Berklee audition tips?

futureproof

Junior Member
I also go to Berklee now, and I wouldn't say it is necessarily a jazz school. In fact, I bet most drummers come in with little jazz playing experience. However, I might agree that if you can play a jazz piece well it will get you more "points" in an audition. Just be able to groove in rock and funk as well.
I totally agree. I'm currently a Drum Set principal at Berklee also. Jazz skills help but solid groove in many styles will secure your acceptance. If you're looking for more info on Berklee's Audition Process, check out my blog: http://futureproofcorey.blogspot.com

Best wishes to all!!
 

nicolelikedrum

Junior Member
I also go to Berklee now, and I wouldn't say it is necessarily a jazz school. In fact, I bet most drummers come in with little jazz playing experience. However, I might agree that if you can play a jazz piece well it will get you more "points" in an audition. Just be able to groove in rock and funk as well.
 

JoeLackey

Senior Member
I chatted with a guy that goes there now and he said the audition is pretty straightforward. It's pretty much everything that you guys are posting. Berklee advertises as a contemporary everything, but is mainly a jazz school. I would not, I repeat, would not go in there thinking you have the hottest licks and that they want to hear them. You've got to be different and well rounded (heavier on the jazz). What I mean by that is that you've got to be playing something other than what they have heard from every other auditioner that has walk through those doors. Don't just play drums - play music.
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
Hey Bosophorus, you might want to check their international auditions. They come to Europe - I auditioned in Dublin. It will save you a big wack of money.
Ya, I don't think i will be going there, the cost is just way too much, i might see if canada has any any good music schools, because here in ireland.....ucc, CIT and newpark??....newpark is okay....but no offense if you are from dublin, i really hate the place
 

thedrumninja

Senior Member
I auditioned about 8 years ago and here's what went down...

1) The PA was busted so I couldn't play any of the playalong pieces I had rehearsed. I had to think on my feet and asked the piano player to jam on a blues thing and then a funk thing.

2) I brought along a bunch of transcriptions to show my drum theory was up to par and I could both read and write drum notation.

3) One of the examiners picked up a frame drum and played a bunch of patterns that I had to repeat back.

4) They asked me to sing, I opened my mouth and everyone in the room burst out laughing.

5) We talked a bit about my background, goals and stuff like that.

The audition went great and they gave me a scholarship which was very cool. I think I succeeded because I approached it like I would approach a gig. Make friends with the people in the room, put them at ease and then go to work. They're musicians just like you and me and share the same passion.

Be prepared for any and all eventualities. If you are musical drummer, no matter what goes down you will do fine because you will adapt to whatever happens and whatever is thrown at you - just like it is in the real world.

I live in ireland, and i don't want to travel all the way to boston for nothing, the trip alone will cost a lot!
Hey Bosophorus, you might want to check their international auditions. They come to Europe - I auditioned in Dublin. It will save you a big wack of money.
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
I am seriously considering applying to berklee for next (next) year. I was wondering for pieces. You have to play one prepared piece yes? I was thinking of playing the live version of jazz crimes with brian's solo, would that be a good choice? I live in ireland, and i don't want to travel all the way to boston for nothing, the trip alone will cost a lot!

Thats why I will probably apply next year, so i have time to really work on my reading and get good at snare drum pieces, really shape up so to speak.

it is harder to get in on a scholorship than it is to get in normaly yes?
 

nicolelikedrum

Junior Member
Don't shed crazy licks or attempt something that you think they will want to hear if you're going to struggle to do it. Just groove and play for the music. Play the style you are most comfortable with and be able to do your prepared piece in your sleep. The sight reading is very simple. You might want to do a little ear training practice beforehand as they might ask you to emulate a melody on the toms or sing it back to them. Also have some go-to groove patterns so that when they ask you for a specific style such as bossa nova or funk you are able to play an appropriate example right away. It's not as difficult to get into Berklee as everyone thinks!

Good Luck
 
I'm thinking about doing The Black Page #1 or Enantiodromia (transcribed by myself; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4v-v140Gnc) by Terry Bozzio. The Black Page is a very technical piece (quintuplets, septuplets, quintuplets within 2:3 polyrhythms, et cetera) while Enantiodromia has more 'soul' and has been transcribed by myself.

Which would you guys recommend?
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
yea im really nervous too..my audition is MArch 6th here in houston tx. im nervous =x


wat are you doing for ur prepare piece?
Im gonna play a standard, I think moments notice, just as a duet with a really good saxaphone playing friend of mine whos audition is the same day. Im actually march 5th in Denver. Im not all that nervous, because whats that going to help anything? It wont. The calmer you stay, the more likely youre true playing is going to show through and that should be what is most important in the audition. Go in with a smile on. Its not (even though it may seem like it) the end of the world. Nerves are good to some extent because theyll force you to focus, but get too nervous and youre screwed. But, hey, thats just some advice from an 18 year old in your same position. Im just trying to keep positive.
 

Kilika_Drums

Junior Member
Just be prepared in as many different aspects as possible. Just play, im sure if you're on it (which im sure you are if your that passionate about studying there) then they'll see your talent.
No worries! Everything happens for a reason!

-C
 

CVdrummer

Senior Member
yea im really nervous too..my audition is MArch 6th here in houston tx. im nervous =x


wat are you doing for ur prepare piece?
 

rhythmjunkie

Senior Member
I auditioned on August 4th of '07. It was a really cool day. Act friendly with you're auditioners. The sight reading wasn't really that hard if you're able to read music. I jammed a little with one of the auditioners on the piano to some blues. Then we did call and response; he played a pattern on the piano with rhythm and pitch and I had to repeat the pattern using the same rhythm and differnt drums for the pitches. High tom high pitch, low tom low pitch, etc. I should note that I opened up the audition with a prepared tune that I played with a bass player I brought up there with me. Overall, it lasted about 15-20 minutes. God bless.
 

LunarNote

Member
hey-i am a freshman at the temple university school of music, and last year i did audition for and get accepted into berklee. i will tell you what they asked me, and i'm pretty sure the listed requirements didnt change since when i auditioned. To be honest, i was pretty unimpressed with the whole audition process at berklee, it was pretty impersonal, like an assembly line, much more so when compared to all the other places i auditioned. I came prepared with a transcription (which was the entire joe morello solo from take 5), and played that for him, then the guy asked me to play just a pretty basic rock groove, funk groove, and i think a latin groove of some sort, and then we traded 4's with him playing the piano. he also did some ear training type of stuff, he played a few simple lines on the piano and asked me to sing them back to him. there was also sight reading too. my advice is, make sure your transcription is accurate and that you practice the hell out of it, make sure you can play different types of grooves without any hesitation, and practice sight reading some snare drum pieces.
 
M

millerdakiller

Guest
i did the audition for guitar 2 years ago. my first suggestion would be to start a serious practice routine. Probably around 20 hours a week. You're going to want to be as technically proficent and comfortable as you can possibly be. 2nd, start sightreading a piece everyday, or at least 2-3 times a week. its worth it. the best thing you can do for this is be prepared
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
I went to Berklee 20 years ago (wow, I feel so old!) so someone who has gone through the audition process more recently will be able to give you a better idea of what to expect.

FWIW, at my audition I was asked to play several different styles and tempos, do some reading, and play some snare drum stuff. The ensemble audition was separate and I remember bringing in a chart and playing it with other musicians. I think there was more to it but I can't remember--see, I'm AM getting old!

Best of luck drumz=life--let us know how it goes!

spleen
 

oops

Silver Member
I'm considering Berklee maybe 3 or 4 years down the track...

My only advice (having auditioned for several schools in Australia) is play your butt off.
 

xopethx

Senior Member
i'm curious as well - i took a trip to Boston this past October, and checked out the (amazing) city, and walked around the Berklee campus for a bit....

i don't know that i'd apply or relocate anytime soon, but i'm interested in what the process entails. probably some sight-reading, transcribing, and demonstration of random skills...
 
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