Letting Your Audition Etiquette Slip? Maybe That’s Why You’re Not Getting Gigs. (Part One)

Auditions are a little nerve-wracking for all of us. Not only are you expected to show your talents and abilities, but you’re thrust into a situation where you’re dealing with the egos and attitudes of other musicians. If you can make it through the audition and make it into the band, you might have one of the best musical experiences of your life – or, you might find yourself turned away, or worse , not called back.

There’s also a HUGE difference between your run-of-the-mill band audition, and those higher-paying gigs you’re looking for. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be ready to get serious with yourself, and take a good look at how you carry yourself and appear when you go to auditions. Want gigs that make you money? Then you have to be worth that money, which includes sharpening your talent and looking the part.

If you’re finding yourself in a situation where you aren’t getting callbacks, it could have something to do with your Audition Etiquette. Here are some to-do’s that should definitely be on your list.

• Get There Early

I’ve seriously heard people discuss how being “fashionably late” to an audition makes you look like your skills are desired. Naturally, the person who said this was having lots of trouble getting gigs.

You must think of an audition as a job interview. If you show that you can’t be punctual or trustworthy, you’re going to be flat-out rejected in many cases. No one wants to deal with a person who won’t show up to practice, or worse yet, a show.

If you make it a point to get there even 30-45 minutes early, you’ll not only give the impression that you’re regularly punctual – you’ll show the important folks in the equation that you want the job. At the end of the day, wanting to be part of the band could be a huge part of the decision factor for the people who are auditioning you. That extra edge could get you a great opportunity.

If you’re looking for a high-paying gig, someone is paying – and that means that you need to prove you’re worth their money, and that you can be dependable.

• Dress Well

Some musicians make the mistake of thinking that because they’re auditioning for a rock band or a particular genre of music, it’s okay to look a little sloppy to show up to the audition.

You have to remember that how you dress is a reflection of yourself. Showing up with poor hygiene or getting there poorly dressed could be detrimental to getting the gig.

If you’re looking for a higher-paying gig, take it a step further. Iron your clothes TWICE. This is basically a job interview, so it’s in your best interest to present yourself as you would at any other job. If you’re not ready to dress the part, you’re not ready to get those serious, high-paying gigs. It’s time to get serious!

You also want to make sure that you dress the part. If you’re going to an audition outside your typical genre, make sure you understand the best way to dress. Don’t underestimate the importance of looking the part.

• Know the Repertoire

Seriously. It’s an audition for a reason. Don’t waste your time or anybody else’s walking in with excuses about why the music isn’t learned or you’re not up to speed. Plenty of people think they can walk into an audition and improve, and snare a gig by sheer talent. The person with a little less talent who’s better prepared is often a wiser choice.

• Have the Right Gear.

Don’t want to lug your amp all the way to practice? Make sure to call ahead and inquire as to what gear is going to be there in advance. You don’t want to leave your important equipment at home. You’ll look unprepared, and like an amateur. That’s not going to improve your chances for getting into the band.

Think about it – if you’re a guitarist and you leave your strap at home, you might be the only person at the audition perched on a chair in the middle of the room. This isn’t an ideal scenario, and it’s one I’ve seen before. Come prepared!

It’s also a good idea to print out your press kit, or make sure they have an electronic version of any materials that will help you better present yourself. You wouldn’t go to a job interview without taking the required resume and hiring materials – so make sure you have those handy.

Next week, we’ll talk a little more about this from an attitude standpoint. Covering the practical bases is important, but you should also understand if the way you personally prepare for an audition is beneficial to you and your practice. How do you approach going to an audition? Are you professional? Prepared? A little self-analysis might go a long way!

Looking for more tips and career advice? Check out http://www.stevenixonmusic.net/careermentoring.cfm.