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Fiddle Lovers Online


Oct 4, 2021 - 2:04:27 PM
9468 posts since 3/19/2009

One person is selected to lead an open mic night at a dance.....That person sends out an email with links to maybe ten tunes to a large list of possible open mic attendees....(audio and dots included)..
If the tunes are preselected by one person and the others attending have to play from that list, is it still an OPEN MIC? You thoughts please.

Oct 4, 2021 - 2:34:45 PM

3134 posts since 6/21/2007

Doesn't sound like one to me, but then, I've never participated in one.

Oct 4, 2021 - 2:56:35 PM

doryman

USA

223 posts since 2/10/2020

I don't think there are rules.

Oct 4, 2021 - 3:02:17 PM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by doryman

I don't think there are rules.


Right. That seems to be the case.. This particular dance USED TO have open mics where Nobody was in charge and from time to time they were lucky to have a functioning group to play for a set.,..Then, there are open mics where one person leads but tries to include the skill/tune-list of attendees... What I'm describing in the OP is NOT my idea of an open mic BUT, is still functional.. I suspect that the Covid crisis has influenced the dance.. Normally, I would have played for that dance a couple of times a year but have not played even ONCE  since the pandemic.. I guess they are doing the best they can with what they have..

Oct 4, 2021 - 4:40:09 PM
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2392 posts since 10/1/2008

Structured Mic? You Do As You Are Told Mic? You Play What I Think Would Be Best Mic?
Hmmmm " not closed or barred at the time, as a doorway by a door, a window by a sash, or a gateway by a gate" or an Open Mic by a list. But then Open Mics don't generally involve structured dances. A misnomer at best.

Oct 4, 2021 - 4:46:41 PM
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2465 posts since 10/22/2007

Open mike combined with the word Dance? Sounds like a train wreck in the making.

Open mikes here generally have a house band backing up the open mikers.

I stay away.

I think it's sort of fascinating how many can't discern a jam from an open mic. But that's not the subject.

Oct 4, 2021 - 4:51:40 PM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

Structured Mic? You Do As You Are Told Mic? You Play What I Think Would Be Best Mic?
Hmmmm " not closed or barred at the time, as a doorway by a door, a window by a sash, or a gateway by a gate" or an Open Mic by a list. But then Open Mics don't generally involve structured dances. A misnomer at best.


My thought is that a list of sheet music of even Easy tunes rules out a lot of musicians who learn by ear.. even if  audio was available.. it takes TIME.. to learn tunes.. It might be better to poll the members of the email list to see what tunes THEY might like to play at an open mic... I realize that the open mic organizers are doing what they think needs to be done.. which is exactly why I have NOT contacted them to second guess their efforts.. I'm doing that, HERE!!!   Were I in their shoes, I may be doing the same thing.... Once Covid has lessened, several of us will again be available to host open mics.... I really love open mic dances, especially if I'm just one of 12 musicians on stage and may not even have a mic to play into.. THe event is bigger than the participants...

Oct 4, 2021 - 7:31:18 PM
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558 posts since 3/1/2020

It’s a format I haven’t seen before, but it’s intriguing. I have seen this with a weekly jam—a tune list is sent out beforehand and the jam follows the list religiously. Afterward, members will often send historical notes or recommend source recordings for tunes they liked. Everyone is playing, so there isn't a question of which player gets which number.  

If the tune list is pre-selected, it removes a level of variety that often comes with open mic events, but it could also keep things consistent. The open part seems to be that any player can request to play one of the numbers. I can’t tell how players are selected if more than ten respond, but hopefully it’s intended to encourage those who want the experience of playing a dance that they might not otherwise have. Since it’s a dance, certain types of tunes are going to be necessary for the dancers to follow, and perhaps the list is carefully chosen for theme, key, and time management.

Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 10/04/2021 19:33:18

Oct 5, 2021 - 7:39:25 AM

79 posts since 1/28/2018
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Seems to be more of a kinda underhanded way to audition people to me, or something put on by a low skilled host.

Edited by - fiddlewood on 10/05/2021 07:42:20

Oct 5, 2021 - 8:07:08 AM
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9468 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by fiddlewood

Seems to be more of a kinda underhanded way to audition people to me, or something put on by a low skilled host.

 

I suspect that these hosts are HIGH skilled musicians but that the invite list includes a lot of OT fiddlers who  don't play the same style as the host..so he/she may just want to give a heads up... WHichever way, my idea of a PERFECT open mic is one at which the hosts does a quick poll of the attendees and sees  what tunes Most of them know and maybe even lets them start the tunes.. Like everything, there are a lot of considerations involved ....Again, hopefully, the mentioned format probably took some consideration... Can't wait until I get to host an open mic again......

From what I've seen, some hosts will attract a large group of attendees and other hosts hardly attract any musicians..Nothing against the host, but the  genre they play may not be very popular  to a lot of musicians... Just a thought..

Oct 5, 2021 - 8:17:44 AM
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79 posts since 1/28/2018
Online Now

I see with further reading there's dancing involved...so it's more about fitting to the dances...yeah a tune list seems appropriate, but I wouldn't call it a "open mike".

Oct 5, 2021 - 8:42:44 AM
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DougD

USA

10329 posts since 12/2/2007

I've never heard of an open mic for a dance, although I suppose there are groups of people who just want to get together and dance and play. Like Steve, it sounds like a recipe for a train wreck to me.
Around here the contra dances hire bands, although I guess the exact personnel could vary. I've played for them a few times.
To me an open mic is a night in a club or coffeehouse when anyone is welcome to play, usually with some kind of sign up sheet and MC. Haven't been to one of those in a long time.

Oct 5, 2021 - 9:27:42 AM
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5486 posts since 9/26/2008

Open mic sounds like the wrong usage of that term. Sounds to me like what you are referring to is an open band situation, which isn't all that uncommon in the dance band world, newbies playing off mic while the core band is mic'd up. There's even one of those in my neck of the woods that has regular Sunday gatherings where it is sort of an open jam to play while the clogger rehearse their routines. I've never attended because I already have a dance band or two to play with, but I know a few do attend and it sounds fun enough if you are a note reader (they have "the list" they play from).

Oct 5, 2021 - 9:40:03 AM

2465 posts since 10/22/2007

Lee,
Could you help fill in the picture? About the venue. Is this a dance hall? A senior center? Some place where the venue people don't host, or do they trade off?
Did I here you say a dozen fiddlers? How many are in this open mic band?
Seems like the more musicians put together unrehearsed, well. . . . .let's put it this way, a good danceable rhythm takes a fairly tight group.

Oct 5, 2021 - 11:38:55 AM
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1635 posts since 4/6/2014

In standard jazz that is technically a "Dial A Band" situation

Oct 5, 2021 - 12:49:26 PM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

Contra dance going on for well over 20 years.. Three weeks a month, bands are paid to play, but once a month an Open Mic is held where One skilled musician leads the 'band' of whoever shows up to play tunes for the dance. The Leader's job is to see that the tempo is kept and that the beginners are made welcome but not allowed to mess things up by playing tunes that don't work for the dance.... This has worked well for the 20 years that I was involved with the group.. I'd host maybe three times a year.. Always had a nice turnout.. Covid has changed things..Like I said, I can't wait to get to host again..
I understand that there may be confusion about calling it open mic... but it really is.. a 'guided' open mic.. beginners can pick tunes and play on mic with the leader making sure things go well.. Rarely is there a problem.. Sometimes we'd have 12 musicians on stage with 7 on mic and the others supporting off mic..This offers a great opportunity for beginners to meet other musicians and to 'get their chops'..so to speak..  Years ago they had a true open mic, but often there would not be either enough skill musicians to actually play for the dancers effectively, so they went to designating a 'paid host' for the open mic week..

 

I'm new to the idea of sending out a tune/sheet-music list... but I'm not in charge and the dance has lasted for generations and I'm not about to tell them how to  do it.. While I don't fully understand what is going on, I  trust that "Be this madness, there is method in it." ( from Hamlet)

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 10/05/2021 12:54:07

Oct 5, 2021 - 3:36:47 PM
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2302 posts since 8/23/2008

Scratch Band - a band which is pulled together to fulfil a music engagement (gig, function, wedding etc) – sometimes at short notice/last minute – and often all the musicians being used will not have played together before in this band format.

Oct 6, 2021 - 12:24:49 PM
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1635 posts since 4/6/2014

To me, "Open mic" means there is a microphone and PA system which anyone can use to speak, sing, or play to others. Although why an individual, or group of individuals would want/need an open public address system is another question? ...Could be entertaining /enlightening ... Or not.

Communicating with other musicians and giving them a set list, time, date, and a place to be is something else....But calling it an "Open mic" event might encourage other musicians smiley ...And/Or others.....surprise!!

Oct 6, 2021 - 10:17:21 PM
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269 posts since 6/3/2016

From the description, I would call that an "Open Band", not an Open Mic.

Oct 6, 2021 - 11:07:50 PM

2784 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver


If the tunes are preselected by one person and the others attending have to play from that list, is it still an OPEN MIC? You thoughts please.


Open mics, I'm familiar with are typically individual performances... and about the individual performer(s); and what ever they want to do in their time slot usually a few songs/tunes... pretty much, any genre/style, any key, any tempo, any rhythm, any length... they decide. They do their slot, then leave the stage. Skeptical that format  would work for a contra dance.

A different concept, more along lines of informal pickup band, or jam. I've been involved with lot's of those; with different variations; they can work for a contra; or not, depends.

More important than terminology... it's about goals, what folks want to have happen, or need to happen; the function. Part of that involves balancing different goals; type of and degree of inclusiveness of different musicians, (as well the caller and dancers). Dealing with a lot of unknowns. I think good leadership helps... which sounds like what they are trying to do... reign in unknowns to something more controllable.  (some are good ideas even if a more fixed band).

I'm new to the idea of sending out a tune/sheet-music list...

A written solid list of tunes is not a bad thing (in most gigs)... eliminates some of the unknowns, and issues that can easily come up. In this context, probably common tunes they know they can solidly lead and crank out, that can make work for the dance and diverse musicians trying to include.

My thought is that a list of sheet music of even Easy tunes rules out a lot of musicians who learn by ear.. even if  audio was available.. it takes TIME.. to learn tunes..

That seems a bit of the point...  Some folks might be unfamiliar with tunes being played, never played them perhaps heard them... lot's of folks are not good at or comfortable just showing up and picking up tunes on the fly... even just rhythm players, trying to figure out chords. So are a bit intimidated by that process, feel lost, or like they have sit out; excluded. So to be more inclusive, many would feel more included if given heads up and prepare if given list, and resource references for that version, audio example, (your OP said audio was included?) as well written chord chart, notation; if needed.

I'm not sure how NOT having any idea what tunes/versions might be played, and lack resource, would be better?

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 10/06/2021 23:14:43

Oct 7, 2021 - 2:23:29 PM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

I thought that this event would be a good talking point.. I'm pleasantly surprised by the variety of comments and 'takes'....Keep them coming..

Oct 7, 2021 - 4:51:55 PM
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2465 posts since 10/22/2007

Lee,
It seems like your hosting method is very hands-on. Good for someone outgoing.
The method in question, seems like trying to get away from making decisions on the fly. Maybe they don't want anyone to show up for the pickup band?

I gotta say Lee, personally I'd prefer your method. No muss. No fuss. Nothing to distribute.

Oct 12, 2021 - 5:59:27 PM
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bsed

USA

4181 posts since 6/23/2007

Answer is a resounding 'no'. Open mics are where you get to play what you wanna.

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