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An Audition "What if?"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bassin', Aug 10, 2002.

  1. Okay, this is the second time this has happened to me so I thought I'd see what y'all thought:

    I've been looking to get into a new band so I answered some ads in the local music magazine. Typically what would happen is we would talk or e-mail and, after the person heard enough of my credentials to understand that I actually know what a bass is, they would send me some recordings of their music. I've gotten recordings from four different bands and, of these recordings, one band stood out as having the strongest material... but here's the catch: I like their music, but I don't like what they're bass player is doing. Not that he sucks, it's just he doesn't seem to know how to groove and lock in with the drums.

    So here's the question: Given that I don't know anything about the band, how should I approach this audition? Should I learn the songs verbatim or should I make my own interpretations on how I feel the bass parts should go... or maybe a mixture of the two?

    I know that typically a band is going to want to here some personal interpretations so they can get an idea what kind of a bass player you are but is there such thing as too much interpretation? Because, if I could, I would probably totally revamp some of these bass lines.
  2. Hey Bassin'. Tough decision, but here's my take on it. Let's say you got the job. Would you enjoy playing the old bassist's parts verbatim? Or would you want to put your own touches on the music? If you were to play what you felt would feel better, don't you think you ought to be up front with the band from the get go?
    Either way, good luck with the audition. Break a leg. Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure it will be the right decision. :cool:
  3. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    My "theory" on learning covers is to try and learn them pretty much note for note when possible, then adjust to your liking. In your situation that would give you both; the ability to cover a song as originally done, and the opportunity to embellish a song with your own interpetive skills
  4. I actually already had the audition-- the part that I left out;) -- but I walked away wondering if there was a better way to approach it.

    My take on going into the audition was exactly yours: If I'm not going to enjoy playing these bass lines verbatim, I should play them the way I would play them. The thing is, when your audtioning, they're sitting there judging whether your the right person or not so every note you play is basically under a microscope. I told them I didn't copy the old bass players lines verbatim and they said that's what they wanted. On some of the songs they seemed real impressed with what I came up with. On others I noticed them throwing each other some funny glances like, "what's he doing there??" It occured to me that it might have been a good idea to reign back on the 'embellishing' a little. I could always suggest changes later, when they had a better unerstanding of what I was about and there was more of a comfort level.

    To make matters worse, most of the alterations I made were influenced by what the drummer was doing. As it turned out, the drummer gave his notice a week before this audition so I had to go in without a drummer. Some of the bass parts that I think would have locked in real well with the drummer sounded a little busy without him.
  5. I think that's a great way to approach it and I think I might have done better if I did do it that way. There was one song in particular that sounded a bit off because there wasn't a drummer there. The problem for me was that I didn't bother to learn the original bass part because I didn't think it worked at all with what the drummer was doing. As we were playing the song it occured to me that I probably should have learned the original bass line as it probably would have worked better since the drummer wasn't there. To make matters worse, it was the last song we played so it was probably the one that gave the lasting impression. :eek:

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