“You should probably avoid open mics…”
Or so says THIS article by Jeremy Young from Soundfly.
Here are the negatives about open mics, according to Jeremy:
- The “audience” won’t be inclined to value your performance
- You’ll only be networking with beginners or open-mic lifers
- Your on-stage practice time would be better spent at a coffee-shop gig where you’re the sole focus
- You hardly ever get valuable feedback from songwriters or audience members at an open mic
I tend to agree with these points, BUT…
There’s one benefit to open mics that’s often overlooked.
If an open mic is hosted at a venue that also books live music for other nights of the week, it can be a great way to introduce yourself. I’ve gotten decent paying gigs from playing open mics, impressing the bartender, or making a connection with another performer, and so forth.
But yeah, open mics can suck. They can also be a lot of fun. I think it’s about tempering your expectations. They’re definitely NOT a reliable on-ramp to a music career, but when used sparingly, open mics can open doors.
What do you think? Have you gotten anywhere playing open mics?
Waste of time, or a good building block for your music? Lemme know in the comments.