Song Swap has just returned from a two-year hiatus. Most or all of the time, it will be held at my apartment near Medford Square.
Click here for information on the next Song Swap.
Nonperformers are very welcome, too! It's always nice to have an audience.
Our usual format is to simply go around in a "bardic circle"-- when it's your turn, just play, make a request, or pass. Sometimes, we use other formats, such as "chaos"-- just jump in-- when there are few enough people to do so.
Open mic nights (e.g. at Club Passim) are fine, but nerve-wracking. I haven't been playing guitar very long, so I still get nervous singing and playing "on stage". Especially solo. Especially for just one song. Especially when all other performers have their songs memorized, whereas I have a terrible memory and prefer to keep my music stand handy. My hope is that Song Swap will be less formal and more relaxing than open mic nights that I've seen, and be a good place to try out songs and practice performing, with less pressure and more time.
There are some music events I enjoy, like Psinging, because they're terrific for group singing and/or music jamming. But they are not appropriate venues for performance, which is why I'm creating Song Swap. On the other hand, if you want to lead a singalong at Song Swap, that's fine too!
MassFilc get-togethers, and occasional housefilk events, are good for performance, but they are really intended for singing filk. Although filksingers are a very tolerant bunch, I feel uncomfortable singing many songs that are not filk songs.
(Filk is a subset of folk music that is practiced in, by, and for the Science Fiction and Fantasy fan community. For more information, see here or here, or else just attend a meeting of MassFilc. :-)
So, in short, at Song Swap:
(1) it's low-pressure (unlike open mic nights around town).
(2) it's OK to swap turns in the spotlight (unlike Psinging), and
(3) it's OK to perform either original or cover songs of whatever genre (unlike MassFilc, where it's tolerated but not necessarily encouraged).
If you know someone else whom you think might be interested in Song Swap, feel free to tell them, too.
- Paul Estin
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