How To Pass a Band Audition
So you've found a band you love. You dig their sound, adore their style and, on the surface at least, feel like you would get along with them as people. But what to do when you get invited to an audition? How can you maximise your chances of being picked for their lineup, potentially beating many other candidates to the role.
Auditioning for a band can involve anything from a ten minute chat to a full studio affair with multiple rounds. We will try to cover the most common scenarios here and give you some tips to be prepared
1. Learn The Material
Most bands will ask you to either learn a couple of their songs, or learn a cover of a song you all mutually love. Learning a cover will be significantly easier if it is a song/band you know but make sure you decide in advance which parts exactly you are expected to play and if the band add their own stylistic touches to the song.
Learning a band's original material can be a lot more challenging if you don't know the track but for many bands, how you approach their material is an enormous part of the decision they will make, so put the hours in to really get to grips with their songs. See if you can find videos of the band playing the track live so you can lock into the kind of energy they are expecting with the track.
2. Look The Part
Bands dress like their audience, or audiences dress like their favourite band. Whichever stance you take you cannot ignore that, in 2020, looking like you are a member of the band is crucial to allowing them to see you as one of them. Find as many photographs of the band as you can so you can really analyse their style and what they value.
This doesn't just cover clothing too. The way you stand, how you hold your guitar/microphone/self. These are all things that you will be judged on, silently or otherwise. Stand in front of a mirror and as yourself "can I see myself in this band?".
3. Tune Your Instrument!
It sounds obvious, but an audition is a lot like a job interview and as such you could find yourself nervous and under pressure. It's easy to forget obvious things like tuning. Check it, and check it again. If you are a drummer then ensure your drums are set up comfortably before you begin and don't be afraid to ask for adjustments to the kit if you need to. Vocalists make sure you can hear yourself. Better to be pedantic before you play than have to make excuses after.
4. Show Off, But Not Too Much
If you have a few tricks up your sleeve then go for it. If you want to go full Mariah Carey on a band's vocal part showing up their previous singer then feel free, provided you are conscious of going too far and provided you have the ability. Nobody wants to hire a drummer that can almost get that complicated fill in on time and nobody wants a shred guitarist that doesn't know when to stop.
5. Audition The Band Too
No audition is a one-way affair. No matter how much you love a band and want to join them, they are still a group of people asking you to commit your time and, as such, you need to be asking the right questions of them too. What are your expected commitements? How often do they play? Will you be allowed/excused from songwriting influence? Will you get your fair share of any money? These are all important questions to ask and any band worth joining will be able to tell you.
Ready to start getting some auditions? Have a look at bands looking for members right now on Rhythm City.