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So I auditioned for my college's music department today and... - May 22nd 2009, 07:23 PM

I auditioned to get enrolled in a private lesson class for bassists. I asked the guy what would I need to play and he just told me some scales and stuff like that. So I played One Octave Major Pentatonic Scale(G,C, and D7) I played it perfectly, now I understand that it wasn't mind blowing or anything but I nailed it.

Then he busts out something that looks fairly easy to play but says from what he's heard me play I probably can't play it. I take a look at it and honestly I could have played the first few bars had I known ahead of time he wanted me to play something like that(It was something french probably classical?) and I struggled with it after the first measure.

He then tells me I'm not at college level. So I can't enroll in the class and was told to enroll in music theory 101. Fine thats great i probably do need to brush up on my theory I have only been playing for a year or so.

I felt crushed. Like I practiced that scale all day yesterday and I played it perfectly twice for the guy and then he gives me something I didn't even get five minutes to look at. I guess their criteria is someone who can play something on the spot without looking over it for awhile. That's fine but I haven't gotten to the point where I can read music and play it right on the spot I'm not that skilled yet.

I got a little instruction my senior year of high school and I learned the basics(rhythm, meter, note names, etc.) but I never learned any scales or all twelve keys or whatever this guy was telling me. I don't have money for a teacher and I learn off a freaking website.

On my way home I felt like throwing my guitar away and never playing again i was pretty pissed. Now I feel like maybe i can't play jazz or classical but my friends say I have created some good riffs from just jamming or whatever but i feel like i should be able to play scales or something professional.

That audition was all about me trying to be a music major and I failed and I feel horrible about it. Yeah I can keep practicing stuff but I need some guidance, some instruction, some advice. I just lost all my confidence today because I couldn't play at "college level" I will never forget those two words and I will never forget the look on that guys face when I got done playing that scale.
   
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Re: So I auditioned for my college's music department today and... - May 22nd 2009, 09:32 PM

Hey, don't be disheartened. You've only been playing for a year and so it would be very hard for you to be playing at college level.

The thing is that one of the most important skills for a musician, no matter what they play, to have is the ability to sight read and well. That is the skill that the department was testing you on and to be honest five minutes to look over is quite generous, in exams here you get 30 seconds. You just have to play it as well as you can and it's a skill you have to learn.

It sounds like you have the potential to get up to that standard but you need more work. You said you have had no formal training and you said yourself you can't sight read. Why not do music 101? It would defintley improve your technique and your theory ... if you want to be a serious musician, you need to have good theory skills.

No one gets to a high musical standard without practice. My sister achieved her grade 8 oboe last year after having played for 8/9 years. After 1 year you can't expect yourself to be perfect. Go to 101 classes, get a little better then audition again. Don't give up at the first hurdle because you're going to be get rejections for the rest of your life. I know it's hard but if you gave up after every rejection you wouldn't get anywhere.
   
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Re: So I auditioned for my college's music department today and... - May 22nd 2009, 09:38 PM

thanks for replying, yeah sight reading is tough. I just need to practice more so I can play anything in a snap. I need to practice like a mad man and take that theory class. I was upset crying and such because I thought I was good so it was kind of humbling.

I'll just take my frustrations out on music.
   
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Re: So I auditioned for my college's music department today and... - May 22nd 2009, 09:41 PM

Yeah I know, it's tough being brought down a level. Most people have been there at some point in their lives even if it's not about music, but your attitude is the right one to have -- don't give up, make it drive you.

I'm not hugely clued up on string instruments but can you join ... an orchestra? Or similar? My sister is pretty kick ass at sight reading, give her anything and she'll play it through perfectly first time, only because of her experience in wind band & orchestras etc. You tend to just get given the music and have to play so it's great practise.
   
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Re: So I auditioned for my college's music department today and... - May 23rd 2009, 03:53 AM

As a guitarist for roughly 8-9 years (stopped playing for a bit), playing something perfectly on the spot is not considerably easy. I may read some tablature from a magazine to online sheet music for classical music, and I don't get the entire song perfectly in my first try, unless it's something so easy it's silly, however, I don't go for such simple material. Generally, when I look at something brand new, I'll play it slower, go bit by bit, sometimes go for a slightly easier rhythm then use the proper rhythm, etc... . Even professional musicians, no matter how good, have to practice a song over and over again, and even with all that practice, they still may make a mistake.

Sight reading and playing in general just takes practice. I read in various magazines, guitar books, online, and did have a formal teacher, however, the sessions were very short, about 45-50 minutes, once per week. The rest of the week, I'd have to practice myself, and if I didn't practice, then those 45-50 minutes wouldn't do much good.

Go to the music theory 101 class, and don't simply call it quits because of one challenge. You seem to have skill and determination, so keep at it. There's no magical formula to become very good very fast. You need to practice over and over, and know the theory.
   
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Re: So I auditioned for my college's music department today and... - May 23rd 2009, 03:58 AM

Just as another tip, professional artists need to have pretty thick skin. If you're serious about pursuing a career in music, then you need to know you'll have more experiences like this. Even the best musicians get pretty harsh criticisms sometimes, and while you can learn from them, you need to ultimately be able to move past them and still have confidence in yourself. If you can't, a career in the performing arts is not for you.


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"Live a good life.
If there are gods and they are just,
then they will not care how devout you have been,
but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by.
If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them.
If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life
that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."
Marcus Aurelius
   
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Re: So I auditioned for my college's music department today and... - May 24th 2009, 03:17 AM

Thanks a lot guys, I'll take all your advice and keep trying. I think I can do this it will just take some time.
   
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