Practicing for an Audition -- advice wanted!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by junglebike, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. junglebike

    junglebike Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Hi guys!

    Been reading through some of the archived stuff on practice routines. Maybe you can help out with my specific case:

    I've been playing guitar for 2 yrs, but have a long classical training background in violin and piano. Been playing fretless bass ferociously, but only for about 3 months :bassist:

    So I'm finding bassists are in much higher demand than guitarists!!! These guys want me to audition for them on tuesday:

    Holiday and the Adventure Pop Collective

    I saw their show, met them, and have a CD of theirs with 20 songs, and chord/lyric sheets. Been listening to it constantly, playing along, etc.

    Their songs are mellow, simple major/minor stuff. Keys, acoustic guitar, electric, drums, harmony vox. The bass will not be featured prominently, it'll round out the sound.

    What would you guys suggest doing to prepare for the audition? Could you suggest some practice routines that will turn me into a useful addition to this group?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. junglebike

    junglebike Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
  3. cant help you with advice.

    just a bump'it'up :)
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    work out your lines and stick to them.
    dont try to improvise to much.
    keep everything real simple
    if they have lines already written, stick to them like glue - that shows an appreciation for their work, rather than a sort of 'i know better' attitude.

    you've only been playing fretless for 3 months?
    how's your intonation? - i guess if you can intonate correctly on a violin it must be ok!
    but if you have any problems intonating on fretless, then get hold of a fretted and take that instead!

    be nice
    be polite
    dont take the gig unless you really want it!

    good luck :)
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Try to understand how the songs fit together - even if the bassline varies a bit, most songs can be clearly divided into verse, chorus, bridge, etc. Once you've got the major landmarks defined you can then proceed to a more detailed investigation, in the confidence that you won't get lost. If you can be confident of jumping back in at the start of the pre-chorus, loosing your way in the verse the first time through won't sound so bad ;)

  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Whatever you do, paly with confidence, don't be too worried about what you are playing, because that will only cause doubt, which causes, nervous reactions that can lead to missing notes and having a bad tone(its all in your hands baby, and if you are not solid and confident your hands will make you sound timid and indecisive)

    I always tell people(bassists, or whoever) when its their first solo in front of an audience, or their first performance, I tell them to play conifdently, because if you hit a wrong note with utter confidence and stature, it will sound right ;)

    I wish you the best of luck with this endeavour, it sounds like you could very well have a good gig going if you make it.

    good luck!
  7. junglebike

    junglebike Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks a lot, guys -- great stuff... much more helpful than Harmony Central!!!

    I decided to play fretless 'cause I picked one up in a store about a year ago and started playing some stuff on it, and the guy in the shop thought I was a pro 'cause I could hit all the notes! Later, I decided I liked the growly sound better (and I can't slap to save my life anyway... yet)

    So my intonation's pretty good. I plan on hauling along my fretted bass anyway, in case being nervious causes me to lose my ear or something!

    Keep it simple... good advice. Many of their songs don't have basslines, and those that do are very simple. I'll committ them to memory.

    Thanks again -- keep it coming!
  8. Starrchild


    Nov 10, 2000
    The Bay.
    Welcome to Talkbass JB.
    Go out there and do what you do naturally,Play Music.
    Sounds like you found you're voice.:bassist: :cool:
  9. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    we know.;)

    just BREATH, don't make things more complex than they are. and BREATH!;)
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY



    You'll find lots of good musical info here at the TB forums. Just don't be comin' here lookin for info on no grammer and sintacks...
  11. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Yes, yes i am a dumbass. I could have went back and edited it, because I really am not a dumbass, but I want that post to live and linger in my brain.
    I shall go back and take grade school again.:rolleyes: :bawl:
  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Marshall Hawkins(whom is one of my bass idols as many of you might know) has been playing for like 60 years, he played with Miles, and all those cats, he was friends with Jaco, he's done it all. He's an upright player, and he can PLAY...not only is he technically the most amazing upright player I've ever heard(arco and pizz) but he also has soooo much passion and emotion in his playing, his walking lines are theoretically perfect, and creatively stellar, his solos are phenomonal. In a class I had with him he spoke one day about what happens when you get into what you are playing to the greatest extent. Nothing else matters, when you are at one with the music, you don't worry about anything else, you don't think about anything else, and you don't breath. the last one is obviously scientifically impossible, but Marshall can vouch with various players he's played with, that have watched him, his eyes light up and his hands take on new life, he doesn't seem to be part of the world anymore. Marshall calls it dying.
  13. Add these thoughts -

    A good attitude that bands seem to admire in a bassist:

    1) Good tone (good sound need not break the bank... knowledge, technique, and good dynamics will take most people farther than a shiny new high-end rig. )

    2) Good feel . This is an ability to make funk sound funky, swingy stuff swing, etc.

    3) Play like you want to make the band sound good, not like "I want the band / audience to be blown away by my bass playing!!!" I doubt that this band is looking for a 'bass instrument exhibitionist'.

    These concepts may help your audition, and if you get the gig, they might help you keep it.

    Good luck jungletrike!!! Let us know how you're doing!!:)
  14. junglebike

    junglebike Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Hey guys,

    Guess what? I got the gig! We rehearsed for 2hrs today, and they want me! I'm pretty stoked, as you can imagine.

    Actually, we're rehearsing again tomorrow, and playing a gig *tomorrow* at a bar on Ocean Beach. Wow. Got some work to do...

    I took you guys' advise and kept it simple, pretty much stuck with root/fifth stuff, and a few arpegios thrown in. Tried to keep their sound the same, just fill in the bottom. Guess it worked!

    Now I feel justified in owning all this gear!!! (MTD Kingston 4-string came in the mail today... nice bass)

    AND... one of the guys in the band has a beautiful 1970 Fender P-bass. Beat to hell, but plays like a dream, with a big fat neck. "You can use it to play our gigs if you want..."

    Feel like a real musician!

    Thanks for your help!
  15. junglebike got the gig!!!!!! :bassist:

    :D :cool: :)

    Congratulations, mang!!!!! Good times and good gigs to you!!! Now that you have the gig, remember to keep it fun and remember that a band requires compromise (just like a relationship).

    Very happy for you!!!

  16. junglebike

    junglebike Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks b,

    Had our gig last night at DreamStreet in Ocean Beach, SD. Went really well, considering that I'd rehearsed with them for three hours total, and have only been playing bass for 6 weeks.

    Actually, I think it went really well even disregarding those facts. It was a great experience playing with a full drum kit in a 6-piece band! I nailed most of the songs, even one that I'd only heard once before. On the ones I didn't nail, I had the luxury of being able to stop playing entirely, and the keyboard could carry the bottom okay without me.

    Had some issues with stage volumes. My little Acoustic Image contra did very well -- I used its direct out to get fed into monitors and mains. I got stuck in a corner with some wicked acoustic problems, including some nasty feedback occasionally when I hit a low F. Felt like it would be nice to have an in-the-ear monitor so I could hear myself better...

    All part of the learning process. Thanks again for all your help and encouragement, guys!