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Berklee audition song choice!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Anonymous 98765, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Anonymous 98765

    Anonymous 98765 Guest

    Feb 20, 2007
    Hey all,

    Got my audition on the 12th April in London and am currently deciding which song to do for my prepared piece.

    I was pretty set on a standard jazz blues, or a Charlie Parker piece that's based on the blues at least. Then I read this:

    "prepare a piece that you are comfortable with and displays your strengths as a musician. It should be approximately 3-5 minutes in length, in any style, which demonstrates your instrumental proficiency and your overall musicianship. Do not choose a piece or a style of music you think the audition team wants to hear. Rather, select a piece that puts your "best foot forward" and highlights what you feel represents your best playing."

    So now I'm considering doing something more technical like Norwegian Wood by Victor Wooten (which I have played a lot live before now).

    Question is, would they prefer to hear (I know they said don't choose something you think they want to hear) something that's improvised or me "putting my best foot forward"? Me playing a jazz blues is probably me not showing my proficiency on the bass, but it shows my knowledge of harmony. What did everyone else play who has auditioned there?

    Note that improvising over a standard blues is part of the audition anyways, so I may be better doing something else.

  2. RMacBass

    RMacBass Bass Commander

    Jun 2, 2003
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    In my opinion, jazz school audition panels are really looking for musicianship, ears, improvisation, and last but not least, confidence/talent. Just playing someone else's version of Norwegian Wood doesn't really showcase your improvisational skills, and doesn't tell the panel anything about your ears (you could have been taught to play it by someone else, or could have been practising it for years).

    If you want to continue and play it, my advice would be to add your own 'charm' to the arrangement; add your own melodic twists, maybe change some roots to let them hear that you're into harmonic experimentation, and definitely have a section that is obviously mostly improvised. That section could even be just a standard bebop-type solo line following the chord changes to Norwegian Wood.

  3. Anonymous 98765

    Anonymous 98765 Guest

    Feb 20, 2007
    Thanks for your reply. I admit that playing it wouldn't showcase my improvisational skills, but I will have to improvise anyway. What I think I may do is do a Parker tune or something, arrange it so I play the head, chords/walk, then solo (not all at the same time obviously!). I do like your idea of soloing over the changes to Norwegian Wood though, I may try something with that tomorrow :D
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    Primary TB Assistant

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