Another "first audition" thread

Dignan

Silver Member
I have basically been a hobbyist drummer for the past three years. I used to play casually with others back in high school and college (I'm 35 now) but otherwise have no gigging experience and little jamming experience.

I've been monitoring CL "drummer wanted" ads for a while for "shits and giggles" and today saw one that seemed to fit all my criteria, which is rare. Being married with two young children and 50+ hour a week job pretty much makes me ineligible for most drummer wanted ads I see. These guys seem not too serious with non-aggressive aspirations to do some open mic nights or light gigging in the future. They play mostly blues and classic rock type stuff. Oh ya, they practice like 15 min from my house and have a basic drum kit set up there. So I don't have to move mine for now.

Sounded almost too good to be true so without giving it much thought I called the guy. I've got an "audition" friday night. Wasn't really expecting that but I'm in too deep now. I hung up the phone and thought to myself, "That escalated quickly" ( - Ron Burgundy). They seem cool and laid back though so hopefully it won't be too formal.

I'm not really asking for specific advice or anything (it's welcome though if any one has it). Mostly just want to share my excitement / nervousness here with everyone. I honestly wasn't going to seek jamming or gigging opportunities until a little later when maybe my life was less hectic and my playing is a little more solid. Oh well, I guess one is always trying to get better and life isn't getting any less crazy right?

Wish me luck.
 

Beam Me Up Scotty

Silver Member
Congratulations on the audition!

If you know the songs, you'll do very well. Don't overplay (or underplay!) and try and get some nice chemistry going. Remember, as they're auditioning you, so too should you be auditioning them. Don't be afraid to say no if things don't quite feel right.

I recommend you bring your own cymbals/snare/pedals/throne to ensure that you're as comfortable as possible on an unfamiliar kit.

Just play and have fun, and that nervousness will vanish!

Once more, congrats, and good luck! Make sure you update and let us know how things turn out :)
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
1) Make sure you get a song list and make sure you know those songs.

2) Relax. It's classic rock/blues drumming. Nothing is easier.

3) Don't over play/over fill. There is no such thing as under playing :)

4) Pretend you know what you are doing :)
 

Dignan

Silver Member
Thanks. I already asked if it is ok for me to bring my pedal. They seemed cool with that. Does asking to bring my own snare and throne come off as picky or ungrateful?

I didn't get much info on the kit other than it's pretty basic. I'm not even sure how many cymbals there will be and I never heard the word "toms" mentioned at all. I would hope there is at least a ride in addition to the hats. Maybe I'll feel out bringing more of my gear.
 
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Dignan

Silver Member
1) Make sure you get a song list and make sure you know those songs.

2) Relax. It's classic rock/blues drumming. Nothing is easier.

3) Don't over play/over fill. There is no such thing as under playing :)

4) Pretend you know what you are doing :)

The guy did give me a list of some of the songs they play. Ive run through them a few times on my practice kit so I can probably get through them with a somewhat respectable performance. Nailing all the breaks, changes and fills may not be in the cards as I really only have one more night to practice. The guitarist assured me not to fret about learning them all. He said to just pick one or two and get comfortable with those.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Go.

Have fun.

Remember you are auditioning them as much as they are auditioning you.

How you get on with the rest of the guys between songs is as important as how you play music together.

Report back and let us know how it went.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
These guys seem not too serious with non-aggressive aspirations to do some open mic nights or light gigging in the future.

It's just a jam session. Enjoy yourself.
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
Take your snare, pedal, cymbals etc, because you don't have to use them. And really it's a win/win. If the stuff they offer is pretty crap you can always grab yours and say that that is how you are comfortable. You can always mix and match.

Have fun and relax! Playing should be a joy.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
I always bring as much if my stuff as I can. Been playing for a long time and I am very particular about pedal angles, seat height , to angles and sounds.
But that's just me.
 

Dignan

Silver Member
You all have convinced me to at least put the throne and snare and maybe my hats and ride in the car. The neighborhood is good and I can have it all out of view if I don't bring it inside. I was definitely going to be walking in the door with my sticks and pedal. I'm very finicky about my pedal settings.

The guitarist made it sound like they are a group of friends that have been jamming together for some years, possibly had a drummer waaaay back in the day, but decided they want to get a consist drummer again. So I'm hoping any kind of decent percussion added to the mix will be a refreshing change.

No Way Jose, you are correct...this is probably more of a jam session but he did say they would be trying out one or two other drummers so it's an audition for a weekly jam session. A good place for me to start I think.

I'll be reporting back Friday night or Saturday morning for sure.
 

Mikeyboyeee

Senior Member
Congrats - you got over the first BIG STEP... go and have fun! Sounds like a situation where they're just looking for a decent guy to hang out and fit in -- a good solid drummer would be just a plus!

Don't sweat it, you'll do great... BTW, it's common to almost ALWAYS bring snare/cymbals/pedal to this sort of situation - so I wouldn't worry about them thinking anything of it. If the kit that's there is fine as is - go with it... make it as easy and stress-free on yourself as you can.

Remember you're not only auditioning for them -- they're auditioning for you! Make sure they're the sort of folks you won't mind spending some time with etc...

Hope it all goes well and you're out gigging soon, Good luck!!!
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Since you have one more night I would pick the song you know the best and try to nail it. You also might chart the songs in a minimal way or at least the one you want to try to nail.

Here is my basic chart cheat sheet notation for Dancing Days:

Dancing Days
LZ 114 (that is the BPM)all on 1 crash 1/8 HH accent 1/4s
follow bass accents in groove
I8 V8 C8 V8 C8 G8 V8 C8 V8 C8 G8 OUTRO 18 Ends w crash

The above line is the song structure:
8 bar intro, 8 bar Verse, 8 bar Chorus...
In songs with Breaks I include "|" the vertical bar character to help remember where they fall:

This is for I'm Tore Down (Clapton)
I4 V12| C4 V8| C8 V8 G24| C8 V8 V10| END Accents in breaks.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Take any gear that will make you comfortable and sound good. Also, take nothing for granted, It may sound very relaxed and informal but fromsmall acorns etc. Be professional cos you never know, they may sound cool on the phone but are ultra pro when it comes to music.

Be prepared so you can relax and enjoy, you never know what might come from an informal jam.
 

Dignan

Silver Member
Got back a few hours ago and I think it went pretty well. These guys have been jamming together for about that past year. They've been friends for a long time though and used to jam back in college and recently started up. They are about 15 or more years my senior but it didn't seem to really bother them and I think we got along well.

They were good. Definitely within my scope of skill, possibly a little better if you were to compare apples to oranges. They are still working on some of their "set list" of songs and getting them tight so I didn't feel that my lack of familiarity with the songs was too big of a problem. Some songs I knew, others I just sort of winged it until I found the right groove. I really really tried to focus on keeping time, finding a good pocket and staying there and not doing too many fills. I think I accomplished that but again...hard to say unless I was an outsider. There were some failed licks and offtime mistakes though.

Most of the songs were classic rock and blues. I enjoyed it. A lot of Rolling Stones, Derrick and the Dominoes and that sort of stuff. (I brought my 70s Supraphonic snare figuring it would fit in well for that genre.) I also brought my throne and pedal. The kit was pretty rugged for sure. I tuned the toms and the bass drum for them which they seemed appreciate of. The kit is one of the guitarists' son's kit and he has sort of lost interest apparently.

They told me they are going to invite over at least one other drummer and will let me know. I got the impression I would be welcome back but who knows. Their goals are to tighten up some of their songs enough to try to play at an open mic night or two. Just the sort of commitment level I'm looking for now.

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. I'm glad I did it.
 

eric_B

Senior Member
Great it went pretty well, I hope you'll get to join the band!
Playing with other musicians and also preparing for gigs will make you develop more and faster than just playing on your own.

After a 2,5 year break, I got an audition coming up this Tuesday.
Looking forward to join a band again.
 

Superman

Gold Member
Just picked up this thread. Glad it went well for you.
 

Dignan

Silver Member
eric_B, good luck with your audition.

The guys I played with last night jam together once every week or so. So if they do call me back, that will be the extent of our playing I think until they feel good enough about trying to get an open mic spot. Good enough for me and my life now.

One thing I did find myself thinking about was that I felt like I was playing the same beat for every song, give or take a few 8th note bass drum notes. I was trying to think of ways to spice it up or change things to be more "unique" but it just didn't seem to fit the music when I tried. Is that just a symptom of that type of music (classic blues and rock)? Dont' get me wrong, I still enjoyed it but I guess it takes time to become creative/unique while still maintaining the groove the song calls for.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
I would not worry about playing the same or similar beats a couple of times, it is way more important to nail the basic feel so that the singer and guitarists can really finese their. parts. In other words don't fill in all the picture. I am pretty sure that once your really bedded in the style then you will discover that there is far more variety than one might think. I am no blues player but there are dozens of basic shuffles: there-in lies the skill of tailoring / modifying generic beats into something both you and the band enjoy. In general it's better to pick out existing musical parts rather than trying to force a rhythm (unless the rest of the band are patient and interested).

Good luck
 

eric_B

Senior Member
Dignan, thanks. I'll just have fun and enjoy playing.

I played a lot of classic rock songs with my previous band as well. A lot of the basic grooves can be pretty similar, the variety lies in the subtleties. I wouldn't worry about playing the same beat to many songs, it probably served the song or else you wouldn't know and be playing the song now, right? Just don't try to overplay to compensate, IMO.

Also keep in mind, if you're intending on performing for public, people like to dance and sing along with songs they know. So they will probably pay most attention to the singing and some (guitar) solos and expect the music to fit it. They don't care if you can pull off that 32th triplet groovy tom-kick-snare fill, unless it's an important part of the song. It all just has to blend and sound good.
 
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