of Songbook Pro which runs on PC or Android, probably other OS and get your songs on that. It has a scroll function which is adjustable, so have a practice and adjust the scroll speed (ask how if not sure, can advise.

The mic is most likely to be dynamic so get up close and personal, say 5 - 10cm. They should give you a soundcheck so you can refine the distance to sing at. And if its a decently arranged gig they should have a sound guy on a mixer sorting out balance,

@Rossco01 Jason has done a shed load and no doubt would give better advice than moi !



Can’t offer much advice Trond but best of luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes. Just be yourself and you will do great as we all know you can play.

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:sunflower: :sunflower: :sunflower:
Breath in breath out…
:hatching_chick: :rooster: :hamster:


Memorize and sing from your heart. As a subscriber I can say that you have the chops. Let 'er rip!

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Excellent news @tRONd and you will be absolutely fine! For lyrics prompt I’d go tablet if possible… if they didn’t have a music stand try and get a tablet holder you can attach to the mic… in All honestly you probably won’t use it BUT it’s a nice crutch to have.

The mic will definitely be dynamic. In all honesty take your own if you have one. You need to be eating that mic… if you aren’t used to that then practice before you go as it’ll also change your playing position.

Get a drink before you go on ( your mouth might go dry), go to the toilet before you go on :grinning:. Relax! People will only be half listening. Try and simply treat it as a practice.

You should do a mini soundcheck before you start. Depending on the setup and venue you might be able to hear yourself fine or not very well at all… just be prepared for it. It’s not like doing AVOYP sound will not be perfect. If there is a monitor get the the sound guy to adjust it so you can hear yourself.

Make sure someone takes pictures or video. You want a memory of your first performance.

Introduce yourself, tell them what you’re playing and go for it! No one notices little mistakes. Don’t stop just keep playing. If you F…up stop, make a joke of it ( well that didn’t happen in practice! Etc) and restart.

Have a great time and let us know how it goes.


Hello Trond, how exciting is that :star_struck:?!
I wish you all the best for Wednesday and am super curious to hear how it went :smiley:.
You’ll rock it :+1:.

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Thanks a lot for all the tips and «wishes»

@NicoleKKB @Eddie_09 @TheMadman_tobyjenner @roger_holland @Jenndye429 and @CT

Really appreciate it :pray:

@Rossco01 thanks for all the good tips Jason, i have to have focus on that mic… the sound guy there seemed like a really nice and helpful guy. So i am sure he can help me to get some decent sound out of all the equipment…
i will show up when the doors open and i will definitly try to do some kind of sound check… i do not have a clue about hearing youre self in monitors and so on. So i just have to take a go at it :grin:
But i will take it to heart on what you mentioned about treat it as an excersise… that was a great way to look at it.
I think i am going to try and sing and play with same sound level as i always do…
they have loads of music stands there so i am planning on a barstool and that stand right next to me.
Tablet is a good idea, i can borrow one of my kids tablet, maybe someone can use my phone and record it…


You will get to do a little sound check when it’s your turn so don’t worry about that. You just need to strum a few bars, sing into the mic ( or do an 1.2.3 testing check) and make sure you can hear yourself clearly. A lot depends on where the Pa speakers are. If they are in front of you it’s difficult to hear yourself without a monitor, if level or slightly behind you you’ll be fine.


Hi Trond
At a Professional gig recently I noticed performers with tablets placed at about knee height. It was a John Prine tribute event so I guess the performers would not have had a lot of routine with the material. So if it is good enough for them then I guess a first time open mike is ok too, might help keep that going blank panic at bay.
I am sure the audience will be as impressed as we all are.

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Great stuff Trond, you’ll smash it.

Most folk at the open mic attend sing from song sheets, but their repertoires are large.

I like to memorise and once I get going I’m normally fine.

Having the lyrics handy to get you going might be a good idea, nothing worse than forgetting how a song starts, easy done when you’re watching everyone else beforehand.

Good luck :shamrock:

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