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Uh... four auditions coming up.


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Well, Denver definitely is different from Springfield, MO in some ways, but certainly not in this way: bassists are the most "in demand" band member. I put a Craigslist ad up two nights ago and linked my Myspace page and now I have four auditions scheduled: a jazz group, a fusion group, a Southern rock outfit, and a genre-defying group. There's also a cover band interested in me but I'm not sure I'm up for that.

 

Since I've never auditioned before except for scholarships... anyone have any advice about getting ready? No, there's no material for me to rehearse that I know of. Do you do any kind of practicing beforehand, or do you just say, "F*** it, let's do this," and play your heart out? Etc.

 

It's also going to be tough choosing between groups if they all want me. I don't think I have time for more than two or three, based on my experiences back in MO. Probably less than that, even. Maybe I should just go with one?? I guess I'll have to see which ones feel right... Advice?

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If they don't have stuff they want you to practice, they're likely to not be very organized. If you want to audition, just keep up your normal routine and show up ready for anything. I'm sure meeting everybody and playing with them will help in your decision between the groups.
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One group just wants me to have jazz standards ready. Another guy is still writing material, and the fusion group seemed to just want to meet me (and yet have me bring the bass).

 

Obviously the cover group had a big long list. I'm just not that interested. We'll see how these others go first...

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Drop the cover group (since you're not interested), prepare to be jamming with the Fusion Group (sounds like they're an impromptu jam band ?), work on your material for Jazz Standards and check out the material that Another Guy is writing.

 

If the jam with Fusion Group sucks eggs, drop that one too. If Another Guy's material is shyte, drop that one too. Then you'll have Jazz Standards as a main band and you could reconsider Cover Band.

 

I don't know if you know your Jazz Standards, but if you do it might mean less prep time in the future, and leave time for one or two other bands. Perhaps the material that Another Guy is writing has huge potential. And maybe the jams with Fusion Group are awesome.

 

Whole lotta maybe's. Check out the 3 you really want. Like I said, if neither comes through, you have the cover group to fall back on. It might end up being the most interesting band of the lot ... Oh and who knows, maybe you'll get musicians out of each audition that want to start something new with you, and you'll be heading your own Joshua Chandler Band :grin:

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

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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You've done your practicing for years - if they aren't going to give you material just do your thing the way you do it and to hell with them if they don't like it.

 

Which one do you like the best? I would pick that one.

 

I think people assume a lot, fairly, from the recorded music they hear of yours. I will bet dollars to doughnuts that the fusion band really digs your stuff and is saying, 'hey, if this guy is not a jackass we should totally have him in our band because he can really fusion it up'. I'm serious cuz I've heard your stuff - you put up 100 bucks and I'll put up 100 doughnuts and I'll bet they have no doubt about your playing, but all work has a social component, so just be yourself with and without bass.

 

I would say that maybe things are different in Springfield, one of the whitest cities in america and yet somehow home of a huge array of great chinese chicken places, but bassists are usually more in demand than anyone except a truly good singer/frontman, which basically barely exist.

 

And remember: You're auditioning them just as much as they are auditioning you. And it's like girls: don't just marry the first one that's nice to you. You've worked hard, you've got skills, so take what you want.

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A lot of great advice here. The points I wanted to make have already been made, so I'll just echo:

 

Be yourself. Just relax. You might even have fun. Heck, it's a night out playing--how bad can it be?

 

Don't over think it. Be solid, keep good time, have a good feel--stick to the basics.

 

You are definitely auditioning them. Try to get a sense of how organized their material is & their schedule is. Get a sense of how they use, or waste, practice time. Try to suss out the basic level of their knowledge of music. Find out how well they understand their equipment (e.g., their PA). Be sure all singers can really sing. You're not a snob, but if people are falling down in any of these areas then eventually it will become unworkable for you. Trust me on that. And there will never be an easier time than now to walk away.

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Drop the cover group (since you're not interested), prepare to be jamming with the Fusion Group (sounds like they're an impromptu jam band ?), work on your material for Jazz Standards and check out the material that Another Guy is writing.

 

If the jam with Fusion Group sucks eggs, drop that one too. If Another Guy's material is shyte, drop that one too. Then you'll have Jazz Standards as a main band and you could reconsider Cover Band.

 

I don't know if you know your Jazz Standards, but if you do it might mean less prep time in the future, and leave time for one or two other bands. Perhaps the material that Another Guy is writing has huge potential. And maybe the jams with Fusion Group are awesome.

 

Whole lotta maybe's. Check out the 3 you really want. Like I said, if neither comes through, you have the cover group to fall back on. It might end up being the most interesting band of the lot ... Oh and who knows, maybe you'll get musicians out of each audition that want to start something new with you, and you'll be heading your own Joshua Chandler Band :grin:

 

+1.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Hey Josh, what kind of clubs do you see advertising for out there, and what kind of bands are getting hired the most, classic rock, modern rock, alternative/college, jazz, blues, country, folk, covers, originals, what is the local scene like? Maybe that ought to have a bearing on your choice.

 

Also, which of the bands you're auditioning for are or have been gigging, and how many of them have yet to make it out of rehearsals and into clubs, etc? I probably don't have to tell you that a lot of bands never seem to make it out of rehearsal and actually start gigging. That might be something to consider too.

 

Let us know how it goes, man.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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p.s. If a band's audition process is disorganized, that is a sign of how the band operates.

This.

 

Also, keep in mind that if all of these bands end up sucking eggs...you don't have to pick one. There are plenty more around a big city like Denver.

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Also, keep in mind that if all of these bands end up sucking eggs...you don't have to pick one. There are plenty more around a big city like Denver.

 

Very true, I'll keep that thought with me.

 

The Jazz Standards-ish band is probably a no-brainer for me, that's just about all I have been doing for the last year and I really enjoy it. So hopefully that goes well. Their Myspace page had some good recordings on it as well, so I have hopes that my audition of them as well as theirs of me both go well.

 

I listened to Original Material Guy's music and I am blown away. Very excited about that one. Maybe I should try to ear some of that stuff out in advance and impress him?

 

You are definitely auditioning them. Try to get a sense of how organized their material is & their schedule is. Get a sense of how they use, or waste, practice time. Try to suss out the basic level of their knowledge of music. Find out how well they understand their equipment (e.g., their PA). Be sure all singers can really sing. You're not a snob, but if people are falling down in any of these areas then eventually it will become unworkable for you. Trust me on that. And there will never be an easier time than now to walk away.

 

Thanks for the detailed points... I hadn't thought about figuring them out this much but it's a great idea and I'm grateful you brought up equipment and voices, etc.

 

One thing I keep stressing to everyone is that the gigs have to pay a decent wage and the people have to take their music seriously enough to "bring it" when the time comes, no matter the genre. I hope I don't come off like a jerk for saying that but I think everyone here seems to echo my sentiment.

 

Hey Josh, what kind of clubs do you see advertising for out there, and what kind of bands are getting hired the most, classic rock, modern rock, alternative/college, jazz, blues, country, folk, covers, originals, what is the local scene like? Maybe that ought to have a bearing on your choice.

 

There is a really strong jazz presence here due to or reflected by a certain public radio station. I have heard a "big" jazz show advertised at two or three times a day just by catching that station... makes me think there is probably a pretty good scene.

 

Rock and metal do really well in certain parts of town, as well as anything that at least pretends to be psychedelic. In that respect Denver is not much different from Springfield. Finally there's the indie/art-rock stuff that has a visible presence too.

 

Also, which of the bands you're auditioning for are or have been gigging, and how many of them have yet to make it out of rehearsals and into clubs, etc? I probably don't have to tell you that a lot of bands never seem to make it out of rehearsal and actually start gigging. That might be something to consider too.

 

The Jazz group has been gigging a lot with sub bassists; the Fusion group has been doing the same; the genre-defiers just moved here from Florida I guess. The Southern rock originals fella', he used to gig with another band that broke up. I checked out their Myspace and love the way that sounded; apparently he and some members of that band opened up for the DNC when Candidate (now President) Obama was nominated.

 

Thanks for all the advice! My first audition is with the genre-defiers, tomorrow.

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Update: the genre-defiers never got back with me to confirm the audition time that was supposed to happen today. Makes me wonder if I should listen to Davio, Jeremy, and the rest of you and consider that a red flag about their typical behavior. I've been in aloof bands before and that really sucked.

 

Next audition is Tuesday with Mr. Originals; then Thursday with the fusion act including rehearsed material. Very excited about both. :)

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I've been following the craigslist 'music scene' here in Denver for a while... it seems to go in cycles with some serious ads alternating with a bunch of whiners looking for a place to vent. Of the few ads I've replied to, I've had only one serious response. It didn't end up working out because my schedule changed at work, but lesson learned here is it seems like you have to be pretty selective. I'd write the 'genre-defiers' off as a miss. Sounds like the other guys are at least throwing you a bone with some stuff to work on before you meet.

 

PS

Check PM's.....

 

PPS

Wouldn't a 'genre defying' genre just be another genre? Cross-Genre? Kinda like Cross-Gender? I don't know.

 

DX

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Sorry to be late to the party.

Correction: the fusion group is sending me material to work on and the jazz group has named some favorite charts.
Well, now you know what to practice for those auditions.

 

Mr. Originals, since he didn't send you anything specific, will just have to make due with your improv. Yeah, you could have learned everything off his link, but chances are he's really excited about the latest song he wrote that isn't recorded yet and he wants you to play that for the audition, anyway. Just do your best; it'll be more about how well the two of you work together, I think.

 

The band that did not confirm with you ... lose their number, quick. (Or rather, program your cell with their name as "DO NOT ANSWER".)

One thing I keep stressing to everyone is that the gigs have to pay a decent wage [...]

Well, I may be wrong, but I'd guess the cover band you passed on outright would have been the best money-maker.

 

The worst, potentially, is the originals band. The gigs don't pay all that well and you may be asked to help pay for studio time up front. If the band is a resounding success, though, and you sell tons of merch, well, that's a different story. (If you have to spend all your free time promoting and begging friends to buy $10 tickets to your shows, though, is it worth it?)

 

If Denver has a casino and the jazz or fusion group can land a steady gig there that could be good money, too. Better yet if they do corporate gigs.

 

 

It's easy to be in multiple bands if all you have to do is show up and play. Especially if some bands only play out 4 times a year. (Assuming they don't also rehearse 2+ times a week.) It's harder when you have other band responsibilities, especially booking and promoting gigs. Don't forget to take into account budgeting your time.

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One thing I keep stressing to everyone is that the gigs have to pay a decent wage [...]

Well, I may be wrong, but I'd guess the cover band you passed on outright would have been the best money-maker.

 

The worst, potentially, is the originals band. The gigs don't pay all that well and you may be asked to help pay for studio time up front. If the band is a resounding success, though, and you sell tons of merch, well, that's a different story. (If you have to spend all your free time promoting and begging friends to buy $10 tickets to your shows, though, is it worth it?)

 

If Denver has a casino and the jazz or fusion group can land a steady gig there that could be good money, too. Better yet if they do corporate gigs.

 

I agree that cover bands often make easy dough. I got their set list, though, and I just felt like it was scatterbrained and there was no way I would enjoy playing with them. I don't have anything against cover bands as a whole.

 

Mr. Originals himself said to be leery of original acts just getting started when you're out for cash. But based on what I've heard from the previous projects of his I'm too excited to pass up an audition. :)

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I got their set list, though, and I just felt like it was scatterbrained and there was no way I would enjoy playing with them. I don't have anything against cover bands as a whole.

 

As someone who primarily wants to play in cover bands, I am glad to hear that. However, the whole judging a book by its cover applies here. You may be passing up on a band that is far more interesting that it may appear to be, based on their set list. Unless you heard recordings and say "no way". This I would understand.

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

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Mr. Originals and I got together Tuesday evening. I am blown away by the sounds he is channeling--he is using a lot of alternate tunings, similar to my favorite guitarist Travis Meeks, and describes his music as "funk-folk", also similar to Maestro Meeks. Ironically he's never heard of Travis or his work but I directed him to it. So yeah, he and I got along famously and he wants me to help him set up a trio with an "equally solid percussionist" (his words) and see where it goes from there. I am very excited for it, although it will definitely take more time to percolate than a jazz standards group would.

 

While this project may very well be the least financially rewarding, I already love the music. There is a lot going on there--the songwriting is great, and he's encouraging me to collaborate a lot as well. His past projects have been very successful so I am thinking that may be a good sign too. More than anything, I love the musicality of his music, and the second I started playing with him everything clicked. It was also nice that he was very complimentary of my playing. Even when I was playing very supportively, without much flash, he was very gracious about my audition and what came through.

 

The fusion group that I was supposed to audition tonight found out that their guitarist was booked with another gig at the last minute (Is This A Red Flag?), so audition is postponed to "sometime next week". I have been working on their material and it is a lot "heavier" than I expected--for good or ill. Lots of changing time signatures in the style of Mastodon, King Crimson, Tool, etc. Also some interesting bass work from the previous low-downer that reminds me of the venerable Colin Edwin.

 

The jazz band has already basically said yes to me, although both sides (they and I) are insisting that an audition happen anyways. Apparently a couple of members are married and are constantly doing "jazz duo" gigs together which is why they aren't having an easy time scheduling the audition (Is This Another Red Flag?).

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Mr. Originals and I got together Tuesday evening. I am blown away by the sounds he is channeling--he is using a lot of alternate tunings, similar to my favorite guitarist Travis Meeks, and describes his music as "funk-folk", also similar to Maestro Meeks. Ironically he's never heard of Travis or his work but I directed him to it. So yeah, he and I got along famously and he wants me to help him set up a trio with an "equally solid percussionist" (his words) and see where it goes from there. I am very excited for it, although it will definitely take more time to percolate than a jazz standards group would.

 

While this project may very well be the least financially rewarding, I already love the music. There is a lot going on there--the songwriting is great, and he's encouraging me to collaborate a lot as well. His past projects have been very successful so I am thinking that may be a good sign too. More than anything, I love the musicality of his music, and the second I started playing with him everything clicked. It was also nice that he was very complimentary of my playing. Even when I was playing very supportively, without much flash, he was very gracious about my audition and what came through.

I've become wary of singer/songwriters who say "please, collaberate...I want this to be a band project, not a me project with a band." Most of the time they don't really mean it regardless of the sincerity with which it was said. Add what you see fit but remember that the music is his and he'll want the final say in it. Even if you start writing new music together, it's hard for somebody to change their perspective that drastically without a good long transition. Original music takes the most time and commitment. It also provides the most headaches so just keep the fact that you love the music at the forefront and remember that everything else is just little things not to sweated.

 

The fusion group that I was supposed to audition tonight found out that their guitarist was booked with another gig at the last minute (Is This A Red Flag?), so audition is postponed to "sometime next week". I have been working on their material and it is a lot "heavier" than I expected--for good or ill. Lots of changing time signatures in the style of Mastodon, King Crimson, Tool, etc. Also some interesting bass work from the previous low-downer that reminds me of the venerable Colin Edwin.

If it's another original band it might be a red flag or it might not. My funk band had to delay my audition because people had scheduling conflicts for one or two rehearsals. Life happens. It's all about the context in which it happens as well as the frequency.

 

Also, you make it sound more like a prog band than fusion .

 

The jazz band has already basically said yes to me, although both sides (they and I) are insisting that an audition happen anyways. Apparently a couple of members are married and are constantly doing "jazz duo" gigs together which is why they aren't having an easy time scheduling the audition (Is This Another Red Flag?).

Dude...we don't need to know about a married couple's duos.

 

Seriously, a jazz standards group is (IME) more often than not a working band that rehearses to keep their junk together for whenever they get hired. Whether it's for a town festival or weddings or parties at the VFW or whatever. I think it's somewhat unfair to assume that all the members would keep it as top priority when they can more than likely get more money and more gigs playing with other/smaller groups or solo gigs. That's how my big band was...many of the guys played out ALOT but most of them knew eachother for decades before I showed up so they had a pretty well set way of doing things.

 

Again IME, a group like that (while being an important commitment for everybody) won't be top priority for anybody unless it's the kind of band that's gigging every week and the members are making bank.

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Also, you make it sound more like a prog band than fusion

 

It is. But the first stuff I heard on Myspace was not so much prog and a lot more fusion-y. Kind of odd that they represent themselves one way...

 

Dude...we don't need to know about a married couple's duos.

 

Seriously, a jazz standards group is (IME) more often than not a working band that rehearses to keep their junk together for whenever they get hired. Whether it's for a town festival or weddings or parties at the VFW or whatever. I think it's somewhat unfair to assume that all the members would keep it as top priority when they can more than likely get more money and more gigs playing with other/smaller groups or solo gigs. That's how my big band was...many of the guys played out ALOT but most of them knew eachother for decades before I showed up so they had a pretty well set way of doing things.

 

Again IME, a group like that (while being an important commitment for everybody) won't be top priority for anybody unless it's the kind of band that's gigging every week and the members are making bank.

 

I don't really understand the point of these comments other than "This project won't be a top priority [implicit: so the scheduling issues are no red flag]," please let me know if you're saying anything more than that...

 

Anyways, this is my first time auditioning for any set of artists/bands ever, so if I include TMI, sorry. I don't know what's TMI yet. The whole point of the last post was to get any details out there that you "vets" might go, "Oh snap, don't touch it with a ten-foot pole."

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I don't really understand the point of these comments other than "This project won't be a top priority [implicit: so the scheduling issues are no red flag]," please let me know if you're saying anything more than that...

Nope. Just that. That post was the semi-nonsensical ramblings of a fool who overslept and had not yet had coffee. Back to school/practice for me.

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Sounds like you see the red flags. Heed them.

 

It also sounds like you know what you want to do. I'd do that, myself.

 

I'm trying not to be too harsh. I can think of experiences I've had where I wrote things off based on superficial appearances before, and then regretting it. I like the "fusion" (read: prog) group's sound enough to give them a shot, and I did just get an e-mail from my contact in the band apologizing for the mix up and offering to hang out later and see if we "gel". I may take him up.

 

The jazz band is pretty much a done deal for me if I don't figure something out to truly dislike. I'm experienced in the 5 to 6-piece setting, reading down the Real Books and others, etc. etc., and it's usually easy money. So I'm game for that.

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