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AnnBehr

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I guess you could say I'm young when it comes to the world of drumming. I'm not totally new to it, I know my gear and I know how to use it, but what I don't know is how to try out for a band.
I don't have any musically inclined friends, so I'll need to look for and audition for bands around me.

But I have literally no idea how to do that.
I don't know how the process of it goes

I've never auditioned for anything before, so I don't really know what to expect or look out for and that kinda freaks me out.
I was wondering if you guys had any advice that you'd be willing to share.
Anything you've learned from experience,
that you wish you knew at the beginning,
any kind of red flags you look for when auditioning,
or just what you expect to happen when walking into it

I'd be so thankful for anything you'd be down to share with a wannabe professional drummer

-Thank you

--Edit: I want to thank each one of you for your responses. The thought of auditioning really freaked me out but your guys responses have given me a little bit of confidence. There were more than I expected and I've read each and every one (and can't wait to read any more). The advice I've received so far and any advice I get from the future I'll make sure to take to heart and keep it in mind for the future. I'm gonna try to learn several songs to use for future auditions and i've been looking for local shows and bands. Thanks guys so so so much! I'll keep you posted if anything develops!!
 
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Ian S

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If I were a band auditioning a drummer, I'd be looking for:

Bands are just as much about personality as they are about music. Be yourself. Be honest. There is no benefit to "faking" your way into joining my band. Be forthcoming about your abilities and interests, what you can contribute and what you can't. If it's meant to be, I'll call you.

Be prepared as best you can (study any sheet music / learn any songs I've sent you ahead of audition).

Arrive on time and clean, don't smell bad. No one wants a tardy, smelly drummer.

Be prepared to play Billy Jean like Sugarfoot does, nice and clean, groove pocket, no chops or fills.

Good luck!
 

AnnBehr

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If I were a band auditioning a drummer, I'd be looking for:

Bands are just as much about personality as they are about music. Be yourself. Be honest. There is no benefit to "faking" your way into joining my band. Be forthcoming about your abilities and interests, what you can contribute and what you can't. If it's meant to be, I'll call you.

Be prepared as best you can (study any sheet music / learn any songs I've sent you ahead of audition).

Arrive on time and clean, don't smell bad. No one wants a tardy, smelly drummer.

Be prepared to play Billy Jean like Sugarfoot does, nice and clean, groove pocket, no chops or fills.

Good luck!
Thanks for replying! And that all sounds like solid advice, I'll make sure to keep it in mind when I try for a band!
 

Supernoodle

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It should be fun. Playing with new people is always very refreshing either if you've just been drumming on your own, or if you have been with the same people for some time. And it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out...
 

pwc1141

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I would start networking and letting people know you exist by going to any jam nights you can, watching what stuff they play and if it is what you can play then ask to jam. Playing with others is what it is all about and you just have to start doing that.
 

notINtheband

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They may ask you “what would you like to play?” So have 2-3 songs ready and suggest them.
This way you are playing songs YOU already know and are comfortable with.
Also, “the hang” is more than half the audition.
If you are a person they want to hang out with, they will find reasons you should be their drummer.
 

AnnBehr

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It should be fun. Playing with new people is always very refreshing either if you've just been drumming on your own, or if you have been with the same people for some time. And it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out...
Thank you for replying, I really appreciate it!
 

Houndog

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Nothing to add to advice given . Just have fun on your journey…

Good luck .
 

AnnBehr

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I would start networking and letting people know you exist by going to any jam nights you can, watching what stuff they play and if it is what you can play then ask to jam. Playing with others is what it is all about and you just have to start doing that.
Yeah, that's a really good idea, I'll have to start looking around for that next jam night. Thank you!
 

AnnBehr

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They may ask you “what would you like to play?” So have 2-3 songs ready and suggest them.
This way you are playing songs YOU already know and are comfortable with.
Also, “the hang” is more than half the audition.
If you are a person they want to hang out with, they will find reasons you should be their drummer.
Yeah, that makes since, I'll start picking out some songs I like to play and make sure I've got them down, thanks for the advice!
 

Drdrumdude3009

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@Ian S covered it.

I always research what the band has in their playlist, even if it’s not in the list of songs for the audition. Many times, if they *like* you, they want to see how much homework you have done. I would try to learn all the ones you would think are crowd pleasers. This has been a factor that has tipped scales in my favor.
 

AnnBehr

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@Ian S covered it.

I always research what the band has in their playlist, even if it’s not in the list of songs for the audition. Many times, if they *like* you, they want to see how much homework you have done. I would try to learn all the ones you would think are crowd pleasers. This has been a factor that has tipped scales in my favor.
That sounds like a really good idea, I'll make sure to remember that, thank you!
 

Pat A Flafla

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You might not land a gig on your first audition, so maximize your attempts. The real golden goose of musicianship is stage time. Every hour you eventually spend performing on a stage is a boon to your playing that can't be replaced by any amount of practice at home, so throw yourself into trying to line up auditions, and if you're rejected a few times incorporate what you learned from the experience and keep chugging forward.
 

Houndog

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I got beat out on a gig I really wanted , I went and took lessons and the gig became available again 8 months later and they said I then smoked the competition.
Had the time of my life for 2 years with that band …..
So don’t get too discouraged is my point .
 

Tornado

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You'll typically be given a list of songs they'd like to play. To re-iterate what Ian said, you really can't prepare enough, and be honest and up front about your experience. Letting them know from the start that you've never done this before will help set expectations, and reasonable people will be nicer to you. That doesn't mean you'll be given any kind of a pass, but it will probably be a more pleasant experience.

Remember, you're auditioning them as well. Red flags include all the things that have been suggested for you to do. They need to do them too. If they can't show up on time, don't know the songs themselves, drink while rehearsing, or just aren't very good, it's probably best to walk away. Some of those things you have to weigh against gaining experience and continuing to sit at home, but these are all things that really never get better.

Other stuff: Whatever you play, play with confidence. Confidence or timidity comes out in your playing in a big way. Be good at setting up your kit. Make sure you can break down and set up your kit exactly like you like it in a short period of time. Bring a rug or carpet for your kit...don't want your bass drum sliding across the floor. I think most of us have done this when unexperienced; it makes you go out and buy a rug the next day. Remember the KISS rule: Keep it simple, stupid. Don't try to add flashy stuff you can't pull off perfectly and in time. Keep great time above all else.
 

AnnBehr

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You'll typically be given a list of songs they'd like to play. To re-iterate what Ian said, you really can't prepare enough, and be honest and up front about your experience. Letting them know from the start that you've never done this before will help set expectations, and reasonable people will be nicer to you. That doesn't mean you'll be given any kind of a pass, but it will probably be a more pleasant experience.

Remember, you're auditioning them as well. Red flags include all the things that have been suggested for you to do. They need to do them too. If they can't show up on time, don't know the songs themselves, drink while rehearsing, or just aren't very good, it's probably best to walk away. Some of those things you have to weigh against gaining experience and continuing to sit at home, but these are all things that really never get better.

Other stuff: Whatever you play, play with confidence. Confidence or timidity comes out in your playing in a big way. Be good at setting up your kit. Make sure you can break down and set up your kit exactly like you like it in a short period of time. Bring a rug or carpet for your kit...don't want your bass drum sliding across the floor. I think most of us have done this when unexperienced; it makes you go out and buy a rug the next day. Remember the KISS rule: Keep it simple, stupid. Don't try to add flashy stuff you can't pull off perfectly and in time. Keep great time above all else.
Thank you so much for the advice, I'll definitely remember it moving forward!
 


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