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Auditions: They go Both Ways

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by P. Aaron, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Yup. That's me lately. Auditions. I have been on 3 now in the last 3 weeks. Most bands are made up of mostly good folks looking for personnel to stay current and/or improve. Many ads (GIGS PENDING! types) I have replied to can't seem to herd their cats & schedule things.

    I am a good bassist for rock & pop tunes. Don't stand a chance w/Jazz. I am always working to improve my skills & learn new songs.

    The auditions I have been to were fun...at least fun to play again after recovering. My skill level is even a bit better though I'm a bit off from not playing live in over a year. After 7 years in the last act, I am also deciding: Do I want to join another cover band or, something a bit different?

    Thanks to You-Tube, I can evaluate some of these acts to get a 'visual' impression before contacting them.

    I always over practice for these things, and ask for the bands to do a few songs not on the list I was given. At the same time, I listen to who I am auditioning for. I am also evaluating their skills...hoping they're better than mine. I always bring my rig too. I want to get my sound anywhere. Many offer their PA-plug-in over the phone. Which would you trust: Your gear, or a PA you haven't ever seen?

    Most bands' song selections have been pretty good. I also look for a good front-person to take the heat off the backing band and if they make the band an act. How sellable the over-all product is, I ask...about where they have gigged, not their 'connections'.

    I haven't been to an audition yet where I want that job. If I walk into a situation and the skill level is higher than my capabilities, all I can do is hope. But that's the job I want! I can dream too y'know?

    Anyone else walking this road right now? You got things to add?...I wanna hear.
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I can add only that it pays to be discriminating and selective...realistic, but selective. The hassle of schlepping around to various auditions and taking the time to make a good choice is nothing, compared with the hassle of getting out of a bad situation later on - then having to start over again at square one... :rolleyes:

  3. Robotsatemygma


    Jan 17, 2010
    Well it's a good thing you're finding out some people's lack of scheduling skills ahead of time. I could tell you some of the nightmares I encountered. :scowl:

    Since I just got an amp I'm in the same boat as you, just started looking for a band to play for, and hopefully one I can learn from. I'm hoping to play in 2 bands but my work and training schedules might prevent me from that. Ideally I'm looking for a jazz fusion or an insanely good female fronted r&b/soul band, and a good original metal or alternative rock band. I plan on having two rigs.

    If the ads don't have music links I ask for something to listen too, even if it's a old band. That way I can get a good idea of what I'll be working with, kind of like a pre audition, or demo. I know what I'm looking for even though I can't express it in words (that's why I play music right?). It also helps me weed out the possibility of trying out for a lame band. So far it's saved me from a few gigs that I know I would of passed on.

    And what's up with bands wanting to audition bassists without a drummer? Kind of pointless IMO.
  4. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I am reconsidering one I panned earlier because they called and sounded like very nice folks. The band works A LOT! Which I would enjoy. I won't know for a week...when I set up an audition with them. The holiday has gotten in the way...I enjoy the holiday though.

    I always want to audition with the entire band to get an idea of their rehearsal habits, attitudes, prioritizing the time, and quality of rehearsal intensity.

    I rehearse like I play live...I would hope acts that want to improve all aspects of their perfomance & gig quality would too.

    When they say "...they're not too serious about 'x'...", it means they're not serious.
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Went on this auditon mentioned in the post above. It was only a 3-piece band. They sent me a comprehensive set list covering many types of pop, rock & funk. So I picked a few from different categories to see how they adjusted.

    The guitarist didn't.

    One song that most decent musicians can easily knock out of the park: American Girl by Tom Petty. The guitarist's tone was Marshall Stack crunch. Having played this song as a guitarist for over 6 years, I recall it being nearly all Fender tone, with a smidge of tube amp burn. Spice it with some mid-American near-country tones for character. Yet this guy was dug in...DEEP: CHUGA CHUNK CHUGA at a high volume.

    There's a time when a guitar should be bangin' pots. It's both a musical and percussion instrument...at least in rock-POP music. This guy was the car-crusher.

    Tried; Rick James' Super Freak. Super Freakin' distortion crunchy guitar. No attempt to meld the keyboard parts into a comprehensive guitar part to fill out some more music.

    Begs a question: If a part in a song is not played on guitar, does it make a sound?

    Playing Super Freak in the aformentioned two-guitar band, I experienced the same thing without the crunch from the other guitar player. So I took the keyboard part myself and found those shapes and worked that key-tone on the guitar. It was a helluva learning experience.
    Folks said it worked really well when we did it.

    By the second song they were showing their cards as far as how well I did. Not to sound self-serving (hell! read the whole post...yeah..I'm strokin' myself), they were overly complimentive.

    We tried:Melissa. The guitar sounded like Dwayne Allman's Harley; Melissa. The one he died on.

    I'll either get the call or not. Will I take it? The guitar player will drive me nuts or, I will have to stifle my desire to coach him. Not a good idea...frustrating.

    The drummer was decent & I could lock in just fine. Minimal dynamics with that Super Freakin' crunchy guitar all night.

    Same thing happened on Let's Get it On. The sound-effect was the equivalent of your kid turning on the lights in your bedroom while you & your girl are...getting it on.

    SHOCKA!!!: These guys are playin' like 80 payin' shows a year!

    I love the Precision through that Hartke & the LDS cabs though...awesome tone...even cut through the CHUGA CHUNK CHUGA.

    I'm still lookin.

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