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auditioning for a reggae band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by adube810, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. adube810


    Mar 6, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    i havnt played with a band in over a year :-/

    ive been playing with a metronome for the past few weeks and my timing is good at slow speeds (for reggae)

    im auditioning tonight....should hopefully go well. im just going to bring my bass and my sansamp to go into a PA.

    any talkbass words of wisdom?


    ill keep you all updated after the audition

    thanks TB! :bassist:
  2. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Less is more... and keep the groove.

    Have fun, good luck
  3. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    How can less be more? MORE is more! Funk it up!
  4. Its reggae so smoke lots of weed before you audition.:cool:

    Figured I would get the obligatory bad joke out of the way early so now someone smarter than me can post something constructive.
  5. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA

    auditions, IME, never go as well as they could. just relax and play as well as you can.
    auditions are like 1st dates- whatever your routine for those, you might want to copy for the audition.
  6. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    Don't suck.


    You'll do fine, man. Stay confident...just not over confident. :)
  7. Joel S.

    Joel S. Reserved for future witty use...

    Jul 9, 2008
    Relax... Reggae is supposed to be laid back, and make sure to play enough silence.

    Ugh... I saw a band that had a reggae inspired tune and the bassist left no space and played on top of, or pushed the beat. Totally killed the groove. :(
  8. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    Did you discuss going into the P.A with the band? The last person I would hire is the guy who plugged his bass into the P.A. unless we had spoken about it previously. People don't just audition your playing they also audition the sound you get out of your gear. If you turn up and assume it's ok to plug into the P.A. you are unlikely to make a good impression.

    Oh yeah and reggae bands, like latin bands are generally more impressed by your ability to sit in and play the accents and how you interpret the time, also known as how you "groove", more than they will be impressed by your "chops". Give them some good solid playing and every now and then, but not too often, give them a taste of your chops where it is most effective. Watch the spaces between the notes too and make sure you play as smoothly as possible.
  9. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Listen. Reggae is gappy and groove oriented. The gaps are just as important as the notes. Also think of it this way. If a beat is a round ball, and hitting on top of the beat is hitting the top of the ball, hit the backside of the ball, just behind the beat, and occasionally hit the 1 on the 1 drop. You'll feel when. It's not so much about playing a million notes, but more about perfectly placed notes and rhythms, even if it's one or two note bass lines.

    Have fun.
  10. Drifta


    Sep 13, 2006
    South Florida
    wish i could find a reggae audition. :(

    anyways. Mix it up. In Reggae the drums will be accenting on the 3. lock in with the snare and kick. Leave space on the 1 sometimes. Land heavily on the 1 sometimes. Stick With Chord tone patterns And the classic Root Fifth. This will get the groove going, which is the most important thing in reggae.
  11. Kyon`


    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Be yourself, play like you, how you feel. That and bring the weed.
  12. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I have to disagree with some of the advice given above. I've been playing reggae in bands for over 20 years, and if this band wants to play authentic reggae, then don't "funk it up", and don't "mix it up".

    In most reggae, the bass part is what defines the song. I would suggest asking them to show you the bass part they want (or to give you an idea of the type of part they have in mind) for a certain song, and then groove that part out with very little variation. Don't push the beat, and focus on providing a big, fat, round sound. If you are used to playing other types of music, it may seem to you that you are being boring and repetitive, but reggae is all about "the whole is much more than the sum of its parts."

    I've seen many bassists fired from reggae bands for "funkin' it up" and changing grooves too often, but have seen players with limited technique but the ability to hold down a solid groove get multiple offers.

    I know a guy who is a great player (r&b, fusion, jazz) who played in a local reggae/ska band, and he can lay down a great groove. He would get bored and wouldn't stick to the specific part, and he was fired. He couldn't figure out why such a talented player would get fired for playing such simple music. He didn't have the discipline to put the sound of the whole band above his own part.

    Tone is really important in reggae, so a big rig and flatwound strings help a lot. Rolling off the treble and/or plucking over the end of the fingerboard help, as well.

    Sorry for the long post, but playing reggae is something I'm passionate about.
  13. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Good post by Monkey. If I can add one thing, working with a metronome is always a good idea, but I wouldn't work with it at really low bpms. Reggae songs actually have pretty moderate tempos, it's simply the groove and how it's played that makes it feel slower than it really is.

    The OP's audition is already over by now, but just one more piece of advice. Remember that as a bass player in reggae you take more of a melodic role as the guitar really punctuates the rhythm. The key is finding a repetitive groove with a good counter melody to push the song along.

    Hope you got the gig.
  14. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    Be part of the band, don't be "you" up there.
  15. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Unless mentioned before the audition... I'd be concerned that a practice P.A. might not handle Reggae bass. Might not want to blow their P.A.

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