Open Mic Nights- Why you should stop playing them!

You practice your heart out, learn new songs, and practice your stage presentation only to find that getting a paying gig is extremely hard.  You sign up for every facebook page/group you see and post your links and schedule hoping that someone will see.  You buy into sites like gigsalad as an example that try to categorize and present starving musicians to the world to help them get paying gigs.  You may also send e-mails, texts, visit places in person only to realize that no one gives a shit!  You talk with other bands or solo people about gigs and they seem to have the same problem. 

It may just be that I'm not motivated or connected enough to find those gigs but 15 years ago it seemed like there were a lot more places to play.  A musician was wanted and respected.  What happened?  Agents or manager are very selective these days, and seem to only work with certain types of bands never wanting to take a chance on something fresh.   So what do you do? 

Well I say, stop giving it away!  Stop playing those open mic nights or blues jams!  Why would anyone want to pay for something that they can get for free?  We need to just stop!  I think it's time for all of us to just go back to where we should be at back yard beer bashes or large biker charity events!  You want to jam, jam with your friends BYOB style.  They most likely will thank you!  You know, those parties where cops are called for loud noise complaints and people in the streets blocking traffic, where memories are made?  If you're going to give it away for free at least get noticed for it.  Put out a guitar case for collecting dollars or spare change.  It may not be much but it isn't working for free. 

My theory is that If you take away the people from the bars and clubs to a party down the street sooner than later you will be in demand.  Bars and clubs notice this immediately and will beg you to play and it will be on your terms not theirs.  People just don't go out as much as they used to, but who can resist a keg'er in a backyard or parking lot.  This is how people get discovered by word of mouth, it becomes an event that the industry has to notice. 

Please let me know how you feel or if you think I'm right or wrong about my approach.  Something has to change and we need to stick together.


#ihatejamnights #jamnightskillingthemusician #dontwasteyourtimewithjamnights #musicisnotforfree

2 comments

  • John
    John Jackson, N.J.
    I agree with what you say to an extent. It's all about the draw though, in order to get people to come, they have to know you're out there. It's not as easy as it was back in the day to just set up in a grassy knoll and play. I remember people pulling over and breaking out some food & drinks and the crowd getting larger & larger. These days not so much. What is the alternative? Out my way there aren't that many. Thanks for taking the time to address this. I'm following!

    I agree with what you say to an extent. It's all about the draw though, in order to get people to come, they have to know you're out there. It's not as easy as it was back in the day to just set up in a grassy knoll and play. I remember people pulling over and breaking out some food & drinks and the crowd getting larger & larger. These days not so much. What is the alternative? Out my way there aren't that many. Thanks for taking the time to address this. I'm following!

  • Rich Martin
    Rich Martin Burlington , NJ
    Open mic nights are for amateurs and wannabees who have a Guitar Center credit card and a lack of talent .

    Open mic nights are for amateurs and wannabees who have a Guitar Center credit card and a lack of talent .

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