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First Band Audition in ????? Years?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by telel6s, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    The last full band I was in was 2008-2009. For no good reason I took a break after that and now for the past three to four years have been primarily acoustic both solo and with two vocalists.

    But a guy I know through open mics posted locally that they are looking to add a 2nd guitar/instrument to their group. So I responded and played with them this past Sunday. This is just a typical cover band - something I have no problem with. Other than a couple of short iphone-shot videos on facebook, I had never heard them play as a band. I have seen various pieces of them doing acoustic at open mics.

    Short version: It was fun. It's been ages since I've played electric guitar with a full band outside of purely casual jam sessions. It reminded myself that I am a pretty good guitarist, that I know how to learn new songs, that I can figure out how to meld into a group that has already been playing together on their own, and that I don't give myself enough credit for lead/solo work (although I could never be called a "lead guitar player").

    Interesting observations:

    If you are going to give me a list of 25 songs to pick from for an audition, I am going to expect that you know how to play those 25 songs. Some of these tunes I already knew and just had to brush up on, but about half of them I either had to learn from scratch or I had to learn parts that I wouldn't play or play differently when it's just me and an acoustic guitar. There were a number of things where I knew the song better than they did. One song they skipped the (really easy) bridge. Another the singer had no clue how the outro went (it just repeats two lines from the chorus over and over). And there were dynamic and rhythm changes that they just plowed through; the type of changes that I feel make songs fun to play and interesting to listen to. Had it been, "Here are five songs we need you to learn, and here are twenty more some of which we know better than others." I'd have been cool with that. But if I prep for an audition I'd like you to be ready as well.

    Related to that, if you are going to include original songs on the list you might want to tell me they are originals and provide a copy of it for me to learn instead of me searching youtube and google to try and figure out what it is.

    The other guitarist - and it's kind of "his" band - just turned on the distortion and kept it there most of the time whether it fit the song or not. It wasn't a bad sound, but it definitely did not fit into some female-led acoustic-based modern country or other songs. Sad thing is, he had a good cleanish tone available but chose not to use it. I even mentioned it for a couple of songs but nope, didn't happen. I think he also needs to learn that not playing is a valid option sometimes when there is a 2nd guitarist. That can make you sound better when you do play because now what you're doing stands out from the rest of the song.

    The two lead singers + bass player sang well together. They did some M/F duets and there were some nicely done harmonies. But, related to the above comment, it was too often buried under too loud instruments or completely wrong guitar tones. I could tell that the female singer was straining to compete at times even with a good PA/monitor set up.

    My 6ish watt VHT Special 6 through a 15" Weber speaker had no problem at all keeping up with drums, bass, and the other player's 100 watt Blackstar ID:Core combo. I didn't even have my amp dimed. Three cheers for a single Tung-Sol 5881 power tube!!

    My biggest question - I don't want to say concern - is whether I would get input on helping to arrange music. From what I heard that's some simple help that they could use and something I've worked on with a number of groups in the past. A punk band might be able to turn everything to ten and crash straight through the night, but if you're going to be doing a mix of Stones, Gin Blossoms, Sheryl Crow, Dusty Springfield, CCR, Susan Tedeschi, Elvin Bishop, Cheap Trick and Little Big Town you need to be able to change things up from song to song.

    Despite my complaints above, I had a fun time and hope to get a chance to play with them again. I think they are trying out a couple of people. They are fun folks to hang with (I knew two of them ahead of time) and the four of them seemed to get along. I didn't sense any drama. The song list is simple but they get gigs (obviously fewer these days than previous years).
     
    SRHmusic likes this.
  2. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    You sound like a good musician and band mate to play with, one that pays attention to the overall music, sound and arrangement. I for one totally agree that the small differences between repeated sections make a big difference in keeping things interesting (thinking of the Am in Take It Easy in the 3rd verse, 'world of trouble on my mind'). It seems to me there's a wide variation in what each person focuses on, both in their talents and what they think is important. Probably need to be gentle and push lightly on one thing at a time with a new group. Will be interesting to hear about. Good luck!
     
  3. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    This probably isn't the band for you.
     
    Mike Simpson and xtelesquirex like this.
  4. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    It's always good to know you're good, kudos to you. It sounds like you've gone in with your eyes wide open; just have fun till it stops being fun.
    Be sure to suggest doing 'freebird'..
     
    gmann likes this.
  5. Nahtabot

    Nahtabot Tele-Meister

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    It sounds like if you would be able to help arrange, the band would actually "level up" into a not-so-typical cover band!
     
  6. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    Sweet Home is already on the set list. :lol:
    Surprisingly, the lead in that song was one of the best, most appropriate tones the other player got (in my opinion of course) because the gain actually was lessened when he kicked in for that solo. o_O
     
  7. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    I appreciate the feedback but I disagree because it's way to early to tell. If they don't change anything, then you will be right. But if they are open to tweaks, then it could be all good.
     
    Flat6Driver likes this.
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