Starting a rock band is a fun endeavor, but sometimes it can be a bit difficult to organize an audition for new members. It’s an essential part of getting a group together that you can have a good time (and make good music) with, however, and with the right approach, you can minimize your new band’s growing pains.
Here are a few tips for holding an audition for a rock band.
1. State what you’re looking for clearly:
In any ads that you put up advertising auditions or any conversations you have with musicians that you’ll be playing with, you should be clearly explaining what kind of a band you want to start genre-wise and what you’ll expect in terms of practice schedule, gig schedule, etc. The fastest way to ruin an audition is to have every musician show up with a different idea of what to expect. Be as clear as you can.
2. Don’t be too structured:
You’ll find out the most from an audition if you keep everything relaxed, and see how the musician will play in a real band atmosphere. While we’re at it, don’t forget to play with the person that’s auditioning, and don’t just listen to them play. Many times, a musician will ace an audition alone, but won’t be able to work within a rock band, because they’re not used to playing with other instruments or don’t know the first thing about arranging and jamming.
3. If someone’s not working, tell them:
One thing that you definitely don’t want to do is to lead a fellow musician on. If someone’s not playing right, you’ve got to tell them to see if they can play it differently. If they can’t, you’ve got to tell them that they can’t be in the band. Don’t use euphemisms or say anything that could mislead the hopeful musician. Statements like, “I’ll give you a call to let you know (when you’ve got no intention of calling the person back)” can be frustrating, and it’s rude to be indirect when it comes to rock band auditions. After all, anyone who shows up at your audition should know that there’s a chance that they won’t get the gig.
4. Don’t get frustrated:
If things aren’t working out, keep your head together. If you get frustrated, it’ll bleed into the music, and you won’t be able to redeem the audition. Stay calm, and realize that musicians might not play too well together the first time they’re interacting. Listen to ability, and see how the musicians work with each other within the audition.
Has your rock band held auditions? Post your stories and tips in our comments section below.