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thebrig

Worst Audition Ever!!!

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We auditioned a singer last night, and to say he was awful would be an understatement.

Normally we would ask someone auditioning to learn five or six songs for a 45 minute slot, I sent him a list of 16 songs to choose from, and he said he knew them all and would be happy to do all of them on the night, so we thought that we might as well have him there for the whole two hour session seeing that he is familiar with them all.

So we left it to him to choose the running order, guitarist plays the intro, singer comes in over it, next song, same thing happens, third song, he doesn't come in at all, and all night he was singing over solo's, singing chorus's when it should have been a verse and vice-versa, and to make matters worse, he was just about the worst singer we have ever heard, the type you often get doing a drunken karaoke badly.

He did say after a few songs that it wasn't going too well, so we asked if he wanted to call it a day and finish early, but he said he wanted to carry on and we didn't have the heart to tell him to go, I know a lot of bands would have told him to go after the first song, but he was so bad, we actually felt sorry for him, and we know it takes a lot of guts to audition with strangers, and he was obviously nervous, but he was totally under prepared as well as not being able to sing at all.

Has this ever happened to you, and if so, how would you have handled it?

Edited by thebrig
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years ago i was in an originals band and we auditioned a few singers. This guy had asked for a copy of some songs we had and would put lyrics and vocals on. He turned up with a carry out. Proceeded to attempt a song but stopped about 30 seconds in and said 'Christ, i sound like a donkey!'he then downed about 2 cans and swigged from an unknown brand bottle. He was terrible and to say he sounded like a donkey would be unfair to donkeys. after, he even asked for a lift home!

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Went along to a start-up originals audition once. The band were pretty good and (along with myself) had largely done their homework - except for the potential singer/guitarist/front man, who clearly was unable to fulfil any of those roles. It became obvious that he had made no effort to listen to any of the material, but this turned out to be irrelevant as he just plain couldn't sing, sounded as if he'd never ever picked up a guitar before and had all the charisma and personality of a canoe.

BUT he thought he was great! The band played the songs while he made a terrible howling noise like an aphasic drunk falling down an escalator with a cutlery drawer, gurning horribly and throwing weird stunted shapes like an arthritic gnome with terminal hemarroids. The band immediately avoided each other's gaze. Rarely have I been so embarrassed yet so wanted to laugh as never before. No-one stepped in to stop it, we just kept going on and on through the set. It was absolutely interminable.

We never met again, but later I heard he had persistently phoned the band leader pleading for the job, claiming he was obviously the best choice! And in the end actually got weird and threatening. Steps had to be taken. I've met some deluded flakes in my time - comes with the territory - but I won't forget this one in a hurry. :)

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Some years back we were in need of a new drummer, so set up auditions. The first one to turn up, spent an age setting up his kit, tuning it, fiddling with drum heights etc. We finally launched in to the first song of his choice and he didn't do a thing, nothing. Claimed that he wasn't quite ready, so we started again, same thing, although on the very final note he wacked the snare drum and asked us what we thought:facepalm:

 

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2 hours ago, thebrig said:

We auditioned a singer last night, and to say he was awful would be an understatement.

Normally we would ask someone auditioning to learn five or six songs for a 45 minute slot, I sent him a list of 16 songs to choose from, and he said he knew them all and would be happy to do all of them on the night, so we thought that we might as well have him there for the whole two hour session seeing that he is familiar with them all.

So we left it to him to choose the running order, guitarist plays the intro, singer comes in over it, next song, same thing happens, third song, he doesn't come in at all, and all night he was singing over solo's, singing chorus's when it should have been a verse and vice-versa, and to make matters worse, he was just about the worst singer we have ever heard, the type you often get doing a drunken karaoke badly.

He did say after a few songs that it wasn't going too well, so we asked if he wanted to call it a day and finish early, but he said he wanted to carry on and we didn't have the heart to tell him to go, I know a lot of bands would have told him to go after the first song, but he was so bad, we actually felt sorry for him, and we know it takes a lot of guts to audition with strangers, and he was obviously nervous, but he was totally under prepared as well as not being able to sing at all.

Has this ever happened to you, and if so, how would you have handled it?

Did you guys ask him about his level of experience in bands and gigging before you auditioned him?

 

Blue

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As a rule of thumb:

Always have a pre arranged time slot that's strictly half an hour. Always tell em you have another one coming after them or if its the last one of the day tell em you all need to be some place else after a half hour band meeting.

If they turn out to be great then if they are happy to and time allows carry on.

Have a system pre arranged with your band.

Scratch your left ear = keep this one going - could be good - plus points so far.

Right ear = nope.

If its a sure fire no thanks and you want it to end quickly pretend a bit of equipment has suddenly stopped working.

Put all instruments down and all head over to the door in unison saying something like...

" flipping dogcunts, thats the eighth time my bastard Tracy Elephant has packed up this week. Sorry guys we'll have to do this another day. Well nice of you to come over Bono, we'll definitely get you back if any of the other guys don't work out. You're the best so far for that line after Boy George but Simon Le Bon has said he wants to have a go and we already know he's stinky poo but....anyway, so we'll see you soon yeah?"

 

 

 

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Hate to put a downer on this thread but, many years ago I had written some EBM type songs, I had done most of the music but needed a vocalist, I met this guy in a local nightclub who really looked the part, I spoke to him and asked if he was a musician, he replied "yes" we chatted and he wanted to give it a go, I picked him up a few days later and brought him back to the house, set up the gear and played him the songs, he picked up guitar lines for them really quickly, which was great, but then he tried to sing, sadly he was worse than terrible, he just couldn't sing a note, I think he knew, he said afterwards "I'm not really a singer am I" I said, "not at this point but you area a good guitarist and a good looking front man so we had something to work with" he said "he would go away and practise and to call him in a week or so" I never managed to get hold of him again, apparently he committed suicide the evening I dropped him back home! I still know some of his friends who have always said he was a suicide that was always going to happen so I should not blame myself!....To this day I have never put any vocals to those tracks

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That's a terrible tale @Roger2611!

But you shouldn't blame yourself, or let your songs suffer for it. You were quite positive towards him considering. 

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To continue the thread - a band I was in during the early nineties playing fast and heavy covers auditioned a singist. He really looked the part - tall and dark skinned with a magnificent mane of black hair. Unfortunatley the second he tried to sing the first number - Born to be Wild, it was obvious he plainly couldn't. No sense of timing, unable to find his place in the song and the weirdest vocal style. Imagine a bad version of Ian Astbury from the Cult crossed with a bad version of Hendrix with a bad version of Phil Lynott mixed in for good measure. 

Truly awful.

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Had a few strange ones over the years that I might have related before.

Singer who didn't sing anything - he kept going to the mic, taking a breath then bottling it

Drummer who did no fills whatsoever for an entire rehearsal, just an occasional cymbal. His timekeeping was spot on mind!

Keyboard player who forgot his keyboard.

Another keyboard player who was struggling with a song intro. The drummer showed him how to play it. He pressed some buttons & asked the drummer to repeat it. Turned out he had recorded what the drummer had played. When we were ready to start the song he simply pressed play then stood back and folded his arms  😂

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Singer in my band is a bit like this. He cannot seem to learn the structure of the songs nor the lyrics of the covers we play. He will come in early - sometimes even between the 3 and 4 - with what should be the second line of the verse. It is a real challenge to keep up. 

He has been given a strong warning that he will be out if he doesn’t shape up. But with a gig booked for 1st December, we don’t have time to find a replacement and will run the risk of repeating our last gig, where the crowd looked perplexed as he was singing line 2 where he should have sang line 1 and so on.

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Oh dear. I get the feeling you're going to be looking for a new frontman on 2nd December.

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20 hours ago, bassjim said:

Have a system pre arranged with your band.

Scratch your left ear = keep this one going - could be good - plus points so far.

Right ear = nope.

 

What could possibly go wrong?

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9 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

What could possibly go wrong?

Yes, what if you have to scratch your balls?

 

Or àrse?

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18 hours ago, el borracho said:

Drummer who did no fills whatsoever for an entire rehearsal, just an occasional cymbal. His timekeeping was spot on mind!

You say this like it's a bad thing.

S.P.

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"Drummer who did no fills whatsoever for an entire rehearsal, just an occasional cymbal. His timekeeping was spot on mind!"

The perfect audition I would have said, being a part time drummer myself. If his timing was spot on and his feel suited the songs then its a good audition. Fills and fancy stuff are for gigs if you get the position in the band.

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Auditioned a female singer. She had sent us a list of 6 songs she wanted to sing, so we worked them up at home and had a run through without her to get them right. On the night she was good, not special but she could sing and had good timing. At the end of the night she was asking if she was good enough and we confirmed the gig was hers if she wanted it. She was really keen and gave a list of another 6 songs to work up for the next weeks rehearsal. Result we thought as all the songs were the style we played and we liked. Off she went saying "Looking forward to next week" The night before the next rehearsal, after we had spent the last week working up the 6 new songs, she phoned the guitarist and said " I cant take the gig my husband does not want me singing in a band"  WTF?

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40 minutes ago, mikel said:

Auditioned a female singer. She had sent us a list of 6 songs she wanted to sing, so we worked them up at home and had a run through without her to get them right. On the night she was good, not special but she could sing and had good timing. At the end of the night she was asking if she was good enough and we confirmed the gig was hers if she wanted it. She was really keen and gave a list of another 6 songs to work up for the next weeks rehearsal. Result we thought as all the songs were the style we played and we liked. Off she went saying "Looking forward to next week" The night before the next rehearsal, after we had spent the last week working up the 6 new songs, she phoned the guitarist and said " I cant take the gig my husband does not want me singing in a band"  WTF?

That's usually  my first thought with auditioning anyone. Does their partner know about this and ok with it.

Let's say your a busy gigging bar band and you audition a guitar player. He's good, but he's young with a full time day job, married with for children under the age of 7. Sorry, but not the ideal time in life to be in a busy local "bar band".

 

Blue

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20 hours ago, el borracho said:

Had a few strange ones over the years that I might have related before.

Singer who didn't sing anything - he kept going to the mic, taking a breath then bottling it

Drummer who did no fills whatsoever for an entire rehearsal, just an occasional cymbal. His timekeeping was spot on mind!

Keyboard player who forgot his keyboard.

Another keyboard player who was struggling with a song intro. The drummer showed him how to play it. He pressed some buttons & asked the drummer to repeat it. Turned out he had recorded what the drummer had played. When we were ready to start the song he simply pressed play then stood back and folded his arms  😂

 

Drummer hired.jpg

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19 hours ago, Bluewine said:

That's usually  my first thought with auditioning anyone. Does their partner know about this and ok with it.

Let's say your a busy gigging bar band and you audition a guitar player. He's good, but he's young with a full time day job, married with for children under the age of 7. Sorry, but not the ideal time in life to be in a busy local "bar band".

 

Blue

Well quite, but what is a singer doing answering an add, insisting on songs, asking for the gig, If the partner is not on board in the first place. That was what pi**ed me off.

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2 hours ago, mikel said:

Well quite, but what is a singer doing answering an add, insisting on songs, asking for the gig, If the partner is not on board in the first place. That was what pi**ed me off.

They're deluding themselves, somehow imagining that it's all going to work out somehow.

Signs of an immature personality, a selfish streak and possibly an unravelling relationship with their partner.

Avoid like the plague !!

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On 16/11/2018 at 12:45, thebrig said:

We auditioned a singer last night, and to say he was awful would be an understatement.

Normally we would ask someone auditioning to learn five or six songs for a 45 minute slot, I sent him a list of 16 songs to choose from, and he said he knew them all and would be happy to do all of them on the night, so we thought that we might as well have him there for the whole two hour session seeing that he is familiar with them all.

So we left it to him to choose the running order, guitarist plays the intro, singer comes in over it, next song, same thing happens, third song, he doesn't come in at all, and all night he was singing over solo's, singing chorus's when it should have been a verse and vice-versa, and to make matters worse, he was just about the worst singer we have ever heard, the type you often get doing a drunken karaoke badly.

He did say after a few songs that it wasn't going too well, so we asked if he wanted to call it a day and finish early, but he said he wanted to carry on and we didn't have the heart to tell him to go, I know a lot of bands would have told him to go after the first song, but he was so bad, we actually felt sorry for him, and we know it takes a lot of guts to audition with strangers, and he was obviously nervous, but he was totally under prepared as well as not being able to sing at all.

Has this ever happened to you, and if so, how would you have handled it?

 

A singer friend of mine and myself were starting a new project, writing songs together. We would meet at mine to write and record a bit of guitar and bass. I was playing guitar but I wanted to stick to bass, so we auditioned guitarists. This guy comes in, and within seconds we realise he can't even play. He was having trouble shaping chords with is fingers...  and you could see he was feeling very nervous and embarrased. Singer is giving me this look like "we're done here"... but I felt sorry for him, so I took one of my guitars and showed him something simple to play, and I played another guitar and singer sang a bit... then moved to bass... and over all I taught him 3-4 little things and we played for another 30 minutes or so. Then he left, apologising for his lack of preparation and he laughed at how silly he was for thinking he could do it. Then he says he had only been learning guitar for 2 weeks...

I emailed him a couple of days later to see how he was. We laughed. He was a cool guy, he just jumps into things with lots of enthusiasm and not enough preparation sometimes :D

We became friends, I encouraged him and eventually he went on to form his own band. I played a couple of gigs with him as a dep, recorded a bit, I went to his wedding... so yeah, cool audition ha! stinky poo guitarist at the time, but I ended up with one of the coolest friends I've got. :)

 

 

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6 hours ago, mikel said:

Well quite, but what is a singer doing answering an add, insisting on songs, asking for the gig, If the partner is not on board in the first place. That was what pi**ed me off.

 

4 hours ago, musicbassman said:

They're deluding themselves, somehow imagining that it's all going to work out somehow.

Signs of an immature personality, a selfish streak and possibly an unravelling relationship with their partner.

Avoid like the plague !!

Maybe, maybe not.

Unsupportive and/or controlling husband lets wifey audition for the role because obviously she's useless and (i) will never get the gig, (ii) can't possibly manage without hubby there to tell her what to do. Anyway, it'll shut her up for a while.

Then gets all hurt and precious when it turns out that little wifey actually does just fine when he's not there to screw things up for her.

Perhaps.

 

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