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When Auditioning for A Band, What Do You Play?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by LimpChunk9, Sep 14, 2002.

  1. LimpChunk9


    May 8, 2001
    Bronx, NY
    I'm just interested to see what you guys would play if you were trying to showoff your skills or impress people.
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    It does not usually work that way.

    In a covers band they may give you a list of songs to learn. You learn them or as many as possible and then go to the audition. They tell you what to play or sometimes might ask which ones you know well.

    In an originals band they will probably play you their stuff and expect you to play along badly. If they are established then they may send you a CD or tape so you can hear there stuff before the audition.

    The band will be auditioning you to see if you are suitable for them not to see if you are the next Victor Wooten.

    What I do suggest is that when you get to the audition you warm up with a scale or riff very briefly then tell them you are ready.

    IMHO what gets you the gig (beyond being actually able to play) will be your ability to fit in. That is normally dependant on the culture of the band.

    If they are in their 20's like drinking every night and wear skateboard clothes I wouldnt get the gig even though I'm a monster player (not).
  3. LimpChunk9


    May 8, 2001
    Bronx, NY
    I think I interpretted my own question incorrectly. What I wanted to know is what would you guys play if you're trying to show people you have talent, even in the smallest form.
  4. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    So, it doesn't necessarily have to be in a band/tryout situation then, right?

    If it is in a band tryout sitch, I agree with CS. If it's a cover band, I suggest that they suggest five or six songs for me to learn before I go in. That gives them an idea of whether or not you are interested in the types of covers they are playing and if you have the ability to learn a song by ear (or by tab) in a given amount of time (make sure you ask them about which versions of the cover song you are to learn, if there is more than one version. One time, my band was going to play "Bodies" by Drowning Pool and the drummer and I learned the radio version of it and the singer and guitarist learned the CD version. It was a mess). If it's an all-original band, I like to have a copy of the songs ahead of time. Again, this tells the band if you are into what they're doing or not and if you are able to learn a song by ear (although, some bands are nice enough to provide you with chord charts as well). Make sure you ask them if they want you to learn the song exactly as they have recorded it, or if they want you to improvise. I don't do tryouts where I am asked to just come in and jam, because I am not a "jammer" by any means. I also don't do tryouts where I am asked to learn the band's entire proposed set (I was once told that I would be expected to learn 60 to 65 songs, before I even had scored the gig, because I would be tried out on all of them. No friggin' way, man!).

    If your question is as basic as "what do I play to impress people," my answer would be, "Nothing." I don't go out of my way to impress anyone with my playing ability (or lack thereof).

    Hope some of this helped.

    EDIT: I just reread my response and thought, instead of being such a hard ass, I'd actually respond to what you asked! I sometimes doodle around with parts of Metallica's "Orion," sometimes I play the intro to GWAR's "Have You Seen Me" and sometimes I play a little bluesy line that a guitarist friend of mine showed me once. I don't usually play any of the little lines and riffs that I've come up with on my own, cuz I don't want anyone to steal 'em!
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I think you didn't read his reply....

    At auditions, I do very little on my own, maybe just a quick slap/pop while checking tone & tune. From that point I'm focused on the bass drum and guitarists picking. I prefer instead to disappear within the groove; support and mold it till the rest realize they are no longer THE groove, but just a flavor of it :)

    BUT if you just want to blow chops... have at it. Pick something that is hot within the style you are after

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