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  #1  
Old 09-15-2017, 02:32 PM
93civEJ1 93civEJ1 is offline
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Default Drum auditions

So lets talk about auditions. Do and Dont etc.

I went to an audition earlier this week. I learned the music, charted it out and played it like the recordings pretty much. I felt like I nailed the audition, and they even seemed impressed.

I got the word next day that there was someone else who looked like they were getting it.

I am beating myself up like crazy, and wondering what it was that I could have done different. The only thing I can really think of, is they did not like the fact that I have a day job and a family, so I may be a little more tied down compared to someone who only does music for a living and nothing tying them down.

Sucks, because I wanted the gig soo bad and felt like I had nailed it! I am just second guessing myself and my abilities now.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:45 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Sometimes the notes are played right, but something just doesn't "feel" right. I've played with a group for YEARS where everyone simply played the notes, but there was absolutely no groove at all. You may have done everything right, but there may not have been any chemistry there for them.

And the personal stuff can count too as part of the audition. While normal businesses can't discriminate, bands sure can. If you have a group of guys in their 20s with nothing holding them back, a person coming in with a family and a day job can be seen as an anchor holding them back. I was actually thinking about this today...about how my "phone stopped ringing" after my first child was born. When I was in my 20s, I was in two bands that played out in addition to playing at church a few times a week. It was crazy, but I played all of the time.

I wouldn't sweat it. If you have a family and a day job, look for another band that has members with families and/or day jobs. It'll be a much better fit. This is what I did, and it's working out well.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:51 PM
Miles Davis Miles Davis is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Their loss mate!

From experience, I think playing well is sometime only part of the process. Other elements get factored in such as - age, commitments, location, musical interests and so on.

Some of which can often be considered more important than your playing ability. A shame really, but that's how it goes. At the end of the day, if you were pleased with your performance, that's all that should matter! There are plenty of other bands out there looking for drummers :-)
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:14 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Excellent observations from the Miles & Pork (I hope we're on a first username basis!)

The fit is at least as important as the playing. It can be a personality thing, maybe looks/hair/clothes, perhaps your kit didn't look good enough, or maybe it looked too nice. Not every audition works out, and that's fine. If the other players sense that you're not the right fit, that saves you headaches down the line.

Unfortunately, even though you feel you did well, it's really not your call as to whether you're right for the group. keep an eye (and ear) out for other opportunities, and keep at it.

I wrote an article on the topic for DRUM! (July, 2017) Check it out for a little more perspective.

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  #5  
Old 09-15-2017, 03:41 PM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Don't second-guess your abilities. That could be a case of venturing into a negative fantasy land. I do that on occasion. Automatic Negative Thoughts. ANTs everywhere!

If they SAY something about your abilities, give it thought, and come up with a plan to work that out if they have a point.

As others have said, it's not always music ability.

I lost a TON of auditions in the 80s, simply by walking through the door. I did not have a rock or metal "look." My hair was really fine and thin. Near the end of the 80s, I kept it short for my paying Pee-Wee Herman gigs. Boy, NO rock band wanted me then. Playing ability didn't matter. I was usually not even given a chance.

I had the misfortune of parking near a "band meeting" in the parking lot of Sound Arena one night. This band was giving their drummer a really hard time, because he refused to wear full-length, tight leather pants during performances. Anyone here can see the problem with that. They could not. Before I could finish unpacking my trunk, he got his walking papers. I'll bet they ask auditioning drummers if they'd be willing to wear full-length, tight leather pants during performances.

Try to think about it this way: If you fit into every situation that you ever shot for, there'd probably be nothing special about you or what you do.

I suspect that everyone reading this has gotten rejected. The Beatles got rejected.

I've gotten rejected for the crime of playing in a way that sounded too much like the record.

And I've rejected bands, too. Maybe they party too hard, or don't seem to be able to get it together. Something could be wrong, or maybe something just doesn't seem right.

I once even bowed out of an audition because after every song, the guitarist would have a comment about the tempo. That was a bit fast, that was a bit slow. Didn't matter if the tempo was on-spot, he still had something to say. It became grating after a while, so I figured that someone who is a bigger person than me should take the spot. It had nothing to do with his talent at all. I consider it a "lack of chemistry."

Don't be down on yourself. I don't think that you are the problem, or a problem.
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  #6  
Old 09-15-2017, 05:14 PM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Perhaps you could thank the band for the audition and ask a favour, ask them for feedback from the band and what it is that they didn't like about your playing? If there was something genuinely wrong with what you were doing such as racing, pulling back, hitting too hard, hitting too softly etc. you can work on that or choose to ignore it.by which I mean ask at your next audition, "was that ok? Was it loud enough or too loud?" for example. And if the band just didn't feel any chemistry then that's something else that's fairly easy and inoffensive enough to answer you with.
I was a part of enough auditions back in the day when after a bass player or singer left the room we would all look at each other and just go, "nah". Not a reflection on their talents, just the way it is.
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2017, 05:23 PM
LeftySlammer92 LeftySlammer92 is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Dude, never second guess yourself. Attitude and perception go a long way in defining your sound.

Part of the drumming game is confidence, and it's not even always the best players that make it or even get the gig, it's the guys who have the confidence to keep going even after they come up short.

Imagine playing with Steely Dan for example:

In the late 70's, they would have as many as 10-15 different drummers come in to record a single track, and they would put them through the ringer. In the end they'd pick the best track and that would go on the album. So you'd have guys like Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie, Peter Erskine, Jim Keltner, or Jeff Porcaro recording takes that DIDN'T get chosen to be on the album. These are some of the greatest guys to ever touch the instrument and even they were having sometimes lesser known players chosen over them.
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2017, 07:35 PM
Macarina Macarina is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Yes, you are over-thinking this. There are just some things in life and this universe you will never know why it happened. Don't beat yourself up.

Say meh... You gave it 100%.

When's your next audition/challenge?
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2017, 08:00 PM
ottog1979 ottog1979 is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

You're getting good advice here. I'm currently also auditioning with bands for the drum chair. It's hit & miss on all sides which is expected and OK. A couple years ago, I wasn't chosen on an audition that I thought I killed it. Went & saw the band perform 6 months later and have to say I was glad I didn't get it. The band just wasn't the right feel for what I was looking for and by then I had found something much better.

Remember also, that in every audition, you're auditioning them too. I auditioned this week with a seemingly promising band but left the audition feeling like it really isn't quite what I'm currently looking for.

It's like dating, it takes a while to find the right situation. And, a lot more is involved than just playing abilities. It's also worthwhile to take your time because, hopefully, you're going to live with the choice for a while and invest significant time & effort in a band project.

PS. I'll also add that some of the most productive feedback I've gotten is asking for what they liked/didn't post-audition. I've specifically worked on noted deficiencies and become a MUCH better drummer in the last few years because of it. It can sometimes be hard to hear, but if you can get past initial defensiveness, the feedback you get can be a goldmine for improvement.

Last edited by ottog1979; 09-15-2017 at 08:17 PM. Reason: add
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2017, 09:42 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

A good way to think of it is that you are applying for a job.

You are most likely being judged by the $ potential you bring not your ability or how good the art is that is produced as an effect of your participation.

The truth of that decision will likely never be known to you...or even if the business decision is ethical.

Use the motivation you can take from the situation for the future - and be glad you didn't get into something you might not have wanted once the glad handing smoke clears.
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  #11  
Old 09-15-2017, 11:24 PM
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mitkoni mitkoni is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Like others said, don't overthink it. I had few occasions when I didn't get the gig on the first try but I got called in a bit down the road. Just send them a thank you note for the addition, wish them good luck with their search and let them know that if they change their mind and you are still available, will be happy to give it a try. You can even follow up in few weeks if you are really into what they are doing. Just ask if they managed to find the right fit. Be curious and friendly, not desperate tho ;)
Drummers are always on demand, so don't worry one bit. Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 09-15-2017, 11:24 PM
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force3005 force3005 is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Hi 93civEJ1. If you did your best, don't beat yourself up over it. Chalk it up to experience and move on. You could ask them but, I would not because, it might make you look like you might be insecure. You don't know if someone in the band might need a drummer later on or pass your name on to some else but, that's just me.

Is that band a traveling band? or a weekend band? Back in the early 80's I replaced a drummer that his girl friend just told him a day before they were to play before recording executives at a club that she was breaking up with him. From what I found out, they had tempo and groove problems and now no recording deal. First thing they ask me was I married or did I have a girl friend. If I had either at the time the band did not want anything to do with me. I also found this with most bands that were working clubs, Holiday Inn's, Hilton's etc. at the time. It was the mental state of mind thing. Just concentrate on the music nothing else. Right, wrong that's the way it was back then.

Bottom line, don't over think this, kiss your wife and kids that's more important than playing IMO. They need you and believe me you need them.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Being in a band is like being in a relationship. Only with multiple people all at the same time. Sometimes it's a match and sometimes it isn't.

A lot of bands become a revolving door for members. When the chemistry is right you'll know.
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  #14  
Old 09-16-2017, 12:42 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93civEJ1 View Post
I felt like I nailed the audition, and they even seemed impressed.
Then you probably nailed it. But sometimes, the band auditioning doesn't really know what they're looking for until they see and hear it.

I auditioned once, and played well. The material wasn't too difficult, but I could tell they weren't going to choose me. So I asked them what, besides good drumming, they were looking for. They said "be interesting on stage". So I nodded, and showed them some stick tricks. Got the gig. Probably there were better drummers than me that were turned down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93civEJ1 View Post
The only thing I can really think of, is they did not like the fact that I have a day job and a family, so I may be a little more tied down compared to someone who only does music for a living and nothing tying them down.
Could be. They might think they want a full-time musician, but a full-time pro usually has to juggle more than one band, and they're likely to grow tired of that.

You can (should?) call them to thank them for their time, and to please think of you if there are any changes down the road. Nice gestures like that get noticed sometimes. Or maybe you'll get a referral out of it.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Drum auditions

It sounds like you nailed it and I bet you did. But imagine, maybe it was a tie...and they flipped a coin.

You know, Aynsley Dunbar could have had the gig with Hendrix instead of Mitch Mitchell, but it came down to a coin toss (so legend would have it)
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:27 AM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

I know nothing about drumming auditions, but my band auditioned for a lead guitarist.

Player 1 turned up with his rig which contained one or two pedals, and played very nicely.

Player 2 turned up with his rig that contained the Death Star of pedal rigs and played very nicely.

There was nothing between them playing wise, and they both seemed like nice guys. So I offered the position to player 1 simply because I had concerns that the player with the mahoosive pedal rig would be spending all his time fritzing with pedal setting, and all was good.

But wait...there's more! Before he'd even had a proper rehearsal with the band, player 1 called to say he had joined another band. At which point I called player 2, to tell him that things had changed and if he wanted in, he was welcome.

Oh, but wait, there's even more! A few weeks later player 1 called to say that his other band had fallen through, and was there still a space for him? My answer whymed with "cough".

Point to this story... As others have said, getting the gig often has an awful lot to do with things besides how you play, and those things may be completely arbitrary. As it happens, player 2 still plays with a rig that is only slightly more complex than the Death Star, but he never screws around with it during rehearsals or performances. Which just goes to show, those arbitrary judgments can be way off base!
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93civEJ1 View Post
So lets talk about auditions. Do and Dont etc.

I went to an audition earlier this week. I learned the music, charted it out and played it like the recordings pretty much. I felt like I nailed the audition, and they even seemed impressed.

I got the word next day that there was someone else who looked like they were getting it.

I am beating myself up like crazy, and wondering what it was that I could have done different. The only thing I can really think of, is they did not like the fact that I have a day job and a family, so I may be a little more tied down compared to someone who only does music for a living and nothing tying them down.

Sucks, because I wanted the gig soo bad and felt like I had nailed it! I am just second guessing myself and my abilities now.
Not knowing if this was some kind of professional touring situation, I can only say that a majority of auditions will have mostly all drummers coming in and "nailing" it. In fact, "nailing" it will be the easiest thing to find. You can say it's elusive that "thing" others are looking for, but it could be something as simple as whether or not they felt comfortable with you personally. People display their vibes more than you know. If you're an easy-going guy, willing to please and pleasant, with a quick joke to ease tension, then would you pick someone who made you feel uncomfortable or tense? Those are factors.

I've also lost auditions because of trying too hard. Like being so eager to get it right that's it's the wrong vibe. Playing music is supposed to be fun and something that makes everyone relax and enjoy life. If your "I really want this gig" vibe is overpowering, then there you go.

Don't sweat it. There will always be other auditions, and maybe this audition opens other doors you didn't know about. I also went to one audition, didn't;t get that, and then someone else at the same audition calls me for something unrelated. That's cool too.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:41 AM
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bonerpizza bonerpizza is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Instead of beating yourself up about and just assuming things that might be the reason they went with someone else you should just ask them, it could have been a number of different things that you'll have no idea about until you ask.

The band I'm in is a two-piece with me on drums and a singer/guitarist and we've been playing together for a few years, we've tried out a couple different people on bass and for totally different reasons none of them worked out. One guy didn't work out because we didn't really vibe well with the guy, he seemed cool and he was a great bassist but he didn't fit personality wise.

If you put that much effort into learning the songs it probably had nothing to do with your playing.
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Drum auditions

There can be a million reasons why they picked someone else. Have you thought of asking them why? Not that they would tell you the truth. When you see/hear them with their new drummer, maybe it will become clear.

Keep auditioning and you'll find the right situation soon enough, assuming you've got the requisite skills and personality.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:04 AM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Not impossible that they already had a drummer in mind, but were auditioning more as a formality or "just in case" they find a better fit. I have had that happen.
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  #21  
Old 09-16-2017, 05:41 AM
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lepigpen lepigpen is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Wish this thread came a day sooner. I just got back from a mediocre audition as well and left feeling very out of sorts. Partly because I could have done better (as always) but partly because of the process. The band never gave me click tracks so I just learned from their songs straight from youtube. Day before the audition they said there would be no vocals, just guitars, after I listened to the completed tracks over and over. Luckily I still had a good ear for the music but I lost quite a few transitions just because there were large vocal cues that I became dependent on. It was a good session regardless, but I didn't get to leave with that air of confidence. I was left wondering if they were going to choose based on my ability to knock out songs or if they were looking for new energy which I didn't have enough of because I was listening hard for guitar cues.

You're not in Los Angeles, are you?
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Old 09-16-2017, 06:33 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is online now
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Congratulations on nailing the audition. And on taking the audition. Keep doing what you're doing.
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  #23  
Old 09-16-2017, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Drum auditions

In my experiences if auditioning for a cover band, (given my style and influence) Ive played the songs a million times and can just play the tune in my head or make it easy and have them put on the HP and listen while i play.. Thats the cheap and dirty version because most guys Ive played with are not as professional as it should be.

On the bands that do covers and write music, I just say lets jam and put a few things together. If you can come up with a solid tune with 3 to 4 other strangers and mesh well it works out..

I can bang out covers or be a pocket drummer same as everyone else if you want style and energy and want to work some things out lets have a jam session or 2 and put something down.. because ultimately if you can learn to write with strangers and create music that sounds good and makes you feel like a rock star then its meant to be.. if not keep on banging out tunes.

I did that for a while .. picked up a small 12 track recorder, a guitar with an effects pedal a bass guitar and played in dropped d , layed down my own ideas either for myself or to bring with me as creative ideas for the right group of people.
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2017, 02:37 PM
93civEJ1 93civEJ1 is offline
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by lepigpen View Post

You're not in Los Angeles, are you?
Nah,

actually Nashville...so theres a pretty large pool of drummers. I havent swam in the pool here too long either.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Drum auditions

Happened to me recently.. auditioned for a band, I really wanted it more than any other band; they sounded *great*, the singer, she was amazing, and it would have been regular paid function gigs.

I really thought I'd got it; just the way they were with me after the audition (at least, the singer and bass player). I half thought they were going to offer it to me on the spot (it's happened 3 times and I've *always* been surprised because I rank myself as being only just above awful, very mediocre at best), until one of them, I think it was the keyboard player, said "we need to go away and think about it".

The singer kept texting me, saying sorry they were still trying to make a decision. Eventually she text and said sorry, they really enjoyed playing with me but eventually decided to give it to the first drummer they auditioned, but said I was in the top few.

I actually felt hurt, more than I thought I would. Worst thing is I had a rehearsal at the same place that evening, and a gig to play at the weekend.

I half thought of tempting them by saying I have a high end PA system, lighting, lots of sound experience, but I wanted them to want me for my playing, not how "handy" I'd be. I did tell her afterwards though, and said if they were ever stuck for a PA/Sound guy let me know ;-)

Anyway, I got over it pretty quick. I even said I'd sub for them if there drummer couldn't make a gig. I don't get bitter about these sort of things.

I always liken it to dating, it feels almost exactly the same. I always feel coy when I say I'm "involved" with other bands too, and is that okay ;-)

Anyway, chalk it down to experience and move on.
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  #26  
Old 09-20-2017, 03:40 PM
93civEJ1 93civEJ1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_S View Post
Happened to me recently.. auditioned for a band, I really wanted it more than any other band; they sounded *great*, the singer, she was amazing, and it would have been regular paid function gigs.

I really thought I'd got it; just the way they were with me after the audition (at least, the singer and bass player). I half thought they were going to offer it to me on the spot (it's happened 3 times and I've *always* been surprised because I rank myself as being only just above awful, very mediocre at best), until one of them, I think it was the keyboard player, said "we need to go away and think about it".

The singer kept texting me, saying sorry they were still trying to make a decision. Eventually she text and said sorry, they really enjoyed playing with me but eventually decided to give it to the first drummer they auditioned, but said I was in the top few.

I actually felt hurt, more than I thought I would. Worst thing is I had a rehearsal at the same place that evening, and a gig to play at the weekend.

I half thought of tempting them by saying I have a high end PA system, lighting, lots of sound experience, but I wanted them to want me for my playing, not how "handy" I'd be. I did tell her afterwards though, and said if they were ever stuck for a PA/Sound guy let me know ;-)

Anyway, I got over it pretty quick. I even said I'd sub for them if there drummer couldn't make a gig. I don't get bitter about these sort of things.

I always liken it to dating, it feels almost exactly the same. I always feel coy when I say I'm "involved" with other bands too, and is that okay ;-)

Anyway, chalk it down to experience and move on.
yeah im pretty much over it already.
I was just kind of in that HURT stage, just because the way they were speaking highly of my playing etc during the audition, and how bad I wanted it. Most gigs I come across or get offered, I am not really into the music or sound. This would have been one I felt that I would have greatly enjoyed.
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