Holding Auditions... the process

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by troy mcclure, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. I have played with the same group of guys in a rock cover band for 7 years on and off and our guitarist is moving on. In the past we have used fill ins and played songs they knew off our list. Moving forward, I thought rather than give someone a complete list of our tunes ( about 130) why not pick 5 tunes that are not common denominator songs and use those same 5 songs to audition everyone. ( I have had 6 people respond in 36 hrs to my FB post)
    I picked:
    a ballad with no solo but lots of finger picking
    a tune with an acoustic verse and hard rock chorus to see how he would handle the transition tone wise
    Carry on my Wayward Sun, to see how he would cover the piano verses ( we are a 3 piece with a Lead Singer)
    Full out metal tune w, solo
    New Country Tune with a Banjo intro

    I have set up a date 3 weeks from now and given the 6 guys the song list.
    I am curious if anyone has any ideas beside tone, feel and accuracy what else i should looking for?
    I am mean obviously I will look for red flags, (drugs, drama, car issues, )
  2. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    1. Did he/she have the parts down cold? - not faking through the bridge of Carry On. Five songs is nothing for an audition.
    2. Does he have an ego, or is he a team player?
    3. Can he sing harmonies?
    4. Are you on the same page for rehearsals and frequency of gigs.
    troy mcclure likes this.
  3. 3Liter


    Feb 26, 2015
    I’m not sure “tone” is the best eval factor unless you’re just trying to eliminate a bad fit....my old guitarist would play wagon wheel with the gain on. Grr. Tone can be coached if the candidate is willing and open minded. Feel and accuracy is different. And all the social factors....
  4. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    Man. That’s the holy grail. If you can find a guitar player with all that AND girl friend you’ll be all set!
  5. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    A few pointers:

    • Does the guitarist show up prepared? Right gear, right amp, ready to play
    • Did they learn the songs as requested?
    • Did they complain about the audition process (instant rejection)
    • How quickly can they learn material? A gigging band needs someone in a few weeks, not a few months?
    • How does the band gigging schedule fit with their life?
    • How do you get along with the guy?
  6. How often do you gig? What's the avg pay per band member?

    You guys play new country and full out metal?
  7. Your system looks a lot like mine in the "smart musician/well-versed player" department. We give all our audition candidates the same playlist and see how smart and prepared they are.

    Someone will stand out in all the many facets of execution, and they will bring you intangibles and confidence in ways you didn't even anticipate. Try to hold out for that person.

    Good luck with it.
    troy mcclure likes this.
  8. jshinal


    May 28, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    If someone shows up to an audition with two guitars, a small combo amp and a versatile pedalboard, I'm expecting good things. The pros often have everything whittled down to the essentials.
  9. thenazz


    May 9, 2011
    Pensacola, FL
    Even after you make your pick, tell them there's a 3 month probationary period. Our band had to deal with a couple of keyboard players that seemed OK at first then their true nature made itself known. First guy wanted to be the leader and make all the decisions. When we said no frigging way he quit on the spot leaving us in a bit of a bind. Took a while on the 2nd guy to realize he couldn't play a groove to save his life and when we fired him he went nuts.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  10. Goes without saying. Everything in life has a perpetual probationary period.

  11. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi troy mcClure :)

    I like the idea! I would add a 6th song and let the guitar player(s) choose it!

    Each of them will choose his fav, were he/ she will really shine.

    Good luck and have fun :thumbsup:

    troy mcclure likes this.
  12. She...lol as if...bad enough we need a new guitar player...no way is it going to be a she.
  13. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    My lead player is a she. Welcome to the 21st century pal :)
  14. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
  15. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    I'm not sold on the probationary period thing myself. I mean, did a lack of the period somehow prevent you from firing these people? Would the problems they had somehow not be present if they had gone through probation?

    The way I see it:

    Best case scenario: they realize they are on probation and subdue their undesirable traits for the first three months, then BOOM, they rip off their disguise!

    Worst case scenario: an actual desirable member feels like their half-in, half out. They're not sure if they're being jerked around or not. They're keeping their eyes open for greener pastures, and if they find one, they're GONE.