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An Encouraging Experience


I'm gearing up for my first open-mic sort of, this week. Lots of firsts: doing an original, playing solo, playing guitar.

Recently I brought the axe to the home of a couple I know, to play this song for them. I am eager to maximize comfort level in this new endeavor. Playing to two and their children seemed a good warm up for staff talent show (aka, open-mic sort of).

I did it cold, no warm up whatsoever.

The man of the couple is a vetran with a capital V. Drummer forever, soundman for regional acts, guitarist, etc; He does not complement unless he means it. And he complimented me. That meant a lot.

Plus, another kudo for my Seagull acoustic, he really liked the sound of my guitar :)



Currently doing whatever I can think of to make things comfortable for me. I began playing in the dark, for one, during practice, just to have a dif. experience of trying not to be overdependent on looking at the fretboard. That habit won't work while trying to sing into a fixed-spot microphone!

The practice sessions (no longer everyday of late) are jam packed. I've been picking 2 pieces, working w/ metronome on guitar alone, and guitar/singing together. Whenever there's an issue, I work at the spot in a continual loop.

Because I'm getting closer to being ready to audition a 45 minute set at the local watering hole, it's now time to record (just on a minature blaster) and listen ..to become aware, while playing, what it sounds like. A weird form of detachment really. A little practice (ie play/record, listen, tweak it, then repeat) can go a long way.

I have been also slowing passages way down and instead of strumming, picking the chords. This is helping me to change chords right on the money, cause I've been lazy with that. I'd love to do the whole catalog and work it up to speed, but barely have the luxury of doing passages. That's cause I wish to stick to a timetable of auditioning in June.

Time for me to most of all, get thru each song in toto. Some lines I still have trouble with and have decided a change must be made, it's not working and I need it to work. I want to do more picking within the songs, but the main point is to be able to play with conviction, clearly.

The bar chord song is a toughie. Too bad, I guess that'll be my humilty bead, cause no way I'm dropping it.

The amp is in the shop, sadly. Playing and singing mic'd is a different kettle of fish completely. The Shure has been popping P's real bad. I never recalled that happening before! But then again, my attention has never been so divided as now while singing. I used to be a singing drummer, I'm talking all night, 1/2 leads and substantial back ups on every other song. But it was easier than playing guitar and singing.

For this open mic sorta thing, they'll be plugging me in and I've no idea how it'll sound out there, or to me, or how disorienting it could be. But I'm not worried either. It feels clean. I've invited people to come.

When I played for the couple, I felt so relaxed. Did no picking...except for a false intro recently devised so I can "ooh" a high, main riff note. That note has been hard to find, harder to hit, the first time out. So now I have a warm up shot.

My mind is eased to fix itself upon all these kinds of things. To work it out and find solutions.


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