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Musicians' Exchange: Checklist for Auditions
Don't Go In Blind
Imagine your best friend wants to set you up on a blind date. "It'll be perfect," she coos. "You two were made for each other."
Riiiiiight. What's the first thing you do? Get some details! Age, likes/dislikes, hair color, general body category (e.g., total hottie, very in shape, not bad, or "a great personality, really!")
Musical auditions are essentially blind dates, and you should always ask lots of questions up front. Everyone will be more comfortable if all the specific details and expectations are clearly discussed beforehand. Besides, it's the professional thing to do, and as I explained in my piece on booking gigs, professionalism alone will get you half way to famous.
Below is a checklist of questions to ask a prospective band or player prior to an audition. I'd like to thank Forum Member Franzeee for his contribution to this list. (By the way, don't feel like a dork for asking all these questions. Just politely explain that you always like to get the full details up front. Whoever you are talking to will appreciate your professionalism. If they don't, it may be one blind date you'd do well to skip.)
- How long have you been playing your instrument(s)?
- What performance experience do you have?
- Do you have any recorded music I could hear, preferably online?
- How much education in musical theory do you have?
- What time signatures can/do you compose in?
- What equipment are you currently using?
- Who are you biggest influences?
- What style(s) of music do you prefer to play?
- Do you have a rehearsal space? If you rent one, who pays the rent?
- How often do you rehearse? How often would you like to rehearse?
- What current connections or prospects do you have for booking gigs?
- What, if any, is your personal policy on drug use by band members?
Hey - you won't remember to use it unless you print it out now.