#1
When you're in an audition - whether it's just you trying out for a band, or you and your bandmates trying out a new member - what are some specific signs to watch for that might indicate that it might not be a good fit? Beyond the obvious, of course.
#2
Very narrow musical tastes. Can't stand that. Personally I find it hard to stick in one genre for too long. Also, I like to change timings and keys a lot (within a song), so if people are just looking to play 4/4 all the time or something like that I'm not really interested.

Those are what I personally think about though. Not really across the board criteria for everyone. Sorry if it isn't very helpful.
Last edited by jfreyvogel at Jun 9, 2010,
#3
When you're jamming, you and the rest of your band get really into it. If the auditionee doesn't join in on the headbanging and such, he's probably not going to when you get on a stage. Stage presence is a must.
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#4
Quote by Josher.K
When you're jamming, you and the rest of your band get really into it. If the auditionee doesn't join in on the headbanging and such, he's probably not going to when you get on a stage. Stage presence is a must.


This is probably the last thing I look for at a first audition, there's no way he's gonna instantly gel with the band and be able to look natural, he'll most likely be nervous as hell.

Personally, I like when they've learned pre-agreed material, make a good effort to get a decent tone, have at least some decent equipment and have some original material and improvisational skill, as well as common sense stuff like turning up on time, being a good laugh and musical open-mindedness.

Something which may just be me is that they've made at least a little effort with appearance/hygiene. I know it's "all about the music" but it's amazing how much less you want to play with someone when they look and smell bad
#5
Quote by jfreyvogel
Also, I like to change timings and keys a lot (within a song), so if people are just looking to play 4/4 all the time or something like that I'm not really interested.


You do know that the majority of Western Music is in 3/4 or 4/4, and that it is uncommon for key changes to occur, even less for timing change within a song? To deny all songs that don't do these would be "narrow minded", and extremely annoying for the audience to listen to.

Otherwise you should watch for how you get along with the other band members. You'll have to get along with them to function as a group. Make sure you're prepared - if you've been asked to learn some songs for the audition and you haven't - big no no. It shows that you won't be committed enough to learn some in the future. Make sure you bring all the gear that you need for the audition. Lots of stuff
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#6
google his name too....i've rejected people based on the dirt i pulled up from google on them...find out if his email or real name is tied to any forums, blogs etc...this is mainly for attitude reasons or closet attitude. make sure you touch base with his plans for the future in a band.
#7
Quote by AlanHB
You do know that the majority of Western Music is in 3/4 or 4/4, and that it is uncommon for key changes to occur, even less for timing change within a song?

I am aware of that (although there is a lot that isn't just those). However when I am writing music (and in the bands I have been in it was me writing the parts for every instrument) I find it boring to stay in one timing or key. The people I have worked with in the past did have some trouble with this to be honest. That's why right now I'm pretty much doing a solo project. There are other people but they have no input or anything like that. They just play whatever I give them.
Quote by AlanHB
To deny all songs that don't do these would be "narrow minded", and extremely annoying for the audience to listen to.

It isn't a matter of denying anything. That is just how I write. I still listen to everything else though. As for "annoying for the audience to listen to" ever listen to any Math Rock? Math Core? Tech Death? Even Jazz. Lots of that kind of stuff in those genres.
Last edited by jfreyvogel at Jun 10, 2010,
#8
It comes down to a few things for me:

Can he play? Between my friends and I, we know a lot of songs from everywhere. Usually we'll ask a guy if he can play "song X by band Y" and we'll jam with him for a while to see if we click with him. If hes good, theres one thing down.

Does he offer something someone doesn't have? This can go anywhere from the superficial to something we need. Guitar players are a dime a dozen and I can post a craigslist ad and get 15 people wanting to try out overnight. I know it sounds superficial but if you've got somebody who has ties to something that will benefit your band, its huge thing to get your hands on. Like if someone is good friends with someone who does booking at a local venue or has a practice space where the drums can be loud as balls or a halfway decent home recording setup. These are huge things that nobody could get somewhere else.

Is he fun to hang with? This is probably the most important thing in the world. If you've got some asshole that can play like Jesus but is a douche, you won't keep him for long. On the other hand, if you've got someone who is around the same level as you but fun as hell to hang with, you've got someone who you'll enjoy being with. Think of this, in a band, you spend hours practicing, writing music, recording and just general time together. If you don't like hanging with these people, you're going to hate being in your band, common fact of life. Find someone you like. Its probably the most important of them all.

At least thats what I look for :p
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#10
Quote by SilentHeaven109


Personally, I like when ... as well as common sense stuff like turning up on time, being a good laugh and musical open-mindedness.


You nailed exactly what needed to be said, but I'd really like to expand on a couple things, namely volume control. Turning up on time is awesome, but I've found that a player who knows when to turn down is even more important. I've been turned off (I should learn more vocabulary) by guitarist and drummers alike who either crank it up to 11 or beat the hell of the drums to the point where my ears are about to bleed. That same guitarist also claimed to be a Taoist and then he smacked his cat for accidentally knocking over a cup of ice. Really off topic at that point, but still I wouldn't want some guy that gets that upset over a cup of ice in my band and so I left that audition.

One vocalist I was auditioning had to stop in the middle of practice to eat a handful of Benadril; he didn't last long.

So yeah, pretty much what everyone else has said and watch out for the oddities in the person, everyone has little things about them, but obviously you don't want anything too extreme.
Last edited by madcowman19 at Jun 10, 2010,
#11
Quote by WaltTheWerewolf
google his name too....i've rejected people based on the dirt i pulled up from google on them...find out if his email or real name is tied to any forums, blogs etc...this is mainly for attitude reasons or closet attitude. make sure you touch base with his plans for the future in a band.


AHH NAILED RIGHT ON THE HEAD!

There's no reason, in this day and age, for the band meet up to be the first time you know who you're dealing with. Whenever I've auditioned members I ALWAYS google/myspace/facebook their information.
If you're serious, you're going to spend a lot of time, late night sessions, etc. together, so you want to make sure you have someone who you can have a friendship with as well. Character is the most important part of a musician in a band. You may have the next neil pert as a drummer, but if he never shows up to practice or shows up to wasted to play, it doesn't matter.

EDIT: I just read what lockwolf posted, which was basically what I said. He's a genius.
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Last edited by rhoads4ever at Jun 10, 2010,
#12
Quote by rhoads4ever
There's no reason, in this day and age, for the band meet up to be the first time you know who you're dealing with. Whenever I've auditioned members I ALWAYS google/myspace/facebook their information.


This is so true.
I saw an ad for a potential band on JoinMyBand, looked fairly solid, until I searched through the guys post history and saw that him and some of his mates had been talking shit about someone else's band on that same site, obviously I didn't respond to his ad.

This can work the other way around though, it's always nice to find awesome Youtube covers by potential band members, for example, I found an awesome video of a (hot) female singer covering a Heavens Basement track, who I love, shame she never responded

In short, a quick Google search can tell you a lot!
#13
Quote by jfreyvogel

It isn't a matter of denying anything. That is just how I write. I still listen to everything else though. As for "annoying for the audience to listen to" ever listen to any Math Rock? Math Core? Tech Death? Even Jazz. Lots of that kind of stuff in those genres.


Well sure, but you started off by saying that you hate people who are closed minded to music, then proceeded to say that you wouldn't play the majority of songs written. And I'm assuming that the average audience member is the average person walking down the street. Listening to songs one after the other that repeatedly change time signatures and keys would get annoying. Try it - play some Math Core in the shopping mall.
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#14
Quote by AlanHB
Well sure, but you started off by saying that you hate people who are closed minded to music, then proceeded to say that you wouldn't play the majority of songs written. And I'm assuming that the average audience member is the average person walking down the street. Listening to songs one after the other that repeatedly change time signatures and keys would get annoying. Try it - play some Math Core in the shopping mall.

Perhaps I said it wrong. I would play anything... If the other people bothered to write. If all of the responsibilities for writing are on me, well I expect them to try to learn it. My experiences so far have been that other band members contribute virtually nothing, so at this point in time I look specifically for people who will just play what I write. The project I'm working on right now actually doesn't have any permanent band members besides myself. Everyone else that is in it only does parts here and there. I just got too fed up with people not practicing or writing in bands.

Edit: Looking back at my original post, I think what I meant by narrow musical tastes was like: music that is popular and easy.
Last edited by jfreyvogel at Jun 10, 2010,
#15
Quote by jfreyvogel
I just got too fed up with people not practicing or writing in bands.


Fair enough - that can screw up any band. I think you'll find however that as you play through lots of different bands, you'll get some go-to guys that you can rope out. That sweet bassist from x band, the mad drummer from y band, you just pick out the best of the bunch and I think that's how good groups are created. It's rare for a random group of strangers to just be instantly awesome with each other.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#16
Quote by AlanHB
Fair enough - that can screw up any band. I think you'll find however that as you play through lots of different bands, you'll get some go-to guys that you can rope out. That sweet bassist from x band, the mad drummer from y band, you just pick out the best of the bunch and I think that's how good groups are created. It's rare for a random group of strangers to just be instantly awesome with each other.

Yeah, I'm working on that now. I can't seem to find a drummer though. My last drummer had a serious case of ADHD. Couldn't focus on anything for more than a minute. The band would be discussing the composition of a song and all of a sudden he's going full blast on his drums.
#17
Quote by jfreyvogel
Yeah, I'm working on that now. I can't seem to find a drummer though. My last drummer had a serious case of ADHD. Couldn't focus on anything for more than a minute. The band would be discussing the composition of a song and all of a sudden he's going full blast on his drums.


Do he groove like Epic Sax Guy? Because if he does you should keep him for the stage presence
#18
+1 on the Google the guy bit. Ultimately, no matter how good he is, you want someone who is going to be a good personality fit. If they're a raving prick on line, you can bet it won't be too long before their true colours start to show. You might even find another demo that they posted somewhere which will give you more insight into their background or musicianship.

Beyond that....
1. Punctuality - A minute or five isn't a huge deal to me, but it makes an impression when the person shows up a few minutes *early* to ensure that they are set up and ready to go for their audition time - not just strolling in the door.
2. Preparedness - If they can't learn the songs for an audition, you can bet they won't be able or willing to learn songs once they are part of the band from week to week.

Those three (personality was #1) are the big things for me.

I could care less if they have second-grade gear if they fit all the other criteria, can actually play and get a half-decent tone from what they have.

If they're good enough to learn the songs you give them in advance, who cares if they can shred like Vai or whatever? Not me. Why would I? Unless of course the songs you choose for him to do (songs that the band will actually be playing) will require it.

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