Audition dilemma - 2 fine yet different guitar players

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jastraw, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. jastraw

    jastraw Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2016
    My band is audition a new guitarist. We currently have 1 other guitar, 2 female vocalists, bass and drums. We have been together for 3 years. Departed guitar retired.

    We auditioned 2 candidates last night. We are not too experienced with this.

    Candidate 1. C1 is a stronger musician all around. Solid tone and gear. Completely prepared for the 6 audition songs. We did some jamming at the end. C1 was overplaying a bit. A lot of blues and minor pentatonic scales. Overall the quintessential rock guitarist. Sings well. Lives closer to other members. C1 knows he's a strong musician and giving suggestions on what others should be playing. We tried a song not on the audition list, C1 picked it up quickly. I question after C1 left how long would he sticks with this project. A definite talent.

    Candidate 2. C2 is a fine player. C2 had some gear issue with tube amp overheating (outdoors hot summer day). C2 sings well too. Not as strong as C1 vocally. C2 has better stage presence. For what it's worth, just looks better on stage visually with the rest of the band. C2 lives further away. Not quite as prepared with the 6 songs. Much more thoughtful playing. Played with an economy of style that I rarely hear. Playing chord tones through change and weave interesting lines. Modal playing when necessary. A real-time listener. C2 distance from the rest of band concerns me.

    The band is undecided. A good problem to have. We should invite both back for 2nd round. We have the next gig end of August. We like to have someone prepared by then.

    I appreciate some TB input.
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  2. ELG60


    Apr 26, 2017
    You had me at thoughtful playing and economy of style.
  3. jastraw

    jastraw Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2016
    Right? A rarity.
  4. ELG60


    Apr 26, 2017
    True, and unless the material is unusually difficult, I don't see the necessity for constant, regular rehearsal. Practice at home, rehearse to tighten up b4 the gig, and regular gigging takes care of the rest. A bit of distance is immaterial, but if it's like an hour away, that can wear on a body.
  5. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    C2 feels like the leader in the clubhouse, but "lives farther away" can become an easy excuse to blow off rehearsals and ultimately quit.
  6. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    You've GOT to be kidding. C1 overplays and DURING THE AUDITION is suggesting what other people play???? If you pick him keep C2's number for when you get tired of C1's BS.
  7. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Yes, C2 seems to be more of a team player and more developed stylistically. That would be my pick.
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  8. I would go with C2
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  9. wazzel


    Dec 27, 2007
    Cypress, TX
    If they are approximately equally skilled choose for fit with the rest of the group. Any lacking skills can probably be learned. Attitude is more or less fixed for most people.
  10. jastraw

    jastraw Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2016
    That's sound advice. Thanks.
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  11. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Sounds like your choices are 1) flash but with the attitude and ego that unfortunately sometimes accompanies it or 2) playing and attitude that show some maturity.

    If my band were the one auditioning people (and we are doing that right now), I'd probably suggest having both come back for a second look. But, unless C1 shows something different in a callback audition, I'm thinking C2.
  12. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    1. Did C1 overplay during the songs? Or only during the jam?
    2. Did C2 play with economy during the songs, using chord tones, etc? Or only during the jam?
    3. What styles of music does your band primarily play? What style of music was the jam?
    4. You have another guitarist. What are the roles of the two guitars working together? How did the other guitarist feel about C1 and C2, and the interplay between the guitars?
    5. What are your priorities for guitar skills versus vocal skills?
    6. Are you planning to write original music, or are you planning to perform music that has already been written?
    In my opinion, at least, these are important questions to know before we can really form an opinion. (I'm sure there are others.) As someone else said, at the end of the day a lot of it will come down to group dynamics and mutual compatibility. Barring that, I would be initially inclined to pick the person who is the better overall musician. (Based on your descriptions, it's difficult for me to decide who that might be, but again - without knowing about your music style or what you play, I wouldn't be able to base a good opinion on your descriptions anyway.)
  13. Zak TMD

    Zak TMD

    Apr 22, 2016
    Outside of the heart of darkness, Washington, DC
    Breaking even is the new making money.
    So it sounds like either could be a good fit from what you said, but here's something you didn't touch on... first take who's a better fit in terms of personality for the band's culture? Who would you rather hang out with in a non band setting?

    My experience is that if you have any number of people who can physically do the thing, personality fit is always going to win out.
  14. mike57


    Feb 12, 2009
    Our Fair City, MA
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  15. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    Bring them both back then sit and talk to them not just about music and see who you really feel comfortable with.
    Then ask yourselves could we hang with this guy and NOT get annoyed quickly?
    Answer solved (unless you cant stand them both)
  16. BtaylorTheRogue


    Nov 14, 2016
    The amount of times I've been told I must be flakey because I smoke weed, live far away from my gigs, and am young, is infinitely large (at least 10 times, I'd guess, not counting sweeping internet statements not about me specifically) compared to the amount of times I've flaked on bandmates (0).

    Just throwing that out there.

    Personally, IF C2 can have reliable gear and transport, I vote C2. But there's a tactful way to ask these questions, without presuming that they're going to be issues.

    I just find that I'd rather surround myself with enjoyable average musicians who fit with me, instead of amazing musicians that constantly keep me on my toes in a bad way.
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  17. Here's a suggestion:

    Invite them both back, and have them audition together, with just you, the drummer and the singer.

    See what happens.
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  18. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Guest

    Nov 22, 2017
    I'm going with C2. It's not your job to set his priorities for him. If he thought you were too far away, he wouldn't have auditioned.
  19. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    I always preferred someone who always had to play just the slightest bit of catch-up to the rest of the band, wanted to do it, and was someone we could all live with, same general mindset and experience.

    Mr. Fabulous who walks in, looks a little bored as he's nailing it with his eyes closed, adds a little extra mayo, and then making suggestions to a bunch of strangers . . . . . was not what I would have preferred.

    And then, their personal habits . . . . . . regarding various adult diversions . . . . could always re-shuffle the deck.
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  20. jastraw

    jastraw Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2016
    I generally feel this way too.

    C1 was not overbearing in any way with his suggestions. It's just something that happened that usually doesn't at an audition with a group of strangers.
    bmusic likes this.