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Old 07-30-2010, 11:59 AM
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Location: Herefordshire, UK.
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Default Re: Auditioning a new band member. Do's, don'ts, horror stories?

Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post
Andy this is in no way a judgement, but could I ask why anyone cold auditions these days? Isn't it best to go see some guitarists play some gigs, find out what people think about the ones you like, then invite them to a practice?

I've just never understood interviewing guys like this. In fact I think rock bands are the only ones who still do this open door audition stuff. Am I right? Even the classical guys will pretend to have an audition but most times will have already selected their guy weeks in advance.

Jazz and reading gigs for example are acquired almost entirely word of mouth. Again it's not a judgement, only an alien concept to me where I am curious enough to want to know more.
Actually Matt, the auditions aren't exactly cold. One guy is known to us. Another two have submitted some of their previous live & studio stuff, so we have at least some idea of their capability. We're replacing a guitarist who was seriously talented in a couple of specific areas. We're not after a 1-1 replacement, but we do want someone with a bit of edge to their playing. We're down to these three guys out of more than 20 who've applied.

Context is also a consideration for us. Our band is based in a very rural area. Our nearest significant gigging scene/muso pool is 100 miles away, so choice is somewhat limited, hence my surprise at getting so many quality applicants. Additionally, our band has been gigging for less than a year, so exposure is limited. Interestingly, quite a few of the applicants have seen our shows.

Ultimately, these auditions serve as an opportunity to test for band fit. Is the vibe right, do we get on with each other, do we share the same goals, etc. Each guy will get a full 3 hours session, arranged across different evenings, plus they've had the chance to work on our set list for a few weeks.

Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias View Post
To be serious: I'd pick one who is tight and grooves, fits your group musically as well as "socially" - as a human being - and one who doesn't want to run his own show on stage (or at the rehearsal space).
Exactly! We already know these guys can play. It's the fit thing we're testing at these auditions.

Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
Oh this makes me laugh. We've done this at Uni for our society. 90% of the time, the auditions are totally neutral and fair, but we had a Big Band conductor we all hated. So we pretty much rigged the process and the panel. The look on his arrogant little face when he didn't get it was absolutely worth it...

Apologies for the aside, but I chuckled.
No apology necessary. I'm liking the story.

Originally Posted by aydee View Post
Its a gigging band, right Andy? Make sure you guys share the same sense of humor.

EDIIT- + 1, Swiss!

That'll be warped then!
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