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open-ended jazz audition

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by slapfish, May 27, 2001.

  1. slapfish


    Jul 16, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I'm thinking of auditioning for a summer jazz band run by a local university in a week or two, but I'm unsure of what I should prepare. They just say to prepare under three minutes of music, but it's very much an open-ended kind of audition...just a kind of "come in and play something" sort of thing. What do you think would make a better impression...a transcribed solo, or just the head of a tune with some soloing/walking...?
  2. Without a doubt, they will want to hear you walk and imporvise a bassline on some sort of chord changes. Any kind of melody or solo you can play in addition to that is great, but they'll want to hear your time and bass lines. This is what we do 95% of the time anyway...

    Good Luck.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    What he said. I've sat on the panel for hundreds of jazz auditions, and the main thing on the judges' minds is, "how well will this guy be able to function in an ensemble setting?" If you are going to prepare anything at all, prepare one swing tune (melody + walking lines), one straight 8th tune (most commonly a bossa), and maybe a ballad. Beyond that, all you can do is find a bunch of tines you don't know and turn on your metronome and try to walk lines to the changes completely cold. Doing this might not make you learn a bunch of new stuff before the audition, but it might make you feel more confident about being prepared for the audition itself.

    Good luck.
  4. AlexFeldman


    Jun 18, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    No matter what they ask you to do, say, 'Yes, I can do that.' Even if you can't. If you have no clue what they're talking about, try to play something anyway. A polite, confident, smiling bass player is something every bandlander would like to have.

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