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Please some tips on auditioning a drummer?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by crow01, Mar 26, 2009.


  1. crow01

    crow01

    Sep 1, 2008
    chicago
    Hello TB people,

    I am trying to search a thread about how to audition a drummer, but cannot find it. I saw one a couple of months ago.

    Anyways, if you could please give me some tips on how to audition a drummer. In the bands I played with the drummer was already there so I didn't have to do this.

    It will be bass, vocal, guitar on the rehearsal.

    What questions should I ask the drummer and what should I rehearse (in addition to the band songs)?

    I assume obvious questions should be:
    - do you own a kit
    - how do you practice? how much time per day?
    ....?

    Thanks.
     
  2. baalroo

    baalroo

    Mar 24, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    It sort of depends on your own level of ability.

    Personally, I would ask them to:

    - play in various time signatures
    - have them demonstrate a few rudimentary drumming techniques like Rolls, Paradiddles, and Ghosting (look them up on youtube or something)
    - verify that they have a firm understanding of DYNAMICS by jamming on something with the instructions of "start quiet and slowly get as loud and powerful as possible, stay there for a bit, and them slowly come back down to almost non-existant."

    Aside from all that I would just jam around in as many styles as possible and see how it feels.
     
  3. +1 to dynamics, also make sure he has a drum set, or will you supply one for him? Have him play the songs that you feel your band does well, and supply him with a mini set list in advance. His practice habits are really not an issue here as long as he is able to come to the audition "prepared". Remember there is a difference between an audition, practice,rehearsal,and the actual gig.Tell him what you are looking for, what songs you will be doing at the audition, and see where it goes.
     
  4. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Has a good meter, good dynamics, and good chops.
     
  5. WHughes

    WHughes

    Nov 25, 2008
    Washington State
    howd it go?
    What kind of music?
    any more info would be good.
     
  6. nitrofix

    nitrofix Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2009
    Miami Fl
    Tell him 3 or 4 songs you will be doing, give him time to learn them, set up a jam, do the songs, if he's good shoot the sh*t with him afterward to see where's he's coming from, bring it to a band vote, if yes hire him if not sent him down the road and on to the next one....
     
  7. .1 If he does'nt own his own kit........run away.

    .2 Play the music you expect him to play. Maybe give him a cd ahead of time so he can be prepared.
     
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    If you think to yourself at some point during the audition "Man.... I just don't know about this guy....." pass.

    If at some point during the audition it seems that your pants are fitting a little bit tighter than they were before he started playing, hire him right there on the spot without even discussing it with the rest of the band.
     
  9. Hello TB people,

    I am trying to search a thread about how to audition a drummer, but cannot find it. I saw one a couple of months ago.

    Anyways, if you could please give me some tips on how to audition a drummer. In the bands I played with the drummer was already there so I didn't have to do this.

    It will be bass, vocal, guitar on the rehearsal.

    What questions should I ask the drummer and what should I rehearse (in addition to the band songs)?

    I assume obvious questions should be:
    - do you own a car
    - how do you practice? how much time per day?
    ....?

    Thanks.
    Heh..fixed it for you.
     
  10. Crow-
    Here's what I'd do to hold auditions for a working band.
    If you have a rehearsal space, I'd ask a drummer friend to set up their drums for a day/weekend/etc. Make sure you give them a nice gift when you're done.
    Schedule your auditions and tell your candidates what songs you want to play. Tell them NOT to bring their stuff, you've got a kit for them to use. Set up and tear down will triple the time needed just to determine if someone can play.
    Start each audition on the hour & half hour. Just play the audition songs to get a feel for how they keep time and interact with everyone. Also see how quickly they can settle in on a strange kit. An experienced drummer will make it work.
    Afer you've heard them, talk to the ones you're interested in and set up another time to play where they bring their own stuff. Extend the playing time by playing your songlist.
     
  11. 1. If you're providing the drum set, he should way more specular and adaptive than you are used to. Otherwise, no dice.
    2. Can he play drums? what does he play for fun? what does he listen to?
    in the first audition, i would rather see a drummer show off too much than hold back too much. We auditioned a few drummers that stuck with m-ba m-ba m-ba... can't tell if they could do a fill or not. I like heavy, intense drums sometimes. I like to see some of that (but not only that of course)
    3. Check his vices. we're helping our drummer get through detox and rehab, and had no idea before because we'd been very "all business."
    4. bring some unfinished material, and see how it bounces off him
    thats my advice
     
  12. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    A few weeks ago I posted 12 or 13 red flags to look for when auditioning drummers. I don't have time right now to do a search for that but it was part of a thread that is exactly what you're looking for and if someone else could dig that up it would be very helpful to the OP, I think.

    Good luck!
     
  13. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
  14. crow01

    crow01

    Sep 1, 2008
    chicago
    cool,

    the red flags helped. also the correction to "must have a car". i also checked those paradiddles. never heard of them.

    we booked one night a guy who never showed up. then a drummer at his rehearsal place. he really knew his stuff but i don't think he digs the songs. the band's songs call to something like u2, straightforward. But he was more like playing for steve vai.

    i think getting used to a new dummer is difficult. as a funny side note...when i joined my first paid cover band as a guitar player. the drummer was always off beat on the rehearsal. i was like "whats going on here, nobody is saying anything". later on i found out, this was the guy with the contacts, so they didn't want to fire him.

    we have yet another person to audition this week. i will let you know how it goes.
     
  15. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Time availability
    -Practice
    -Playing

    I don't care about anything except 2 things
    -volume control
    -sense of time...

    I'm more interested if they're an idiot or egotist.

    Rest of it can come wiht the right guy.
     
  16. Blah114

    Blah114

    Feb 7, 2008
    we always act like he is playing too loudly one song in.. and see if he can tone down his playing.. then ask him to push it back up.. in terms of softness, volume.. etc..

    Songs that start with drums are good.. Small Things Blink 182.. Surrender Cheap Trick..

    we ask the guy to do a 2-count for small things.. 3-count for surrender.. seeing if he can start a song differently..

    For us, the playing is easy. I think the personality thing is at least 70% of the drummer or anything else deal.. a lot of people can already play well.. and if the guy cannot play the songs you know... don't get too hung up on that, unless you have a show that week.. many drummers can play songs they don't know.. or learn them fast.. this is redundant and should be obvious.
     
  17. gregoire1

    gregoire1

    Oct 19, 2008
    Nashville
    I had the exact same problem a few weeks ago, Jaywa's tips came in handy. Don't forget to be very honest and up-front with them about your goals. This may turn them off before they even try, but it'll save you trouble later.

    Also, USE MYSPACE!!!! we learned a LOT about our auditioners before we even met them!
     
  18. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad

    Feb 5, 2006
    Columbus,Ohio
    As a bass player you should be able to tell in the first 5 mins weither or not if he's any good. Does he lend anything to the band. After that it's all personality. Does he fit.
     
  19. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Here's how to audition a drummer. When he or she shows up, remember this script:

    1. "You can leave most of your stuff in your car. Just bring in your snare drum and hi-hat."

    2. "You don't need sticks. This is just a try-out. Why not use your brushes."

    3. "This next tune is in 3/4 time."

    If they have not run out the door screaming, you've got a good drummer.
     

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