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Audition Opinions

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bloobass, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    So I'm curious to see what everyone makes of this:

    Replied to a post on FB, BL called me Thursday night. Gave me 5 songs. I had to learn 2, refresh on 1, the other 2 were "standards" I've played for years. In pitching me his project, he's telling me they've had a lot of people audition, and what they're looking for. I pretty much fit the bill, save for lead singing abilities. They didn't want a full time lead singing bass player, just someone to sing a few songs. I say I can sing harmony and such, but was not a lead singer. He says "that's not a big deal". As we're getting off the phone, he mentions they're also auditioning singers and rhythm gui****s. I ask when he's auditioning them, he says "when you audition". So I ask, "You're auditioning all 3 of us at once?", he says yes.
    So I get there, and sure enough, there's a singer with a notebook, and guitar player with sheet music, and the 2 guys trying to put together this project. Singer was decent, other than changing the melody on EVERY song, guitar was decent, even sang some on the fly harmony parts. I didn't have a mic, so I didn't worry about it.
    At their request, I used the backline at the room, and got a decent sound, and had plenty of volume. I thought I played really well: didn't miss any changes, got all the breaks, synced up with the drummer pretty well...but was not very optimistic because of the circumstances. Played the 5 tunes, they wanted to jam on some other stuff, singer didn't know any of their material, so we called it a night.
    I got my rejection email last night...again, I'm not surprised. I am however a little miffed, because I think it's just plain dumb to try to audition 3 new people all at once. I don't see how they could make a real assessment of any of our abilities under those circumstances...well, the singer, but I don't think it's fair to the bass or rhythm guitar player.
    Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try to explain the situation as best I could to get some honest opinions and maybe a little discussion going...
  2. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    They might have found a bass player that sings lead, and since the singer who auditioned wasn't very good, they want to try that.

    I'd guess your Dear John letter has more to do with vocals than your bass playing.
  3. Sounds like a pretty strange way to audition potential band mates.
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    ...at least they gave you closure.

    How many times have we all been left hanging because someone didn't have the balls to say "Thanks, but no thanks"? That goes for both sides of the audition equation
  5. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I've had many auditions where multiple people auditioned at the same time. Unless one of the players is so bad they are disruptive, I don't see an issue.
  6. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Sounds like they are not organized or ready yet.
    Probably never see a stage.
  7. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Just let it roll off. They were organized enough to give you tunes, let you know what they were looking for, and contact you to inform you that your services were not needed. I've had worse audition scenarios.

    In the meantime, work on your vocal chops and bring a mic, stand, and cable to the next audition. Try to give them more of what they want.

    It seems your playing is up to par. Being able to sing lead and harmony parts makes you more valuable. If you don't want to sing then look for a group who needs only a bass player. I'm sure more opportunities will come along for you. Be prepared. Good luck! Sorry it didn't work out this time. Maybe next time. :D

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  8. I've been through a few of those group type of auditions, but I got the gigs and they were all funded bands with paid rehearsals and etc. But, everyone of them shortly fell apart too (ran out of money) - so in my personal opinion, it was probably a blessing in disguise and you're lucky. In other words, don't lose any sleep over it - in fact, don't even give it another thought - instead, just keep marching forward.

  9. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner of iron ore Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Lot of people can tell if your going to work or fit in right out of the gate. Been to several of theses and all of the groups were very organized. This cuts down on time and like I say, if they are proficient they don't need much to get the gist of your playing.
  10. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Actually sounds pretty normal to me. Just keep auditioning. The right situation eventually comes along. The ones that don't work are better left in the rear view anyhow.
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I've been on lots of auditions, and don't mind others auditioning, UNLESS it's the drummer. IMO that's just plain wrong. If the drummer sucks, there's nothing that can be done short of telling the band you'd rather just play with them and no drums, that will make you not suck. I'm very confident when I audition, not because I think I'm the greatest, but because I prepare better than most. And 9 out of 10 times I get the gig. There was more than one incident though where I was thrown in with a drummer that sucked, and all bets were off. You can either stay on top of them, or try to balance things out, but regardless it ain't gonna sound good. If you have a solid drummer, and the rest of the band sucks, they can still at least get a clear idea of what you can do.

    There are a hundred different reasons why you might not have gotten the gig. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, and just move on. The 2 best gigs I ever had in my life I didn't get at the audition, but a while later, after they went with someone else and that person didn't work out. I believe we need to just keep moving forward and we'll wind up precisely where we're supposed to be. When we're supposed to be there.
  12. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    I appreciate everyone's good words...like I said, I wasn't very optimistic once I found out all the details, so I didn't expect to get the gig. No harm no foul, everything for a reason, etc, etc. I'm not losing sleep over it, it was just a first for me after playing 20+ years and having gone on quite a few auditions, so I was curious how many of you have encountered something similar.
  13. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I've never had to do a group audition before... but my line of thinking is similar to Joe's above. The last audition I had was me filling the bass role in an established band, so it was pretty straight forward.
    I have been on the other side, putting together a project, and had to audition multiple people. I was always up front though, letting everyone know that this was me forming a new project and that I'm not looking for perfect execution, but rather synergy, flow and general ability, while keeping in mind that the players are all in uncharted territory.
  14. Perhaps you were OVER-qualified. Sometimes it's more about 'fit' than ability. Or, perhaps they could see the pain on your face and sensed you wouldn't be happy in the band.

    I've been to many auditions that I haven't got simply because I expected more.
  15. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    This. Regardless of whether you do a stellar job on the day, or the circumstances of the audition, if the core group don't think you're a good fit for whatever reason then you'll likely miss out. 9/10 times you should actually look at is as doing you a favour.

    Unless for some reason you think you might have falsely presented yourself then you've got no reason to be bummed out. An act that fits you better will come along.
  16. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    I have auditioned for bands that:

    1. gave me a list of songs without needing to be prompted,
    2. told me what key they played them in, and if necessary which version
    3. told me exactly what they are looking for and what they expected from me.

    Almost every single time that happened, the band was prepared, professional, and easy to deal with. Those same bands also followed up after the audition out of courtesy to let me know if they went with someone else.

    When you have to ask them simple questions that they should have stated right up front (set list, which version, what key, their expectations, etc.), for the most part, those bands aren't going anywhere fast.
  17. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Since they had 3 people auditioning at the same time, I would have looked at it as an opportunity meet and jam with new people. You never know how things will work out. Maybe one of the people who auditioned may want to start their own band and remember you.
  18. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Sorry, I didn't think of this. This sounds like a distinct possibility. So keep moving forward, on to bigger and better things!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  19. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    "3 people auditioning at the same time"= "Not really a band" it is just two dudes pretending to be a band.
    Band means you are missing one, or two people at most. End of story.

    I get tired of seeing the same loser ad on CL here in ATL claiming to be a "BAND" that is in need of a drummer, bassist, rhythm guitarist, and keyboardist. Dude you ain't a band, you are one/or two guys who needs a band.
  20. Ugh. No kidding. My worst is met with three band members at a coffee place one evening just to chit-chat. Seemed to go well, they talked about some of the songs they were doing (covers band slowly moving to originals), I knew most. I thought we left it as band was getting together next week, come on out and let's see how it goes.

    Never heard from them again. I emailed a couple days later, and they didn't respond to that.