The Audition – Part I

[Note: as of 2-11-13 I have one opening Wednesday nights at 8:30pm in the Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Livermore area.  I know that’s late but some people are night owls.  If you’re looking for a different day/time contact me anyway and I’ll see what I can work in for you ]

My last post talked about a new audition I had coming up.  Well I did it – here’s my report.

I nearly blew it.

I showed up at the warehouse where they rehearse (while not warm and cozy, it has no noise restraints at night).  The singer and drummer welcomed me and helped carry my gear in.  I brought what I would normally bring to a gig:

  • Amp head and cabinet
  • Effects foot pedal
  • guitar
  • Crate including power strip, extension cord, extra strings/picks, iPad for charts, and various connecting cords.

As I got set up, I explained that I havn’t really used my new amp head/cabinet other than to jam with since I quit my last band before I had a chance to gig with it.

All talk aside, we began to work through the tunes.  Now in our communications via email I said I could play 21 of their songs.  I did have background with all 21 songs, but not all songs were fresh in my memory.  I had brought my Stratocaster as that is the closest “country” sounding guitar I have, yet most of the 21 were classic rock songs (Bad Company, Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, etc).  As we started playing through them, I struggled off the bat.  My hands felt cold, they wouldn’t move like I wanted them to.

As we got to about the 4th or 5th song, I started to loosen up and relax, hands warmed up, and I began to play better.  I found on the rock songs I missed my Ibanez (the S5470 – catchy name eh?).  The Ibanez is my go-to guitar which I had left at home because this was a “country” band.  Wrong move.

Plus, I didn’t even practice these songs on the Strat at home.  I had practiced on my Dean 7 string since that is what I had set up in my practice area.  So I practiced on a guitar I wasn’t going to bring, and I wasn’t going to bring my main guitar.  Not too smart!

After we got done playing, we sat down and talked.  The lead singer opened with “We think you’re a better player than you showed us here tonight.  It took like 5 songs for you to hit your stride, and you’re playing on new gear.”

That sounded hopeful to me, but not quite a definite “Yes”.  They made it clear to me they are not a “Classic country” band and they enjoy all music from Garth Brooks to Juda Priest.

We had similar goals – be gigging actively, be different than the competition, sound good and work hard.

They wanted me to come back the next week with a smaller set of songs ready.  I agreed to that, trying to remember if I’d ever been asked to audition twice.  If I had, I didn’t remember.

To recap my mistakes:

  • I practiced on the guitar I would not do the audition with
  • I chose too many songs to work on
  • I auditioned with a guitar that I was not as comfortable on

In my next blog entry, I’ll tell you how the second audition went.

Peace out

Spencer

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