Going to play for 300 people, Need advice!!

Hi every one, I have a question. I have been asked to play on harmonica with a guitarist at my company’s annual celebration in february 2011. There will be about 300 people there so I’m a little bit nervous. I am going to practice a lot next two months. But I am wondering if I should get a mic for harmonica or not because I will havet to use a mic at the celabration. What do you recommend, should I buy mic for harmonica or just play with ordenary mic? :slight_smile:

Harp regards from Iceland

I would tell you to play those tunes with the guitarist at least 100 times! Make sure that you know the tunes. Then if you think that stage fright will get you, then find a spot and look there. ie someones shoe, forhead, picture on the wall. Think of playing in the garage where you and guitarist have been playing. But most importantly, HAVE FUN!!! If you should bobble a spot or two, don’t worry about it. Play on through as nothing happened. Remember they want you to succeed! Most likely, none of them can do what you are doing. So I say again HAVE FUN!!
You will be nervous, especially if you are like me. You want to do your very best!
I would not worry about buying a mic just for that, what is provided will do quite well. Now if you have never played mic’ed, then maybe just so you won’t be freeked out! ;D
By no means am I an expert on this, I get real nervous playing in front of 30 at church. Although I will play on the 5th at a prison with a couple of hundred inmates. I say go for it! And make sure you tell us how it went! Good luck and brake a leg! ;D

Thanks for this Tyson!
I sure want to do my best, but first and foremost have fun!!
And of course I will tell you how everything went:)

Well Oli! {that’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into?! sorry, I couldn’t help but to BBize it…hardy-har-har! mwuahahahaha!! anywho…}

Since it’s your company get-together; figuring you’ll have plenty of time to rehearse with your guitar partner, and won’t have to appear or perform ‘cold’ (icelandic pun not intended! hehehe!) – Find the hall or room where this is taking place - Go there and see for yourself what kind of equipment you’ll need. And then plan accordingly.

Hope this helps! As I’m sure others have suggestions along the way as well!

Keep on Jammin’!

Hey, SDP? I’m listening, boy! You’d better behave, or you’ll get a whuppin’ you won’t forget.
Seriously Rolie Polie…SOMEBODY STOP ME!!!..this is all great advice. Stage fright is no big deal (unless it happens to be happening to me). Jim Morrison would hardly face the audience, but look at how popular he was/is (living in Oregon now BTW…yuk yuk).
One other trick that worked well when I first started the knee knock serenades, is to find one person you feel comfortable playing for, and look at her/him (now don’t stare a hole through the person. You don’t want to be charged with stalking). You’ll get a chemistry going that will help you relax with the rest of the room. The mic advice is good too. If you DO buy your own mike, practice with it in the room you’ll be playing. Make sure the mic will work well with their system (or lack thereof). I like the advice to use whatever they provide for you. Three hundred is not a large crowd to have to project for. You could probably do it acoustic if necessary. But practice in the room with your band mate. The management will be happy to let you use the room during an off hour. Have a friend there to listen so you feel like you are performing.
I’m going to give you the best advice I ever was given for performing.
Make sure you start your tune well and end well. That’s what everyone remembers. They’ll forgive you for almost anything in between, as long as you start and end well.

As far as the mic goes it will depend on what you are playing. If you want a clean sound a regular mic will probably work fine. If you are looking for a dirty bluesy sound you may want the harmonica mic. Of course whatever you will be using on stage you should definitely be practicing with. I didn’t think I would be nervous, but even just doing a song for family I can hear the notes fluttering with my nerves. They may just think it is some effect I am going for, but I know it’s the nerves. Try some smaller crowds leading up to this so you can see how you react, if you don’t already know. Maybe an open mic night or two in your area would be good. What song(s) will you be playing?

Hi all,
Thank you all very mutch for good advices, this will help me a lot for the preperation. The song list is not finished yet but I will let you know and it is great if you have any suggestions about songs ;).

Happy Harping!

Hey, Oli. Since this is your first time, I would not play more than 2 songs, period! Let them beg for more. That will give you time to work on more stuff for the next time. And play the best one last.
Just a couple cents from me. ;D

Thanks Tyson :),
Yea I have only played once before for other than my family and that was this summer about 30 people and I played 2 songs and the crowd went crazy. I will only play 2-3 songs at the celabration.

Hey, why not record and post something for us to hear? ;D

Yea why not, I’ll do that ;D

I would not advise using a bullet style (harp) mic unless the guitar player is playing an electric guitar thru an amp, and you are already using a bullet mic. If you aren’t really comfortable with your tone, the mic will only amplify your mistakes. You’ll be able to control your volume better with a vocal (stick) mic, getting nearer or farther to the mic as needed. A big plus is you’ll be able to use all your hand effects much easier. Remind the guitar player that you aren’t the loudest instument on stage and to drop back abit when you want to step out.
The practice idea that Tyson made is good advice. Take the attitude that you are the harmonica player and are confident in your ability, few people notice minor mistakes unless the player reacts in such a way as to draw attention to said mistake. Practice the beginnings and ends to these tunes you wish to play to avoid any false starts or overextended non endings, you’ll do fine. The great Rock and Roll pianist Jerry Lee Lewis once said something to the effect of " I may not get this right, I might screw it up, but stand back and watch me try".
Good Luck, and No Worries. If you know the audience chances are even if you think it was your worst performance ever, your friends will appreciate the effort.