Music & Art

Open Mic Feedback

I mentioned in “Having Too Many Christian Friends” that I’m looking to play some coffee house kind of gigs, maybe some open mic stuff. A local coffee place hosts open mic every Thursday night, so I’ve been working up some tunes in anticipation of playing.

I’m looking for some feedback, if you’d be so kind, regarding possible song selections. But first, what should I play: keys or guitar?

It’d seem a no-brainer, right? I mean, I’m foremost a piano player. So why would I consider playing guitar? Here’s my reasoning going back and forth:

  • An acoustic guitar would seem to fit small coffee house venues.
  • But you’re better on keys.
  • An electronic keyboard might be okay for a larger stage but to me would seem out of place when you’re basically sitting with the audience.
  • But you’re better on keys and they’d love to watch as you improv up and down the 88s.
  • On Sunday mornings I used to play a keyboard exclusively (a nice Yamaha S90s, which seems like a Saab model name), since we didn’t have a piano, but I always longed for one in acoustic settings. (I think because they lack overtones) keyboards seldom offer the kind of resonance you’re looking for when playing in an acoustic environment.
  • But the audience would resonate with your fantabulous skills on the black and whites.
  • Playing some Elton John and Bruce Hornsby tunes on guitar would be a nice, unexpected change.
  • What’re you nuts! “Tiny Dancer” should be played on the piano!
  • Lugging around a keyboard featuring weighted keys is much more cumbersome than a simple acoustic guitar.
  • Haven’t you been working out? Maybe you should increase your weight.

This has been the conversation in my mind. What do you think?

Song Selections

So here are some song choices. Check out my YouTube playlist below.

  • “Running on Faith” — a la Eric Clapton
  • “Laugh So You Don’t Cry” — Andy Davis
  • “The Way It Is” — Bruce Hornsby
  • “Daniel” — Elton John
  • “Tiny Dancer” — Elton John
  • “I Need You To Turn To” — Elton John
  • “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” — Elton John
  • “Your Song” — Elton John
  • “And So It Goes” — Billy Joel
  • “She’s Always a Woman” — Billy Joel
  • “Arms of a Woman” — Amos Lee
  • “Sweet Pea” — Amos Lee
  • “Baby, I”m a Want You” — Bread
  • “Nothing Left to Lose” — Mat Kearney (I almost want to nix this one since he can’t spell his first name)
  • “Shape of My Heart” — Sting
  • “Fields of Gold” — Sting
  • “Crazy” — Willie Nelson
  • “Come By Me” — Harry Connick Jr.
  • “Good People” — Jack Johnson
  • “Banana Pancakes” — Jack Johnson
  • “Better Together” — Jack Johnson

What do you think?

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7 thoughts on “Open Mic Feedback

  1. matt…my vote’s for and acoustic version of “baby i’m a want you”, bread. and, “tiny dancer”, elton john on keyboards. open mic night will be fun!

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  2. Keys, and I am not a fan of keyboards UNLESS weighted, and I know from our Korg and lugging it around, at times, over 100 lbs. is never fun to lug around, no matter how strong.

    Whatever you choose: keys (weighted or not) or guitar I am sure it will be FUN and that’s the point.

    As far as selections…no input.

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  3. Hey is it being recorded? Can it be recorded? Special request from the one who paid for all those piano lessons. Feeling the guilt yet? Just kidding but I didn’t get even a mini concert while you were here! Oh except for hearing you on guitar for a few seconds. What’s up with that? I know your stay was much shorter than in years past. And I couldn’t even talk you into a night of karaoke with me and my friends. Definitely our loss.

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    1. Sorry. I wish I had sung, if even to keep my voice in shape. Sunday morning was rough.

      The event won’t be recorded, but I might record some of the songs just to hear what I sound like. I’d pass them on to you.

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  4. This is the plaque we had made of it for the boy’s room. His tattoo is just of the logo, and each object has significance, placement of the helmet, and many other things all have symoblization based on the history of crests. 

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