Audition expectations

Erberderber

Senior Member
I've just been for an audition with a neo soul group. The sent me 3 you tube links of songs to practise for the audition. So I learnt them the way they were on the videos. The trouble tonight was that the keyboardist didn't play them the same as they are on the videos. For example, breaking off or rejoining an 8th earlier or later. Also playing stabs off the beat instead of on it and vice versa. It made me appear off /early/late when I was simply following the versions of the links they had sent me.

Anyway, I don't think I generally played very well and it seemed that they were looking for someone they could gel with instantly. I reckon it could work with a few more practices. My question is, are you expected to be a mind reader at an audition where nobody is using charts? Btw I don't use them anyway.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
are you expected to be a mind reader at an audition where nobody is using charts?
You may be expected to have good reflexes, yes. They could be seeing how well you're listening and whether you are able to adjust to and/or contribute musical ideas in real time.
 

Nate'sKit

Senior Member
It's great sharing this here and all, but did you talk to the band members about any of this? You don't want to come off as making a ton of excuses, but hopefully there can be some communication. If only to better learn what to do when the next opportunity comes along.

I guess that I have been used to more "friendly" types of auditions. Actually more often with people that I know and know me so that it would be more like a chance to see how things click. I guess some folks are more business-like and make it more like a job interview.
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
It's great sharing this here and all, but did you talk to the band members about any of this? You don't want to come off as making a ton of excuses, but hopefully there can be some communication. If only to better learn what to do when the next opportunity comes along.

I guess that I have been used to more "friendly" types of auditions. Actually more often with people that I know and know me so that it would be more like a chance to see how things click. I guess some folks are more business-like and make it more like a job interview.
I told them I was playing the song as it was on the video but they said that it can't be expected and alterations are always needed. That's fine and can be done over time. I just thought for the first time together we could have been following the same thing and then tweak it as time goes on. If it had been a jam then I'm all for improvisation but these were 3 specific songs that I had to learn.

I too prefer the friendly type of audition and although the guys were nice, they were serious. I'm already in 2 bands so maybe I was pushing it too far with this one anyway, but was a useful experience nonetheless.
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
What you wrote rings a bell with me. I think you may have been in a "damned if you do damned if you don't" situation. You learned the parts properly, they didn't, and yet you are supposed to read their minds on how they play the parts incorrectly?

I've learned songs and parts that are on the video/original, only for others to not know those parts, whether it's at an audition (which happened once) or with my own band mates.

So on one hand, you're learning the part properly, and the band is "auditioning" you, but yet there are members in the band who haven't taken the time to learn the parts/accents/syncopations/etc...and then they get a free pass because, hey...you're the one auditioning!

This happened years ago with this band I was playing with. We were to learn a batch of songs, and some of them had odd-time intros, or odd-time sections (such as the odd bar in Superfreak) and some members "just played it how they felt it", which clashed with the correct intro/part, which I was trying to do correctly. And then...get rude comments and defensiveness back. Now, that was a dysfunctional band, and I'm thankful to be in a band now that is not like that.

I'm not saying you have to be a fanatic about learning parts by the book, and I change things around as I see fit, and there are threads about this, but, I still have been in similar situations.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
If the keyboardist were breaking off or rejoining an 8th later, wouldn't HE appear to be out, and not you and bass player? Maybe he was toying with you, testing. I agree with you that if they gave you songs to learn, what choice did you have except to learn them as they are. I would think they cut you some slack but maybe they have tens of drummers to audition and are looking for a response to somebody out of their comfort zone.
Either way, you've got 2 bands so this may have happened for a reason.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You're auditioning them too. Of course you don't say that to them, but after working a little bit with them, is this project something you want to throw your time at?
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
Thanks for the replies. @CA35, the bassist and keyboardist are both great musicians and already know the songs. They're just used to playing them their way.

@ Opentune, last night the keyboardist played his way and the bassist made a special effort to play in line with me.

And Larry, I think we could gel well over time, but I'm not confident I'll be invited back. As I said before, I'm already in 2 bands so plenty to keep me occupied.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
My question is, are you expected to be a mind reader at an audition where nobody is using charts?
Yes, that's a huge part of what we do as musicians.

We need to be flexible and be able to adapt to almost anything. It's important to know the parts, but it's almost more important to listen to the other musicians.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
If you learn the songs they asked for and you played them to the agreed arrangement then the fault is not yours. If the keys player was off I would think the rest of the band would say something. If they often drift from the agreed arrangement then a first audition is not the place to introduce changes. The keys player is either un professional or a dick.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I wouldn't sweat it unless you REALLY want the gig. They can't expect you to be a mind reader. In addition, sometimes you just have to walk away stating that you are just not a good fit. There's nothing wrong with that at all either. Some people I can read really well, but there are some that I just can't.

With that said, next time it might be worth it to use this line of questioning:

1. What songs do you want me to learn?
2. Do you have any sort of recording of your band doing the song?
3. (If they don't) Do you do anything differently from the original that I should know about or watch for during the song(s)?
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
With that said, next time it might be worth it to use this line of questioning:

1. What songs do you want me to learn?
2. Do you have any sort of recording of your band doing the song?
3. (If they don't) Do you do anything differently from the original that I should know about or watch for during the song(s)?
Nailed it. This works every time.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I wouldn't sweat it unless you REALLY want the gig. They can't expect you to be a mind reader. In addition, sometimes you just have to walk away stating that you are just not a good fit. There's nothing wrong with that at all either. Some people I can read really well, but there are some that I just can't.

With that said, next time it might be worth it to use this line of questioning:

1. What songs do you want me to learn?
2. Do you have any sort of recording of your band doing the song?
3. (If they don't) Do you do anything differently from the original that I should know about or watch for during the song(s)?


From the OP it seems thats what was done, except the keys player decided to do 3. on his own, and In my book thats not on.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
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From the OP it seems thats what was done, except the keys player decided to do 3. on his own, and In my book thats not on.
Yup, if the keys player decided to do #3 without telling anyone beforehand, I have to call "unfair" on this one.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Was he actually off, or was he throwing in stabs or accents? Maybe he was seeing if you were paying attention to join him on the next time around. It is also possible that he was just playing it the way he has been playing it for a long time and might not remember how the album version actually goes. Don't read to much into it.
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
Was he actually off, or was he throwing in stabs or accents? Maybe he was seeing if you were paying attention to join him on the next time around. It is also possible that he was just playing it the way he has been playing it for a long time and might not remember how the album version actually goes. Don't read to much into it.
He wasn't randomly throwing in stabs, just playing them in different places to the original (off instead of on the beat), which initially thew me off because I wasn't expecting it. The song carried on ok but the stabs off the beat made it less dynamically satisfying and more cluttered in my opinion.

I don't think he was out to get me, it was probably the way he's been playing it for ages and had forgotten it was different from the original.

I agree with your list Pork Pie Guy. The trouble was, I didn't consider questions 2 or 3! Anyway, water under the bridge and a very useful learning experience. The music they play is cool but I prefer a more relaxed atmosphere. Just had an enjoyable and satisfying practice with another group tonight, so not dwelling on it.
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
Was he actually off, or was he throwing in stabs or accents? Maybe he was seeing if you were paying attention to join him on the next time around. It is also possible that he was just playing it the way he has been playing it for a long time and might not remember how the album version actually goes. Don't read to much into it.
He wasn't randomly throwing in stabs, just playing them in different places to the original (off instead of on the beat), which initially thew me off because I wasn't expecting it. The song carried on ok but the stabs off the beat made it less dynamically satisfying and more cluttered in my opinion.

I don't think he was out to get me, it was probably the way he's been playing it for ages and had forgotten it was different from the original.

I agree with your list Pork Pie Guy. The trouble was, I didn't consider questions 2 or 3! Anyway, water under the bridge and a very useful learning experience. The music they play is cool but I prefer a more relaxed atmosphere. Just had an enjoyable and satisfying practice with another group tonight, so not dwelling on it.
 
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