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Matched Gripper

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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
Assuming you are talking about pop/rock music, I would recommend knowing as much as you can about the band and its music before auditioning. Talk to them. Ask if they have recordings you can practice to in advance. Ask what they are looking for in a drummer. If you have a chance, go watch them play.
 
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Tufty

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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.
I had a teacher that used to say “wrong and strong” meaning even if you make a mistake do it with confidence. Then, chances are no one will even know it’s a mistake.
 

Polska

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I'll echo what's been said already and just add that Craig's List and Facebook are still some good places to find opportunities. Yeah, there are losers on there but you can find FB groups for local music in your area. When bands list an opening there, you can jump to their FB page, check out some pictures and probably some live video and set lists. Gives you a chance to do some considering before you put yourself out there. All part of the audition prep. Good luck!
 

BennyK

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Don't grovel or act needy . Be pleasant but not ingratiating . Be punctual and clean . Don't engage in any gossip , as musicians sometimes do , especially when conversations head into name dropping territory . Loose lips sink ships . Find out who it is you're meeting with if possible . Ask for set lists and if possible , recordings of their covers . If its loosey goosey, that's fine , but if they're precision types, then choose three or four tunes that you can adequately prepare for . Bring your notes with you .

Avoid religious or political innuendo .... and after all this advice, have fun !!
 
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RIDDIM

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Check out the band in advance via FB, YT, etc.

Learn what they tell you to learn cold. Practice until you can't make a mistake. Know the recorded tempos and be able to call them up from your cell phone metronome if need be. Then learn as much of the rest of their setlist as you can, just in case they ask what else you'd like to play.

Come early, be easy to deal with. Pay attention - you're auditioning them as well. Give the music what it needs, no more and no less. If you can, record it (your phone probably has a voice recorder app which will likely do fine); if you blow it, you'll hear where you erred. Alternately, you might hear some things in their performance listening at home that you missed in the room, which could lead you to reconsider your desire to be in this band.

If you bring your own gear, leave the 4th bass drum - and probably the other 3 - at home. Just bring what you need to play the tunes.

Good luck.
 

florian1

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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
Typically you reach out to an ad or post that is looking for a drummer. If the response is positive and to your liking regarding types of music/band genre you then ask for an audition at a mutually convenient place/time. You should ask for a handful of songs to learn that they are playing, so you can jump right in to their setlist.
Before the audition, take time to learn the songs...not note for note, but play it in your style. If you are auditioning for a "tribute" band, then note for note is expected. See if they have any audio/videos of them playing with their previous drummer and see how they fit together in the mix. Take notes and ask them what they are wanting from the drummer, musically.
See if there is a backline set available to play...lugging your gear sucks, but sometimes necessary at auditions. All the auditions I have done have had a smallish set to play - I brought my throne, sticks, cymbals and favorite snare.
Go in with an open mind - play your best and have fun. If youre too tense, it will show in your drumming...enjoy the moment and opportunity. I have done a bunch of auditions - Ive nailed some, Ive botched some, but I always get feedback after them. When you get done - ask how you did - follow up a few days later with a phone call to see if you can be part of their vision moving forward.
Ive turned down dozens of bands, and selected 4 in my years of playing... I currently play in 2 - and have for over 25 years.

Remember, its a commitment you want to be sure youre making before you say yes.

Good luck and have fun!!!!


Best,
F
 

Houndog

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Typically you reach out to an ad or post that is looking for a drummer. If the response is positive and to your liking regarding types of music/band genre you then ask for an audition at a mutually convenient place/time. You should ask for a handful of songs to learn that they are playing, so you can jump right in to their setlist.
Before the audition, take time to learn the songs...not note for note, but play it in your style. If you are auditioning for a "tribute" band, then note for note is expected. See if they have any audio/videos of them playing with their previous drummer and see how they fit together in the mix. Take notes and ask them what they are wanting from the drummer, musically.
See if there is a backline set available to play...lugging your gear sucks, but sometimes necessary at auditions. All the auditions I have done have had a smallish set to play - I brought my throne, sticks, cymbals and favorite snare.
Go in with an open mind - play your best and have fun. If youre too tense, it will show in your drumming...enjoy the moment and opportunity. I have done a bunch of auditions - Ive nailed some, Ive botched some, but I always get feedback after them. When you get done - ask how you did - follow up a few days later with a phone call to see if you can be part of their vision moving forward.
Ive turned down dozens of bands, and selected 4 in my years of playing... I currently play in 2 - and have for over 25 years.

Remember, its a commitment you want to be sure youre making before you say yes.

Good luck and have fun!!!!


Best,
F
I wouldn’t suggest asking how you did at the audition; or following up asking if you got it either .

It’s awkward for everyone…

If you nail it , don’t worry ;they’ll let you know that though …
 

florian1

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I wouldn’t suggest asking how you did at the audition; or following up asking if you got it either .

It’s awkward for everyone…

If you nail it , don’t worry ;they’ll let you know that though …
really? Ive always asked. If you cant be candid with me, then I dont want to be part of your band. Ive always gotten an answer either positive or negative. If you dont ask for the gig - you wont get it.

F
 

Buffalo_drummer

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Aside from what everyone has said regarding the music, in general, follow these rules:

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Stickclick

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Whatever you do with other people - you are always auditioning for something.

Go to open mics, jam sessions and venues where local bands play. Some events are advertised on craigslist or Facebook.

Carry drum sticks wherever you go.

You might get drummer business cards. Jam with people. It's really not about drumming skill, it's about finding the right people.

The way to start is to start.
 

doubleroll

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Go in prepared and relaxed. Do your best and if it doesn’t workout don’t take it personal…keep auditioning. Good luck!
 


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