College hopeful with no experience. Audition in in 2 months.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Daron, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Daron


    Feb 7, 2013
    So here I am! I graduated from High School in 2012 with an Associates degree from a local community college the same year. I had planned to go straight to school for computers but some family stuff changed all that and I had to skip out for year. During that time I decided music is what I really love and I'm gonna go for it! Here's where the problem lies. I am applying for the Sound Recording Technology program at Texas State University San Marcos. Link for those interested.

    Since the program is technically part of the school of music, an audition is required. Luckily they allow this specific major to audition on the Bass Guitar. The thing about this is I am nowhere near classically trained in that regard. Here is the link to the website with the requirements. Scroll down to Bass Guitar.
    Other parts of acceptance to the program hinge on a portfolio. I'm not as worried about that as I am the audition. I've been making music for around 3 years now at a quality deemed decent, at least, by the majority of people. Here is a link to the pieces I plan to submit if anyone is interested. They are not all "heavy" like the first one and I know the levels need to be matched. All in good time!I have also been mixing live sound for around 5 years. I have done festivals and small shows as well as "corporate" events, etc. I may be young but my mentor's last stint on the Pro Sound circuit was mixing for Aerosmith. He also filled in for Toto's drummer once but that is a different story! :D

    Just to reiterate here is a copy/paste version of the audition requirements.

    Instrumental (bass guitar - SRT only) (Jazz majors see below)
    Prepare two pieces of contrasting tempos from the standard repertoire. They must be solos, not bass lines. Standard repertoire can be found in Jaco Pastorius repertoire (Dotzauer Cello Etudes, Bach Cello Suites, etc.) or from other publications that are appropriate (written out jazz solos, double bass etudes, etc.). Please bring copies to the audition. Scales requirements: 2 octave scales of up to 4 sharps and 4 flats. Please be prepared to sight-read.

    My only experiences playing bass have been in a "rock band" setting. I've played at churches and with bands but never more than a few licks and following root progressions. Scales I can learn. Rote memorization will see to that. The rest however is gray area to me. I was in orchestra in middle school but that was saxophone and I only played for 2 ish years. From that experience I feel picking up sight reading again will be familiar, even though I have to learn Bass Clef instead of the sax treble. Here is where I need your help! What the heck can someone with my experience reasonably learn to play in a month or so? I'd prefer something that wasn't so difficult I can actually practice for the majority of that time. If I can get comfortable with the music in a week that would be great. That would leave me plenty of time to hone in on it and polish. Even a simple piece done very well, I feel will be better than trying something too difficult and fudging it terribly.

    Now some people say, "what happens if you get accepted? You really can't play. You're setting yourself up for failure." Let me direct you to my intended majors Curriculum. (Warning: PDF) After admittance, I have private lessons for my instrument and ensemble. Private lessons will make me better and I don't have to (or really want to) participate in a high level ensemble. Most of my time will be spent in the studio.

    Fellow Bassists, help me out?

    EDIT: My primary instrument is guitar but I feel I would have an easier time auditioning with bass since classical guitar studies seem much more difficult.
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    First congratulations on having your first two years accomplished when you graduated from High School.

    OK no question you can do college work. That's what most Universities want to see first, then for your placement in the music department - your audition - your results are weighed by how far down in the application pool, for this year, you happen to fall. So yes doing well on the audition is necessary to insure a spot.

    I'm sure you qualify for "general studies" which should get you in at San Marcos, applying to the music department, may take a little longer. Yes, starting as a 3rd year student you should be working on your degree program. IMO, step one is do the audition, and see what happens from there. As far as setting yourself up for fail, hog wash, if you get through the audition process, you can do it. If you don't make it this time, there will be another time.

    Back to general studies, you mentioned computer science and then there is the education department at San Marcos. IMO any music degree should also include a teaching certificate. You have all kinds of ways you can go. First step, concentrate on the audition, you know what you need to accomplish in the next few weeks, do the best you can.

    Good luck.
  3. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    Ok I'm a realist: just looking at the music core you don't stand a chance. Period. You will not have time to learn the basics while trying to keep up with the class work.

    Oh, you might just barely squeak by on the audition and they'll let you in, but at your age the college considers you old enough to make your own decisions and they do not care if you can do the class work and keep up. Notice that big vertical line that says Upper Class Review? That's where you'll sit down with someone from the faculty who will look over what you've done (or were unable to do) and talk you into a different academic program.

    Music school pretty much requires that you are able to do the work and pass the classes on the first try. If you can't read music on your first day there, you're done.

    Sorry bro, I watched guys like you drop out after the first semester all the time. You'd be better off going to some place like Full Sail if you want to be a mixer geek.
  4. geddeeee


    Jun 30, 2006
    Make no mistake, bass is NOT the easier option.

    Having 4 strings doesn't make it 'easier'.
    It seems to be the standard thinking for guitarists. If you think like that, you WILL fail!!!!

    Bass playing is an artform, not a 'second' choice.
  5. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Notwithstanding the zeal with which geddeeee defends we bass players, I would submit, as a guitarist and a bass player (including symphonic and jazz double bass), that bass may be slightly easier than a classical guitar curriculum. That said, the criteria you posted for bass players is by no means trivial, and given that you posted two days ago, I hope you've been wood-shedding for 10 hours a day and that's why we haven't heard from you.

    Make no mistake, there is no shortage of people trying to get into music school, and in this economy, that number is likely growing. I disagree that passing the audition means you can get through it. It's an indication that you have the talent and desire, but you need to hammer your instrument for many hours a day for years, not just a couple of months to get past an audition.

    I'm not here to dissuade you, I'm here to let you know that you've chosen as competitve a path as there is. Don't waste your time and money if you are not driven. Majorly driven.
  6. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    It sounds like you're not ready . . . now. You may want to get a good teacher and start studying/practicing. In one year, with hard work, you could have all this stuff down and ready to go.

    One of my friends from college is a music prof there.
  7. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    You don't seem to be a jazz bassist. You'll probably be competing with people that have been playing jazz since middle school.

    Having said that, I would directly contact one of the more important people at this music school and have an honest conversation.