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going to an audition, the old bassist will be there

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by seamus bass, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. seamus bass

    seamus bass

    Oct 23, 2007
    my house
    yeah this is uncharted waters for me, anyone done this and have some experiences they'd like to share?
    the back story is quite easy, the bassist is accepting a job out of state, and the usual "we have gigs pending". no reg flags that i can see, its a mix of covers/originals, pretty straight forward situtation. so im going sunday for an audition, never had the guy im potentially replacing in the same room during an audition before. i dont doubt my skills or creativity,im just wondering what some of your experiences were.
  2. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    sounds like FUN!!! (enjoy the scrutiny)
  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    A little different story, but similar. I got the part in my band via an audition, but the NEXT rehearsal the old bass player was there. He even had a bass out, to help me if I needed it. Awkward at first, but he was a nice guy, and I already had the job, so I just shrugged it off, and played. (Didn't need his help)
  4. Twnty1inRF


    Sep 13, 2007
    DC Region
    I've been on both sides of this equation with no problems (joining and leaving the band). As long as the player leaving the band is still in good with the band and is leaving for their own reasons they should help make the transition as smooth as possible (we're bass players... it's about the band!).
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    Really strange to me. He shouldn't be there. It's odd that the band is doing the auditions this way. He's the former bass player. Move on.
  6. Warfender


    Oct 25, 2009
    Sometimes it is for transitioning and helping know the form of songs or heloing with parts if needed and also to tell if the person is competent.
  7. OneMoreRobot


    Jan 23, 2009
    I think it just shows that he's still on good terms with the band and is interested in the quality of his replacement. I know I would be if I was leaving a band I was friends with.
  8. heb9_28


    Jul 1, 2009
    I got asked to fill in for a gig where the band was playing some songs that their usual bass player "declined" to play (it was the speculation of the band that it was because they were too difficult for him). Anyways, one of the songs they were used to playing was Doobie Brothers "Long Train Running". I'm 25, had never heard the song before so I was checking out some recordings and youtube videos to learn the song. Got it down, no problem. Get to the gig, setting up, the original bass player is there "helping set up". We start running through a sound check and play that song. About 20 seconds in he starts shouting "Wait! Wait! Wait! He's playing in the wrong key!!!!" At me. I learned the song in F, as it was in the recordings I had learned in it. No one told me that they play it in G.

    Anyways, it was obviously no big deal for me to play it in G, but it was just funny how the guy kind of freaked out about it.

    The nice thing was I played two gigs with these guys and they all told me that I was far and away a better player than their usual guy. Made me feel a little better.
  9. If the previous bassist is leaving under good terms, this should be a very comfortable meeting for you. Maybe the band trusts his instincts and wants him to weigh in with his opinion post-audition.

    I once auditioned for a band that had scheduled the auditions so tight that the next bass player was running into the one who had just auditioned. I come in, and I don't know who's who, and I'm introducing myself and shaking hands with everyone in the room. Turns out one of the guys was my competition. Same thing happened to me on the way out. Awkward.
  10. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    I've been on both sides too. Worked out fine in all cases. I auditioned at a gig by playing a set. The guy was cool... I got the gig (still have it). I've also been at auditions for my spot. The band & I were OK, just moving on indifferent directions, but they valued my opinion and I wanted them to do well.
  11. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    You reckon Mick said this to Keith about Bill when Darryl showed up for practice?
  12. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Obviously, if the leaving bassist is going to be there, he is friends, professional, and wants to make sure whoever replaces him can do the job and he is willing to help out. If they want you, he can help you with arrangements of the songs; especially teaching you bass parts on their original songs. I would look at it as a big advantage for you.
  13. i saw a you tube vid of them playing a song in f....all the other versions i heard were in e....always wondered about that
  14. The first Pro audition I did, seven of us - who manged to get past the bandleaders wife on the phone - were all called at the same time. The gig was a five night/week residency with an 8 -10 piece band (Streatham Cat's Whiskers 1977) and we were auditioned by the bandleader (keytard), the drummer and the current Bass Player. We were called up one at a time, they opened the pad at random, beat 4 in and you were off - with the current Bass Player looking over your should to make sure you got it right.

    Needless to say 3 left without even getting up, I at least gave it a shot and failed miserably - I got "Do the Spanish Hustle" ...

    I realised that this was a full professional gig and they were just making sure you had the right stuff. I didn't have it then, but I found out what was expected and a couple of months, and some serious work later, I did another audition for another 5 night pro gig - the audition was not so pressurised - I was on my own and they gave me some elbow room - but the standard expected was just as high and this time I did have the right stuff, and I got it.

    Prior to that I was at auditions for my replacement in the band I was in - we were gigging once or twice a week in the working men's clubs (kept me in Beer, Cigs, petrol and girlfriend) and I was off to Uni (didn't go in the end). Three or four guys turned up - including someone I knew from school, but he didn't get the gig - lucky for him and his band as it turned out!!. He wasn't happy with his current band at the time, but as he didn't get my gig, he stayed with the Band he was in and, a few months later they were HUGE!!. I wonder what would have happened if they'd broken up instead ....
  15. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Not the ideal situation... or terribly professional IMHO... but just go in there in as prepared as possible, with your gear in tip-top condition, and play the way you play. Even if you learn the previous bassist's parts note perfect you're still going play them slightly differently... and if the band can't deal with that, they're going to be auditioning players for a long time.
  16. I'm wondering how it took as long as 20 seconds for someone to spot that you were in different keys .... :).
  17. My first question to the old Bass Player would be:

    "Why are you leaving?"

    If he wasn't around I'd still want to know why he's leaving/left...

    .... and most auditions I've been to, I used the current guy's rig...
  18. My former wife was a hair dresser... after I re-married my new wife started going to her and liked her, we went to parties at each other houses, etc... point is that it shows that they are all good, reasonable, mature people.
    If the old bass player is not a dick then I see it as a good thing...
  19. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    So this begs a question of protocol, then... if you're using someone else's rig at an audition -- and especially if it's the departing member's -- is it appropriate to re-EQ the rig to get a sound more to your liking?

    I've never been in an audition situation where the band is super picky about bass tone, but I do know there are certain situations (usually where you have a control freak bandleader) where they expect the bass to sound a certain way regardless of who's playing it. In those situations if the first thing you do is start re-setting another guy's amp I could see that not making a terribly good first impression, but if your bass sounds like crap going through the amp the way it's set up, what are you to do?
  20. TwinBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Spokane, WA
    I was once that old bass player in the room. I was playing in a band doing originals, and I was moving across the country. Some of my bass lines were rather tricky, so I was there to help potential replacements with some of the tougher parts. I'm sure the guy chosen to replace me was nervous, but I tried to be as helpful as possible without interfering too much. He and I had completely different styles, but I had worked hard on the songs and I wanted to get him going in "the right direction". I caught the band a while later, and the guy who replaced me did a fine job. The songs sounded a bit different, but still cool.

    In a side note, I have gone back to visit numerous times and my replacement and I have become friends.

    If I could offer you some encouraging words, just do your best and listen to their advice. Be personable and respectful, but don't try to become the fellow you are replacing. Be yourself and you should do alright.
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