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Auditioning keyboards

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Dkerwood, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    With Google being as it is, I'm probably risking trouble by even posting about this... but I have to vent.

    I play guitar in a power trio Christian rock band. We replaced our drummer about a month ago, and have been working to get back up to speed since then. Around the same time that the new drummer came into the fold, I decided to put an ad up at Craigslist probing to see if there were any rock keyboard players out there interested in playing with us. I figured that the drummer would change our sound anyway- might as well go whole hog.

    Well, this weekend, I get a response from a girl who seems to have a really great attitude and some fantastic references (piano performance major in college, now works full-time as an accompanist at a local high school). We set up an audition for last night. I'm a moron, and I figure "jamming" can tell me all I need to know. Heck, it works with drummers and guitarists and bassists, right? Wrong.

    She shows up and plays some charts cold, but everything is full of, in the words of my bassist, "accompanist-ness." She's walking all over the bassist with her left hand, playing running eighth notes all the time, and playing wrong rhythms with mucho gusto. :) I know that she didn't know the tunes (by design), but I was hoping she would at least listen.

    The worst part is that she's got a personality that would fit perfectly into our band. Her husband is a heavy metal drummer, and she's bouncing off the walls with energy. AND she's cute to boot (not as cute as my wife, of course), which always helps a band's image... although we do already have one cute girl as our bass player.

    Soooo... the band talked after she left and we agreed to ask her to come back in a week to audition again. This time, we'd give her an assignment to learn some tunes from our website, PLUS we'd give some directions for what kind of playing we'd like to see. I got home at about 12:30am and banged out an email to her reflecting all of that.

    Of course, then I slept on it, and got to thinking how much I don't really want a keyboard player in the band anymore... So much of our "sound" has been defined by the power trio instrumentation over the last 5 years (I think we've only played 4 gigs with more than three people on stage). Further, the last thing in the WORLD I want to do is to try to teach a pianist how to play rock keyboard. I'm not a keyboard player! I shouldn't have to teach her how to play in the appropriate style!

    Any thoughts about this?
  2. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    You auditioned a person with skills that don't match your needs. I suggest that you thank her for her time and move on. No need to burn any bridges.

    Another thought: one thing to consider is that since she hasn't developed the skill set to be in a band like yours, you really don't know how good she can be (neither does she). Since she has "energy" and stage presence, if she's easy to work with, you might find that she would be an excellent addition to your band because you can coach her on her keyboard parts instead of fighting with some guy who a great keyboard player but not so great otherwise. Working at a school like she does, she really has to get along with everyone to be successful at what she does.

    If she can listen to recordings of other keyboard players that fit the style that you want, maybe she'd be willing to learn. If she can do vocal harmonies, that may give your group some additional depth and add to your songs.

    I would just be honest with her and go from there.

    Obviously it's your decision to add a keyboard player or not but thinking about it a bit more might add some insight into your motivation.

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