Auditioning for a Band

Steve Ambarian last year with "Stereo Steve".

Steve Ambarian with Stereo Steve

I’ll never forget a comment made by a fellow drummer friend. Shortly after he had auditioned for a local band in Northern California he said, “That didn’t go well. I just didn’t play well.” I am quite familiar with my friend’s playing capability, and know for a fact that he is a top-notch musician. This knowledge generated my response, “There is no such thing as a bad audition, there are only bad matches.” Sure, I have had my share of performance slumps, and errors during auditions. However, most professionals can tell if you have what it takes within seconds, even if you botch a performance. With today’s online technology your style and versatility can be reviewed in detail before you even show up.

I have found that the culprit to a poor audition result, is more-than-likely a lack of chemistry or a poor match-up with the type of music or musicians involved vs. the playing style of the musician. Case in point, I have experienced many singer songwriter type bands that will jump at offering me an audition after viewing my website videos. It should be noted that most of my videos show me pounding on the drum kit and being compared to the likes of Keith Moon and Gene Krupa. Next, I will show-up at the audition, and the leader of the band will ask me to play with brushes throughout the set. I think to myself; that is like asking Keith Moon to come over and play tambourine all night. What a waste. Again poor playing, or poor match?

426419_151986161635211_1409967550_nIf you’re a guitarist and you’re being told you are too loud, find a loud band. A vocalist that is singing too low, find an Indie band. A keyboardist that wants to perform originals, locate an original band! It’s that easy. Your other option is to adjust your performance style to match the act, also known as the hired gun approach. I can personally vouch that adjusting your approach to fit another’s can work well over the short term. However, your personal inner artistic ways will more-than-likely resurface again overtime; and possibly cause remorse or frustration.

To sum it up, if your audition didn’t go well, don’t be blue. Auditions are also for fact-finding on your end, you are also auditioning the prospective band. If it didn’t work out, then you are that much closer to finding the right band for you.

Good luck and good auditioning!


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