Volume 1, Issue 3, September, 2004


by Stacy Hobbs

Lets take a look at some of the obvious and not so obvious places to “play out” with our Harp guitars!

For beginners who just want the experience of playing ‘live’ in front of real people, I would strongly suggest the open mic’ scene.  Check your local paper or musician friends to find the hot spots.

Another low-keyed gig would be family gatherings. My very first paying gig was for a ‘tea party’. I was sweating bullets to earn that $25.00 but it was less pressure that an open mic’ and at a very tender stage of my performance career!

Next stop, as you may have guessed, the coffee shop.  This can be an unnerving gig if you’re not used to the cacophony of espresso machines coupled with small talk from the audience.

Having said that, all coffee houses are different. In fact some are coffee houses and some are coffee shops.

The former tends to lean toward an “all ears” environment while the latter, well, lets just say it will prepare you for the infamous background gig!

The best way to get gigs in theaters, restaurants, clubs, festivals, or coffee shops is to go there to see other folks play.  Leave the establishment with a contact name, and then go back in the near future.

If possible, introduce yourself to the manager/proprietor, and present to them your promo package. A picture of the Harp guitar will always raise an eyebrow!

Follow up with a phone call about a week later, but don’t expect them to call you!  It often helps if you’re playing in the area where the owner could come out to hear you.  Be prepared to offer up available dates!

Open mics’ usually only require you to give advance notice and sign up on their list/roster.

Want to know the gig you shouldn’t pass up, even if you’re a seasoned performer?  The freebie! I’m not condoning doing freebies for organizations on a consistent basis, but the occasional free gig performed on the Harp guitar may generate business for you through the referrals alone!

Another unlikely performance venue with your Harp guitar is through the corporate gig.  I recently hooked up with a local Realtors Association, which has provided many opportunities for performing.

Ever play at your local Country Club? House Concerts?  Both are viable propositions!

Art Gallery openings are a treat. A lot of it is putting your promo in the right hands. Let the Harp guitar do the talking!

If you cant find a gig – create a gig somewhere.  Maybe putting on a benefit for a worthy cause is possible…

These are just a few suggestions for playing out!  There are plenty more!

Play out! You’ll be glad you did and so will your audience!


Stacy Hobbs has been performing, recording, and teaching music for the past 22 years. He purchased his first Harp Guitar in 1998, which proved to be his true calling. Visit www.stacyhobbs.com for more!

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All Site Contents Copyright © Gregg Miner, 2004,2005,2006. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright and Fair Use of material and use of images: See Copyright and Fair Use policy.