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How many auditions go like this?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by GlennRH, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Situation:
    • A local band with one of those names that you just know has to be improved on or replaced some day.
    • They claim that their awesome permanent bassist needs a few months to do something important (e.g. final semester of final year in school) but the band still has hopes of continuing to perform during those months. They want a gigs-ready bassist right now.
    • They send you a link to about an album's worth of material - all differing in sound quality and volume, some new, some old, some covers - and do not specify (even when asked) which tunes they'd like you to learn.
    • It's an all-originals band that hates the pigeon-holing of stating their genre. Instead, they provide a list of influences in multiple genres.

    • They just want somebody to blend in to the band, playing all of their material on the bass in gig-ready mode right away.
    • You show up to their rehearsal space. Everybody has to wait awhile for 1 or 2 of the band to show up, then tune up and get ready.
    • Just when it seems time for the BL to call a tune and everybody play, they all stand in a circle passing something around and invite you to have a hoot. You know: the bonding ritual.
    • The BL calls an original tune. You had not even a hint ever that they might have wanted you to listen to and maybe learn this one (or any other) in advance.
    • There are no charts. Nobody names any of the chords - not even the key. Not even a whisper about the tempo or the structure.
    • Everybody starts playing.
    • You completely improvise it all by ear. Maybe for the next one, you'll have the preparatory benefit of having played this one with them.
    • Four or five original tunes are played by all, you expected to play the bass and make their songs sound and feel right.
    • Everybody thanks everybody else.
    • You're never invited back.
  2. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    First one - Don't even bother going if they cannot get the manure in the wheelbarrow.

    Second one - Pack up and leave, whether or not it's legal in the particular location. And perhaps some insight on why they can't get the manure in the wheelbarrow back in part one. Likewise for the ritual bottle of booze. Except you should never have to see this part (and waste your time) if you pay attention to the first part.
    RSBBass, Ductapeman, Sixgunn and 6 others like this.
  3. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Did you make their songs sound and feel right? What did you think of the tunes?? Did you 'bond' with them???
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  4. fretter


    May 24, 2012
    I've definitely gone to auditions where one member took the lead on getting it set up, while everybody else shut me out, with the contact person falling in line during the audition. You feel like a total stranger and see yourself out. Funny thing is, none of those bands carried on, and the writing was on the wall. Maybe their lack of communication skills are an indication of a sinking ship.
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Banned

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    Had a similar one. I asked for a list of a dozen or so tunes they did and their key. I got an email saying well stuff like this or that and really we're just gonna jam a little on some basic stuff. Don't worry about it.

    The guitarist decides to just take off and begin playing whatever comes to mind but none of what was mentioned in the email. Covers not even close to the original recording and not even a pause for me to work out and improvise something. Some stuff that I was familiar I hadn't played in over 30 years. It was just a non-stop one man show off deal.

    About 45 minutes into I just took of my bass, turned off my amp, and began packing up. When they asked why I said you don't want a bassist you want a mentalist or a mind reader and I'm neither.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
    RSBBass, LouieV2, obimark and 10 others like this.
  6. aaronious

    aaronious Supporting Member

    May 23, 2011
    Denver CO
    I'm all for smoking a little dope. I live in Colorado.

    But in these situations, I pack up and leave right then and there.
  7. An audition that is not set up and detailed in advance, is just setting the player up for failure.

    Bullet dodged, my friend. Without a game plan, don’t even bother auditioning.

    Here’s how an audition should be handled: (1) Tell auditionees that they will have one week to prepare 5 songs. (2) Put 5 songs on a private page of your website requiring password authentication. (3) Once a player commits to an audition date, email him/her the password exactly one week prior. (4) On the day of audition, do the 5 songs, then let the auditionee leave. (5) Thank all auditionees for their time, but let them know you have many more auditions, and will let them know at the conclusion of auditions.
  8. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Wow .. sounds like one of my bands ... Here all along I thought it was me ;)
    Bunk McNulty and Spidey2112 like this.
  9. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Ha .. that happened to me. Instead of sticking to the prearranged audition set list, the guitarist and drummer started wailing out on some obscure song they knew from 10 yrs ago and expected me to step in and play. I hate that.
    soulman969 and Spidey2112 like this.
  10. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    I had one where they gave me a half dozen songs, which it turned out the band didn't know, it was just stuff the "band leader" liked and wanted to add. They couldn't even come to a consensus about what songs they play. Claimed to be a gigging band on the phone.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
    dbase likes this.
  11. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Sounds like there were enough red flags before you showed up that you knew you were wasting your time. As to not naming the key or the chords, you didn't ask? I don't expect to are handed charts for original music, but if a band can't give me a song list and keys that they play everything in, I don't bother.

    I've NEVER been to one of those "show up and play" where it was anything but a complete waste of time. Even if they are good musicians, that shows a level of disorganization that pretty much guarantees failure.
    soulman969, JRA, Sixgunn and 4 others like this.
  12. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    I've got no problem with people smoking weed--in the right time and right place--but this is not the right time or right place and would have me heading for the door immediately.
  13. Auditions work both ways. It always amazes me how many musicians and bands do not realize this. When you are auditioning someone you need to be as professional and organized as you expect them to be.
    soulman969, gregoire1, Dgl44 and 5 others like this.
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Damn I have played for those guys .. except they hired me and I had to get them to hire someone else because I wanted to leave
  15. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    So true...
  16. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I'm going to say my recent audition went just a tad, mo' better than the OP's...

    ... I haven't even heard you, @GlennRH, and I know you're better than Ezra...
  17. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Yes, and I think I wrote about it on TB. "Country and southern rock" covers. Gave me a list of about 60 songs before the audition. Played four or five at the audition. Waited around an hour for the band leader to show up. Got the spot, though. Rehearsal called for the next week. As I'm getting into my car (all loaded up) BL bails on rehearsal. Next rehearsal, BL shows up late, 20 minute rehearsal. First gig went off OK. 2nd gig, BL throws in some Neil Diamond (refer back to the band's stated genre) and Elvis. And then got pissy because I asked about chord (off mic, discreetly). I decided on load out I'd phone BL the next day (not text or email) and tell him "I'm out". When I got home I get a text message from BL "This isn't working out like I expected. We're going to let you go". I sent a one word reply "OK". :D

    Sometimes the BEST outcome is NOT getting the gig.
  18. Member8675309

    Member8675309 Banned

    Aug 19, 2017
    Nashville, TN
    It sounds to me as though they are ignorant in the ways of hiring session players. I’ve been in situations like that dozens of times. People, in my experience, just assume that bass is simple and is easily done. It’s the most persistent falsehood of the Bass world.

    I’d like to say there is a strategy to forcing you to Jam, but I don’t believe there is. In truth, they are lazy or ignorant, possibly both, due to the fact they didn’t supply you with the most basic information. I guess they could be apathetic as well. But, one thing they are not.....professionals.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
    soulman969, GlennRH and Sixgunn like this.
  19. Iamgoodformetal


    Apr 13, 2014
    Please audition for my band Avoid Like The Plague. Be ready tomorrow.
    soulman969, Das Jugghead, 3bc and 6 others like this.
  20. ZAR14


    May 15, 2016
    They sound like a collection of pompous Douches that takes themselves WAY too seriously. They are None In A Million.
    They think they are different and unique, which they are Not. They have the same "BAD" attitude as a million other bands...

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