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How many callback are acceptable?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by cman227, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. cman227


    Dec 21, 2014
    So I just finished my second callback for the bassist/vocalist position in a top 40 band. It would be a good gig, they play corporate gigs as well as festivals and they are paid well. After leaving the 2nd audition I asked if they are still auditioning people. They said yes but I’m in the running and it’s really going to come down to who sings best. Now, I really want to get this gig, but I’m starting to feel a bit yanked around. I have put a great deal of time into these auditions and even hired a vocal coach to prepare me. After all, this isn’t the Rolling Stones. If they can’t make up their minds after seeing everyone twice, how many times is it going to take? So how many callbacks are acceptable before you just finally tell them your bowing out?
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Two max.
  3. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Three if you like baseball...
    Robroy, Alik, rtav and 4 others like this.
  4. hang in
    I one time did 3 interviews for a job and got it.
    Aside from that, 90% of the time a band knows in the first 10 minutes whether you are a fit or not.
    Now if they have lots of skilled bassists vying for a great gig position, 2 auditions is normal.
    3 or more is pushing the envelope.

    If you have a working, paying band with gigs on the calender, it's better to break a few eggs while doing the audition process than breaking a few hearts on down the line when a player doesn't work out because the vetting process was lacking.
  5. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Depends in how bad you want it. And how well you can read the vibes you're getting.

    From my perspective (and not being there to get my own sense of the people involved - so take it with a grain of salt):

    I think three auditions maximim is about right no matter what. First audition is usually just to see who is going to be in the pool of possible hires. Second audition is the second cut to get down to the real candidates. Third audition should be enough to decide no matter how closely two or more people are tied.

    If called back for more than that, I'd take it as an indication there's a split opinion about you. That never tends to turn out well for the winner in the long run.

    At least from my experience. YMMV.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  6. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    Put yourself in their shoes. They don't want a guy, they want the guy. It doesn't matter how many rehearsals you have to go to. All that matters is your dedication. If you bow out at the 4th rehearsal, then you're not as dedicated or hungry as they guy who made that rehearsal.

    I landed a gig once because I called in sick at work so I could meet the band. That was the 4th get together and it scored me the gig based on dedication, as the two others opted not to go, but were probably more talented than I.

    Whatever your decision, good luck.
  7. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    How rigorous was their initial screening process leading into the first audition?
  8. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Two max. After that, you're dealing with indecisive and irrational people.
    Robroy, jaydnt, red_rhino and 3 others like this.
  9. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    You're actually on a new reality TV show. Each audition is a new stage in the series, and eventually you will end up being flown in on a helicopter to have a bass show down with the other top contenders. This is where you will finally be judged by the panel of band members on qualities such as tone, stage presence, and vocal capabilities.

    No reality show had only 2 episodes.
  10. cman227


    Dec 21, 2014
    Not so much. Easy going and very forgiving of pitchy vocals and missed parts. The second one they where looking more at vocals. The drummer emailed me essentially saying that everybody's playing was on par and it's really the vocals that will distinguish the candidate.
  11. Ox Boris

    Ox Boris Banned

    Nov 23, 2015
    They may be doing more than you think are necessary and it's fine to be annoyed by that. But to pull out on that premise is to state that your number is the only correct one and anyone who differs is, by definition, deliberately messing you around. Clearly, when dealing with humans, there must be scope for differing methods, sometimes wildly differing.

    The answer is: as many as you are prepared to put up with. If their process doesn't mean you're missing out on other opportunities, there's no harm in letting it run its course.
  12. Sadly for all bass players worldwide,
    The Hasselhoffs
    A&E reality series starring David Hasselhoff and his two daughters was canceled after only two episodes aired.

  13. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I'm going to go against the grain and say it takes as many as it takes.
    Why shoot yourself in the foot and take yourself out of the running for an opportunity?
    Maybe it's a test to see if any of their candidates will crack and flake out over their own impatience?

    At least wait and see if you get the gig and give it a few practices before you ragequit.
  14. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Long Island, NY.
    I'd say it depends on the band.

    If this is a good corporate/wedding gig then I can understand why the process would take numerous rounds of auditions (particularly for vox). How good of a singer they have can make or break the bottom line.
    mrcbass, cchorney, salcott and 3 others like this.
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    It depends on how bad you want to be in the band. For my main band I had three callbacks and they offered me the position the fourth time I went out. I had decided that I was going to do whatever it took to get in. The funny thing is though that the drummer later told me that after my first audition he told the rest of the guys that they could audition as many people as they wanted but as far as he was concerned I was in. It was well worth it. This is the best band with the best players and the best music I've ever been in.
  16. Playing in a band that works corporate gigs, usually means putting up with lots of "non"-musical BS situations.
    Dragging you thru a number of stressful BS auditions may be a way of finding out if you have the ability to roll with the punches, and have the guts, professional attitude, and/or personality it takes to deal.
    If you get upset and cranky, they may figure out you can't handle that part of the gig.
  17. It depends on how much you like the band and the auditions. I enjoy playing with different musicians, and I don't play for a living, so band auditions are usually enjoyable to me. If they are not, I won't take the callback. As long as the band is a good hang and the music is good I'll play with folks just to do it, I always learn something. If the vibe at the audition is more "do this, do that" I'd probably turn down the fourth callback, but only because I wouldn't want to be in a band that is so indecisive.

    Best of luck!
  18. For those bass players who cannot get enough of the Hoff, Guardians of the Galaxy II is now available for streaming!
  19. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Depends on the band, but 2 audition sessions should be enough, if not 1. If i was having to go for a third time, i'd start questioning things as that sounds a little excessive. But if the gig is indeed that solid/profitable then it might be worth it.
  20. One, maximum, None if they are good to go and not jacking themselves around.
    We hire sidemen all the time. Many are recommended word-of-mouth so its a given many times. Even when open-call the B/L or Project as a whole should know what they need and know if the player brings it to them.
    Some are looking for a combination of looks, personality, hairstyle, whatever.
    Its OK, I'm not the boss of them!:roflmao:

    But if the Project is a go; if there's work, then get it done on the first round of auditions.
    We have charts and arrangements. Anybody looking for the paydays needs to get it right 1st time around.
    If they don't show "aberrant personality traits at the session", if they understand the gig requirements (dress, punctuality, don't come drunk or stoned- these should be givens, but...) then I'm ready if they are. We need to get the work done and play.

    I've been in situations in the past, auditioning, and I refuse to be put off. If I'm not right, OK, good.
    But don't lead me around and make me jump thru hoops, I call BS. You said yourself its not the Stones, and even they replaced Bill w/out a lot of drama.

    Good luck anyways!

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