I had to stop going to auditions thinking, ‘Oh, I hope they like me.’ I had to go in thinking I was the answer to their problem. – George Clooney
In the process of trying to find a band I have gone through a couple of auditions.
In most cases when I am auditioning for a band I like to think of it more as the band is auditioning for me.
Now my wife finds that attitude to be a bit cocky on my part but I always go into the situation knowing the band will want me. The real question is will I want to play with this band. Honestly I can’t see going into it with any other attitude.
Playing is really putting yourself out there. I think going into an audition with any other attitude is setting yourself up for failure.
It’s not that I am saying I’m the best, far be it from that. If I constantly compared myself to the very best I would have quit and never started back up.
I know I’ll never be a Steve Gadd or Jim Keltner, no one will. What I want to be is Otis Pup Smith. I want to be the best Otis Pup Smith I can be. I want to realize my strengths building on them and work on my weaknesses and put a piece of myself into the music.
I was a bit nervous at my first audition after not playing for 25 years.
I wasn’t nervous about the other musicians finding my playing subpar. No I was nervous about me finding my playing subpar.
Now that I have had a year of playing gigs and a couple of years practicing most of the nervousness has disappeared. It’s more a nervous excitement about what will happen. Will this be the band to click, is this the band I’m looking for?
Yes I have gone a period of time without a band, but as I have previously written a lot of that probably has to do with the time and area I am located in as well as my age. I have become a bit more particular in some aspects of what I am looking for in a band.
Although I am really not expecting to make a great sum of money or even thinking about going back to make a living at playing, I do expect to get paid for my work. It is work but fun, especially with the right people. What I need is to make a little more than my gas money for the night.
Some of the bands I come across are willing to work for nothing just to get “exposure”. I can see that. Exposure before hundreds or thousands, cool. Exposure before 15 people who could care less about the band that’s interrupting their conversation at the bar, not cool, not for free and no thanks.
I’ve even heard some people talk about venues where the band pays the owner to play. I’ll just stay home and work on my chops for free thank you.
I could be auditioning for some metal bands and although I’m positive I could pick it up and do a good job I’m pretty sure I would be bored. Also at my age I want to save my ears.
For now I’ve given up on finding a Rock’n’Roll, R&B, Soul or blues band with horns and singers. Nothing in this area to even begin to support something like that and there is also the lack of talent in the area as well.
I did audition with a band that told me they do “hard rock”. My biggest concern was not what will they think of my playing. No, my biggest concern was when I walk in and they see my white beard. Will they automatically come to the conclusion that I’m too old.
I’ll let you know in a future post how that one went.
It is kind of interesting to go to some of these auditions because you don’t know what you’re going to get.
What I mean by that is what is the practice environment like, what are the people like, etc.
But to date I haven’t been pleasantly surprised by the level of music.
Do I want too much?
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