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Audition Pointers???

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SubNoizeRat3691, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. SubNoizeRat3691

    SubNoizeRat3691 Lovin' the lows

    Feb 1, 2010
    Quad Cities, IA
    Hello all,
    I will, in the nearish future, be auditioning to fill a bassist position with a local, talented, and well established Funk/Disco cover band.

    I have been given 3 songs to learn:
    Car wash - Rose Royce
    Boogie Oogie Oogie - A Taste Of Honey
    Forget You - Cee Lo Green

    While these songs are not terrible difficult, I honestly have not played much disco/funk to date.

    Are there any tricks to make my audition shine? Do I just learn the songs, and get to the point I can play them flawlessly? or is it more about the feeling, and not so much playing them exactly as recorded???

    I have learned each song to a point, but feel I'm missing some of the intricate details that make the genres special.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to pick out the tiny details and generally get in the groove?

    I love playing these tracks so far, and I enjoy the genre very much, perhaps someone could suggest more disco/funk tracks for me to get better acquainted with the styles :bassist:

    Thanks for your help!
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I sometimes find it helpful to check Youtube and try to find videos of how the original artists and other musicians are playing them. But the only way to really learn them to the point where you feel comfortable is through repetition.
  3. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Great advice from Kmonk!

    A few things you might want to think about;

    • Remember playing a long with a file or clip is a different dynamic than playing live with band.

    • Play in positions that are comfortable for the part and your playing style.

    Just a side note, because this sounds like a really good opportunity. Did they mention vocals.

    Make sure the members can hear you before you audition.

    Dial in the appropriate tone for the material.

    This sounds like a band that gigs and is making $$. You mentioned you were on hiatus for a while, do you have above average gear?

    Just some things to think about.

    Good Luck


    "No songs are easy"... Joe Perry
  4. SubNoizeRat3691

    SubNoizeRat3691 Lovin' the lows

    Feb 1, 2010
    Quad Cities, IA
    Ok, that's what I've been doing so far, I've watched videos for Car Wash, everyone plays it a little differently, so I've just been picking out the parts I like and mashing all the covers together.

    Thanks for the help!
  5. BillyIVbass


    Sep 24, 2008
    Gear Reviews Guitar World Online
    If you can go out and see the band you're auditioning for live. Their arrangements could be a little different and well it makes you look like you really want the gig if you come out and support them.

    Other than that. Listen to the songs. Go for simplicity and feel vs. nailing all the cool licks. Then just relax and show up to your audition on time!
  6. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Do you have those two solo bass fills in Car Wash down perfectly?? Well do you??? ;-)
    If not work on that stat, and also that CeeLo song has some cool bass fills that you need to learn. Other than that groove hard and lock with the drums, if you don't do that there will be NO funk.
  7. SubNoizeRat3691

    SubNoizeRat3691 Lovin' the lows

    Feb 1, 2010
    Quad Cities, IA
    I have average gear probably. Peavey Tour 700 head, thru an 18" cab. Warwick Corvette 4 string, no effects. I've been looking around for a nice 5 string/ possibly a new cab, but what I have sounds really good to my ears.

    The old bassist did do vocals, Love Shack for example, which shouldn't be a problem. I am fairly proficient at singing whilst playing, and the old bassist said it was not a deal breaker if I couldnt cover all his vocal lines.

    The bassist who is leaving the cover band was the original bassist for a band i just ended a 6 year relationship with... Thats how I heard about the opening so early :bag: Small world lol:bassist:
  8. SubNoizeRat3691

    SubNoizeRat3691 Lovin' the lows

    Feb 1, 2010
    Quad Cities, IA
    I am currently working on said fills, slowly getting closer and closer to "Down" lol

    I saw them play this weekend, and I was very impressed. full dance floor, everyone having a great time.. just how it should be, IMHO

    seeing how locked in the band is makes me kinda nervous, very large shoes to fill!!!
  9. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    On the other hand, I would not call them easy.

    I use to think the stuff Bill Wyman was playing for the Stones was easy. It's not and I had to learn the hard way and blew an audition.

  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Based on my experiences, possibly put the tunes through a slow downer software like the free Best Practice (MP3,WMV files) where you can isolated the bass line. Increasing the pitch after slowing down the song can help hear the bass line better. FYI: a paid software product, Song Surgeon, has interwebz audio stripping (for learning purposes) features built in. Note: not an advertisment.

    Muted flat wound strings (foam under strings near bridge/palm muting) can help clean up your tone since most funk bands have horns and such. You don't need the strings to ring out so much and you don't need so much bass in your tone.

    Check out the TBr fdeck's Series 3 HPF-pre that protects your speakers and cleans up the low end by eliminating unwanted ultra-low noise. It's also adjustable to help tame the boom in venue setting.

    Some funk/disco bass is played with a pick.
  11. SubNoizeRat3691

    SubNoizeRat3691 Lovin' the lows

    Feb 1, 2010
    Quad Cities, IA
    I eq a lot of bass out of my tone, and have gotten pretty good at choking the notes with my left hand, if that makes any sense...

    I just took the flats off haha, i still have them, maybe its time to put them back on...
  12. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Great points, especially about dialing in tone. Nothing would be worse than nailing all the parts and having them tell you that your tone is not what they are looking for.
  13. SubNoizeRat3691

    SubNoizeRat3691 Lovin' the lows

    Feb 1, 2010
    Quad Cities, IA
    Funk is more about upper mids right??

    I've spent most of my bass playing career in a band that did heavy rock originals, with the guitar digging deep into my range, so I've learned to drop the lower frequencies and boost between 500hz and 800hz for a nice tone that cuts thru quite well, also sort of brings out that warwick goodness!
  14. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Yes indeed.

    When auditioning for a working band is serious stuff, especially when you really want the spot.

    I like to bring the whole package I'm selling, which means:

    Showing up on time or a little early

    Look at some live pics of the band and dress as if you were gigging with them. Dress in something that compliments their stage look or image.

    Bring your best rig and I hope you have a chromatic tuner.

    Set your rig up fast, show them you can hustle.

    If the audition is scheduled at 7:00pm, be ready to launch into the first song at 7:00 even if they aren't.

  15. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    This is good stuff. Remember, a lot of bass players can play those songs. But a surprising few "musicians" can be punctual, sober, and prepared. Use professionalism to set yourself apart from the pack!
  16. Corbeau


    Dec 14, 2011
    I agree with being punctual and using your best gear. You want to make a good first impression on the band so it's a good idea to show that you're serious about the audition and you're reliable. I've auditioned people in the past and it looks pretty bad if someone turns up late - I've had one person turn up 2 hours late, and we just told him to forget about the audition.

    Playing with feel is as important as playing the right notes. If you don't have feel, you're going to sound robotic and that's not a very appealing sound.

    Good luck!
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    If you know the bass player who is leaving it would be a good idea to have this conversation with him. However, here are some tips.

    If you want to sound like you know what you are talking about, just ask them before you play "Do you guys prefer that I stay right on top of the drums or sit back in the groove?" That will win you points with a funk band every time. They will wink and nod at each other assuming you won't notice.

    Be there 10 minutes early. 20 minutes is too early and 5 minutes late is way too late.

    Never EVER rush funk music. The easiest way to suck the funk out of funk is to rush it.

    Throw one tasty lick into each song. (Forget You already has a few so leave it alone.) Just one. Other than that stick to the groove. That way they will see that you have a few tricks up your sleeve but don't intend to wank about all night.

    Learn at least something you can sing on from their set even if it's backups. I have gotten way more gigs off of my vocals than my bass playing even though the audition was for a bass player. And I do just fine on bass.

    Other than that, just be friendly and relaxed. It's a funk band, not the board of directors at an investment firm. But be a guy they would want to spend hours on the road with and not want to put ear buds in.

    Your audition is unofficially 4 things.
    1) Can he play the songs?
    2) Does he show up on time and act like he has some sense and have everything ready to go?
    3) What else does he add to the band? (vocals, fire breathing, a van)
    4) Does he get on our freakin' nerves?

    You get through those four gates and you are in.
  18. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Or guys showing up saying they didn't have a chance to listen to the material they were to have auditioned. The " I'll just wing it " approach.

  19. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Another tip, be cool. Don't talk a lot. At most ask a few relevant questions about the band and the opening spot.

    I would not tell any stories about when you met Victor Wooten or what venues you have played ( unless they ask) or my old band stories. Don't tell any jokes.

  20. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I'm not familiar with that head or cab or where it would be on a scale of 1-10 for whether it's fits the level of gear the other members are using.

    If gear becomes an issue there's lots of choices , and gear keeps getting better and cheaper.

    I recommend investing in a tuner.