#1
Hey guys,

I've just finished my Music Degree and I'm looking into getting a job that's actually musically based...before I grow up and get a real job

Ideally I want to go and work on a cruise ship in the show band as, from what I've heard, it's extremely challenging (little to no rehearsal time, so almost entirely sight-read performances).

I feel that I should put together some kind of portfolio/audition tape to show what I can do so I can at least get an audition; but I'm not entirely sure what I should put on it.

Any ideas?

Guitars:
Duesenberg Starplayer TV
Fender Jaguar
Indie PRS Copy
Faith Saturn E/Acoustic
Simon & Patrick SP12
Fender Jazz Bass
Last edited by yogurt_overdose at Jul 4, 2011,
#2
I'm not from the musicworld, so probably I'll only say things you know already
- Years of experience with what instruments
- What sort of degree
- Your teacher
- Any (big(ger)) concert you've ever played in
- Motivation and why you are better than the others (don't be too modest)

And of course the basic stuff as your name and such
lalala
#3
Thanks, but I meant that I would be recording some pieces to show versatility.

I've figured that I'll need around 4 or 5 different pieces; something like:

Solo jazz piece, any ideas?

Something finger-picked, along the lines of classical gas but maybe something different

General guitar solo, think I'll go for Kid Charlemagne by Steely Dan

...and something else
Guitars:
Duesenberg Starplayer TV
Fender Jaguar
Indie PRS Copy
Faith Saturn E/Acoustic
Simon & Patrick SP12
Fender Jazz Bass
#4
There are several management companies that specialize in getting musicians placements on cruise ships. You can also contact the cruise lines directly, I know at least one has an entertainment procurement office in Florida.

Quite often you are hired as an ensemble or you are requested by a particular headliner to be a sideman for them. Cruise line performers have a high burn out rate (5 shows a week generally on 6 month contracts) so it is easy to find teachers and local performers that have had cruise line experience that may help you get into the game. Mainstage headliners move from ship to ship during their contracts, trios and soloists tend to work the same ship for the full contract.

I have never worked on the Cruises since I have a high paying job as an artist but my current guitar teacher did 10 years off and on, the lead guitarist of my band in high school (yes 30+ years ago) takes a contract every couple of years when he get bored of teaching and another friend drums with a trio on the ships 6 months every year. Two of these guys have music degrees.

The pay is average, but you have absolutely no expenses while you are working so it is not terrible money overall.

As for challenging, it is the same as any pit gig, sight reading ability is a bonus. But remember, your audience is changing every few days to a couple weeks, so a lot of it is just outright repetition (like any other gig). It isn't like playing with a symphony where you have to do one or more unique shows a week for the entire season, it is more like being a touring club band where you have 3 to 5 unique shows to use depending on venue, rinse and repeat.

Edit: Forgot to answer your actual question.

The drummer I know live auditioned with a local management company and was hired first as a sideman, then to a jazz trio through his manager's contacts.

The other two applied directly to the cruise lines with resume and skills recording. One used light jazz (lounge, background type stuff) and the other more modern pop and improv over chord progressions.

I would suggest looking at the "Immediate Openings" to see what they are looking for. You definitely want something that at least looks and sounds professional, if you are applying as a band, a full press kit with pictures, sound and video seems to be what they looking for. As for genre, again see what they are advertising for.

Remember that you are trying for a position that represents their image, so you promo material should be tailored to that. Band t-shirt and torn jeans may not be the image you want to present. Also, personal appearance is a huge factor. Even though you may not get the reference "Smiles everyone, smiles!"

Edit #2: Here is the link to one cruise line entertainment division that lists audition sites and other info for people to apply http://www.carnivalentertainment.com/index.htm
Last edited by Quintex at Jul 4, 2011,
#5
Wow, that was quite a reply, thanks!

I've got a couple more questions:

I've been looking at some sample audition charts, like this one: http://www.proship.com/en/entertainers/apply-today/musicians.html (you'll need to click on 'view audition charts' - then guitar)

I'm fine reading the chords and everything, but after bar 8 there's chords as well as a melody line. What exactly am I meant to play there?
Guitars:
Duesenberg Starplayer TV
Fender Jaguar
Indie PRS Copy
Faith Saturn E/Acoustic
Simon & Patrick SP12
Fender Jazz Bass
#6
I'm fine reading the chords and everything, but after bar 8 there's chords as well as a melody line. What exactly am I meant to play there?


not sure for that chart--but my general rule of thumb in that situation is to play the melody instead of the chords--if the director wants you can play it chord melody (but sometimes that will give too cluttered of a sound, especially if your doubling a melody that another instrument has, or if theres someone else comping)
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)