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audition issues

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by ekspain, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. ekspain


    Feb 22, 2008
    I've made it to the finals in the last 2 auditions i've taken. I've won 1 job- my current job... and i've done 6 auditions total. the comments i've gotten for my last to auditions were: not enough dynamic color, sound.
    This is a comment i get alot, and I don't know how to deal with it! I'm really depressed about it, and I'm not sure if its me or my bass. My bass is a great sounding instrument- but its not very "ballsey"- it has
    subtle dark, beauty, but maybe what I need is an in your face kind of instrument. Some people tell me I need to play closer to the bridge-
    but that seems to get a brighter tone, and atleast on my bass, produces minimally louder tone. so...I'm lost. I feel like the key to my success lies in that big, lush sound, that wins auditions, but I can't seem to achieve that- my sound is often described as beautiful, but..its not big...loud...what can I do??????????!!!!!!!!!:confused:
  2. Tyler_W


    Jun 15, 2005
    Woodbridge, VA
    what pieces have you been playing?
  3. If you play at the bridge you have to play with really really slow bow, to avoid that nasty bright nasally tone.
  4. ekspain


    Feb 22, 2008
    I played Vanhall, Bottessin concerto 2, Beethoven 5-the usual-, mozart 40, mendelsohn 4, Beethoven 9, and Shost 5 - I played the whole 1st mvt of Bott. 2, half the 2nd mvt,
    to m. 56 (i think) in the Vanhall, and a good score of excerpts. In fact the whole list except for Don Juan... and They emphasized that i did'nt give enough sound and that I seemed a little reserved, that i could have taken more risk... I'm not sure if a big part of its the bass, or the way I play, or both... I've gotten the same comments in 3 auditions and I feel like- I've got to take care of this issue or I won't move on from where I'm at... My old teacher told me that my bass seemed a little resistant, but
    it has such a beautiful sound...its a pity because, it seems that there is just not enough of it.. To make a real dynamic difference is difficult.
    the audition winner had a real nice lush sound- and the excerpts were reasonably good, though I'm sure I'm techniqually a more qualified player. Her sound made more of an impression- and her musicality was more obvious cuz of the sound...so I don't know what to do. I need some good advice here.. part of me wants to give up, because its just so emotionally difficult to take real orchestral auditions. you practice so much, for 2/ 3 months- and in the end- you don't get the job!!! its happened to me 5 out of 6 times- The final round, to me, doesn't seem that impressive...i feel like thats the least i deserve for all my hard work!!! anyway, thanks guys/gals!!!
  5. NotACello


    Oct 11, 2006
    new york city!
    That's life. This is what happens to all good bass players before they finally get their job. It's not supposed to be easy- not very many people walk in to their first professional audition and get the job. Don't worry, keep working hard and you'll get there. You're pretty close already.
    Maybe you should try playing closer to the bridge. Under your ear it may not sound impressive, but the sound may be more impressive out in a hall. Can you have someone else play your bass in different ways while you sit in a hall and compare?
  6. quenoil


    Jan 20, 2007
    I think winning 1 out of 6 auditions, and making it to the finals of at least 3 of those, is a pretty damn good track record. Of course you should be striving to always be better and better, but also be realistic in your expectations... some amazing players go years without winning an audition.

    As for the bass and your playing, need to follow your gut. Go for the sound and musical vision that moves you and stick with it. If that means a different bass, or a rethinking of how you're playing, or just sticking to your guns, so be it.
  7. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    Hey sorry about your pain. I don't think I need to tell you that life is not fair. I wont because I don't agree with that statement. Neither should you.
    Pick yourself up. Learn from your mistakes. Pain is a very good teacher. In your case it is mostly self served.
    I have been in similar situations as well as many others out there.
    If you continue to ask "why" you may get hung up in this instead of bringing your music and bass playing to the highest level posible. That way you will get any job.
    Feedback from jury members can be misleading. It's all about perspective , there are no ablsolutes.
    Attpempting to get to the bottom of the truth of why you did not get the job can be a futile attempt of the ego .
    The best person does not always win the job but the best person always makes the best music for himself.
    You are only responsible for the input, the attempt. You are NOT responsible for the outcome. Logic might even say you are wrong for being upset at all based on this premise. I am on the fence on that one.

    I understand how draining it can be on the soul to take these auditions. But I now see that if I had gotten the jobs that I thought I should have then I would never be here writing this to you now. I may be in a place even worse than I could ever imagine.
    This sounds like a lot of mombo jumbo I'm sure. In time you will see how these "near wins" are adding up to something else. You may even be extremely grateful that you didn't get the job after all. Your path sounds very exciting although frustrating. ONce you get that job you may be much more grateful, Then you will have new challenges. what then ?

    Remember, no one is forcing you to do this. You can always do something else. It is apinful when the jury is the one who seemingly chooses the winner. There are many winners at the audition, they just get the prize at different times. Keep up the good work. take a break from practicing for the gig. Do a recital. remember why you want a job. To pay your rent or to play music . If you own a bass and bow you can do it for free. why do you put yourself through all the pain?

    But the sorry fact is that not everyone gets a job good enough to support the bills or the ego.

    Hang in there

  8. ekspain


    Feb 22, 2008
    thanks g force- your right on.... and ultimately destiny is destiny- Thanks guys for all your in-put!

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