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Need advice for auditioning

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by vegaas, Sep 9, 2003.


  1. vegaas

    vegaas

    Nov 6, 2001
    Milwaukee
    Hey guys,
    I have been in lots bands in the past. I have never had a problem with stage fright. That being said, I have never had to do a true audition before. Every band I have been in has been because I knew someone and they wanted to start a band, or because the bass player of their band quit, so someone I knew in the band would approach me to join.
    I am an average bass player when it comes to technique, were I excel is on stage. I always play better on stage, and have been told I have a great stage presence.
    Where is all of this leading? Well my band broke up so I am searching for a new band. I have responded to an add for a bass player for an established, gigging band. I am auditioning for them Saturday. I am in the process of learning 6 of their songs for the audition. My problem is that I am incredibly nervous about the audition!
    As I have stated, I have never really had a stage fright problem, and in fact excel on stage, so this nervousness thing is worrying me. I am afraid it is going to affect my playing.
    Can anyone share their auditoning experiences and give me words of advice? I would greatly appreciate it.
     
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    vegaas, I am going to move this over to the Band Management and Performance forum. There is already a large thread about auditioning over there.
     
  3. I truly believe that 50% of an audition is to make sure that your not a heroine addict or anything that would make you hard to get along with. Just be yourself. Remember you are also auditioning them. You need to decide if you like the band or not. As far as the fear thing goes. I get really nervous for auditions too. Just fake it. Just act confident in your playing. Good luck. I hope you get the gig.
     
  4. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Heroine's are fine - it's that white powdery heroin stuff that's the killer ;)

    Since you say you're confident performing on stage, why not look at this as a chance to use your performing skills in front a small (and potentially critical audience). It's certainly true that they won't just be listening for your playing skills (you said it was a gigging band, not a recording ensemble) so go for it and give them a show to remember :D

    Wulf
     
  5. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Perhaps it's the fact that you've always been in bands with matesbefore now and that you'll be playing in front of a group of gigging musicians that will be watching your every move!

    Ooh, sorry that didnt help did it! :D

    Put it this way - many of the auditions I've done, I've played as well as the existing band members. Remember you've just learnt and rehearsed the material for last week or so, they probably havent played it since their last rehearsal with the previous bassist.

    On top of that, two motivational things which really help are

    As soundoholic said, you are auditioning them as well - you need to make sure they are a band you want to play with. They are in the spot light just as much as you!

    ...and they WANT you to be the right guy for the job. They want the right player to walk in, play just right and be sound guy. All you have to do is be yourself and howp that you all get on.

    Also, here's a statement, make of it what you will: I only get nervous when I'm not confident in myself or the band I'm playing with.
     
  6. vegaas

    vegaas

    Nov 6, 2001
    Milwaukee
    Thanks for info guys. Whoever mentioned that I havent been in a band before unless it is with someone I know nailed it I think. When I go onstage, I know that its not just me up there. We are a team that relies on each other to create the whole. With the audition, it is more just me. I know we are collectively trying to create the whole, but I am the one being scrutinized.
    Thanks, and any more advice or stories of your auditions that have gone either well or not is appreciated.
     
  7. jimbob

    jimbob

    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    I have been in Audition mode a lot over the last 6 months and have been a wreck untill I played my first song. After that, no problem. Learn the hell out of the tunes they gave you and get the gig. Then show what you can do onstage.
     
  8. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    The best thing to do is to be prepared. While you can't plan or predict every scenario that might go down, you definately know that you will be playing some of the band's songs. Learn those perfectly and be familiar enough with the feel and arrangements to jam/improvise if necessary. You also might think about a few likely scenarios that might happen....might they want to play a cover? Will they want to warm up and get a feel for you by jamming first? Might they want you to try to sing backup, etc. Think about these things, so that if they happen, you're not standing there, knees knocking, in total shock.
    The bottom line is that you must go in with personality and confidence....just like you would if asking someone out on a date or going for a job interview, etc. If the band members sense fear or pick up on the fact that your not comfortable of confident, you may be fighting an uphill battle. Ultimately, I would recommend auditioning for bands as a way to practice and become comfortable with the process...just like you would with anything else. Be prepared to fail a few times out before you start to get a feel for the process.

    Good luck!!!
     
  9. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Good advice from JPJ that I fully intend to execute Time to leave the woodshed and work with a band.
     
  10. vegaas

    vegaas

    Nov 6, 2001
    Milwaukee
    FYI,
    I got the gig. I couldnt have imagined things going better than they did. Their was instant chemistry between me and drummer.
    There were times that I couldnt believe how well it was going. I ended playing more than the original songs they listed. I improvised my ass off durning the songs I didnt know. I think they were impressed with the songs I was supposed to learn, but; I think how I improvised on the songs I didnt know is what got me the gig. :bassist:
     
  11. vegaas

    vegaas

    Nov 6, 2001
    Milwaukee
    Well I dont know who is going to read this, but I have a new problem.
    I got the gig I auditioned for and am going to keep it. However; I am looking to join a second band that is a bit heavier. My problem? I am becoming addicted to auditions! I have done 3 auditions for heavier bands and have been offered two of the gigs. I havent accepted yet because I keep seeing ads for bands that bass players and it becomes a grass is always greener thing.
    I really liked one of the two that offered me the gig, but there are two other auditions that I am setting up that sound even more promising.
    Anyone ever have this problem that you keep thinking there is something even better out there? I am afraid I will keep this mentality and end up loosing out on good opportunity because I thought there was something better out there.
    Am I the only one to go through this?
    Thanks,
    Vegaas
     
  12. jimbob

    jimbob

    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    What are you looking for? Cash? Friends? Co-Writers? Originals? Covers? Chemistry? Learning Something? Girls?

    I found a lot of talent but not business sense and business sense but no talent in my day so it's up to you...

    Go to the auditions but ask the questions you want answered. It's always good to be in someones rolodex/palmpilot anyway. No harm in going as long as it doesn't screw up your other commitment(s). Check 'em all out.

    BTW - Congrats on nailing the audition!