#1
We got a new drummer for our band and we decided to meet with the guy in September because in August everyone is gone on vacation. For the audition, we agreed with him that we would play 3 songs, 1 of them he suggested.

Everyone in the band is learning the songs right now and before the audition we are eventually going to do a practice session to make it a little more tight.

Now here's the question: How should we judge the performance of the drummer? Should we be harsh if he doesn't put together a good audition, considering that he's the (so far) only drummer we've found in months? Also, what can we do to enrich the audition?

Please leave your ideas and thoughts. Thanks
#2
From experience, make sure he's relaxed and can read songs well (intuitively knowing when the chorus is coming in etc) Also have a similar ability to the rest of the band to avoid lowest common denominator kinda situation
#3
It's a tough one, you don't want to be too tough on them as they'll no doubt be nervous, at the same time if they're so nervous infront of people they hope to be in a future band with then what hope do they have of playing live in front of many more people?

Just take it as it comes, if its silly mistakes, it can be expected through nerves and never having played the songs in a band unit, if they're just really bad generally then i wouldn't waste your time.
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#4
Quote by alkalineweeman
It's a tough one, you don't want to be too tough on them as they'll no doubt be nervous, at the same time if they're so nervous infront of people they hope to be in a future band with then what hope do they have of playing live in front of many more people?

Just take it as it comes, if its silly mistakes, it can be expected through nerves and never having played the songs in a band unit, if they're just really bad generally then i wouldn't waste your time.

You get more confident with experience when performing live. Unless someone is absolutely freaking out, then I don't think it's an issue.

In the end, you can tell the difference between a good drummer, nerves or no nerves. If they are nervous, ignore mistakes which are blatantly due to that. Personally, I'd be more interested in hearing them play with a metronome.

Another idea is, I'm not sure about most people, but I would much rather play in a band with someone who is terrible but dedicated, than someone who is brilliant, but really just doesn't care at all. I suggest you organise a "trial period" where you have about 5 practices. Tell him to be on time. This will allow you to see what it will be like if he is a fulltime member. If he is always late, forgetting things, or says he can't turn up without a legitimate reason then I'd suggest you keep searching. You can also observe his improvement, if he always makes the same mistakes, then most likely he's not working to improve.
#5
At this point, IMHO, you have already missed two opportunities for your audition.

1. Meet them first. I'd rather sit down with someone for half an hour over a coffee or a beer or whatever than jam with some loser in our rehearsal space where we have to lug gear and probably pay for the rehearsal space. This gives you a sense of whether you are personally and professionally on the same page. It also makes you more comfortable with each other for when you do plug in (if you actually find it worth the effort) You could still do this.

2. Pick your audition pieces strategically. When we were looking for a guitarist for the original band, we picked the first two pieces, and let the guitarist candidate pick the third song. All were from our CD, so it really didn't matter which one he picked. We picked one that had a wacky arrangement. In order to play it successfully, he HAD to do his homework. Anyone who came in and tried to just fake it would be spotted a mile away. We picked one that was really textural. We wanted to see what *he* would do with it. This gave us a view of what his sense of dynamics, texture, and his place, as a guitarist in this band would be about.

Maybe with what you have so far, try to use those two songs you assigned to him and try to find a certain set of specific 'look fors' out of those songs.

In any case... when he comes, just be yourselves. (assuming you're not all a bunch of arrogant, antagonistic power-trippers or anything...) Be friendly, polite, positive, tactful and diplomatic, etc. Make him feel welcome and comfortable. If you don't, you risk him coming out and telling YOU later that YOU didn't quite meet his expectations. It works both ways, right. Never forget that.

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

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#6
Most important to me is if he can keep time. Sounds obvious, but some "drummers", have have a problem with that, they drift a bit. I've seen some who aren't always sure where "1" is, and cover with fills. Also, see how well he plays with the bassist. They need to have a rapport, or at least agree they could have one. Play the agreed upon songs through once, if you all have the time, and want to, go through them again. Listen for changes in what he's playing. If it is the same or better, cool, if he gets worse, that may be a problem.
#7
What you need to look out for has already been covered by the other guys in here, but you guys also need to do some stuff to make whoever's auditioning feel comfortable. Don't just stand and play how you would if it were you guys on your own - look at the drummer, bounce off him a bit, make him feel like part of the group instead of singling him out as the guy in the spotlight. I can't tell you how uncomfortable it makes a drummer to have three or four other people stood up looking down at him (being on a lower level than everyone else can be quite intimidating, especially if you don't know them) analysing every single thing he does. Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to say you can't pay attention to what he's doing, but don't really pile on the pressure either. Doing that won't bring the best out of anyone who's auditioning, it'll just make them nervous.
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#8
Quote by axemanchris
At this point, IMHO, you have already missed two opportunities for your audition.

1. Meet them first. I'd rather sit down with someone for half an hour over a coffee or a beer or whatever than jam with some loser in our rehearsal space where we have to lug gear and probably pay for the rehearsal space. This gives you a sense of whether you are personally and professionally on the same page. It also makes you more comfortable with each other for when you do plug in (if you actually find it worth the effort) You could still do this.

2. Pick your audition pieces strategically. When we were looking for a guitarist for the original band, we picked the first two pieces, and let the guitarist candidate pick the third song. All were from our CD, so it really didn't matter which one he picked. We picked one that had a wacky arrangement. In order to play it successfully, he HAD to do his homework. Anyone who came in and tried to just fake it would be spotted a mile away. We picked one that was really textural. We wanted to see what *he* would do with it. This gave us a view of what his sense of dynamics, texture, and his place, as a guitarist in this band would be about.

Maybe with what you have so far, try to use those two songs you assigned to him and try to find a certain set of specific 'look fors' out of those songs.

In any case... when he comes, just be yourselves. (assuming you're not all a bunch of arrogant, antagonistic power-trippers or anything...) Be friendly, polite, positive, tactful and diplomatic, etc. Make him feel welcome and comfortable. If you don't, you risk him coming out and telling YOU later that YOU didn't quite meet his expectations. It works both ways, right. Never forget that.
CT



couldn't be more true... I once auditioned for a band off an ad from craigslist b/c i liked the listed influences (i know, my own fault for trusting craigslist, but i was desperate for a gig). no demo, no tracks on myspace, nothing. it was just show up, hey this song is called... whatever... and they jammed... and it was ****in misserable... and to make it worse, their "awesome" lead guitarist blew nuts AND had an ego. I had to tell them what key they were in.
...so keep in mind that he's auditioning to be YOUR drummer, but YOU'RE auditioning to be HIS band too! treat him the way you would a bandmember, even if it's a "probationary" thing or whatev (i like that idea though, about the trial period).