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Rejection dejection


Jakester

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Sigh. I think I managed to talk myself out of a gig!

 

I recently went to audition for a band. The stuff they were playing was great - proper hard funk. They gave me two tunes to learn, one of which had a slap bass solo.

 

Now, I can slap but it's never been my main focus. I managed to put together a passable rendition of the solo - not note-perfect, but in keeping with the intent of the song. However, when I met them at the audition, before we started playing I explained I struggled with the solo and said "I'm not really a slap player". 

 

Anyway, it all went fine - got one well, played the tunes well - they complimented me on my playing and feel, said the solo was fine, and I left on a high note (not literally, I am a bass player after all...). 

 

Got an email back from them saying thanks but no thanks, which concluded  "you clearly have great musicianship (timing etc. was spot on) but some of the tunes we want to play have pretty technical slap parts."

 

It sounds like by saying to them I'm not a slap player before we started, I effectively ruled myself out of the gig! 

 

I'm quite gutted as they were really nice people and the tunes were brilliant. I'd almost talked myself into buying a Stingray for "when" I got the gig as well! 

 

I suppose the moral of the story is learn the part more. I was close, and I can hear the solo in my head, I just couldn't quite execute when it came to it! 

 

Anyway, just wanted to share my dejection with my fellow bassists and I'm really jealous of whoever got the gig. Is it petty to hope they're an chocolate starfish and get fired in a couple of weeks? 😈

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I feel for you. It happened to me once, but not because of slap, because I made an audition with a fretless for a heavy stoner band...

 

You used a strategic marketing system which consists in saying to people not to focus on a weak point to force them to focus on it. It's a natural human reaction. It's used to force people to focus on an unique selling point presented as a weakness when it's absolutely not one.

 

Your weakness is a real one and by telling them, they simply focused on it and missed the rest.

 

You've been honest, which is great : you are a bassist after all. 🙂

 

Next time, just play and when you get the job, improve your weak point.

 

We live and learn every day...

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Sorry to hear that Jake. I had similar before where I got invited to an audition at short notice. I was told it was going to be a jam session as there was no time to learn any songs and they also lent me a bass as (it really was that short notice). 
 

I turn up to be given a 5 String (I don't gig with 5 strings) with an action as high as Clifton Suspension Bridge. We went through the songs and I thought it sounded generally good, as did the band leader (guitarist) who thought it was really tight.  I was quite disparaging about my own performance though as I felt it was very much in the fly. 

 

He said they had another guy to audition a week later but they'd let me know soon after. Sure enough, a week later I got sent a text saying "sorry mate, the band thought the other guy was a better fit and seemed to play better on the songs we asked him to rehearse". Well, go figure....

 

Approximately five weeks later I got another text saying "tell me to do one if you want, but the other bass player isn't working out." He wasn't learning the songs and wasn't particularly musical and when he reached difficult passages, he started playing very quietly!
 

After a long chat I decided to give it another go, this time armed with my own bass and having been given a chance to learn some of the songs. I was asked to join in the spot. 
 

Funny how these things work out an if you think of the audition as a job interview, then often the first few sessions are the probation period. 
 

As my Dad always says, what's meant to be yours won't pass you by. 

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1 hour ago, Old Horse Murphy said:

Sorry to hear that Jake. I had similar before where I got invited to an audition at short notice. I was told it was going to be a jam session as there was no time to learn any songs and they also lent me a bass as (it really was that short notice). 
 

I turn up to be given a 5 String (I don't gig with 5 strings) with an action as high as Clifton Suspension Bridge. We went through the songs and I thought it sounded generally good, as did the band leader (guitarist) who thought it was really tight.  I was quite disparaging about my own performance though as I felt it was very much in the fly. 

 

He said they had another guy to audition a week later but they'd let me know soon after. Sure enough, a week later I got sent a text saying "sorry mate, the band thought the other guy was a better fit and seemed to play better on the songs we asked him to rehearse". Well, go figure....

 

Approximately five weeks later I got another text saying "tell me to do one if you want, but the other bass player isn't working out." He wasn't learning the songs and wasn't particularly musical and when he reached difficult passages, he started playing very quietly!
 

After a long chat I decided to give it another go, this time armed with my own bass and having been given a chance to learn some of the songs. I was asked to join in the spot. 
 

Funny how these things work out an if you think of the audition as a job interview, then often the first few sessions are the probation period. 
 

As my Dad always says, what's meant to be yours won't pass you by. 

 

Thanks Nick. They did emphasise I was a good fit personality-wise, so hopefully the other chap is a douche (assuming he's not on BC of course) and they decide to revisit it...

17 minutes ago, chris_b said:

Don't go into an audition putting yourself or your playing down.

 

Just smile, do your best and let them make all the decisions based on what they hear. not what you tell them.

 

Yep, I think this was where I went wrong - trying to pre-empt any criticism, which, as it transpired, probably wouldn't have materialised! 

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Sorry to hear that @Jakester
Maybe you did talk yourself out of the gig. But take some positives from it.
You got through the audition, and some of the band members thought you were pretty good.

More importantly though, you learned the hard way that you need to make sure you concentrate on learning those tricky parts a bit more
and definitely don't put yourself down after or during the session - there's plenty of other band members out there who are happy to do that ;) 

Also, don't despair.... it might be that you end up getting called back again anyway, as in Old Horse's post above
Or, as has happened to me - you might just meet that drummer or rhythm player, or other band member who you "clicked" with again, in some other band / project, and next time you get the gig.

Take some positives from the experience, and build for the next one - and best of luck with it :) 

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1 hour ago, chris_b said:

Don't go into an audition putting yourself or your playing down.

 

Just smile, do your best and let them make all the decisions based on what they hear. not what you tell them.

Def, but also bear in mind by your own words you`re not a slap bassist. This audition may have seemed fun, with great guys but maybe if you got the job week in week out slap-bass might have become a chore. 

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20 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Def, but also bear in mind by your own words you`re not a slap bassist. This audition may have seemed fun, with great guys but maybe if you got the job week in week out slap-bass might have become a chore. 

 

This is something I couldn't work out from the OP – are you wanting to move in that direction?

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What positives came from the rehearsal? They said that you can play so that should tell you that wasn't the issue and help your confidence.

Also you've learnt to be not too denigrating - maybe your comment should have been "great, my slapping is a bit rusty - that'll give me a chance to get my slapping back up to par". Shows you're keen and willing to learn. 

 

As @Old Horse Murphy suggested, maybe the other fella doesn't work out and they'll come back to you. You'll be in a more powerful position then.

 

Good luck.

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It is a shame. Unless they're a Level 42 cover band I would imagine that most stuff could be covered finger style until you're up to speed with the slap. Not certain that 'hard funk' has to mean slap. Look at Bootsy!

 

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I went for an audition with a Mod/Jam tribby band at short notice armed with a Status Streamline.  Nailed the songs but didn't get the gig for unspecified 'don't think you're the best fit'.  I think they expected me to turn up dressed like Foxton armed with a Rick.  Irked a bit but I think it worked out for the best....

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5 hours ago, Jakester said:

They gave me two tunes to learn, one of which had a slap bass solo.

 

Now, I can slap but it's never been my main focus.

 

I explained I struggled with the solo and said "I'm not really a slap player". 

 

A some of the tunes we want to play have pretty technical slap parts.

 

 

I'm not normally a glass half full kinda guy, but the alternative take on this is that:

 

You can slap but don't do it very often because you don't want to play slap.  Take the positive away from this that you escaped getting into a band where you didn't actually want to play the songs.

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4 hours ago, chris_b said:

Don't go into an audition putting yourself or your playing down.

 

This! 

 

My favourite players are those who are quiet and are humble but they don't put themselves down. I've jammed with some amazing musicians who have zero drama and make being in a band fun. 

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Ah don’t beat yourself up over it. There are a lot of people that don’t have all the Mark King chops, me included. Like you, I could probably blag my way through a couple of audition numbers, but think about where that would have gone had they invited you to join full time. Learning loads of tunes with intense slap parts which you may have had to compromise over. Not my idea of fun and that’s what it’s supposed to all be about. Something else will come along.

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8 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Ah don’t beat yourself up over it. There are a lot of people that don’t have all the Mark King chops, me included. Like you, I could probably blag my way through a couple of audition numbers, but think about where that would have gone had they invited you to join full time. Learning loads of tunes with intense slap parts which you may have had to compromise over. Not my idea of fun and that’s what it’s supposed to all be about. Something else will come along.

 

This. If you're not a slap player (and neither am I) the idea of the 'technical slap solos' would have made my blood run cold. Sounds like you would have struggled in that band (as would Mark King in Motorhead). This was not the band for you and that doesn't reflect on your ability at all (as they acknowledged themselves).

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3 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

 

This is something I couldn't work out from the OP – are you wanting to move in that direction?

 

Well, I can play it, I just don't play slap very often cos until now it's not really been an issue. Maybe one song in the set every so often, or a cheeky slapped disco fill every now and again if I think I can get away with it. 

 

2 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

Surely if you're a great musician then slap parts will be no problem?  

 

Its us sheet musicians that  have problems with slapping.

 

Amusingly this is the first time I've had to learn a tune by ear instead of reading a transcription - I found one for one of the tunes, but not the slap one - or even any tab. 

 

The one with the part was fine - learned it, played it - job done. 

 

2 hours ago, Nicko said:

 

You can slap but don't do it very often because you don't want to play slap.  Take the positive away from this that you escaped getting into a band where you didn't actually want to play the songs.

 

Nah, I like it/don't hate it  - I'd have been happy to play it and I love the style of music - much more so than just rock covers etc. 

 

10 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

This was not the band for you and that doesn't reflect on your ability at all (as they acknowledged themselves).

 

I reckon I could have done the gig - the idea was to stretch myself out of my comfort zone. I've actually only played in one band as a bass player, nearly 10 years ago now when I was starting out. I currently play in a community orchestra which is great, and have done hundreds if not thousands of gigs as a drummer over the years. 

 

I think lesson learned to a) nail the part and b) don't talk yourself down! 

 

Still annoyed with myself. Ah well. 

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Sounds like you were just being honest and trying to manage expectations. But then maybe that made them think you’re not the right fit….. which may or may not be correct.

 

The opposite approach brings to mind a phrase which has entered the lexicon recently “fake it till you make it”!

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25 minutes ago, Jakester said:

 

Well, I can play it, I just don't play slap very often cos until now it's not really been an issue. Maybe one song in the set every so often, or a cheeky slapped disco fill every now and again if I think I can get away with it. 

 

 

Amusingly this is the first time I've had to learn a tune by ear instead of reading a transcription - I found one for one of the tunes, but not the slap one - or even any tab. 

 

The one with the part was fine - learned it, played it - job done. 

 

 

Nah, I like it/don't hate it  - I'd have been happy to play it and I love the style of music - much more so than just rock covers etc. 

 

 

I reckon I could have done the gig - the idea was to stretch myself out of my comfort zone. I've actually only played in one band as a bass player, nearly 10 years ago now when I was starting out. I currently play in a community orchestra which is great, and have done hundreds if not thousands of gigs as a drummer over the years. 

 

I think lesson learned to a) nail the part and b) don't talk yourself down! 

 

Still annoyed with myself. Ah well. 

And what a fine drummer you are.
 

I've always enjoyed forming the Rhythm Section with you. Hopefully we can get together and do something soon. 

Edited by Old Horse Murphy
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13 hours ago, Old Horse Murphy said:

And what a fine drummer you are.
 

I've always enjoyed forming the Rhythm Section with you. Hopefully we can get together and do something soon. 


Thanks Nick, very kind of you to say, and likewise!

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On 09/09/2021 at 10:55, Old Horse Murphy said:

Sure enough, a week later I got sent a text saying "sorry mate, the band thought the other guy was a better fit and seemed to play better on the songs we asked him to rehearse". Well, go figure....

 

This x1000 is what I've learned from trying to form my own band over the last year. An audition has to last more than 1 session. It's in the 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th session that you see people get comfortable and show their bad habits like not learning songs, suggesting Katy Perry songs (for your 80s covers band!!!), wanting to play other instruments, wanting to bring their mates in, all the daydreams coming out when really you just want to get a good handful of songs learned properly.... You may well get that call and you get your opportunity to say "is it funky? Slap or not, is it funky? Yes? Then that's all that matters." 

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3 hours ago, uk_lefty said:

This x1000 is what I've learned from trying to form my own band over the last year. An audition has to last more than 1 session. It's in the 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th session that you see people get comfortable and show their bad habits like not learning songs, suggesting Katy Perry songs (for your 80s covers band!!!), wanting to play other instruments, wanting to bring their mates in, all the daydreams coming out when really you just want to get a good handful of songs learned properly.... You may well get that call and you get your opportunity to say "is it funky? Slap or not, is it funky? Yes? Then that's all that matters." 

True dat, exactly my recent experieince:

 

'It's in the 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th session that you see people get comfortable and show their bad habits like not learning songs, suggesting Katy Perry songs (for your 80s covers band!!!), wanting to play other instruments, wanting to bring their mates in, all the daydreams coming out when really you just want to get a good handful of songs'

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15 minutes ago, yorks5stringer said:

True dat, exactly my recent experieince:

 

'It's in the 2nd, 3rd and maybe 4th session that you see people get comfortable and show their bad habits like not learning songs, suggesting Katy Perry songs (for your 80s covers band!!!), wanting to play other instruments, wanting to bring their mates in, all the daydreams coming out when really you just want to get a good handful of songs'

"Daydreams" is spot on

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