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  #1  
Old 06-20-2018, 07:06 AM
Brandtwi Brandtwi is offline
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Default Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

I only had three songs to learn, but they had a lot of stops in places u wouldn't always expect & I had never heard them before. The audition room was small & hot with a fan blowing. It was just the bass player & me playing along to a "re-make" version of the songs minus the drums, bass, & several guitar parts, so some of the parts I que off on are not there. It was a stripped down version & he was recording us which only added to my nervousness.

I had to play on a bottom of the line electric drum kit. It really sucked and threw me off my groove. I believe a lot drummers style comes from how the hi-hat is played. The piece of rubber on this kit was a poor excuse of a hi-hat. How can u make a song groove when u r fighting the kit? This was making me even more nervous.

OK - a pro is expected to overcome a bad situation & still sound fabulous. I'm sitting here making all these excuses when I should have been able to deal with them & play my best. Should I face the fact that maybe I just suck?

So how do I better prepare myself to overcome obstacles and deliver an impressive audition performance?
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandtwi View Post
I only had three songs to learn, but they had a lot of stops in places u wouldn't always expect & I had never heard them before. The audition room was small & hot with a fan blowing. It was just the bass player & me playing along to a "re-make" version of the songs minus the drums, bass, & several guitar parts, so some of the parts I que off on are not there. It was a stripped down version & he was recording us which only added to my nervousness.

I had to play on a bottom of the line electric drum kit. It really sucked and threw me off my groove. I believe a lot drummers style comes from how the hi-hat is played. The piece of rubber on this kit was a poor excuse of a hi-hat. How can u make a song groove when u r fighting the kit? This was making me even more nervous.

OK - a pro is expected to overcome a bad situation & still sound fabulous. I'm sitting here making all these excuses when I should have been able to deal with them & play my best. Should I face the fact that maybe I just suck?

So how do I better prepare myself to overcome obstacles and deliver an impressive audition performance?
If I had been faced with that many odd issues and requirements, I would have turned and walked away from the audition. Were any of them required to audition against a scratch track, with changed arrangements, on a two-string guitar played through a battery-powered amp?

The fact that this was what they expected of you speaks far more about them than about you. Be glad you didn't get the gig. They sound clueless and repellent.

Yes, pros are able to overcome bad situations - but they shouldn't be expected to as a matter of course, and a pro would have walked.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:39 AM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Don't sweat it man, sounds like there's a lot of unrealistic expectations of what a drummer is/does going on. Don't get involved.

If the rest of the band can't be bothered then neither should you. A pro wouldn't have got out of bed for this. How up yourself must this band be if you have to audition to play with them all!

I think they'll be looking for a drummer for a while :) If they call back just say you've had another offer.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
If I had been faced with that many odd issues and requirements, I would have turned and walked away from the audition. Were any of them required to audition against a scratch track, with changed arrangements, on a two-string guitar played through a battery-powered amp?

The fact that this was what they expected of you speaks far more about them than about you. Be glad you didn't get the gig. They sound clueless and repellent.

Yes, pros are able to overcome bad situations - but they shouldn't be expected to as a matter of course, and a pro would have walked.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
Don't sweat it man, sounds like there's a lot of unrealistic expectations of what a drummer is/does going on. Don't get involved.

If the rest of the band can't be bothered then neither should you. A pro wouldn't have got out of bed for this. How up yourself must this band be if you have to audition to play with them all!

I think they'll be looking for a drummer for a while :) If they call back just say you've had another offer.
Both these posts absolutely hit the mark. You dodged a bullet there - be thankful - move on quickly.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Wow, what a weird audition!

Shake it off, and move on.
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  #6  
Old 06-20-2018, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Strange experience. The irony you may get the gig. You can't tell-they bring you in with little prep so they may not expect you to nail the songs-just want to hear you play and get a feel for fit. I've learned excitement in response or lack of excitement means nothing when looking for a gig or a job. I don't know how many times I've "interview/audition" and get a huge response-feel like your their man (or woman if the case) then you hear nothing from them-the counter you get blank looks and feel "that went poorly" then get a call back your hired. I'm like WTH. You can't take it personal though-you can be hedged out for any number of reasons having nothing to do with your qualifications.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Just know that "sucking" isn't permanent. You thought you sucked, that's the most important opinion here. You learn the most from your errors. You admitted it to yourself too. There's not much else to do if you did feel you sucked, except to admit it, and work to insure it doesn't happen again. That's the cycle.

Good on you for taking your share of the responsibility. It did seem like the cards were stacked against you FWIW.
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:09 PM
martianmambo martianmambo is offline
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Look at it this way: It's good that you had such a weird and difficult experience! Adversity builds character and now you've got a good story to tell!
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:35 PM
Chollyred Chollyred is offline
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Been there, done that! Got the job anyway! I must've been the only one willing to play on such a crappy kit (old DTXplorer), and did it for about a year. Finally resigned about 3 weeks ago. Beating on those hard rubber pads has taken a toll on my thumbs (my fault - I play with a lot of dynamics - just can't do that on this old kit).

Is there a particular reason they're using electronic drums? Any chance to switch to your acoustic kit?
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

If only one band member showed up and the others didn't even took the trouble, I would have thanked for the opportunity and walked away.

It sounds like they are better of with a sequenced / pre-recorded drumtrack or virtual drummer anyway...
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  #11  
Old 06-20-2018, 06:17 PM
fpmr96a fpmr96a is offline
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Lots of warning signs. I wouldn’t accept, if offered, but’s that’s just my opinion.
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2018, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Reminds me when I auditioned with a band doing original material. I practiced to the tapes they provided, but was mentally queuing off of the vocals for changes. The vocalist did not show up and I wasn't prepared to count measures to get the changes. Maybe it's amateurish to listen to vocals...
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  #13  
Old 06-20-2018, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

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Originally Posted by Mastiff View Post
Reminds me when I auditioned with a band doing original material. I practiced to the tapes they provided, but was mentally queuing off of the vocals for changes. The vocalist did not show up and I wasn't prepared to count measures to get the changes. Maybe it's amateurish to listen to vocals...
How would you be expected to memorize everything by the numbers the first time you played with them? I'd expect the vocal and other cue types to be present!
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
How would you be expected to memorize everything by the numbers the first time you played with them? I'd expect the vocal and other cue types to be present!
Works for me, but I'm below amateur. An alternative would be to chart the songs and count measures.
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  #15  
Old 06-20-2018, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

I'm seeing a lot of people down on themselves here lately because a band or band leader acted very unprofessionally or set them up to fail in a try-out.

You don't want those bands anyway. Huge red flags.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandtwi View Post
..Should I face the fact that maybe I just suck?..

People that reflect on their own playing in the way that you reflect on your own playing, in a lot of cases play much better than they think themselves..

The people that you have be a little 'suspicious' about are the people that speak a lot about how experienced they are, how many compliments they always get, how well they 'nail down grooves', etc etc etc..

I have seen people (also here) who almost 'excused themselves' for their playing and then their playing turned out to be actually pretty ok, and on the opposite i have seen people (also in real life) who never skip an opportunity to tell other people how to 'nail down a groove' and then you see them play and then..........And then you wonder if this was the same guy that always spoke like he was Steve Jordan himself..

What i try to say is, that the chance is pretty big that if you would have posted a video here of your audition/playing that the replies most likely would be much more positive than maybe you think yourself..And maybe a lot of people would have said that the band (even if only on tape, except the bassplayer) was much worse than your playing..

And regarding your last question..Overcoming obstacles will get better once you have more experience and an important aspect of delivering an impressive audition is to play the songs with passion and conviction..
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:43 AM
calan calan is offline
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Remember, you're auditioning them as well.

In this case, if I were in that situation, I'd say they they didn't pass. If playing along to backing tracks is expected, that's fine, but that's something you should know ahead of time. Regardless, this situation seems a little beyond the pale to me, and regardless how well my performance went or was received, I'd be put off by the whole situation and just not interested.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

I feel you on the electric kit. I was in a band recently that had one in the rehearsal space, and I did not enjoy it. It felt like a toy, and you know a guitarist wouldn't come to rehearsal playing a video game guitar for stage volume's sake so what the hell, I ask.

When you get to an audition where there are lots of conditions that make it not work, then by all means feel free to take over a bit and work through the problems with the band. Like saying okay let me stretch out on this kit for a couple minutes and tweek the levels a bit to see if you can get a sound you can relate to, or ask to be walked through the new arrangements, and such. If they are pros, they will understand that you're asking for the right things. They'll feel what it is like to work with you, which is what it's all about.

And btw, this is classic audition stuff, so don't feel you were wronged or anything. Bands are typically so poor at auditioning players that I think you have to try not to judge them too harshly. They're probably better at being a band, so maybe see if you can get a real life experience out of them around the audition silliness.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I'm seeing a lot of people down on themselves here lately because a band or band leader acted very unprofessionally or set them up to fail in a try-out.

You don't want those bands anyway. Huge red flags.
This!! Oh man!! I hadn't realized there was a rash of this lately...

A couple weeks ago, I (and a few other drummers) sat in at an open blues jam that was part of a tribute show for a recently passed musician.
When I got up, this guitarist was playing this really space noodling thing, the kind of thing one plays underneath their little on-stage rap when they tell a story. He turns around to me and tells me to play time. I told him I couldn't hear any...at all. He even made an obvious arm movement indicating where the beat was...I STILL couldn't hear it. So I just asked him what song he was playing. He freaked out and said he "couldn't handle this xxxx" and stormed off the stage.
I almost left the stage myself after that. Luckily, another guitarist took the opportunity to jump on stage. I could hear his groove loud and clear. We played a slow blues and fast shuffle to close the show. Everything went well once the other guy left. So instead of me limping of the stage in defeat, I hung in there and the other guy ended up looking like the ass.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Sounds like you prepared for the audition. That's about all you can do. Just keep playing with bands and maybe you'll fit in somewhere.
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  #21  
Old 06-23-2018, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Hell, sometimes you're up against it...

I had a recording session with a quasi-'name' producer in California many years ago; the band I was touring with had a few days off, and we used them to get some time in his home studio.

I was all hyped up — we'd been playing for weeks on the road before we got there; I was tuned up, my chops were sharp, and we'd gotten all the songs air-tight. I couldn't wait.

Well, the first thing I encounter is that this producer wants to use his own kit. Not a bad kit by any means, certainly nicer than mine - but tuned completely differently, using different heads that felt nothing like what I'd grown accustomed to while touring. He also insisted I use his sticks! I was a bit flabbergasted; he said he thought he'd get a better sound with bigger sticks (I was using 5B's at the time). I hit plenty hard, and couldn't understand his rationale, but I figured he knew what he was doing.

So it started out rough right away. Then this producer started dictating my drum parts! He sang what he wanted me to play, and kept referring to Phil Rudd. Well, I knew I didn't play anything like Phil, but I tried my damndest; anyone who's played any AC/DC knows it's a lot harder than it sounds!...

Then, in the midst of my trying to lay down a Rudd Thudd, he tells me that for the chorus, he wants me to play like...Keith Moon! Now I love me some Keith Moon, but I sure as hell don't play like him...and neither does Phil Rudd! Trying to negotiate between the fire (Moon) and ice (Rudd) just muddled my already-swimming head even further.

Needless to say, it went poorly. I was so discouraged that I nearly quit playing. Like the OP, I felt that if I was really a pro, I could have handled the situation without batting an eye.

That's bullsh!t. Pros are pros because they come prepared, and when they encounter a recording situation that's truly egregious (like the one described in the original post), they're also prepared to walk. I've since learned to stand my ground in these kind of situations, and while it's royally pissed off several producers, engineers, and sound men, I've been a lot more pleased with my own playing afterwards. And that's what you have to live with, so stand firm!
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  #22  
Old 06-23-2018, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by philrudd View Post
..Hell, sometimes you're up against it...

I had a recording session with a quasi-'name' producer in California many years ago; the band I was touring with had a few days off, and we used them to get some time in his home studio.

I was all hyped up — we'd been playing for weeks on the road before we got there; I was tuned up, my chops were sharp, and we'd gotten all the songs air-tight. I couldn't wait.

Well, the first thing I encounter is that this producer wants to use his own kit. Not a bad kit by any means, certainly nicer than mine - but tuned completely differently, using different heads that felt nothing like what I'd grown accustomed to while touring. He also insisted I use his sticks! I was a bit flabbergasted; he said he thought he'd get a better sound with bigger sticks (I was using 5B's at the time). I hit plenty hard, and couldn't understand his rationale, but I figured he knew what he was doing.

So it started out rough right away. Then this producer started dictating my drum parts! He sang what he wanted me to play, and kept referring to Phil Rudd. Well, I knew I didn't play anything like Phil, but I tried my damndest; anyone who's played any AC/DC knows it's a lot harder than it sounds!...

Then, in the midst of my trying to lay down a Rudd Thudd, he tells me that for the chorus, he wants me to play like...Keith Moon! Now I love me some Keith Moon, but I sure as hell don't play like him...and neither does Phil Rudd! Trying to negotiate between the fire (Moon) and ice (Rudd) just muddled my already-swimming head even further.

Needless to say, it went poorly. I was so discouraged that I nearly quit playing. Like the OP, I felt that if I was really a pro, I could have handled the situation without batting an eye..

That story reads like between some stand-up comedy and a tragedy..

But i agree with what you say..If other peoples arguments make no sense, then in the end is always better to stay with your own believes..
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

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Originally Posted by oldskoolsoul View Post
That story reads like between some stand-up comedy and a tragedy..

But i agree with what you say..If other peoples arguments make no sense, then in the end is always better to stay with your own believes..
Oh, believe me - that experience HURT! Like a woman leaving you. I was devastated!

The best thing that could have possibly happened was that not long later, the same band lucked into another recording session - again, with a quasi-famous producer. But THIS producer gave me few instructions, struck the exact balance between being particular and being encouraging - and even let me use my own sticks (!).

The difference was that the result turned out to be my best recorded drumming, ever. Two different scenarios, two different approaches, but the exact same drummer...that was a tremendous learning experience. (And, not incidentally, a gigantic boost for my tender little ego. I'm pathetic that way...)

The contrast between those two recording sessions cemented my resolve to go with my instincts. It's your playing on that recording, and like a former bandmate once told me, play each recording like it's the last thing people will hear from you. And be ready to live with it.
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  #24  
Old 06-25-2018, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Just Came From Terrible Audition - I sucked!

I had a jam like that recently. We went to.a jampad where there was this old, beat up acoustic kit and the bass drum was torn and taped over. Couldn't get anything out of it, and I got really flustered, wonderingwhy I couldn't play the songs I had practised.

I got a call to do another audition with the band somehow, but I decided to pass. Music wasn't to my taste in the end. But God, I live in fear of bad kits bringing me down.
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