One of the most important things to do if you are learning an instrument or learning to sing is to get out and do it. There are many opportunities these days to play at “open mics” or musical “meet-up groups”. Open mics are usually set up so that each performer gets to do 2 or 3 songs. Normally, you show up at the appointed hour and get your name on the list and wait for your turn. Sometimes you can get on the list ahead of time. Sometimes they save a few spots for walk-ins. Make sure you are well rehearsed and ready to do your songs. Expect to be nervous but so is everyone else. The audience is usually very supportive and wants you to do well even if it’s your first time. They will almost always love that you are giving it a shot. Open mics usually happen at bars, coffeehouses, church basements etc.
Meet-up groups are usually groups of people who have a particular affection for certain styles of music. ie: folk, bluegrass, old-time, blues etc. They may meet once a month at a designated place where they go around the room and everyone takes turns doing a song. Sometimes people bring lyric and chord charts for the other players to play along.
It is usually pretty informal and less of a performance situation than the open mic.
Either way you slice it, get out there and play with other folks or start to perform and you will be amazed at how it helps your confidence and your playing ability. It’s a also a blast to meet other like minded folks and get some positive feedback.
See you at the next open mic!!