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Audition/demo tape advice??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Steve Clark, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Hi everyone,

    I got a call this morning for an interesting opportunity. Long story short over the summer I met a guitar player who does a lot of 'hired gun' road work. He likes my playing. I think he overdoes the praise a bit but back to the story. I told him I was interested in some road work. I started playing music as a teen and am getting back into it after a lay off of many years.

    He went back on the road after some local stuff didnt work out. He called today asking if I was interested in auditioning for what sounds to be a fairly serious project based in Missouri. If I got the gig it would be three weeks of rehearsals and then off to the studio and who knows what happens afer that. Of course chances are nothing will happen but I would certainly like to give it my best shot. My wife is supportive and someone can easily run my company while I am away. Heck maybe someday I can sell the company and do music full time but at 38 years old my chances might be limited.

    The first step is to put together a sample of my playing. I was already looking at some recording USB interface stuff last week so I will buy recording. What would you put on the demo. It would be me playing bass by myself. I thought I should showcase different feels and so on. Maybe do some stuff with my playing blues walk on one track and soloing over the top on the other, some funk stuff, some straight ahead rock.

    What would you do on the demo?
    How long would the parts be?
    How many clips should I put on?
    I don't plan to record a drum machine with me but should I? I thought it might be better to show that I can groove and have solid time on my own?

    I'm guessing a decision to ask me down for an audition would be made within a few moments of hearing the tape/disc.

    I would appraciate any help and advice that you can offer.
  2. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Anyone? :confused:
  3. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    If you want the gig, you should present them with a demo showing them that you can play their material. There's no use recording being able to do walking bass if they don't play that kind of material. If they are a variety band, or you want to create an all-purpose demo then you can showcase your versatility. Otherwise, show them that you are a fit. Most bands are looking for a good fit more than a great chops.

    You should use a drum track for your demo. That will show that you can lock into a beat and groove. You can use a track without drums to display your timekeeping ability, but most bassists play with a drummer.

    Write your resume for the job you are after, and highlights how you fit. If you don't have any idea of what their material is like, it's best that you ask. The same goes will all other details. If you don't know, ask. Nothing wrong with that.
  4. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I recently threw together a demo for a serious project for a cover band. I did not have any material recorded specifically for the type of music they were doing, so I decided to showcase that I can: a) play a variety of styles of music; b) can play on a band demo CD; c) can play well live, d) can improvise, and e) have some singing chops.

    I took about 45 second to one minute cuts of a previous demo from a latin-rock type of band I was in (three cuts), some cuts from a rehearsal tape from the latin-rock band (2 cuts), and some funky lines I recorded over tracks from the Jamerson book (1 cut). I also put in a DB blues thing from a big band demo that showed I could solo and a vocal demo from the same latin-rock band. Because I was coming back from vacation and did not have a lot of time, I just recorded it on a cassette (that was okay with the guy I was sending it to). Sent it off and stressed about why I don't have at least CD quality or sound clips on my own website, but they liked the demo enough to get me going on the next step which means I will get in on an audition by preparing some songs in their style.

    I got a lot of these ideas from previously starting a thread on this subject. There are other threads with good ideas. Try a search. Its just a demo, doesn't have to be CD quality, and, as mentioned above, bands are also looking for the right fit in a person, not just the right chops.