Here’s an email I received with a question about a good open mic for a beginner:


Great website. I was wondering if you could recommend good open mics for people just beginning. I’ve been playing guitar for a while but I know it’s a big difference playing yourself then hooking up to a mic and trying to get through a song in front of people.
I have been practicing with my own small amp and mike and want to try an open mic night somewhere fesible for my level so any advice would be appreciated. I live in central NJ near Menlo Mall but will travel to wherever the right spot is.

Also, if you know of people who may be looking for back up acoustic guitarists to help out or start with that would be great.

Thanks a lot

My response, summarized, is that your first open mic is the best open mic. It’s all about the adrenaline!

Hi John,

Thanks for the kind words :). I sense that you’re looking for a specific beginner’s-open-mic, but I have to say that (through experience,) the best one is the first one you go to. All open mics are good for beginning at. You can play right after someone amazing, or right after someone awful; it’s the exposure and adrenaline that matter.

In fact, I’d say the more intimidating, the better! It’ll give you something to shoot for and help you develop a stage presence. That said, try to find one near you with a larger audience than a smaller one, because it’s always a little more intense playing for a small group.

If you go by yourself, I’d recommend the Red Bank Music Community’s open mic. It was my most favorite; they’ll tape your performance. They’re extremely dedicated and will help you develop. It’s too far for me to go to regularly, but should be closer to your area. Here’s a review:

I’d shoot them an email to double-check things. I’ve been busy trying to automate parts of the site and have been (admittedly) slow to update lately. Let me know if you decide to check them out. I really appreciate the email and feel great that the site has helped. Like I said, I’m working on making it better, so hopefully we’ll be looking at an even better JerseyMic in the future. Good luck!

I should have added that Craigslist is the best spot for people looking for other artists to collaborate with. You’ll find what you need in the “Community” and “Events” section.

Send in your questions at admin at jerseymic dot com!