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Holding an audition - need advice

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by frsbdg, Feb 25, 2016.


  1. frsbdg

    frsbdg

    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    Our three-piece band (guitar, bass, drums) is going to be auditioning a keyboard player and a vocalist next week. Would like some advice on how to do this.

    We have sent both of them our song list and asked them to pick several to play/sing with us. From the demos we have heard already, I think it's going to be a no-brainer decision with respect to their musical abilities. Of course, there are other things to consider, such as can they commit to the rehearsal and practice times on their own?

    What I would like to know is this: should we be prepared to give them a decision right then and there, or should everyone go into it with the understanding that we're going to think about it and get back to them later? My guess is, that some of us in the band are going to have things we want to discuss. Heck, I know I do already. It might be awkward to have that discussion with them present, and it seems a bit almost juvenile to ask them to leave the room for a few minutes. Wouldn't it just be easier if everyone knew in advance that we're going to jam together, have a conversation, and then be done for the night?
     
    1954bassman likes this.
  2. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    "Thanks for coming, we'll be in touch either way real soon."
     
  3. frsbdg

    frsbdg

    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    Yes, that's exactly how I am approaching. I think it's important that the other two members of the band know this going in, so that one of them doesn't say "well guys, what do you think?" which would put the other two on the spot to be the bad guy. So I will have that conversation with them before the audition.

    Should we also let the people know before the audition that we're not going to make a decision right then and there?
     
    nico485 likes this.
  4. Joebarnes

    Joebarnes

    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    Standard dating rules apply. Wait two days before following up.

    Treat it like an interview. Don't put your cards down on the table while they are there. Have a list of questions to ask them about the "other things" that are important (what is your availability for rehearsals, etc). Get the information you need, let them ask any questions that they may have, and then thank them for their time with a commitment to respond by X date. After they are gone, get everyone's feedback and make your decision.
     
    Fat Steve, getrhythm and frsbdg like this.
  5. "Thanks for coming out... We're going to talk behind your back after you leave and let you know tomorrow." ;)

    I actually usually say this... meant as humour, but it's true.
     
    SteamPanda, Gravy4001, Oddly and 2 others like this.
  6. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I would tell all prospects that you'll be holding auditions for the next day or two, and will follow up when all are finished and the band has had time to confer
     
    DwaynieAD and Joedog like this.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Only reason I would give an answer there is if the decision is a no brainer, and you think the applicant may have other offers outstanding. In that case, I would sit down over a beer or a cup of coffee and discuss non-music issues to make sure you are on the same page. Otherwise, thank them, and discuss - get back in a day or so.
     
    Rip Van Dan likes this.
  8. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    If they say that, push back and tell them that this is not the place to discuss, then say thanks to the auditioner and see them out!
    Situation averted!! :thumbsup:

    Yes, for sure! Be professional.. tell them you will make the call AFTER ALL the auditions for the spot are complete as you need to evaluate everyone. If they are the "one", letting them know next day is fine, but don't go all googly-eyed and jump right there, because you know that person is the one you want! :)
     
    frsbdg likes this.
  9. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I would promise them a call back, soon. And make it soon. Call everyone back and tell them yes or no. If they have any potential, but are not the top choice, ask if they would be willing to be a sub.
    I had this happen to me. The BL called and expressed his appreciation for my coming to the audition and said they went with another bass player because he did more vocals, and asked me if I would be willing to be a sub. He has used me as a sub once. We are still good friends.
    Now, here is an audition trick that will tell you a lot about someone you are auditioning. Once they arrive, go over some of the songs you agreed to go over, then throw one they weren't expecting at them. See how they react and see how quickly they can pick up the part. This will tell you about their personality and their musicianship.
     
    /\/\3phist0, Oddly, twinjet and 3 others like this.
  10. frsbdg

    frsbdg

    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    Great idea - thanks!
     
    /\/\3phist0 likes this.
  11. frsbdg

    frsbdg

    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    Might be too late for that - the vocalist is a woman and I think our guitar player already has a crush on her. While I've been out of town they've already rehearsed and played an open mic night together. The potential for drama there seems high. How concerned should we be about that, I wonder?
     
  12. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Got me a new band last Sunday. It was also a 3 piece where the bass player had bailed on them and the next gig is March 5. We went over about 5 songs on his list, then he says, let's do this one. (don't remember the tune). I recognized the ploy and luckily, I have always been good at watching a guitarist's fretting hand to follow, so we made it through with only a minor hiccup. I asked him to go over it again. I got it right the second time. He said, "You catch on fast." and hired me on the spot.
     
    hintz likes this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    You should be. You can't prevent it, but personal dynamics can affect band dynamics (did I hear someone say Yoko?).
     
  14. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Very concerned. I will not be in a band were there is a relationship going on. It always ends badly.
    If you are the BL, you will sooner or later have to make decision on who goes and who stays, provided it doesn't break the band up.
     
    carl h. and frsbdg like this.
  15. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I would be.. it will be nothing but drama and you get the 2-fer thing.. on decisions, support, etc..
    It will NOT end well... my experience with female band members (much as I love 'em) is that most CAN/WILL cause more problems/issues than male equivalents. If there is a relationships involved OTOT.. ugh! Avoid at all costs.. unless you love drama and everything becoming a production.

    Some ARE great to work with and totally professional, but I've only ever been in a band with one like that.

    Others may have a different perspective.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  16. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Don't kid yourself. Testosterone can be just as problematic as estrogen .. if not more, IME
     
    Fat Steve and 4stringmachinepete like this.
  17. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This. Great answer.
     
  18. frsbdg

    frsbdg

    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    Thanks for all the great feedback. Follow-up question: audition them together or separate? At the moment, I think the assumption is together. But I can see the advantages of meeting them individually.
     
  19. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    In one afternoon we slotted 3 at the most ... 30 min each, 45 minutes apart
     
    carsbybigd likes this.
  20. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I'm not kidding myself.. I was a BL for 7 yrs.. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt collection!

    + you [should] note that I stated "in my experience" and I also stated that "others may have a different perspective"..
     

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