Hello everyone! I’m back after a couple of weeks working on my next fear-crushing feat: singing and playing the ukulele at an open mic.
I did it. Yesterday I brought my ukulele to The Burren in Davis Square for the Tuesday open mic. I got there early, put my name on the list, and took a deep breath. I have to give mad props to my friend Taryn for being my partner in crime on this one. She plays the guitar and sings. When we were roommates, we decided we both wanted to try playing at an open mic night at some point soon, but it was never going to happen if we 1) didn’t set a date and 2) didn’t both encourage each other to go for it. **See video below!**
“The point is to do it.” Taryn told me as we headed to The Burren an hour before we were scheduled to go on stage. That is exactly right! Right when she said those words, I felt a little more at ease. This is an open mic night after all. No one is paying to see me play. Most of the people in the crowd are either playing as well or they are there to support their friends who are playing, so it’s a very supportive atmosphere. Whew! I was still nervous, but feeling pumped too.
Taryn went right before me like a total champ. She was amazing and adorable and the crowd absolutely loved her. Taryn’s voice is wonderful.
I know what you’re thinking “Where is the video footage already?! Let’s see it!” Well here you go! Taryn agreed to let me post her performance her as well. Give it up for Taryn!
One last thing, I have to thank my amazingly supportive friends for coming out to watch and my parents and sister for the encouragement. It felt so good to have that reinforcement up there on stage. One of the biggest humps I had to get over when I picked up the ukulele back in February was being self-conscious about my voice. That all went away when I started practicing with Andrew around to boost my confidence. Every little “that sounds great!”, “you’re doing awesome!” and “I love hearing you sing” was what I needed to get over that wall. Now, it not only feels good to sing and play, but it feels liberating! It’s even more liberating to stumble through a song in front of a crowd and feel their support and cheers along the way! If anyone is ever afraid of doing an open mic, you are hearing it from me: you should totally do it! It’s the best way to start performing or to overcome a fear. I had never sung with a microphone before and I didn’t have all the lyrics memorized, so I was worried about those details, but it was totally fine. There are always excuses not to do something, so quit the excuses and DO IT! Just DO IT. Now or never. You have at least one supporter by your side, and that’s ME!
This post is dedicated to my brother, Andrés. July 8th was the anniversary of his death. I like to think it was incredibly auspicious that I could honor him on the night of the open mic right around the anniversary. I love you Bro! You are the reason for this blog and the inspiration in my life ❤
For those of you who are interesting in learning to play the songs I played, here are the links to the youtube videos and websites and also thanks to a new friend Max Newman for giving me a quick last-minute lesson! You’re a talented teacher and musician! Thank you for the help and encouragement.
- “You are my sunshine” (easier version) includes, chords and strumming pattern and here is a slightly more difficult version.
- “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show lyrics and uke tutorials: easier tutorial & a more difficult version
- Ukulele Anthem chords and lyrics and Ukulele Anthem by Amanda Palmer (I’m so glad my coworker introduced this song to me when I first started playing the Uke!)