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First audition in months

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. So it's my first audition in over 6 months.

    The guy isn't happy with his lineup so rather than push for change he is migrating a new group to his "gigging group" and jamming with those guys casually. It sounds like I'm walking into someone elses problem. Commitment is low, roughly 3-5 gigs a month (which suits me at the moment).

    Then the guy calls to confirm the audition venue, and tells me they play Sweet Child in C, Livin on a Prayer in D and a couple other key changes to songs not on the audition list. Transposing is a weak point of mine and I've gigged those songs every band I've been in, so it should be interesting preparing them.

    How do you guys get excited about auditions where doubt creeps in? Or do you just bail?
  2. huckleberry1


    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    Personally I'm forthright & honest & let them run once without me,than I slowly join in finding my comfort zone & after that if they truly click, I can only really thrive if those around me rise to the occasion. Only you know if you are mentally prepared and confident enough to quell self doubt. When all else fails over prepare.
  3. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I have always found challenges like that to be really good sources of inspiration. They definitely make me work harder on things that I'm working on.
  4. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I think we all have some degree of nervousness and self doubt when auditioning, for anything whatsoever - new band, new job, new relationship.

    My way of dealing is just being as well prepared as I know I can be, do my homework, and then just show up and do my best. In reality you can't do any different. And, really, what's the worst that can happen? You don't get the gig. Ok, a downer, but not the end of the world.

    Just do it and have fun doing it! :)
  5. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Does he play all songs a full-step down? Some guys do that when they can't sing the original high notes? If so, oyour best bet isn't to transpose but tune down a whole step, like the Crue did- Then you would still play Sweet Child in D (but it would be in C)
  6. This. I would down tune as to not add any complication to the audition. If you get the gig, and want the gig, then you can decide if you want to transpose or tune down. I like to do as little as possible for auditions, to be honest, keep my learning time to a minimum ESPECIALLY when a gig looks sketchy.

    Let us know what you do and how it turns out!
  7. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Don't know about you guys, but my bass would be a floppy buzzing mess if I tuned it all down a full step. However - both of those tunes will sound weird without the sound of the low "E" (which would be D in these cases) in there.
    Are the guitarists just playing it in standard tuning?
  8. kikstand454


    Sep 28, 2012
    There's no way.
    living on a prayer is an open string lick. If they're in D then they are tuned down.
  9. Or dropped D and transposed for the other strings.
  10. I want to know how 3-5 gigs a month is low commitment? That sounds like every weekend!
  11. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    I played in a band that detuned a whole step for quite a while. Get a set of heavier strings or raise your action a bit, adjust your relief. Not really a huge deal. You get used to it.
    I played simultaneously in a band that was standard tuned.. Had to flip flop same day sometimes.
    One of the benefits of a 5 string is the ability to transpose without retuning. You stated that transposing is not your forte.
    Going forward its a skill that becomes important. The band im in now plays 1/2 step down. Some songs are in the original key ( guitars use capo) and I just refinger... Try playing CCR have you ever seen the Rain in b flat lol.....
    Just one of those things.
    You will need the skill of transposing in order to play substitute gigs as detuning and or key signature changes are commonplace... Detuning a 1/2 step is most common. Key changes for some songs runs a close 2nd. 3rd us detune 1/2 step and play some in original key...
    Not really possible or practical to switch tuning onstage or switch basses mid set .... Learn to transpose and or get a 5, you'll make your life simpler.

    Nerves for an audition is all part of the program. Kinda like a job interview. Even if you do your best, no guarantee that the chemistry or personalities will fit. I have played long term with guys that I could not stand personally but man o man when the lights came up.. Magic.
    Played with groups that I love like family but musically it was like we were on different planets.....
    I'd deal with either in the past. But now....
    Family affection with chemistry, first ...fun and execution second.... If it ain't fun I'd rather be at home with my sweetie. ( which luckily enough is a singer)
  12. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Yeah, that's how I would do it. I have a Hipshot on my Jazz though. Suppose Sweet Child could be played in C with drop D too.

    We do Livin on a Prayer in the original E and Sweet Child in D (which is up 1/2 step since GnR was tuned to Eb) - our lead singer is a girl though;)
  13. kikstand454


    Sep 28, 2012
    To the OP,
    I have two five strings and my band does a whole set of songs( or more) that are tuned a whole step down. I just swap bass's.
    That's an option if its available to you.

    If they have a mix of songs that go between A440 and a whole step down, then a capo could be an option for you.

    Just feel it out, and like mentioned above, work on transposing if you know thats a weak spot in your playing. That's something that can never hurt to learn.
  14. As far as I'm aware he is playing them in E standard, but however he does it won't change my approach.

    The last gigging band I worked with averaged at least double that. Most guys at the gigging level around here are working with multiple bands sometimes on the same day.

    At this stage I'm working in Drop D and am transposing the 2 tunes, which hasn't been a major hindrance save for a couple of fills so far.

    Worst case scenario is we skip over those tunes and move onto others on the list I can play. The BL was amicable to that solution but I'd rather bring a solution to an audition not a "problem".

    Thanks guys.
  15. Accepting gigs I didn't think I was likely good enough for or otherwise suited to my musical experience was a springboard to a new level every time I did it, and thankfully I learned young that it was a good thing to go ahead and say "yes", butterflies or not.

    So If worrying about the transposing is what's got you posting today, I say step up and try. If you get the vibe that these folks are not of decent character (dangerously weird), then bail on gut instinct. My .02.
  16. Just an update. The audition went well and I was the only bass player auditioning. I was asked to stay back for all 3 drummers, which was arranged prior and which I didn't mind doing.

    We played the key changed tunes in standard so I only needed to tune to Drop D on a few songs.

    The guitarist uses a pitch shifter for key changes so he doesn't have to downtune and recommended I bring a second bass tuned down a full step to future jams/gigs since there are a few more on the list they play a full step down.

    Might just be the motivation I need to get a 5 string :)
  17. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    A five string will indeed solve most of these "issues" for you. I made the switch ages ago and only recently "looked back" when I got a 4-string Squier (which I hardly ever use :( )

    As for transposing, I did it on my audition for the band I am with now, too. Only they didn't tell me - they had played the songs in the original key to accommodate me but towards the end asked if I would mind playing it in "their" key. Now, I suck at transposing (even with a 5-string :D ) but I gave it my best shot - and I got the gig ...
  18. rust_preacher

    rust_preacher Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Run. Maybe walk to the first corner... then sprint. :ninja:
  19. ^ Why?
  20. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Many purists are not fans of the pitch shifter. It sounds OK on some stuff, and "iffy"on others.

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