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What to pay attention to during an audition


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Hey gang,


Sorry if this has already been done, but I have an audition up and coming in about a week from now, I thought I'd get some practical tips from the lot of you, as there seem to be a lot of "working" bassists amongst you :)


A few things I learnt from previous auditions is


1) if they play covers, ask em in what key they

play the songs


2) if they play nothing but original material

and refuse to send you stuff up front, ask them to play at least one cover song. That way you're prepared, and they have to show their 'ability'

as well.


But that's of course just preparatory work. Any comments or anecdotes are really welcome :-)




Dave (Eddie)

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


The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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First off, be familiar with Benloy's often posted List of stuff every musician should know .




Talk to the band before hand. They should have an idea, or know precisely, what they are going to want to have you play. If they can get you a recording of the material before hand, get it and learn the material so you can play it in your sleep. Know it better than they do. If time permits, know what the drummer played on the recorded version and listen to see how true to it the guy stays in your audition. If more time permits, know how everyone's part sounds on the recorded version and listen to what they are doing when auditioning you.


If it's an original band and they can't provide you with charts or a recording before hand:


Bring staff paper to make notes on, especially if you have problems remembering song forms and progressions.


Ask them what they want from you for the song, if they have any ideas in their own minds of what the bass should do.


Refer to the list of 25 above again.

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Dunno for sure, but this seems a likely scenario:


If they refuse to tell you what covers they are playing, or if they refuse to send their originals, then the audition will be very demanding. They will be looking for reading skill and/or improvisational skill; they'll be looking for ability to take direction, they'll be looking for someone who can be cool and solid "under fire".


Do you read? Are you familiar with a vast amount of material? Can you listen and improvise?


Good luck - hope it goes well!

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.


This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Originally posted by coyote:

Dunno for sure, but this seems a likely scenario ...

Well for next week's audition they just told me to study about an hours worth of Metallica songs. And yeah, they specified which ones ;-) I must say, just preparing for this particular audition has improved my skills immensely :-D


But one previous audition I did was all original tunes, and it was an audition from hell:


1) I had cut the index finger of my right hand (and I suck at playing with a pic)


2) when I arrived I unconsciously insulted the guitar player (me: "well I started taking lessons cos there's only so much you can learn on your own" / he: "I've been playing guitar for 12 years now, never once took a lesson")


3) about 1 minute before we started he told me that he plays everything half a step down and I just hate downtuning. I play a 5 string so I was stubborn enough to just rethink everything :-)


4) during the break me and the lead singer (the guitarist's girlfriend) realised we'd been to the same school and started chatting away (me forgetting that her boyfriend is half Italian [like me] and thus rather jealous)


5) at the end of a very, VERY painful two hours of rehearsal, the drummer downright told me "yeah you're a cool guy but I got one problem with you : I didn't hear your bass for a second" ...


Since that particular audition, I have learnt a thing or two about what to pay attention to :-) One thing is keeping my mouth shut :D And rule 25 of that one Askold geezer ... ;)


Oh and if you wonder: style was gothic rock, and EVERY song was built up like this : E A D G, G D E A, E G D A etc. I think they even played a C chord at one point.


And no, I didn't get the job :D The singer wanted me in, the rest of the band voted me out :(

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


The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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if they play nothing but originals and refuse to give you anything before hand, politely tell them to go f%^k themselves and walk away, unless they already have several multi-platinum selling albums in which case learn it all.


listen to the kick. you'd be really surprised by how many bass players don't. even if you play nothing but the root if it locks with the kick drum the rest of the band will feel a groove and they'll think you're the best player they've ever heard. stay away from flashy stuff or the guitar player will vote nay three bars into your audition.

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Originally posted by Mike Bear:

Sounds like a clash of personalities on both ends though.

It would have been fun to join them and get some gigs to make a bit of money so I could upgrade my gear, but to be honest I was glad that it ended so prematurely.


Don't know if my personality had anything to do with it, but in any case I felt a negative vibe from the very first second and let's say it didn't quite help :D


Too bad, that lady singer was damned pretty ... Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose ;)

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


The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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