Five Tips to Tackle Open Mic from Elliot Goettelman

Goettelman (second from right) performs at Poh’s Open Jam with (left to right) melaniejane, Chris Aaron, and pat mAcdonald. Photo by Len Villano.

Elliot Goettelman knows a thing or two about open mics – not only has he participated in open mics throughout Door County for the last five years, he leads weekly open mics at Mojo Rosa’s every Saturday and Glas Coffeehouse the first Friday of every month. Click here to learn more about this modest musician who contributes to Door County’s music scene in numerous ways, who offers five tips for stepping up to the mic:

1. Relax. Take your time to feel comfortable before you start your song. You will be happier with the outcome. Introduce yourself to the crowd and thank them when you are done.

2. Practice at Home. Have your songs 90 percent memorized, do not look them up on the internet 15 minutes before just because you feel like playing that particular song. Know the song well.

A song will perform better if you don’t have to concentrate on something else. And you will connect with the audience better if you are able to look up at them.

3. Try Performing Original Music. Or put your own twist on cover songs. Do something to make them your own.

4. Have Your Instrument Ready. Make sure it is tuned.

If you are going to do open mics often, it might be easier to have an instrument with a pickup (amplifier) in it. A lot of time I have people come who want to play their own guitar, but it has no pickup in it. Then we have to try to mic the instrument and that can be hard to do.

5. Just Have Fun. That is mostly the reason you are doing it anyway! Don’t be scared to look embarrassed, we all have embarrassed ourselves at one point or another.