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Sightreading for Auditions

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by wild4oldcars, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
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    So I'm a senior in high school, and in our county, and district, we have respective auditions for so called "honor bands". I play the baritone saxophone, and consider myself not terrible at it. I have made these bands fairly consistently, because it is very easy to be a bad bari sax player in a band setting, as it basically doubles the tuba part, with less volume and less complicated technique.

    These auditions are based on a 100 point scale- 21 points divided among 7 major scales (concert Db to concert G around the circle of 5ths), 4 points for the chromatic scale, 40 points for a prepared solo, and 35 points for sightreading.

    We are given 45 seconds to examine the sightreading, and are instructed to play. It is generally in a common key (for band, Ab, Eb, Bb, and F are the most common). However, i have noticed a near constant in this process: nearly every, if not every single sightreading passage i have ever been presented has been in 3/4 time. Of course, this is my least favorite time signature (within reason, no 76/64 lol), and is by far my most awkward and least musical feel to recreate. I was having this conversation with one of my ex's (clarinet) and she said i was crazy. When she came out of her audition, she told me hers was in 3/4. I don't really understand this obsession. Common time is much more accessible to most, but can also become tricky with introductions of eighth and quarter note triplets. Triple time signatures are so much easier to move to than 3/4, and can also get tricky rhythmically. There's nothing fundamentally challenging to 3/4 , other than the fact that i find it clumsy at slow tempos (not like a waltz, which is felt in 1, not 3).

    Can anyone explain this to me? Sorry if this is a tangent, but it really gets on my nerves.
  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U Supporting Member

    May 30, 2000
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    Developer: iGigBook Sheet Music Manager
    Break out the old metronome, preferably one that beats in 3 and start working on some 3/4 pieces.
  3. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
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    You just gotta practice with a metronome. Listening to pieces that are in 3/4 isn't a bad idea, either.
  4. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
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    If you want to test someone, you got to give them something they aren't totally familiar with. If everyone scores 100%, you haven't learned anything about the group you're testing. Frankly if I were get the sight reading material together I'd have something in 6/8 or 9/8, and maybe a simple quarter note/eighth note thing in 5/4. Anyone who takes longer than 45 seconds to figure that stuff out is going to be a drag in rehearsal, and most honor bands don't have that much rehearsal time. (yea, I was a band director for many years)

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