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Audition Pieces

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by FreeSpirit, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Hey, I got a message and asked to audition for a very heavy ska/reggae/dub band. I am wondering what should i learn for the audition? Im looking more towards any scales in general i should know? What i was thinking was i should get all the chords down pat, and just practise playing over diffrent chord changes? does this all sound good?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Nobody's going to ask you to play scales at an audition. Your best bet is to find out what songs they do and learn some of them. Through doing that, you'll probably learn some patterns that you can use in the songs you don't know.
  3. Learn a cover song in the same genre as the band your auditioning for and add your own twist to it.

    Maybe play the line and tap the melodies of the horns/trumpets for ska,

    Something a bit different thats gonna make you stand out from the rest!
  4. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    This may sound silly, but practice in front of a mirror, and see what kind of vibe you give off. Sometimes when you audition, they like to imagine how you'd be on stage and off. Hell, I've gotten gigs without even taking my bass out of the case. They felt that I was a good hang.
  5. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Sorry, and respectfully, this is a terrible idea.

    When have you ever heard a bass player in a dub band use tapping? When have you ever seen a dub bassist play anything other than dubby bass lines?! :eek:

    Anyway, an audition is to see whether you fit in, musically and socially. You have to show that you understand the type of music you're playing and tapping a horn line is the complete oppostite of understanding dub/ska/reggae etc.

    You cant play a specific genre of music if you dont 'get it'.

    Listen to as much dub/ska/reggae as you can get your hands on, feel the groove, listen to what each instrument does, listen to the role of the bass and how it interacts with the roles all the other instruments play.
    Check out Sly & Robbie - a greatest hist album shoudl set you back about £3 in a sale - there'll be enough famous dub lines on there to get you through an audition. Bob Marley is the obvious choice for reggae, skatelites are about the only ska artists i can remember! :rolleyes:

    The bass is vital in this kind of music, the groove is consistant, pulsating and hypnotic. The bass playes way behind the beat, but isnt 'lazy'. It's usually very repetative with no more than one or two simple but melodic variations.
    Most of the time you'll be playing simple two or three chord progressions, pretty much always major and minor triads and you'll rarely ever need to use more than root, 3rd, 5th octave, Altho if you're playing in a minor key, using the b6 in natural minor gives kind of modern ska sound and the b7 through 5th to the root can be nice in reggae. Original ska basslines in my limited experience tend to be very simple root, 5th and scale tones mostly, again, think melodic, but not intrusive.
    Note length is REALLY important, it's amazing how much difference changing the length of notes at different places in the bar can have... of course this applies to everything, but here the bass is so prominant you have to get it right. You have to relax to feel it properly.

    sound, use the neck pickup, turn down the treble and mid and put the bass on full! it'll sound more convincing if you dont use mega low action and flat wounds are great for this style of bas playing

    Sorry to waffle. hope that was of some help :)
  6. I didnt mean he actually had to tap the line, twas just an example

    I guess what i was trying to say is just earning songs and repeating them in front of whoever you are trying to impress isnt gonna get you very far IMHO unless you repeat them perfectly

    So what i would do is try and come of with somethin a little more impressive

    good job im the one who started my band and not the one who was auditioning for the part!! lol
  7. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
  8. Thanks alot for all the help. I have always been listening to alot of marley, skatalites, and such so that isnt a problem to listen to more. Thatnks woodchuck for the info and help, it means alot from you since you are pretty well respected around here. Also thanks for that link thewanderer24, it helped me out alot.

    I'll try to rember to post how it went.
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yeah, I know it was just an example :)

    I guess what I was trying to say is that for an audition like this you really want to play well within the boundaries of what hasd goen before.. i.e. not trying anything new or clever or even vaguely impressive, bceause the music isnt about individual musicianship, it's about the group and the groove :cool:

    EDIT: Actually, I think this is key role of the bass in any music, bass is the funadamental, it's root notes, it's the 'baseline' of what the listener centres everything else around, it's also the basics of pretty much any groove you hear. I think a great bass player understands this role and enjoys playing this role.
  10. ii-v


    Mar 27, 2005
    SLC, UT

    I respectfully disagree. If I audition for a group I ask them what songs they are doing and I learn them. If they are originals I ask about the style or genre they play in. If there is sheet music I read the music. If chords, I refer to the answer to the style question and improv over the changes playing a strong chord root, because for all I know they need a strong reference even in their own songs. If playing jazz standards I assume I can pretty much use twelve tones any way I choose as long as it sounds good.

    When auditioning guitarists, if I give them a song and they do not learn it, well see ya interview is over. I view the audition as a similar thing to the studio, the more prepared you are to lay it down the more you are in demand. Sadly, many players believe the purpose of an audition is to prove themselves as being a great bassist, when most people running auditions just want to play music.

    To the original question. Do not learn scales get the songs or refer to the genre.
  11. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    yeah, bang on.. there's no "I" in band... as they, err, almost say :D

    ...but there is in "gig", hmmm :eyebrow: