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Monday, May 3, 2010

Open Mic - Auditions

Many venues use their open mic as a way to audition new acts for paid gigs.

If you are looking to get hired at a venue, and you're auditioning at an open mic, here are a few pointers...
  • Play the 'covers' that are appropriate for the 'paid gig' that you're trying to get
  • Limit any 'originals' to one, unless you're auditioning for an 'original-only' gig
  • Order something to eat and drink
  • Bring some people with you
  • Tip the staff
  • Come early and stay late
  • Socialize with the other performers
  • Make-nice with the host and with management
  • Go with a minimal gear setup
Here are some things to avoid...
  • Bringing in outside food and drink
  • Playing your set and leaving quickly
  • Acting like you are 'God's gift to the world' and all others are beneath you
  • Making too many demands on the host regarding equipment, etc.
I've seen people ignore these things and absolutely 'crash and burn' on many occasions.

If you want to make the most out of your audition, and possibly land a paid gig, take this stuff to heart.


  1. I have read most of your comments, and would have to say that you are spot-on with your suggestions. i have experienced just about everything you have discussed. I host a talent contest that has been going on for 10 weeks. i have encountered many of the sterotypical "gods gifts" most of them fall on their faces and then start listening to what I have to say. I have been singing for over 30 years, and the best lesson I learned is that there is always somebody better than you are. Joe Beavers, host of the Ozarks Got Singers competition and radio show. i am now in process of auditioning people for the Ozarks Got Singer television show set to air August 2010 on FOX16 in Little Rock, AR. Thank you for this site. Open mic auditions are every Friday night at 7pm. Info 870 373 5852

  2. Enjoyed your tip list. As musicians it is natural to think that the 'karaoke' jocks are our enemies for stealing what could be our 'live' gig. I graciously host a mid-week OM in a predominantly Karaoke bar (nothin' beats 'live music') so I pick a couple of those who I know have half decent voices and invite them to do a predtermined song they know along with me when it is my turn as host. You'd be surprise of the reactions these singers have when they have pulled of their songs with an actual musician backing them. This is great relations to keep with that other crowd.

  3. I hosted an open mic/karaoke combo event once. We thought that we could invite the karaoke singers to perform with the musicians, but we quickly found that they preferred to remain separate.

    It was worth a try, and with more effort, it probably would have succeeded.