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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lwknives, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Well I'm auditioning for two bands this week. One for bass the other for lead guitar.:bassist:
    I dont have any material to learn because both bands do mostly original music and dont have recordings so I'm just gona practice scales.:meh:
    Anywho, any advice would be welcome and wish me luck!
  2. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    How old are you, what's your level of experience and more importantly what are you looking for in a band?

  3. It sounds like you'll be following your ears for the most part. Stay loose and go with the flow. Maybe you could try contacting both groups ahead of time and see if either will clue you in as to what they will be throwing your way. If nothing else, it will let them know you are interested enough in the job to ask.
  4. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Ask if they are open to learning a cover tune for the audition, and if yes agree on one.
  5. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    I am 21 (22 in march), I have played guitar for 7 years and bass for a little more than 2 (im about equally proficient at both). I have played with a PW band for about a 2 years. Ive also done some recording.
    Pretty much I am wanting to stretch out and put my chops to some use playing with other people and make some good music. I would also like to play some shows. If I get payed that would be cool but it would be a bonus not a requirement. I would like to have some room to be creative but I'm fine with doing covers.
  6. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    I have contacted both of them, one is a group with 15 originals and no covers. I asked them what I should learn and they said to just show up. I think they are more interested with my ability to mesh with the group and come up with creative lead lines on the fly :eek:
    The other group is just starting (they dont even have a place to set up drums yet). Its an originals group so I think we are just gona see how well we can jam together.
  7. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Its a negative on that one. Im just hoping they have chord sheets or at least know what key their songs are in. :hyper:
  8. Learning to play songs on the fly, without charts or verbal instruction of chords, can be frustrating. Getting the key of the song straight smooths things over. It can seem like a tall order, to be able to follow like that. However,

    * That skill _can_ be learned
    * Having that skill is useful when seat-of-the-pants situations arise accidentally
    * Having that skill can greatly increase one's reputation as a musician
    * Some of the best songwriters out there can play guitar, and have quite an advanced intuitive knowledge of harmony, yet can't communicate it with you short of showing it to you in person

    The band I've worked with for the past 10 years, started out this way. "Hey, let's jam on some songs". Incredible songwriter, subtle use of harmony that would seem to indicate years of musical education. Plays guitar quite well. But when we started working together, I got only the most minimum of guidance. I actually ended up showing him lots of what I've learned in a formal sense, and both of us learned from it.

    It turned out to be a fantastic experience, and a major part of my life long-term.

    Sometimes lack of ability to supply this guidance is a sign of a band going nowhere. Maybe even a _lot_ of the time. But these situations are worth taking an occasional chance on, in my opinion.

    What I got out of it: 10 years of business partnership and friendship with a wonderful person; years of bar gigs, festival gigs, and openers for reasonably well-known people on the jam scene (Rusted Root, Cornmeal, Jackie Greene), a motivator for my own further musical development, an introduction into the wider Twin Cities music scene, and a 3-year tenure with another very good festival band, for which even _less_ guidance is provided (meaning: new songs introduced during the middle of a festival gig with no advance warning, _on purpose_ because the band leader wants to cultivate complete reliance on improvisation). That later band is now touring about 1/2 of the year, and the only reason I'm not with them is due to health insurance being difficult to come by, plus the temptation of higher pay from my IT career.

    Could I make a pro musician's life out of this? No. But it supplements my income well, and has been good for my reputation and musical development.
  9. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Would it be ok to bring a note book to write quick chord charts on or would that be considered unprofessional?
  10. Good luck in being in a band that doesn't do any covers (I'm guessing). Even most arena level bands throw in a few covers during their set. Unless that band already has a strong following, it's a tough, tough road to travel without any covers.

    Do they have any recordings of their original songs? You could ask them to record a few songs on an iPhone or something like that before you head out to an audition. Otherwise, there's not a ton of prepping you can do for this audition.

    It's considered MORE professional if you bring a notebook or pad of paper. Definitely bring one. As they're teaching you a song, make any notes you think would be relevant, and maybe start creating your own chord chart or map of how the song goes.

    Otherwise, just be pleasant, complimentary, and objective. Remember, they're trying out to be your band as much as you're trying out to be a part of their band. Honesty and forthrightness is always better in the long run. If you can suss things out properly, it's quite ok to say "I like what you're doing, but it's just not what I'm interested in," or the opposite of "I think this could work out and I'm interested. Why don't you guys discuss and get back to me in the next few days?" That saves everyone time.
  11. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Try to see if either band had a Facebook or ANY other web presence. If so, you could check out their music and learn some of it BEFORE you get. It will show initiative.
  12. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008

    You really have 3 requirements.

    1.You want to play challenge your skills and improve.

    2. Play some shows

    3. Get payed

    Lets talk about number 3 because (money) it's not a requirement.

    First of all, whether you need the money or not, sounds like you want to move up a notch from where your at now.

    There's no shame in getting paid for your work and in my opinion nothing noble about playing for free.

    Your young and it's just as good a time as any to not get in the habit of playing for free or with bands that don't think enough of themselves to charge a fee. But it's your call.

    Now, there is a couple of red flags here. One puts you at a disadvantage. They did not give you anything specific to audition.

    They have nothing recorded. These could be good opportunities and meet 2 out of 3 of your requirements. Then they could be "go nowhere", "waste of time" start ups where with your 2 years of playing might make you more advanced musically then they are.

    Do the auditions for the experience, but you don't have to accept their offer and join if they are not what your looking for.

    Personally I would rather see you auditioning specific songs for an established cover or originals band with paying gigs.

    You want your first experience in a band outside of the P & W arena to be positive.


    PS: Ask the band with 15 originals how long they have been together if they have played any gigs or even have intentions of getting any gigs.
  13. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I think it would be fine,

    However, it really doesn't sound like ( from what you've said) either band is a professional opportunity.

  14. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    It would be less professional if you didn't. I wouldn't think they'd be expecting to retain 15 originals you're never heard or played before in your head without some crib notes.

    So bring a pad and pen along with your ears and your chops and you should be fine. I learn best on the fly by simply having the group play through a tune once to get the timing and a feel and let my ears pick up the changes. Then I start constructing my bass line or guitar lines as it goes.

    Also what's with this?

    "I would also like to play some shows. If I get payed that would be cool but it would be a bonus not a requirement."

    Why do some musicians believe that their time and talent isn't worth being paid for let alone all the $$$ they have invested in their gear? If it's just a hobby stay in the basement but if you're entertaining for others you should expect to be paid just like any other professional.

    Those venues aren't giving out drinks or admission for nothing so why would you?
  15. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    One of the bands does want to do covers but cant do them without a lead guitar. The audition is this Friday and I guess they dont want to have to learn a cover song on such short notice.
    Neither band has any recorded material.
  16. Auditioning is great fun, imo. I look at it like dating. Show up and see if you get along, see if you dig the music, see if you dig the players, and then get into unexpected / challenging musical situations. I tend to find there is more to finding a good band than finding a well written ad and music I enjoy. Anyway, there is nothing saying you have to pick either band, so go in with a flexible attitude and have fun!
  17. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I hate to belabor a point, but this is usually a red flag.

  18. Yup. I'm always amazed by how high of a percentage of 'serious' bands and musicians (even some great bands and musicians) don't have anything decent recorded, don't have anything on the web, no email list, etc. I suppose it's the same as if a band from 15-20 years ago didn't make posters, didn't have at least a 4-track recording, didn't have a mailing list, or didn't have a press kit.

    If they're a 'serious' band and they haven't bothered how to figure out how to make a decent recording, then I'd be very wary. With as cheap as recording stuff is these days and the multitude of options that are vastly superior to what was available even just 10 years ago, there's very few excuses that a driven musician can have to not have something... anything... recorded.
  19. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Im not to worried about the lack of recorded material. One band is a from scratch start-up with no written material. The other is a group that gets together to enjoy playing good music and do some shows.
    Neither band has made the claim that they are professional or have professional goals.
    I understand the mindset that musicians should be payed for their time but at this point I just want to play music I love and get used to playing with a band. If the band is making money than I will want a cut but if they are just playing for friends or whatever im fine with that. (btw I'm broke, thats not the reason I am not concerned with pay).
  20. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Lwknives, watch out for that "I just want to play music" mind set. Business people are well aware of it ands it's probably the primary reason young musicians and bands are exploited and taken advantage of.

    Don't discount or undervalue your 2 years of playing experience. It's a bad practice.