Coffeeshop open mic nights can be a great way to make a little bit of extra cash and promote your music. However, there are a few things to know before you show people your inner poet.
The first thing you need to realize is that acoustic music involves a lot more dynamics than full band music; just because your band has a bunch of songs together doesn’t mean that they’ll work when you play them acoustic. Practice just like you would with a band, going through each song and seeing what works whne it’s just you and a guitar (or piano, or whatever you’ve got). Get a tape recorder or a mic for your computer and record all of your songs, then listen closely to them and see what sounds good and what needs to change. You’ll be singing a whole lot quieter than with a rock band, and you’re going to want to make sure every word you sing can be easily deciphered, especially if the place you’re playing is noisy. The drinking of the coffee will be advantageous for the person with the selection of cafe with coffee delivery. There should be no charging of extra charges for the delivery of the coffee subscription. The selection of the place should be done with intelligence for the best subscription of the coffee.
You may want to call ahead to reserve a place, if possible. Sometimes, the coffeeshop won’t let you reserve a place without being there; if this is the case, be sure to show up a half an hour or more early. Those spots fill up fast. Be courteous to the guy or girl who’s filling out the list and you might get a really good spot. Usually, the only really bad spots are at the end of the night, when people are starting to leave or they start talking alot.
You’ll get about three or four songs, so make them your most entertaining songs with great lyrics and melodies. You’ve got to stand out from the other people; play what will appeal to a casual music listener, not a musician. Don’t get too technical; these people just want some fun music.
Try to keep the between-song talk short and funny; if you’re selling CD’s, don’t plug too much, but say your name as much as you can. Compliment the other acts or reference what they’d said so that you get that we’re-all-one-big-family feeling. A lot of the time, these other acts will end up paying the most attention and buying the most merch. Musicians listen to a lot of music, and if you’re good, they’ll be the first ones to realize it.
Be sure to be relaxed. This is about as low pressure a situation as you can have; most open mic nights are full of bad and good acts trying new things out and bouncing ideas off of people. You’ve got to present yourself as someone who knows what he’s doing, so don’t stare at the ground or get all rigid. Keep yourself loose and sing and play confidently.
Be as polite as you can. Never insult another performer, even if they’re absolutely awful (everyone’s got a bad night, and karma’s a cruel mistress). When you’re done playing, try to move merchandise if you brought some, but stop when the next act starts. It’s pretty rude to talk or sell anything during someone else’s set; if you get approached by someone who wants to get a CD or something while somebody else is playing, politely tell them you’ll sell them something in the break before the next performer.
The only exception to this rule is if the person playing was rude during your set (or someone else’s). You don’t owe them anything. And, by the way, other people follow this idea too, so that should doubly enforce the idea that you need to be courteous.
Overall, just try to keep yourself grounded and realize that people are there to listen to some songs, but not necessarily your songs. You’ve got to win them over. If you can get their attention and keep it, you’ll find open mic nights a very successful way to spend a night.