So far, when auditioning for bands (covers or originals) my record has been overall 50/50, but increasing in success as the years go on. I'd like to share what I've learnt so far. It would be great if others would also give their tips.

So this singer calls me last Wednesday, she asks whether I want to try out for her band, I enquire about what the set up is, primarily to know what genres would be required and how I would have to structure my guitar parts.

Why? Because I know I wouldn't pass as a Death Metal guitarist, so there would be no point in me showing up when I don't have an interest in that genre, or could play it as well as someone who was keen on it. I also ask what role I'd be playing in the band, because they may be seeking a rhythm guitarist, I'd work on some rhythm parts, if they want lead, work on lines that complement (not replicate) the rhythm and if I'm the only guitarist, work on parts that create a "full" sound.

I then ask whether they plan to do covers or originals.

If they say covers, ask for some covers that you can do at the audition. You learn these songs at home so you are fully prepared to enter the band at the audition. If they say originals, look at some songs in a similar genre, learn and take tips from those. Also create 2-3 riffs that would inspire the band to join in, giving a feel of creating a song around your riff. If they say both, do all of the above.

On the audition day, be punctual, bring all your gear and be happy, relaxed and awake. When you walk in, introduce yourself to ALL the other band members immediately, shake their hands.

Reliability is a key part of being in a band. Nobody likes a band member who shows up late for practice, misses soundchecks etc. You want to make a good reliable impression from the start. Bring all the gear you need, if you show up without it you will give the impression that you haven't prepared. Be happy, a band is a group of people, people like happy people. Be relaxed so you can ease into the music, and be awake so you can stay on the ball. Introducing yourself also makes a good impression.

During the jam, stay on the ball, take note of what others are saying and modify songs as they wish. Keep good eyecontact with the rest of the band so you know when different parts are coming up. Try to develop a comradship with the others, make jokes and be happy. You'll generally get a feeling as to whether it went well or not. Some slip-ups are acceptable, some are not.

At the end of the audition, you'll have a quick talk. They'll ask things like how often you'll be able to practice/gig. You should be available at least once a week to practice/gig. If not, you really shouldn't be auditioning for the band in the first place. It's not really that much time out of your week. They say they're going to check out some other guitarists and we'll "let you know either way". Tell them it was fun, and hope to see them around soon, shake each of the guy's hands and leave. That's ok, you'll always be up against guitarists, quite often very skilled ones too. You leave while they talk about you behind your back.

And then you wait. And get the call. Sometimes you're in, sometimes you're out, sometimes it's a split decision between bandmates (in which case you may be called in for a second audition) and sometimes it's unanimous.

At this most recent audition, although a decision hadn't been made, the singer suggested that I join them at an open-mic jam at a local pub. Whilst this may sound like a nice social offer, I could use this to my advantage. I worked on the originals they showed me during the jam, and worked on some of the covers that they had given me. So when I showed up to the pub, again I shook hands with all the band members, met their friends and had a chat. They asked me what songs we should play, I suggested their two originals and two covers, much to their suprise.

I suggested the originals because it would demonstrate the role I would play in their prospective band, and how fast I can learn songs. We jumped up on stage with them and performed a 15 min set, it went well. Audience very happy. At the end of this I was told I was in. Easy.

And that was because I'd drilled the idea into the band members that I was the RIGHT guitarist, and had already been tested live. I'd been reliable, friendly and already knew their originals, despite only playing them 2 days earlier.

So in short;
- Be prepared
- Be friendly
- Be reliable
- Play within your limits
- Always have fun
- Be the RIGHT guitarist
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Quote by morellofan9127
Haha liked the guitar hero part...and good advice!

Lol - that's my sig, but still true
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
I've been hanging for a post like this! I'm thinking about auditioning for some bands but wasn't sure what was involved or expected. Thanks!
Quote by AlanHB
Lol - that's my sig, but still true

Do you not realize your destroying the dreams of several people out there?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!

hehe, but seriously, very nice
Good thread. I liked, especially, that you highlighted the fact that you don't need to be the *best* guitarist out of the batch but the *right person* (including right guitarist) for the job.

One thing I would change is that, if auditioning for an original band, that you ask them to hook you up with some mp3s or whatever of their original material. Learn those songs. From that point, it is just like heading into an audition with a cover band, except they're not covers... haha.

When we were auditioning guitarists, we did this:
-did a lot of screening on the phone (looking for the right *person*) - we didn't want to audition ten guys if we only really needed to hear three. Generally, if he didn't have a demo he could hook us up with, we considered him not experienced enough for the job.
-make sure he has heard our material and genuinely seems to like it.
-met as a band with the potential guitarist if we haven't weeded him out over the phone. Meeting for coffee, a beer, whatever. Just a talk to establish if we're all on the same page. Our recordings speak for themselves, so we don't have anything to prove just yet. Still seeing if he is the right person for the job.
-then we picked two songs at this meeting - one that was a good test to see if the candidate would spend time studying arrangements. It has a couple of unexpected turns that you just can't fake your way through the song without knowing those parts. We picked another song to see how he would approach dynamics and texture. For the third song, it was his choice from the rest of the CD.
-have a jam where you have max. 3 players out. Pick from there.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
after auditioning a bassist before, the biggest thing was competency of the instrument (you can tell if someone knows what theyre doin even if they arent fully prepared)...and most of all fit in. If you fit in and the members like bein around you, your chances are great (and you'll actually want to be part of the band)
'I love her, but I love to fish...I'm gonna miss her"