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PHBT: Guitar Guys - Give me Your Opinion on this Guitarist's Audition


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#1 Howie

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:50 AM

One of my bands is trying to find a new guitarist. We held auditions on Saturday. 

 

We play a very pretty wide assortment of material, so we set up the auditions asking for each candidate to have three songs prepared. One classic rock, one classic country, and one more kind of a hip hop song. Aside from sheer talent on their instrument, we wanted to see who could adapt their playing to all three styles.

 

1. Don't judge the recording quality. This was just a zoom recorder set in the corner of the audition space.

 

2. Don't judge my vocal quality. I'm fighting a head cold, which is very evident.

 

3. Not looking to nitpick the crap out of every lick the guy plays or every mistake he makes, because it was just a three song audition. Moreso, trying to evaluate his overall skillset and how he plays/blends in across all three styles. Remember he's auditioning for a small, part time bar band - not a major touring act

 

The songs:

Last Dance With Mary Jane - Petty

Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound - Hank Jr

No Diggity - BlackStreet

 

https://www.youtube....eature=youtu.be


Edited by Howie, 13 January 2020 - 08:51 AM.

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#2 Dave

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:01 AM

Sounds good to me.. handled the Petty song well, sounded country with his bends on the second tune, and held up on the last.

If he owns a van, hire him.


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#3 Beejus McReejus

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:24 AM

Sounds like a winner. No complaints for the first time playing with the guy.
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#4 Dave

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:25 AM

I hope he wasn't auditioning you guys for his 7th current band


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#5 LeftyMPfrmDE

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:27 AM

the man likes his minor scales and chords. no problems here. 


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#6 tjbsilv

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:43 AM

He auditioned pretty well if you ask me...a little sloppy in places but that could be attributed to nerves. Pretty adaptable to different styles. I thought he did well on the Hank Jr. song with all the double stops...it's not an easy genre as far as lead guitar goes, esp. for a guitarist who is typically used to playing rock.

I say give him a shot. How's his attitude? I tend to shy away from musicians that are hung up on themselves regardless of their talent level.


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#7 Mynameisluka

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:52 AM

Sounds good...how well does his personality fit in?
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#8 Howie

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:01 AM

We auditioned several people. He seemed by far the most simple. We were in a rented rehearsal space that had amps and stuff provided. He walked in with just his guitar and cable, no pedals, and plugged straight into the provided amp (Fender Blues Deluxe, I believe). All of his tone variation was from using the controls on his guitar. He adapted the best to all the styles, I thought.

 

One guy was a classic country player. He did well on the country song, not as well on the others. His tone was kinda one dimensional on everything. Great player and nice guy, but not the right fit.

 

One guy came in with a 6ft long custom pedal board. He probably gave the single best performance of the day on the Petty song, but didn't adapt well at all to the country song. His tone was washed out with effects, and couldn't seem to find the right volume blend. You could barley hear him on some of the recordings.

 

Another guy I already knew, played in a band with him before. Incredibly good player. He did well, but comes with a lot of drama. Also brought in an insane amount of gear for a 3 song audition.

 

 

 

 

As for temperament, he seemed pretty laid back to me. Came in, did the audition, didn't have a ton of questions. He kind of moved around and seemed into it, which tells me his stage presence would be pretty good. Followed up with an email the next day with some video showcasing some other stuff he could do (slide, etc). For some reason, he gave my bandmate a weird vibe. I think he viewed the laid back thing as being unprofessional, like maybe he would bail on a gig last minute or somethign. Tough to tell a person's true personality and fit in a 30 minute audition. 

 

Anyway, bandmate now thinks that he maybe isn't good enough, that we could do better.  Wants to keep working with our current guitarist until we find the perfect fit. Our existing guitarist listened to all the clips and kind of over-critiqued this guy's audition, which I think plays into it.

 

 

Page 3 reveal: current guitarist doesn't really want to leave the band, but told us a while back that he didn't have time for rehearsals due to work and family - like EVER again. Only gigs. We would rehearse new material on our own, then try it out at the gigs. That doesn't really work for me for a band situation, at least not as new as we are. I think he was disappointed we wanted to find someone new. So, while he's a good guy and a personal friend, I think he's kind of hoping we don't find anyone so he can stay in the band. However, we recently played a show where we hadn't rehearsed or played together for about six weeks, and we had become very sloppy. Even friends in the audience commented that our endings were kinda sketchy. 

 

 

We are kind of an unusual format, and while we are booked for some gigs, our schedule isn't full. Myself and my bandmate also play in other bands. So I personally feel like we have some strikes against us to lure in the "perfect" pro player.


Edited by Howie, 13 January 2020 - 10:07 AM.

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#9 tjbsilv

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:13 AM

As far as the non-rehearsal...that works in some situations, but is not my preferred way of doing business. The last band I was in (for five years) never rehearsed nor followed setlists, but we were all very experienced in multiple genres and played out enough to where the show just worked. We played a lot of requests, so setlists weren't really needed. YMMV.


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#10 Mynameisluka

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:50 AM

I have a friend that i think I have told you about that would fit right in with your various styles. Great guy, easy to get along with, music is his number 1 passion. The only thing is he is also a vocalist.
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#11 zymot

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:20 AM

Doing nothing but reading the OP, my first reaction is, "If you have to ask . . . . . ."


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#12 Howie

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 12:28 PM

Doing nothing but reading the OP, my first reaction is, "If you have to ask . . . . . ."


I didn’t need to.
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#13 Howie

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 02:50 PM

We hired him. Thanks for the feedback
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#14 Zaphod_Beeblebrox

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:35 PM

Lol, I have no decent feedback I could have given, but I was pulling for a guy I will never know.
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