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Losing a gig/audition

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by 'JC', Jun 11, 2005.

  1. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000
    Perspective is a wonderful thing. I felt really bummed out yesterday. Feeling great today though. Here's the story...

    Saw an ad a month ago for a bassist wanted.
    The band is somewhat known due to one of the members being very well known in the area, as he's in the public eye about 3 days a week. I heard the music and actually loved it. The fact I know of the said member from his appearances made it even more inticing since he seems like such a great guy.

    Seems like indeed.

    Sent off an email as an applicant after the ad was only two days old. Waited...waited...nothing. The answer is obvious I likely wasn't even being considered. Fine with me. Sent a follow up asking, what excatly is it about me that doesn't cut it?
    Again no answer.

    Finally find out yesterday a new bassist has been chosen.
    What really burned me was this band couldn't even send a simple "thanks for your interest / you're not what we're looking for / position has been filled" email. When I had bands coming to me, I always began by thanking them for their interest in me. Much how when getting in a car, putting on the seatbelt is the first natural reaction, being polite to other musicians is my reaction.

    Anyway today I found out who the new guy is. I'm not going to critique the guy or brag about myself to make me seem better. But seeing/hearing him does make me feel like this wasn't a big opportunity I lost.

    Anyhow, just wondering if anyone else has been in this boat before. If so, let's hear it. :)
  2. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    You should have called them or sent them a letter, or wasn't that possible?
  3. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    About a year and a half ago I was desperately looking to join a band and leave the one that I was currently in... Two different ads that I responded to were blues bands fronted by female singers... One was a very traditional styled blues band... very acoustic guitar/harmonica heavy with deep thuddy bass, while the other was more in the Etta James, brassy vocals vein...

    Got a CD of the traditional stuff and a song list for the brassy stuff then didn't hear back from either group for some time, despite repeated e-mails... Finally got a call from the brassy gal to come and 'sit-in' any night at any gig... Kind of an audition by fire... I did this and it went well, but she had several backup players that she was rotating through and after some prodding, told me that she was going to just keep working with them... There was interest on her part of using me in the rotation, but I was looking for a more permanent type thing... Nice gal, and I still get the occasional gig-invite though I've got a couple of current bands

    The traditional band finally got back to me, (and several others in a single bcc e-mail), saying that they were going to stick with a duo format for the time being... They've since been through several very good bassist/drummer sections and can't seem to hold any of them for a length of time... I'm very glad that this didn't go further...

    Oddly enough, one of my current bands is a blues/R&B fronted by two female singers :D

  4. Not responding to an inquiry to a classified is tacky, and disrespectful. When we were looking for a new drummer last year, I had two responses within the first week, to a classified ad we'd taken out in the local paper. We ended up playing first with the second guy that responded (the first guy had trouble scheduling a try-out with us, due to work and the fact he had two kids he had to take care of while his girlfriend was at work, apparently). The try-out went very well, and we decided to go with him on the spot, since we'd been without a drummer for about six months at that point. I ended up calling the first guy and explaining we were going with the other guy. At least that way he knew what was up, and could then pursue other options.
  5. seanlava


    Apr 14, 2005
    Frankly, I'm astounded at the rudeness involved with the whole classified ad/audition situation. Sometimes, I've received no replies, or simply rude ones. My personal favorite:

    I was replying to a bassist wanted ad that stated that vocals would be required. I inquired via email how much vocal work would be involved. The reply?
    An email with no greeting, no "thanks for your interest", no inquiry about my background or skills, just the word "LOTS", in all caps.
    Anyone who is that rude or lacking in social skills is actually doing you a favor by not replying. You wouldn't want a gig with such a**holes anyway.
  6. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000

    Not really. All the ads were email based.
    I personally felt calling at this person's place of business to discuss something of this nature would be rude (a law office).

    Gald to see i'm not alone here, and this isn't just some isolated incident. I've declined some bands before and always felt bad about it, but remained polite and honest with them. In turn, I haven't burned bridges so to speak, and still keep in contact with some, as they're genuinely good people.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    If someone provides a phone number AND doesn't tell you that you shouldn't call them, call them.

    As far as lack of etiquette, people should be thankful for the hint;)
  8. After playing with people for all this time, seeing how badly and childishly people treat MEMBERS of their own band.... are you really that shocked and appalled at how they treat people who are merely auditioning? 90% of whom are usually totally unqualified hacks (my experience from personal ad auditions) and a total waste of time?

    Granted, its tacky. But I just don't understand the "shock and awe" I detect in these responses.... :D

    We've been lucky to get 1 out of 10 players responding to auditions that can play their way out of a paper bag, and that's even AFTER pre-screening on the phone to clear out the obvious goofballs.

  9. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    Just a reminder(to the OP) that email doesn't always get through. Perhaps the recipient never received either one.

    I won't even go into the fallacies of spam filters.......
  10. daofktr

    daofktr irritating, yet surly

    Feb 15, 2005
    aurora, IN
    hehheh...i've been promised an audition, then been told that the band was breaking up, so no audi, only to see said band gigging down the street a month later...

    ...been told by another band that, yes, they were interested in me to audi, then, after meeting them in their home venue, never contacted again...

    ...been audied, and accepted, by a power trio, then had the geet do the flaky and quit the band that he had for 8 years, leaving the drummer and i in his dust, after just 4 times playing together...

    i've been lied to, dirtyb!tched about, blown off and everything else one could imagine.

    i've been to the point that i was seriously tempted to throw my rig in the ohio river, with me under it.

    i'm still playing.

    now i play with a very nice crew of folks. (just got the gig, in fact!) they have draw (last regular gig=450 in the crowd), indie label interest, a really tight sound, a crazy drummer, and a good shot to win a major music competition (which ain't everything, but it could get some nice exposure).
    on top of it all, the songwriter is a former bass player, so he gets what i'm trying to do!

    and...as far as the a-hole-ness of musicians, they had one more audition lined up after me, which they wanted to bail on (they really like me!), but decided to be standup with him and hold it.
    as nervous as i was about that, i'm really glad they did it...i would want someone to be that professional with me.

    so, JC, keep on plugging...there are a few mensches out there, and they are waiting for you. once you find them, you get to be better than the a-holes and not rub it in their faces...they will be doing it to themselves once they see what they missed out on by not hiring you.

    sorry for the length of the post...but i have sooooooo been there.
  11. Judge2003


    Mar 26, 2005
    When you go out for a local band audition, what should you expect?

    Quite a few months ago, I responded to an inquiry about a bass playing position... I met the guy and he just gave me a demo CD

    I thought I was a hot shot player because I could do basically any 'cover' I wanted, but I had never tried any ear training, and these guys wouldn't tell me what key they were playing in

    So I meet up with them a few days later and they want me to record already... So I just made up a few lines that fit under the music (but obviously weren't the best of my ability)

    That day they shared with me what chords they were playing, so I went home (finished my homework...) and then wrote some pretty nice lines

    I sent them to them... they really liked them but then told me "You really aren't what were looking for since we do a lot of improv"

    I think that was totally bull because If I knew what key they were in, I could easily improv a line...

    Anyway... this was sort of a bad experience in my bass playing, and I was wondering, is this how all bassists get treated?

    BTW, I don't think they ever found a bass player anyway...
  12. Not getting replies to ads is more than normal, it's almost expected I think. I don't mind it too much, compared to email exchanges where interest is shown from both parties and then all of a sudden you never hear from them again.

    In my experience, the best way to get an audition is to offer to try out as soon as you possibly can. As others have mentioned, most people replying to ads can't play all that well so if you're the first one to show up and can handle your parts, there's a good chance they'll stop the search right there and stick with you.
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Judge, auditions are never the same. I've had them where we just jam for a half hour, I've had them where you go in and read stuff for 2 minutes, and I've had everything in between.

    Don't sweat losing an audition. There will always be other bands looking for bassists. But yeah, the best way to land gigs is get them while they're hot. I've landed more than my share of gigs by being first to get in there. People absolutely do stop looking once they find someone competent enough to do what they need.
  14. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000
    Nice responses.

    I can understand trying to weed out the hacks, but I felt I was very professional about it, and could back up any claim I made. :) I was realistic too since I didn't think I'd get the gig to begin with.

    A buddy of mine wanted to try out as well, and he got the same treatment which surprised me. His age and appearance are much closer to that of this groups than mine. He's a fan of this person and the band, so naturally was bummed out much more than I was - and that's what bothers me.

    I see this as a scenario similar to someone idolizing a celebrity, going to great lengths to meet them, only to be denied an autograph or snapped at when they do get to meet them. (I can recall one of my encounters with Dave Mustaine... :D )

    Anyway I've met some less than pleasant people in auditions and can realate to other stories here. And although I've let this go, it's the realization that people are not always as cool as they appear to be once they're out of the public eye that lingers on...

    Oh well. Live and learn.
  15. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Don't feel bad. I once had an audition with the group Expose (remember them?). The drummer had already been hired, and they needed a full band for a small tour. The drummer and I were in another band we hand started a while back, so we all came in and auditioned. The liked us a lot lot, and the producer thought the drummer and I locked up pretty well (which we did, we had been playing together for a while). But the producer said (and I am more-or-less quoting here) that "...well, we have a white drummer now, and we got a latino percussionist...we really wanted to have a black bass player tho..." :confused: So, sorry no gig. Could really have used the money then; this was like '89/'90 and I think the sidemen were getting $1500/week.

    Screwed up business sometimes. Well, usually actually.
  16. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000

    Wow. Another one I can relate to. :meh:

    I know I've lost some gigs due to my ethnicity. The people who have taken chances on me have been surprised to see I'm the total opposite of any stereotype they may have thought of.

    Others stopped right at my name or appearance.
    Meh. No loss for me.
  17. clanner

    clanner Token Black Guy.

    Apr 27, 2005
    ummmmm, marietta GA
    then I guess it will suck being biracial in the auditioning world? or could this be a blessing and a curse?

    o well, got black white and everything but asian covered.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Right, you shouldn't even entertain the idea of playing music if you are biracial.

    But seriously, people aren't nearly as bad as they used to be. You will find occasional bands looking for white only or black only or Latino only or Asian only or whatever. But most people are just happy to find someone who can play and don't really care what ethnicity they are.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    +1.....if you can play, then you can play
  20. In my experience, ALWAYS call. Some people are just way too slow in answering your email, and even when they answer, they're not always the most fluent at writing. Phone is the best way to communicate.

    That's too bad...

    Usually what I do in email-based things is in the first email put my telephone number and stuff, and ask when a good time to have a phone conversation would be.

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