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NoRhino

Auditioned for a guitarist and it's too close to call

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I think it's a matter of 1) sharing the same expectations/goals and 2) being able to follow up (balancing family, job, other bands or hobbies...).

A more dedicated and passionate band member will always be the better contributor in the long run IMHO.

 

 

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I think that the first step is definitely to give them both a second audition. 

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I second the idea of a full length audition / rehearsal for both, with the ability to have a break at mid rehearsal, share a beer / soda, and chat about life situation, expectations for the band, general band situation availabilities & practicalities (from having a driving license to experience in live gigs), maybe crack a few jokes, movie quotes and musical references and see if he's getting it ...

In my band we recently went throught the process for a new singer, both final candidates were equally gifted and it came down to personality, having the same kind of vibe and the one best fitting in, to be sure that the "akwardness" of having someone you don't know in the rehearsal room would pass rapidly and he'll quickly be someone you know and like. You're not hiring an employee, you're looking for a band mate, so the "mate" aspect has importance.

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First guy was able to get a good sound from studio amp tells me he will be more adaptable and able to cope with disasters better whereas someone who brings their own amp might have a bit of an ego and simply gives up when things go wrong and isn't able to use whatever is available on the night.

The nerve thing can go either way. I'm usually a bit nervous before gigs too, but not to the point of shaking. Maybe once he finds the "right band" his nerves will fade.  Mine have. 

The fact he was aware you had someone else to come in after him shows he is thinking of the bigger picture and not just himself.

Knowing the band you're in i understand the visual aspect side of it too and No1 brings a visual aspect that No2 doesn't. That's a shame for No2 but that's life in the tribute scene.

Assuming both competent guitarists then i'm for the first guy. Guitarists faffing about between songs at rehearsals is my biggest gripe. Drives me up the bloody wall.

All the best with the decision and let us know how you all decide. I don't want to come to one of your gigs and find someone looking and sounding completely out of place :laugh1:

Dave

  

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Most of this has already been said, so I'll just re-enforce the message!

As far as playing ability goes, it seems like a draw, so it's down to other factors.

Having their own reliable transport would be a huge requirement. I've had to ferry folk around before, and it can be a major pain.

Knowing how other commitments may affect the band. Work, other bands, kid etc can all impact someones ability to rehearse, gig and learn material.

Do they have an awareness for how their guitar's tone affects the overall sound of the band. A guitarist I know describes his tone as 'big and beefy'. In reality, it's a Les Paul on the neck pickup, through a Marshall with the bass knob up full - making it an interesting exercise for the bass to cut through.  Another can't get varying tones to balance live - overwhelming rhythm and barely audible lead in the same song. Yet another insisted on his amp being turned up to ear bleeding volumes on stage - with alternating excuses that it needs to be cranked to sound good, or that he can't hear it well enough through the monitors.

And lastly, can you get on with them? If you rub each other up the wrong way, it takes all the fun out of a band. I'm sure many of us have been there...

George

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I knew you'd provide some good, and funny, suggestions. It is indeed a nice problem to have especially when actual live work is still a long time off allowing the luxury of not rushing.  I'll share your wisdom with the band tonight and get their opinions now that they've  had a few days to mull it over.  

I'm leaning towards a full studio rehearsal with both guys separately. That will answer so many questions. 

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16 minutes ago, NoRhino said:

I'm leaning towards a full studio rehearsal with both guys separately. That will answer so many questions. 

Yep that makes a lot of sense. 

Few other things have been added by others that also need to be looked at so lot to think about.

Out of curiosity are both guitarists into the same music as rest of the the band. ?

Dave

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20 hours ago, AndyTravis said:

If the guy you know played it well, the nerves don’t matter. If he played it well nervous; how good will he be when calm?

This is a very good point. He sounds honest, too. I agree with others who say the most important thing, given equivalent ability, is how well you get on personally.

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3 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

Out of curiosity are both guitarists into the same music as rest of the the band. ?

Dave

Absolutely 

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Posted (edited)

Lots of good advise here and a few good comments about #1 and the nerves.

That being said I'm a person who suffers from anxiety, I get super nervous at auditions and suffer significantly from stage fright.  Check this with number 1, has he gigged before, is it something he enjoys doing?  If this is something you'll be doing you need to make sure he's on the same page else he'll hold you back.

I would get so  nervous about performing it would suck all of the enjoyment away.  I was hesitant to commit to gigs and wasnt enthusiastic about it with the others which probably held us back.  I'm at a point now that as much as I'd love to be in a serious band I can't see myself doing it again.

Edited by PatrickJ
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8 minutes ago, PatrickJ said:

Lots of good advise here and a few good comments about #1 and the nerves.

That being said I'm a person who suffers from anxiety, I get super nervous at auditions and suffer significantly from stage fright.  Check this with number 1, has he gigged before, is it something he enjoys doing?  If this is something you'll be doing you need to make sure he's on the same page else he'll hold you back.

I would get so  nervous about performing it would suck all of the enjoyment away.  I was hesitant to commit to gigs and wasnt enthusiastic about it with the others which probably held us back.  I'm at a point now that as much as I'd love to be in a serious band I can't see myself doing it again.

hey Patrick don't give up on it. We had a guitarist who was so shy she hid behind a pillar on the first gig and stood at the back most of the time. She made the band sound great, learned everything we asked and was good to work with. The bassist got to stand at the front too so bonus for me :)  I'm assuming you are a bassist so people expect you to stand at the back and hide next to the drums. Bands are made up of all sorts  and most musicians are pretty supportive. It get's better over time too.

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Posted (edited)

I'm leaning towards the one that doesn't twiddle his knobs. We have one of those and it drives everyone nuts. He can't do it at gigs cos he's tied to the mic but it's irritating at rehearsals. And he's been playing the same guitars and amp for 20 years so if he hasn't 'found his sound' by now there's no hope...... 

Edited by Mudpup
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17 minutes ago, Phil Starr said:

hey Patrick don't give up on it. We had a guitarist who was so shy she hid behind a pillar on the first gig and stood at the back most of the time. She made the band sound great, learned everything we asked and was good to work with. The bassist got to stand at the front too so bonus for me :)  I'm assuming you are a bassist so people expect you to stand at the back and hide next to the drums. Bands are made up of all sorts  and most musicians are pretty supportive. It get's better over time too.

I don't have many gig stories but my first gig was actually a charity fund raiser the wife of the BL organised.  Sell out show, 200 people, in a small venue in the cente of town. We were headline act (the band was established before I joined)..

I got go the venue early to set up, chose my spot on stage - right behind the big Front of House speaker system so I was mostly hidden from view - was feeling pretty happy about that and was helping with nerves. 

Performance time came round and since we were the largest band playing as a 6 piece the sound engineer decided we needed more space.  I had not realised the speakers were on wheels and he just wheeled them out of the way - so there I was, now fully exposed to all right at the front of the stage.

It was such a massive high playing that gig but rather than getting easier the nerves just got worse with each one we played.

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Posted (edited)

You wouldn't marry someone after the first shag would you? Need to get them both back in the room again to see what develops. First one might have overcome his nerves and the second one might have stopped taking his tramadol scrip and be a bag of loose fingers. 

Seriously though, I really think second auditions are the way to go. If guy one can't at least partially overcome his nerves by the rematch then he's always going to struggle. Plus if they want the gig they'll put the time in learning the new material.

We once got a session guitarist in for a massive touring opportunity; we'd seen him play his own stuff and he was great and a solid improviser, if a bit flashy for what we needed. First run through went okay even though he was a bit nervous but unfortunately by the fourth practice he was still busking through what should be solid arrangements and not doing too well with it. Around the same timeframe a friend of mine stepped in on bass for a show I couldn't do and put him to shame learning the entire set by the first practice for a single gig with no guarantee of anything else. In the end I ceded the bass chair for the tour to my lad and took on the guitar work myself. Felt terrible for the other kid but he admitted he was out of his depth playing arrangements rather than just jamming. 

Edited by borntohang

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7 hours ago, borntohang said:

You wouldn't marry someone after the first shag would you?

Well I kinda did make that mistake when I was young but it's a long story and it doesn't go well. The foolhardiness of youth! 😁

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IME an audition should not just focus on the technical ability of the people you invite,  If you didn't discuss what sort of material they want to play, how often they want to gig, transport arrangements, availability for practice (if you do that), whether they are rabid racists or similar, you have missed an opportunity to see if they're going to work out.

I had one bloke who turned up to audition for an alternative rock covers band and wanted to play Clapton and Bryan Adams songs.  And an excellent drummer that wanted to play two gigs a week minimum as a side project to his function work. Needless to say neither got the gig.

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Update: We've invited both candidates back to play a different list of songs and to bring their own amps. We'll also extend the time slot and video the sessions.

Interestingly both guys are delighted to be called back and both thought they'd blown it.

Thanks for your input fellow BC people. 

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Posted (edited)

its good that you have 2 candidates that are so close. Could be a difficult choice for you.

All the very best

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7
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6 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

its good that you have 2 candidates that are so close. Could be a difficult choice for you.

All the very best

Dave

Thanks Dave.  Looking forward to making a choice. 

Billy

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For those of you who are interested in the outcome we chose candidate #1 after a second audition. Much less nervous this time and he has a better feel for the songs. 

#2 was again technically very good but #1 edged it on presence and getting a good tone from a studio amp. 

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