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First audition ever


jar546

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Well I am officially attempting to take the plunge this Saturday night. I will be trying out for a 3 piece band that will be going to 4 if I work out. The current bass player is actually a guitarist who will be moving over to rhythm guitar so that I can slide in. I saw them play this past Saturday and have been working on some of their songs but I am waiting for the lead guitar to give me their official list. They will be adding some songs to their mix this Saturday too so that should be interesting. I will be slowly working my way in song by song.

 

There is no way I am going to learn all of their songs for Saturday so I am working on the easiest ones that I dont know. I already noticed when watching them that the bass player is much different than me because he uses a pick, picks real hard & usually breaks at least 1 string per gig. He plays some of the songs that I know different. As an example with the Rockin song by Neil Young, I pretty much play the whole song in 8th notes which is way more than he does. I will have to adjust to keep them happy I guess.

 

My biggest concern:

 

They tune town something fierce to match the voice of the singer/lead guitarist to the point that it makes no sense on all 4 strings. The last time I checked a bass after a practice I found it to be something like C-G-B-C or something like that.

 

I will be taking my 5 string so that I dont have to tune down like that, just move my position on the bass.

 

"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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Good Luck. For what it is worth, you can't really worry or care about what the former bass player did. I know he is still in the band, but it doesn't matter. The bassist that I replaced was an all around musician. He could sing well, play the drums, guitar and bass. I had only been playing for 7 months before I joined. The guy he replaced came back to play rhythm guitar for us. He would say how he did this and that, and I should try that or whatever. In the end, I played like me and people liked it. You will be amazed at how much better you become when you start playing with a band.

 

I am with you on the auditions, I have one on Sunday.

 

Here's to taking the leap!

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

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The only thing you have to worry about using your five string is the names of the chords. If they are downtuned, they might say, "this song goes from E to A to G " meaning what fingerings they are using, not what the actual pitches are.

 

so you might have to do some instant transposition if they are teaching you a song.

 

Good luck!

 

Remember, they are not auditioning you, you are auditioning them. You don't need them, they need you.

 

And if they say, "we'll call you", it means you didn't get the gig.

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Thanks guys. I never thought about that downtuning issue until you just said something. I remember after they downtuned he played the A string at the 5th fret and said he was playing a D when he actually was not.
"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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There is no way I am going to learn all of their songs for Saturday so I am working on the easiest ones that I dont know. I already noticed when watching them that the bass player is much different than me because he uses a pick, picks real hard & usually breaks at least 1 string per gig. He plays some of the songs that I know different. As an example with the Rockin song by Neil Young, I pretty much play the whole song in 8th notes which is way more than he does. I will have to adjust to keep them happy I guess.

What? You can't learn a 40-song set list in 3 nights? :D

 

I agree with FT: don't worry about what the other guy played on bass. If they wanted that they'd keep him on bass and be auditioning rhythm guitar players right now. I'm sure they'll appreciate someone who's primary instrument is bass and who knows how to play one without snapping a string at every show! In fact, I bet the first thing the other guitar player says is: "Hey loook! A real bass player! He doesn't need a pick, he uses his fingers!"

 

If they like to play covers close to the original recording, then that is what you should strive for. If they don't mind taking liberties then go ahead, but be prepared for the "dude, that sucks!" comment and be able to play like the recording.

 

Same thing goes with plucking technique, although in general it's easier to get away without playing a pick than to use a hard (non-felt) pick on every song. The felt pick can approximate a finger pluck, and finger plucking close to the bridge can give you more of a flat picking sound. But I've never seen a guitarist play a bass with a felt pick.

 

I'd guess that the guy was picking so hard and breaking strings because he couldn't hear himself. (Probably because the guitar was turned up too loud.) If you have a decent rig you should be fine.

 

The purpose of the audition is two-fold, as I'm sure you are aware. First, can you play, at least up to the standards they have? Don't freak out if the guitarist is a total shred monster; that doesn't necessarily mean they're looking for a shredding bassist. Maybe they just need a steady groove. You can always ask what they're looking for -- it won't hurt -- but in general musicians look for other musicians at a similar level. (Since you are also auditioning them, this is something you will consider, too.)

 

The other thing is personality. In fact this may be more important than how well you play. It's about compatibility. Being a stark raving lunatic may not mesh well with people that don't want a lot of drama during rehearsal, but would probably go over well with a bunch of lunatics. Although you can try to fly under the radar by holding back, you may come across as having no personality instead. I've probably lost auditions for not being outward enough and others for being too out there.

 

Since you can't know what's going to work, the only way to go is to relax and be yourself. Unless you have something like a dorky Gomer Pile laugh. Try to keep that to yourself until after you've become a fixture in the band. ;)

 

Uh, ok. Well, one last thing. Kind of a mixture of both musicality and personality. It's the way you interact with the rest of the band while playing music. Sometimes people refer to this as how well you "fit" with them. Maybe you're playing the right notes but it just isn't locking in with the drums. Or maybe the music is fine but everyone else is jumping around and eyeing each other and you're rooted in place staring at your shoes. Sometimes the vibe just isn't right no matter how hard you try. (Or maybe they don't "fit" you.)

 

So just prepare as best you can, be on time, relax, be yourself, and play to your ability. If it works out, great!

 

If it doesn't work out, that's fine, too. I've gotten call-backs after coming in 2nd because the 1st pick didn't work out. Or maybe circumstances change, like the band splits up, and the half without a bass player now wants you.

 

Or maybe you go through a bunch more auditions. The point is you gotta start somewhere.

 

Good luck on Saturday!

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I agree with RicBassGuy, the personality thing is really important, and you may as well be yourself because there's no point signing up with a bunch of guys and having to pretend to be someone you're not.

 

I'm also a bit spun-out by the previous guy breaking a string during every gig. Is that guy for real? I'm a pretty aggressive pick-player and I haven't broken a string in decades. I mean, how clumsy can he be? I get the feeling that technically, you'll be an improvement over that guy! :)

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RicBass & Kramer, I will just relax be myself, not take anything personally and be open to constructive and destructive criticism. My personality usually gels with just about anyone. Either this will work or it won't, no big deal to me. I am excited about this but my life does not depend on it. If it does not work out I can continue to practice and wait for the right moment because ads looking for Bass Players outnumber any other ads 4:1 anyway.
"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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Yeah, that's the best attitude.

 

I went to a gig a few months ago where every band on the bill had turned me down as bass player! :D

 

And as I watched them, I was quite amazed to realize that I wasn't envious of them or anything, and that seeing and hearing the finished product, I was damned glad things hadn't worked out in any of those cases.

 

Vince.

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Remember, they are not auditioning you, you are auditioning them. You don't need them, they need you

 

This is the attitude I take into every audition I ever do. Don't sweat it.

 

Tuning down or playing songs in a different key shouldn and won't be a problem. If you know they tune down 2 steps or whatever learn the song in the right key and then just tune down to match them if you are feeling like you can't do "any key" of the song during the audition. I almost *always* play any song in standard tuning and just figure it out on the fly to match the guitarist. Ask Yogi about that. :)

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UPDATE, the morning after

(for those who may be interested)

 

Well it goes like this: I don't think I will be playing with the band any time soon. The bass player who wants to go back to rhythm guitar has been on bass so long did OK but got a little frustrated and picked up the bass after 3 songs so we then had both of us playing bass at the same time. I figured this would be OK so I turned down on the songs that I did not know so I could mimmick the bass player & see how he plays those songs.

 

The drummer could not hear me on the songs that I knew so he asked me to turn up. After I did the other bass player asked me to turn down because it was throwing him off. We play some of the songs differently & that's what was throwing him off.

 

The bass player wanted my to play the songs the way he does but the drummer was happy with my version so he stuck up for me and said "you play it your way, let him play it his way".

 

It was disorganzied and I could not understand a word the drunk lead guitard was saying when I asked him what song was next.

 

I am not compatible with these guys (except maybe the drummer) because:

 

I don't require a beer break every 3 songs

I don't chain smoke or even smoke for that matter

I don't smoke pot

I don't think that the purpose of band practice is to get drunk

 

Oh yeah, the guitarist/singer had me tune down 2 to 2-1/2 steps on all of my strings even though I tried to explain I have a 5 string and as long as he tells me what key we are in I can adjust my position on the guitar. There was too much confusion because he would say to play a G and I asked if he wanted a real G or where the G use to be before I downtuned. I could not get a straight answer until about half way through.

 

My quest continues.......

"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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You're a patient man.

 

I would have left as soon as the other guy picked up his bass.

 

"Oh, I guess you don't really need a new bass player."

 

Yup! Just look at it like this...now you know. That's why you audition bands! I would hate to get stuck with a bunch of bottle monkeys like that!

Love God...Love People!

 

 

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I admire you!!!

 

As Jeremy said I would have walked out as soon as the beers/pot started to roll off.

 

When on an interview you don't eat chewing gum although you may do so while working. Manners and respect for the person being interviewed is one thing I always have in mind. You did well not staying with them you deserve and will be getting better than that.

 

Seems like the kind of guys that only play because chicks will like them and think their cool.

 

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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I'm with the rest of the guys. You were far too patient and courteous to them.

 

If you got along with the drummer, perhaps ask him if he's interested in starting another project with you? As far as everyone else, man sounds like a bad element. It doesn't matter how good the musicians are, or how good the songs are, if you don't get along with them on a personal level, it's probably not worth it. Just don't worry about it, and keep pursuing other auditions. You are bound to find a good group of guys that you 'click' with.

[Carvin] XB76WF - All Walnut 6-string fretless

[schecter] Stiletto Studio 5 Fretless | Stiletto Elite 5

[Ampeg] SVT3-Pro | SVT-410HLF

 

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Thanks for the update, Jeff! :thu:

 

For a first audition you did great. You were even a trooper and stuck it out when things went sour, then ugly, then downright nasty.

 

You didn't mention it, but did you get the drummer's contact info? I know that can be tricky when all eyes are on you, but sometimes you can at least discretely pass a business card with your info. Who knows? Maybe the drummer would rather be in a band with you than this one.

 

Ok, on to your second audition. Go get 'em! :wave:

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Thanks Jeff for sharing. There are at least three things I'm going to take away from that and apply to any of my future auditions.

 

1. Steer clear of bands who practice on a Saturday night.

2. Try to meet the guys socially before sweating to learn shed loads of songs.

3. Steer clear of 'musicians' who down tune rather than play tunes in a different key.

 

On the subject of down tuning I have only played with two guitarists who downtuned. One downtuned his E to a D for a few songs. The other down tuned all strings a semitone. In the first case I stayed as normal. In the second I downtuned and we forgot about being in Eb and just called it E.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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Not that there is a right or wrong but you shouldn't be told to downtune. What I usually do is:

I ask what notes are we playing and if the song is downtuned, if that's the case I have a lowB to help me out, I don't care what the guitar guy says as long as I hit the right notes at the right time he should mind his own business

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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Why would their current bass player switch to rhythm guitar when he clearly wants to play bass?

 

Jeff, you did very well, especially considering the situation. I applaud you, mate !!

 

My favourite audition is still the one where I insulted the guitarist before playing a single note, had him believe I was trying to seduce his girlfriend (the lead singer - we went to the same school so we had something in common, geez), played a D every time they said to play the note "do" (C for you Americans) and bled all over my bass.

 

I did not get the gig :grin:

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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I would have left as soon as someone started drinking/smoking pot. It was an audition for f*&ks sake. If they can't even stay straight for an audition what are their shows/rehearsals like?

 

You made the right decision. I just would have left much earlier than you did.

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Yeah I was bummed out to say the least. Some couple showed up during the "practice" and she was the one smokin the stuff. They allowed it then the guitard joined in. I was pretty let down and pissed about the whole thing. I think I will have to post my own wants on craigslist or somewhere else more effective.

 

No more tuning down, unless it is for a particular song for a particular reason.

"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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Congrats - it sounds like you used your head to make excellent observations. By staying to the end, you saw it all - more than enough to know it's not for you. And you won't ever look back and wonder if you gave it a chance.

 

Clearly they need a rhythm guitar player who likes beer and/or pot.

 

Good for you! Next?

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Sounds like a real bummer, you get so excited for a new band opportunity and it falls apart through no fault of your own. Being a man of the law, I would of left immediately after they started puffing the magic dragon. Just keep your ears open for the next one.
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I am sorry that yours went so bad. Luckily, my security clearance won't allow me to be around for that kind of stuff. The minute I saw it, I would have bailed.

 

My audition went really well. I thought that I would have got the word today but they still have one more round of auditions to go. I would really like to join these guys. They did say that I was the front runner though.

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

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Well, ok... I'm going to be a bit different and say that when grass and drinks come out, you have to be able to spot the difference between a bunch of garden-variety guys getting drunk and people that really DO come from that "bad boys of rawk and roll" thing.

 

I mean, I wouldn't have turned down Guns & Roses just because they had a few j's while rehearsing.

 

On the other hand, the confused mess you describe, with the old bass player not being able to decide whether he wants to play guitar or not, and the guitarist that can't tell you what key he wants... THAT would have made me throw away their phone-number. :eek::P

 

I probably would have stayed till the end of the audition, just because I'm polite to a fault (and, not knowing how to drive I would have been stuck waiting for my wife to come pick me up anyway), but I wouldn't have made any plans to contact them again.

 

And I agree with whoever said that the best thing is to meet people socially first. It saves you from jumping through hoops for guys you wouldn't be seen dead with.

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