How to prepare for a big drumming audition?

alparrott

Platinum Member
Just went through an audition, and not my first, so the experience is fresh in my mind.

I would say the very first thing you need to do, if at all possible, is sit down and have a good discussion with the person or persons who will be primarily responsible for deciding if you get in the band. Prepare for this meeting like a job interview. Research the band and its members by going to Google, their Facebook profiles, music fansites, do they have a website, etc. When you walk in to meet with the band this will do two things: (1) shows them how interested you are in the band, and (2) makes it a little more familiar to you so you aren't all nerves. This will also give you answers to some of the questions you have, such as dress code, etc. since you will see pictures of them performing.

At this meeting you should be prepared to discuss such things as current gig schedule, specific material to prepare for the audition, things to know, any special requests the band has for you to bring (in other words, if they want you to bring double kick or a china cymbal or something). Verify the time and place of the audition, what equipment you need to bring (full kit, breakables, or whatever). Be on time to this meeting and if at all possible dress nicely enough for the environment.... and bring something to write on/with. Take notes, even if you don't think you need to.

This meeting breaks the ice *before* the audition, so you already have a foot in the door, have met key personnel, and are prepared for the audition.

Give yourself a realistic amount of time to learn the songs for the audition. In this case, if you don't have the complete Floyd discography, or whatever part of it they wish to play, get cracking on iTunes. Then work out a practice schedule where you can devote time to learning these songs. With Floyd most of your work will be in learning arrangements, more than any convoluted or tricky drum parts, they are all pretty straightforward.

Get email addresses and phone numbers early on and be accessible.

Good luck.... sounds like a fun gig!
 

DrummingJim

Junior Member
Just went through an audition, and not my first, so the experience is fresh in my mind.

I would say the very first thing you need to do, if at all possible, is sit down and have a good discussion with the person or persons who will be primarily responsible for deciding if you get in the band. Prepare for this meeting like a job interview. Research the band and its members by going to Google, their Facebook profiles, music fansites, do they have a website, etc. When you walk in to meet with the band this will do two things: (1) shows them how interested you are in the band, and (2) makes it a little more familiar to you so you aren't all nerves. This will also give you answers to some of the questions you have, such as dress code, etc. since you will see pictures of them performing.

At this meeting you should be prepared to discuss such things as current gig schedule, specific material to prepare for the audition, things to know, any special requests the band has for you to bring (in other words, if they want you to bring double kick or a china cymbal or something). Verify the time and place of the audition, what equipment you need to bring (full kit, breakables, or whatever). Be on time to this meeting and if at all possible dress nicely enough for the environment.... and bring something to write on/with. Take notes, even if you don't think you need to.

This meeting breaks the ice *before* the audition, so you already have a foot in the door, have met key personnel, and are prepared for the audition.

Give yourself a realistic amount of time to learn the songs for the audition. In this case, if you don't have the complete Floyd discography, or whatever part of it they wish to play, get cracking on iTunes. Then work out a practice schedule where you can devote time to learning these songs. With Floyd most of your work will be in learning arrangements, more than any convoluted or tricky drum parts, they are all pretty straightforward.

Get email addresses and phone numbers early on and be accessible.

Good luck.... sounds like a fun gig!
Thanks for the advice dude, i will definitely take it on board.
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Just went through an audition, and not my first, so the experience is fresh in my mind.

I would say the very first thing you need to do, if at all possible, is sit down and have a good discussion with the person or persons who will be primarily responsible for deciding if you get in the band. Prepare for this meeting like a job interview. Research the band and its members by going to Google, their Facebook profiles, music fansites, do they have a website, etc. When you walk in to meet with the band this will do two things: (1) shows them how interested you are in the band, and (2) makes it a little more familiar to you so you aren't all nerves. This will also give you answers to some of the questions you have, such as dress code, etc. since you will see pictures of them performing.

At this meeting you should be prepared to discuss such things as current gig schedule, specific material to prepare for the audition, things to know, any special requests the band has for you to bring (in other words, if they want you to bring double kick or a china cymbal or something). Verify the time and place of the audition, what equipment you need to bring (full kit, breakables, or whatever). Be on time to this meeting and if at all possible dress nicely enough for the environment.... and bring something to write on/with. Take notes, even if you don't think you need to.

This meeting breaks the ice *before* the audition, so you already have a foot in the door, have met key personnel, and are prepared for the audition.

Give yourself a realistic amount of time to learn the songs for the audition. In this case, if you don't have the complete Floyd discography, or whatever part of it they wish to play, get cracking on iTunes. Then work out a practice schedule where you can devote time to learning these songs. With Floyd most of your work will be in learning arrangements, more than any convoluted or tricky drum parts, they are all pretty straightforward.

Get email addresses and phone numbers early on and be accessible.

Good luck.... sounds like a fun gig!
alparott gave the perfect advice. His advice allows you to present yourself to the band as a serious professional, as opposed to just a "hired gun". Preparation and professionalism are the keys. Given the choice between someone who A) can play the music but who shows up late/has an obviously bad attitude/etc..., or B) someone who shows up early, takes the time to get the "little things" ironed out before the audition, and proves that even though they may not be 100% on each song but they can take notes and consistently better themselves, I'll take B any day!
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I totally disagree with everything being said here. First of all when you have an audition no one is going to want to talk to you until they see you play. Why have a meeting with a guy, spend their time and effort with someone that might not even be in the band. There are no meetings before auditions: That why there called auditions.!! If you contact the band and try to have a meeting set up before your audition their gonna think your green. I have never heard of a cat getting a meeting before an audition. The meeting to see if your a good guy, a pro, compatable with the band, check your schedules and all the other stuff will come after you play. If you play good enough then that happens. Not before!!!

Its not rocket science, learn the tunes and be yourself. Dont' let your nerves get the best of you and try and stay lose. Good luck


Joe
 

Chromium

Senior Member
The research idea is good though; check THEM out carefully. Make sure they're any good before you bother... there's tribute act and then there's Tribute acts! :)
A friend of mine went to audition once for a Hendrix Experience tribute act and the guitarist was pants; more like Jimi Osmond than Jimi Hendrix!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Joe,

While I am not a "pro" in the same sense as you are, it's how I got my last gig, the gigs with two theater productions, and a gig with an established band a few years ago. I do acknowledge that it is not appropriate or possible in every scene or circumstance, with every gig opportunity; however, it has had good results for me, and I was trying to help someone else out. Thank you for your opinion.
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Joe,

While I am not a "pro" in the same sense as you are, it's how I got my last gig, the gigs with two theater productions, and a gig with an established band a few years ago. I do acknowledge that it is not appropriate or possible in every scene or circumstance, with every gig opportunity; however, it has had good results for me, and I was trying to help someone else out. Thank you for your opinion.
Please don't get me wrong: I'm not banging on you at all. If that happened for you that's great. I'm glad it worked and you got some gigs out of it. I'm just saying that its certainly not the norm and I didn't want people to get the wrong impression. I'm going to take a guess that in your circumstances maybe you knew somebody in the band or production and had a heads up?

Always good wishes here.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I apologize, I did feel like it was banging. I don't get the sense that that's usually you at all. In the cases of the theater company, yes; in the other cases it was cold responses to audition calls or ads.

In any case, it was probably based on the pace of the markets where I live that I'm able to do that slow, measured approach. If I were in LA, Nashville or New York, yes, I can certainly see someone reacting the way you did! No hard feelings.

And to the OP? One man's jewel is another man's junk, so remember - - your experiences may vary.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
One of the bands I am in just had an audition for a bass player.
The thing I liked about him was:
He didn't run his mouth. He showed up a little early, had a pleasant look and didn't endlessly mess with his gear, and most importantly, he played well. He spoke when he was spoken to, and was very humble and laid back. When he did speak, he was intelligent.

I'm more w/ Joe's approach. Just show up a little early, do your job outrageously, and don't talk too much. It's not about you, it's all about the band you're trying out for, even though it's your audition.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I've auditioned a few drummers before, and I would say that from my point of view it doesn't matter how nice/well-organised you are, if you can't play to my satisfaction then you are not my first choice. I would certainly be put off by an excellent, sensitive player who was always late or rude, but I've yet to meet one of those.
 

KBadd

Silver Member
alparrot, nice post!

Joe, I dig!!

Larry, I love bass players that do just that.

My band auditioned a guitar player 4 months ago or so. We met with him first to get in his head, then jammed right then on the spot with no warning or even telling him we were going to. He passed. No matter that we liked him, he can play the friggin guitar! Same goes for you. All the BEST!
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Over all some really good thoughts here. This post could probably help some drummers out there. Nice, different perspectives on how to land work in different situations.

Always the best

Joe
 

Joe Morris

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I apologize, I did feel like it was banging. I don't get the sense that that's usually you at all. In the cases of the theater company, yes; in the other cases it was cold responses to audition calls or ads.

In any case, it was probably based on the pace of the markets where I live that I'm able to do that slow, measured approach. If I were in LA, Nashville or New York, yes, I can certainly see someone reacting the way you did! No hard feelings.

And to the OP? One man's jewel is another man's junk, so remember - - your experiences may vary.
I bang on stuff for a living, no need to do it here. No worries.
 

deftdrummer

Junior Member
I have usually taken the approach of just kicking back and being cool. I like to show up early enough to ensure I have enough time to set up my kit, and get ready.

Hopefully if things go well you have a conversation that goes so well as you're setting up the kit that you can't wait to be done so you can play.

It is best to be super enthusiastic about the band / group you're auditioning for - unless of course you find that it's not your thing then whatever. If you're stoked about the band though then be polite and positive.

More important than the first audition I would say is the first phone call with the person calling the shots. This phone call is so important because you need to be able to articulate your thoughts, not come off as over eager and come to some sort of an agreement.

This all with a person you've often times never met! So my advice is stay cool, practice often before (but don't wear yourself out) and just try to have the most fun as possible. In the end that's what it's about.
 

jodgey4

Silver Member
I have usually taken the approach of just kicking back and being cool. I like to show up early enough to ensure I have enough time to set up my kit, and get ready.

Hopefully if things go well you have a conversation that goes so well as you're setting up the kit that you can't wait to be done so you can play.

It is best to be super enthusiastic about the band / group you're auditioning for - unless of course you find that it's not your thing then whatever. If you're stoked about the band though then be polite and positive.

More important than the first audition I would say is the first phone call with the person calling the shots. This phone call is so important because you need to be able to articulate your thoughts, not come off as over eager and come to some sort of an agreement.

This all with a person you've often times never met! So my advice is stay cool, practice often before (but don't wear yourself out) and just try to have the most fun as possible. In the end that's what it's about.
Let's hope this great advice makes it back two and a half years :). Check the date on this old thread again...
 
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