Audition tomorrow. Things to remember?

Acidline303

Senior Member
Tomorrow I'm auditioning to join the "Kidville Rockin Railroad" band. It's a private early music education program for children ages 2-6. Even though I'm a giant burly looking dude with long hair, I figure, what the hell... I love teaching kids and it would be kinda awesome to get paid cover band money during the day.

They have the musicians learn straight from mp3s. They sent me "Smooth" by Santana/Rob Thomas, and "Rock and Roll" by exactly who you think it's by. Already spent 5 hours shedding and reacquainting myself with them and feel more than ready to go for tomorrow. I'm not entirely sure whether I will be playing the songs with their other musicians, or just sitting in front of a PA and playing to the mp3.

Any tips from the community? Should I directly ask what dynamic level I should be playing at?
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Your last question is valid - You should ask them how loud or soft they'd like you to play, so you can tailor your performance. Also ask what other instruments they would be adding. e.g. If its just acoustic guitar, then you know to keep it right down.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Ask if megan's law applies in music schools? that should make a good impression :) Good luck seriously though.. hope it goes well...
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Good Luck! Hope it all goes well for you.

I personally find taking song notes to the song in bitesized format helps you remember the finer details in the minutes leading up to playing, rather than try and go off memory when nerves/excitement may be kicking in, muddling your brain a little.

Simple key things like: "Start after 4 beats of intro"..."1 bar fill leading into 2nd chorus"....etc. Maybe even a tempo reminder should you have a Metronome with you beforehand.

Let us know how you do. Fingers crossed for you.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
They have the musicians learn straight from mp3s. They sent me "Smooth" by Santana/Rob Thomas, and "Rock and Roll" by exactly who you think it's by. Already spent 5 hours shedding and reacquainting myself with them and feel more than ready to go for tomorrow. I'm not entirely sure whether I will be playing the songs with their other musicians, or just sitting in front of a PA and playing to the mp3.
So they want to hear you play the intro to Rock and Roll, and, presumably, count it off correctly. This is a confusing one for lots of musicians -- you're OK with it? First snare drum hits on the "and" of beat 3, right? It's a good idea to click the 1, 2, 3 on the sticks, in order to get the band oriented correctly.

As for Smooth, they probably want to make sure you can play a song with some ensemble hits, as well as that fill with the triplet before the outro/guitar solo section.

So they're kind of testing you for basic musical competency. If you can handle those tunes, you can probably handle everything else the gig throws at you. For audiences that young, and for the sake of playing with strangers, the most important thing will be to appear likable and approachable. You can be big and burly, or diminutive, but, whatever the case, smile like an idiot the whole time. Really smile -- like show your teeth smile -- as you play.

EDIT: You might play with an mp3, or with one or two other players. Given their song choices, it seems like there'll be a guitar player, but you never know.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I wouldn't be surprised if you played a set of e-drums on that gig. Just remember to relax. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.
 

Acidline303

Senior Member
So they want to hear you play the intro to Rock and Roll, and, presumably, count it off correctly. This is a confusing one for lots of musicians -- you're OK with it? First snare drum hits on the "and" of beat 3, right? It's a good idea to click the 1, 2, 3 on the sticks, in order to get the band oriented correctly.

As for Smooth, they probably want to make sure you can play a song with some ensemble hits, as well as that fill with the triplet before the outro/guitar solo section.

So they're kind of testing you for basic musical competency. If you can handle those tunes, you can probably handle everything else the gig throws at you. For audiences that young, and for the sake of playing with strangers, the most important thing will be to appear likable and approachable. You can be big and burly, or diminutive, but, whatever the case, smile like an idiot the whole time. Really smile -- like show your teeth smile -- as you play.

EDIT: You might play with an mp3, or with one or two other players. Given their song choices, it seems like there'll be a guitar player, but you never know.
Going from the job ad, there was no requirement for musical education. I get the sense that they're just looking for players that have some band experience and can follow basic cues from the band leader, so I'm not sure that everything has to be spot on.

Most likely it's weighted on what you said at the end, they want people who know how have fun on stage and can be comfortable hamming it up for the kids. Shoulda practiced some twirling. :)
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
I'd spent the day on the R&R intro :)

I kind of learned it last year but the band stopped playing it.

I struggled and never did actually learn to count it. I put it on a loop and listened, played, slowed it down and only ended up "close enough"

I just couldn't feel the transition and exact timing of when the guitar joined in.

I was convinced that it is just played sloppy on the recording but have heard more educated people say that it simply about counting it in differently.


And, maybe try dressing up as Animal in Sesame Street :) Waiyt....is that still around? Sponge Bob? Maybe that's gone too???
 

Acidline303

Senior Member
thank you guys for all the support.

They brought two other drummers in and I'm glad to say I'm being asked back to the second audition where I'll play with their other band members.

One thing I kinda suspected was that the audition kit would be really small and not very high quality. So I pared my kit down to the very basics and practiced those songs without a second crash to rely on. Turns out that was a smart move. The kit was very limiting and they really wanted to see how I lay the beat solidly rather than nailing all the fills or stops.

The director was pleasantly surprised when I asked what dynamic level I should be playing at and he turned it into a bit of an improv. "Let's say we're doing a class for just our two year olds...how would you play so that they can feel a beat but not be returned to their parents with tinnitus?"

*I grab hot rods from the bag and tick away hats and rimclicks*

"Now how about just our 6 year olds who want to jump up and down and dance everywhere?"

*sticks out, medium dynamics, exaggerated movements*

In the beginning he said take a few minutes to adjust the kit, which I took as kind of a trick question to see if I was going to prioritize gear over being ready to perform. I raised the snare and hat to a good height and said "lets go"

Anyway, it was really enjoyable. Hoping for more good news next week.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Thats awesome man.. sounds like you did the right stuff also.. would be funny to tell someone to adjust the kit and they spend 45 minutes getting cymbals. JUUUSTTTTT right.... i would never have thought of that one :)
 

JohnW

Silver Member
This is assuming you get it. I'm sure you will, otherwise you'll get something even better.

The music shouldn't be an issue so just really focus on the kids. You either have it or you don't; empathy that is- and just be yourself. I just looked up "Kidville Rockin' Railroad" and don't know much about except that it seems like a fairly elaborate organization.

My daughter teaches kids and they really latch onto her. They seem to like compelling people. If you're giant and burly, play that up as the friendly Hagrid- a protector who wields giant grooves!
 

Acidline303

Senior Member
This is assuming you get it. I'm sure you will, otherwise you'll get something even better.

The music shouldn't be an issue so just really focus on the kids. You either have it or you don't; empathy that is- and just be yourself. I just looked up "Kidville Rockin' Railroad" and don't know much about except that it seems like a fairly elaborate organization.

My daughter teaches kids and they really latch onto her. They seem to like compelling people. If you're giant and burly, play that up as the friendly Hagrid- a protector who wields giant grooves!

Hahah. perfect advice.

Honestly I was so worried that my appearance might be a deterrent that I specifically addressed myself as a friendly giant in the first emails. The director seemed to enjoy that because he kept calling me the giant and had completely forgotten my real name. haha.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Your stick bag, cymbals, phone, a drum key and your wallet.

And good directions to the place where it's happening.
 
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