Auditions can be nerve-wracking for a variety of reasons. Not only are you expected to fully convey your full range of musicality and skillset within a very short period of time, but whether you land the gig could also determine your career and income for the coming months or years.
With such a high level of pressure and stakes, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or make mistakes. To help you with this, we have compiled some helpful tips to help you to ace your auditions and get the gig of your dreams.
For most auditions, you will be given a basic list of songs and/or techniques that you will need to perform. Make sure that you know these like the back of your hand. Being completely fluent with the material will make you stand out amongst other unprepared musicians. One thing you should try to do is memorize and familiarize yourself with the different song sections. If, for example, you can begin playing from bar 15 by memory, or whichever other section the auditioner requests you to start from, that will go a long way towards impressing them and landing you the gig. Here is a simple test: if you cannot visualize and hear yourself playing through the entire song in your head, then you do not know the song well enough.
While auditioners are looking for musicians who can play the source material competently, it is also important that you are not just a carbon copy of the original performer, as no one wants to see an imitation on stage. Instead, try to inject some of your own flair and creativity into the parts that you will be playing. You can do this by adding some small drum fills, guitar licks etc. that are unique to your playing style, depending on your instrument. However, be careful not to go too overboard because, at the end of the day, you still want the song to sound recognizable to fans of the artist that you will be performing with.
You will sometimes receive a backing track (for example a drumless track if you are a drummer) to practice along to. While you should definitely use this and get used to playing along with the music. You should also practice the entire piece with just your instrument and no accompaniment. You would be surprised how many auditioners ask to hear you playing solo during your audition, just to ensure that your playing is solid and any mistakes can’t be covered up by the other instruments.
Auditions aren’t just a job interview – they are a chance for you to meet the other musicians you will be working with and possibly spending the next portion of your life with. It is important that you come across as a pleasant and easy-to-work-with individual who will be a positive addition to the dynamic of the group. If you are liked by everyone else, it is much more probable that you will end up getting the gig.
Musicians have a reputation for being late to everything. Make sure that you do not do this on audition day. Not only will it create a bad first impression, but it also means less time for you to set up, tune your instrument, and any other pre-audition routines that will help you perform your best.
These 5 tips should get you ready for any audition. Remember to take a deep breath and focus on the music instead of your nerves. Happy practicing!
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