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Open Mic Etiquette

Here are few tips to joining in on an Open Mic, Jam Session, Kanakapila, etc...

Open Mics

  • Arrive Early • This applies for a live and a virtual on-line.
  • Bring Your Own Mic • This is especially true in the COVID-19 era. Many Open Mics, Funky Frets included are requiring you bring your own microphone. And get a good one. You can't go wrong with a Shure SM58 as it is an industry standard will last a lifetime. Curt still has his Shure microphones from 40 years ago.
  • Tune Up • Yep, a good idea to tune up before you actually go up and perform.
  • Bring Your Own Instrument, cables, music stands. Etc… About the only thing you will not need is a PS system. Beyond that, you have no idea what the venue or situation will supply.
  • PG or PG-13 • Keep it clean as there might be children in the audience. And, not everyone like to her the F-bomb dropping.
  • Stick Around and Support the Other Performers • Don't just come and play and then leave. Stay awhile, relax and enjoy yourself.
  • No Politics or Religion • An Open Mic is not to place to push your views.
  • Be Able to Perform in Low Light • There might be a case where there are great stage lighting, and it will enhance your performance but be hard to see your music or instruments or even the audience.
  • Have More Than One Song Ready • If you first songs goes good you'll be asked to perform one or two more.
  • DO NOT Noodle Between Songs • There is a great studio trick to rehearsing your part right before going like. Move your fingers over you them mimicking the chords you're trying to recall.
  • Listen to the Host • Wait until the sound man tells you it's OK to plug in or unplug. They need to prep the PA before it is safe to unplug.
  • Don't Apologize • from any mistakes in advance or after. Open Mics are a place to tryout new material.
  • Support the Venue, Buy Something • This is especially try if the Open Mic is at a commercial establishment. Chances are they are not making a Killin' • I know that at your family Funky Frets Music Store, we have a community room and host an Open Mic every month just to support the community and advertise the store.
  • Have Fun • Everybody is on your side and supportive. Especially for the ukulele community with it's Aloha sprite and sharing nature.
  • Introduce Yourself • And talk a bit story about yourself. the song, your day. Just make sure the story is not longer than the song.
  • Do Your Originals • Originals are favored over covers. This is actually the real purpose of an Open Mic, to try out new material — Off Broadway. This allows you to hone and polish a performance before taking it to the masses.
  • You Can Just Come and Listen • There's nothing that says you have to perform. You can just some and support other musicians or just check it out.
  • Mingle and Meet New People and Fellow Musicians


Kanikapila is a style of Hawaiian music produced in an impromptu jam session, most commonly taking place at a beach, or family gathering. The term comes from kani which means sound.[1] and pila which means any string instrument in the Hawaiian language.

Over the last few decades it formed into a conceptual style reflecting more emphasis on acoustic instruments including the ukulele and free following speed to reflect the emotion of the players. The term has started making its way in the dialog of mainland US musicians as well. (from Wikipedia

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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

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“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!” has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, Luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

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