Berklee Audition Piece DRUMS

connor.godfrey94

Junior Member
Hey everybody,

I've been playing drums for about 4 or 5 years and would like to audition for Berklee College of Music. My audition will be either sometime in November or December and ive been having trouble thinking what to use for my prepared piece. I will have a guitarist coming with me to play the piece and i have a few ideas for songs but dont know if they are good options. I was thinking of doing "tomorrow comes today" by gorillaz but playing it my own way. any suggestions?

Thanks a ton!
 

Souljacker

Silver Member
Hey everybody,

I've been playing drums for about 4 or 5 years and would like to audition for Berklee College of Music. My audition will be either sometime in November or December and ive been having trouble thinking what to use for my prepared piece. I will have a guitarist coming with me to play the piece and i have a few ideas for songs but dont know if they are good options. I was thinking of doing "tomorrow comes today" by gorillaz but playing it my own way. any suggestions?

Thanks a ton!
To be realistic about things, I'd imagine the standard is pretty high to get into Berklee given its reputation.

I know that Gorillaz song and while it's got a nice pocket groove going on, I honestly couldn't imagine that being a song thats up to Berklee standard.

Now I don't know a lot about the school but while its a contemporary music college, it's meant to have a big jazz background. How are you with that kind of stuff? They could throw that stuff at you in an audition. There would definitely be reading exercises thrown in too, how are you with that?
 

Elpecs

Senior Member
Hi connor,

It's really cool, to hear that you are auditioning to Berklee. I'm a Berklee graduate myself.
My advice would be to prepare a song that best represents what you are as a player. It doesn't matter the style and it doesn't have to be flashy.

What Souljacker says is true, they will make you play different styles, specially some swing and something afro cuban or brazilian if your prepared piece doesn't feature those styles. Be prepared to trade fours in each style or probably solo over a 12 bar blues form or some AABA if they feel that you can handle it.
The reading part is really easy, specially because they let you check them 20 min before the audition. It would be 2 small snare pieces (mainly eight notes and some sixteenths) and two drumset jazz charts with some hits.

If you have some other questions, just ask!

Take care,

David
 

connor.godfrey94

Junior Member
Thanks for all the information guys! I was worried that it wasn't up to Berklee standards. I was thinking of even completely changing some of the parts of the song to be more my style to try and show chops as well as staying in the pocket in the song.

As of now im comfortable with 4/4 and 3/4 swing, rock, funk, bossa nova, samba, and i have to work on my shuffle, brush technique, and more work on trading 4s and 8s. I kind of have trouble sight reading hits in songs like big band but as far as sight reading in general i can do up to intermediate stuff.

Thanks again!
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
Have you checked Berklee's website? It has a pretty clear description of how the whole audition process is handled. Good luck! I want to apply for a masters in the new Valencia campus when I finish my degree.
 

Souljacker

Silver Member
What are the fees for Berklee do you know?

I'd never be able to afford them if I was to ever get in. American college fees are bloody crazy!
 

connor.godfrey94

Junior Member
Yeah ive been to there website and ive been trying to get all of the styles down that they say are in the audition, im just having a lot of trouble picking the right prepared piece haha thanks

And im pretty sure the cost is pretty baddd haha i think somewhere around 50 grand which is crazzzzyyy
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
Hi connor,

It's really cool, to hear that you are auditioning to Berklee. I'm a Berklee graduate myself.
My advice would be to prepare a song that best represents what you are as a player. It doesn't matter the style and it doesn't have to be flashy.

What Souljacker says is true, they will make you play different styles, specially some swing and something afro cuban or brazilian if your prepared piece doesn't feature those styles. Be prepared to trade fours in each style or probably solo over a 12 bar blues form or some AABA if they feel that you can handle it.
The reading part is really easy, specially because they let you check them 20 min before the audition. It would be 2 small snare pieces (mainly eight notes and some sixteenths) and two drumset jazz charts with some hits.

If you have some other questions, just ask!

Take care,

David

Are you saying a Berklee audition only requires reading snare charts with 8ths and 16ths? Interesting. I auditioned at James Madison in Virginia and it was anything but that. It was thick with ink of things I did not comprehend. I didn't make it in. ;) But 8ths and 16ths I can handle.
 

Elpecs

Senior Member
Are you saying a Berklee audition only requires reading snare charts with 8ths and 16ths? Interesting. I auditioned at James Madison in Virginia and it was anything but that. It was thick with ink of things I did not comprehend. I didn't make it in. ;) But 8ths and 16ths I can handle.
Yes, it does, the snare drum part is really easy. They are more interested in your potential and your musical aptitudes, than how well you read.
The hard part is not being accepted but getting an scholarship. I think now a semester is around 18 K, which is crazy!!! I wouldn't haven been able to go if it weren't for getting a scholarship, transferring a lot of credits and testing out from some classes.
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
My audition was humiliating. I couldn't play the chart and fumbled through it. When I looked up when I was done, the "BMOC" star drummer-- one of the judges-- was looking at me like I was crazy for even attempting it. The look on his face was pure scorn. It was then I decided that kind of atmosphere was probably not for me anyhow.
I ended up majoring in communications and playing in a speed metal band all through college. Probably worked out okay. :O
 

connor.godfrey94

Junior Member
So i know i got ur guys suggestions as far as pieces and finding something that is up to standards but myself and also not crazzzyyy, so have any of u heard the song "R U Mine?" by Arctic Monkeys? Id say this song fits my style and it isnt a difficult piece. Would that be considered an adequate song for the audition?
 
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