Auditioning for a New Band

Hi all –

[ as of 1/24/13, I have an opening in my schedule on Thursdays at 8:00pm.  Email me if interested in in-home guitar lessons in Pleasnton, Livermore, or San Ramon]

Well, once again I’ve been contacted by a band for an audition.  The first time you do this, you’ll probably be fairly nervous.  I’ve done quite a few and even though I’m fairly confident, you just don’t know what’s going to happen as you are meeting people for the first time.

I’l be stepping out of my usual role as a rock/funk player and trying my hand at a band that does a fair amount of County.  They have a bit of a country image too.  It will be an interesting change.

Here is a list of my “DO’s” for auditioning:

DO make a chart of all the songs you’ll be playing at the audition.  You shouldn’t have to read the chart too much but it’s a good way to jog your memory if you’re feeling a little bit stressed out.

DO come up to speed on as many agreed upon songs as possible.  Play them daily.

DO experiment with the right tone for the right song.  Most auditions are 5-10 songs.  (I, of course, had to agree to 21 that I have played before).  Even write down the settings if you have to.  Bring the gear you’d gig with, not your practice stuff unless they tell you not to due to noise restraints.

DO practice any vocal parts if singing is part of your possible new role.

DO dress appropriately.  Jeans and T-shirt are fine, but if, like me, this is a bit of a country audition, leave the Metallica T-shirt at home.

DO ask questions!  This is a job interview like any other.  The more forthcoming you are about what you want to do the quicker you’ll see either agreement or areas of concern.

Questions I will ask, either before in email or at the audition:

1) What are the main goals of the band – like: gig as much as you can?  Gig every other month? Write original music?  Play festivals?

2) If there was a previous guitarist, why did he/she leave?

3) How often do they practice?

4) Band history – where have they played before?

5) Marketing – do they have a website?  Is that site any good?  Photos?  Portfolio?  CD? DVD?  If the answer is no to any of these, or it’s out of date, ask when they plan to update them.

6) Do they travel?

7) Are there any restrictions?  Like can the band ever play a Thursday?  Would they play 100 miles away?  And if so for how much money?

While it’s not critical you become best buddies with the band, it’s important to at least get along with most, if not all of the band.  There always seems to be one cranky person in the band who stews about it being too hot, or too cold, or whatever, but on the whole people should feel like they can work with you and get along with you.

With this upcoming audition, the subject of tone came up a few times and they made it clear they don’t want to sound the same the whole night.  I will get my modeling presets arranged for the audition, but will also make it clear that I have a lot of different possibilities in my sound and I’m open to suggestions if someone really doesn’t like my tone.

Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Spencer

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