Congratulations on landing that audition! It’s time to get to work!
Getting your foot through the door is just the first step. You need to be ready to dazzle once you enter that room. This is what you need to now to make sure you give an awesome impression during your audition.
Be Honest About Your Skills
Are you really at the level of the band? Sometimes it’s hard to accept that you need a little more practice and experience, but it can save you from making a fool of yourself or leaving a bad impression. This is when you have to be really objective and assess the level of the band against your own. If you can’t comfortably play their songs, you might not be ready.
Really Know the Material
You need to study the band you’re auditioning for. It’s not just about learning the chords. Notice the way they play, study the kind of environment they create with their songs. If you can, watch them live before performing. If they have no upcoming gigs, look online for fan videos or old recording. To really stand out, you should also learn a couple of songs beyond of what they asked you to. Do your homework and then the extra credit.
Learn to Calm Your Nerves
Drink some tea, meditate, breathe, punch a pillow. Do whatever you have to do to keep your nerves from sabotaging your audition. Just don’t make it worse by taking some nerve pills or hitting the bottle a little too much, it will just make you sloppy and drowsy.
Dress the Part
An audition is just like a job interview. Just like you wouldn’t wear flip-flops when interviewing for an administrative position, you shouldn’t show up to an audition in a suit and tie. Don’t overdo it either, though. There’s no need to go full-on rockstar. Dress as if you were playing a venue and then take it down a notch.
You’ll be in a room full of your peers. Even if you don’t get picked, you want to make a good impression because these are the people that can still get you your next gig. Make sure you get there on time, know your way around your equipment (no fumbling around with cables), always keep playing, and treat everyone with respect. Generally, learn about good auditioning etiquette.
Expect Some Jamming
Jamming during auditions is normal. Some bands want to see the kind of chemistry they have with you, others want to see your personality come through your instrument. A jam session allows them to gauge both of those things as you’ll be expected to show your more creative (yet cooperative) side.
Above all, don’t be afraid to show off your style. A band is not going to pick you just because you can play their songs perfectly (though not doing so is definitely a reason not to pick you), they are also going to be looking for a personality fit. Show them who you are and the kind of show they can expect from you!