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Thread: I Did It!

  1. #1
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    I Did It!

    I played my first public performance last night! It turns out they didn't have a full list of performers, so those who had signed up were all given twelve minutes, not eight. I had a great time!

    The EmCee introduced me as a first-timer, and I added that it was my first time ever! I then introduced my first song, which I thought was my stronger song. I think I'm glad I did, because I had to get used to the lights and find my voice, so the first minute I felt a little shaky, but then I got my groove and it went pretty well. I choked a little on the bridge, but just vamped my way through it. I then played my second number, which had been giving me trouble remembering the words, but I aced it! Since I had extra time, I added a little sing-along, which didn't go as well as I'd hoped, but then I found later that some people couldn't get the words, so participation was less than expected. I did however, get thanks from a woman afterward, who'd heard the song many years ago, and loved the reminder.

    It was an entirely unplugged set. I'd expected a mic and amplification, but learned that's only done once a month (twice, if you get in early before the concert headliner takes the stage). Fortunately, I've been practicing acoustically, and brought my Taylor, so I wasn't left stranded.

    Lessons learned:


    • Stage lights affect how you can interact with the audience.
    • Without a mic, be prepared to project. My voice isn't great, so I need to step it up a bit.
    • I didn't bring sheet music, but others did, and no one has a problem with that. I may do that for more difficult stuff.
    • Don't stop if you flub. I didn't, and I noticed a couple of others who did.


    To that last point: When I announced it was my first-ever time performing in public, I said I was going to allow myself three mistakes. After my performance, another performer asked me (perhaps just being kind), "So when were you going to make a mistake?" A friend, who was in the audience repeated that most people won't even know it if you didn't bring attention to it. So I didn't.

    I'm planning on doing it again. I'm already working on a new setlist. Maybe next week... But in two weeks they'll have electricity.
    Striving to be ordinary

    Proud to be a TFF Dumbass!

  2. #2
    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Congratulations, my friend! And welcome to the live playing TFF team!

    I’m very happy for you. Playing to yourself is ok, many people are happy with that. But playing to an audience is a rush of adrenaline at first, and a then a fountain of joy.

    Yes, you’ll get used to the stage and audience interaction after a few more jobs. And most of all, you seem to have figured the main keys of the business: making slight mistakes is nothing to worry about, though you need to know what you’re doing before stepping up there. A sour note, a phrase out of key in the middle of a solo, even stars do it: this is one thing. Attempting to cover a song you don’t really know and fucking it up is another, especially if you’re being paid.

    Like I said: practice what you’re going to do, do a minimum of homework before actually gigging, and then just have fun.

  3. #3
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Thanks, Sérgio. Your feedback means a lot to me.

    One of the things I've learned over the past few weeks (or perhaps I should say, have re-inforced) is that my taste in songs is chosen primarily because of the guitar work involved. But now I have to consider if I have the voice for some of them.

    There's a song I've played for decades that I love the guitar work, but I can't sing for crap. I've not been a fan of capos, but I'm toying with using one and performing this song. Because it involves playing higher on the neck, I have to have at least 14 frets to use. More, if I can. Fortunately, if I have to stick with acoustic, I have my new Breedlove, which has a cutaway in addition!

    I think part of the pleasure I'm deriving out of this is pulling old songs out of my playing history, brushing them off, and trying to make them new again!
    Striving to be ordinary

    Proud to be a TFF Dumbass!

  4. #4
    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Quote Originally Posted by OldStrummer View Post
    Thanks, Sérgio. Your feedback means a lot to me.

    One of the things I've learned over the past few weeks (or perhaps I should say, have re-inforced) is that my taste in songs is chosen primarily because of the guitar work involved. But now I have to consider if I have the voice for some of them.

    There's a song I've played for decades that I love the guitar work, but I can't sing for crap. I've not been a fan of capos, but I'm toying with using one and performing this song. Because it involves playing higher on the neck, I have to have at least 14 frets to use. More, if I can. Fortunately, if I have to stick with acoustic, I have my new Breedlove, which has a cutaway in addition!

    I think part of the pleasure I'm deriving out of this is pulling old songs out of my playing history, brushing them off, and trying to make them new again!

    You do better than me: I can’t sing to save my life!

  5. #5
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Ya done good, troop......(hand salute)!

    The capo can provide some interesting effects. Work with it, you'll see.

    Rawk on!
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  6. #6
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    Re: I Did It!

    *knuckle bump

  7. #7
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Congrats on this wonderful step in your musical journey!

  8. #8
    Forum Member FrankJohnson's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    This is GREAT to hear! The adrenaline can make it feel like you are on the speed walk at the Airport!

    Don't worry about any other thing than YOU DID IT! Then ........work on getting ready to do the sequal!

    I can't wait to hear more!
    Kenny Belmont
    >:^{I)>

  9. #9
    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankJohnson View Post
    This is GREAT to hear! The adrenaline can make it feel like you are on the speed walk at the Airport!

    Don't worry about any other thing than YOU DID IT! Then ........work on getting ready to do the sequal!

    I can't wait to hear more!

    That’s the spirit! And yes, you won the fight the minute you walked onto the stage, brother!

  10. #10
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sérgio View Post
    That’s the spirit! And yes, you won the fight the minute you walked onto the stage, brother!
    So now I have to resist the urge to get punch-drunk!

    But I will say that I've gotten a new appreciation for my acoustic guitars. I pulled out and cleaned up my Martin OMC-15ME Streetmaster, put a battery in it and plopped the capo on it because a song I'm considering for my next appearance is just not in my voice register. But a capo on the third fret makes it doable, and the Martin has a cutaway and a nice, deep resonance that my Breedlove lacks. I don't love the neck, and I may need to apply some relief, but this is a guitar that was near the top of my "sell" list!
    Striving to be ordinary

    Proud to be a TFF Dumbass!

  11. #11
    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Quote Originally Posted by OldStrummer View Post
    So now I have to resist the urge to get punch-drunk!

    But I will say that I've gotten a new appreciation for my acoustic guitars. I pulled out and cleaned up my Martin OMC-15ME Streetmaster, put a battery in it and plopped the capo on it because a song I'm considering for my next appearance is just not in my voice register. But a capo on the third fret makes it doable, and the Martin has a cutaway and a nice, deep resonance that my Breedlove lacks. I don't love the neck, and I may need to apply some relief, but this is a guitar that was near the top of my "sell" list!

    Do love your acoustics but just wait until you gig with an electric and feel the overdrive move the crowd in front of you. Some of us never look back.

    *come over to the dark side, Luke

  12. #12
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Fantastic, Fred!!!!

    It's never too late to feel the thrill of making an audience happy with music.

    It's been fun for me to see your progression from when you first joined TFF. The enthusiasm has been inspirational to me, and I'm sure your audience felt that too.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

  13. #13
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: I Did It!

    Thanks, Bill. The encouragement, knowledge, tolerance and acceptance of the fine folks here has been a great boon as I've worked to emerge from my "bedroom soloist" shell.
    Striving to be ordinary

    Proud to be a TFF Dumbass!

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