About 3 weeks ago, I ran across an ad looking for a guitar player for a band in my area. Now, I’ve been LOOKING for a band for a while, but nothing has really grabbed me as the right situation. What I have been looking for is a good, solid hard rock band that wants to be good and play out a bit, but doesn’t want to be ‘rock stars’. So, this ad seems to be something interesting… I emailed my info, and to my surprise, I actually got a call back! After talking with the drummer a bit, it sounded like we were on the same page. Sooo… I get the list of songs that they know. I figure out that out of the 18 that they sent me, I know or can quickly learn about 7 or 8 of them. I was like, "Give me a week or two, and I’ll be ready". Well, I didn’t get my week. I got 4 days! Ok, so now I’m sweating a bit. It takes me a bit to learn songs, as I’ve been WAY out of practice, and am somewhat of a perfectionist. In the end, I have 4 songs ready, and 3 that I can try and ‘wing it’.
The day of the audition rolls around, and everything is good. I’ve worked on all the songs that I have ready, I’d been working with my equipment to get the right sound, and I felt fairly comfortable with the ‘total package’. So, I get there on time and have Surprise #1… as I walk in, there’s another guitar player there! Ack! I’m not a competative person! I like to compete, but having someone right in front of me does NOT help my nervousness… So, I watch the band kick into a couple of songs with this other guitarist. And what really didn’t help was that he is an incredible player! But, my attitude changed while listening to the band. It went from ‘Great, they’re gonna choose him’ to ‘Hey, this band sounds really cool, and even if I don’t make it, I’ll get their name and go out and see them when they play’. I think that put me in a much better frame of mind. Instead of being nervous and uptight, I was feeling a bit relaxed. I still was nervous, but what the heck?
After listening to these guys play two songs REALLY well, it was my turn… Time for Surprise #2… I wasn’t paying attention to my amp setup. Which meant that when I plugged in a control for my amp, I plugged it in the wrong way! I at least get the right ‘basic sound’, then hope like crazy that nothing else goes wrong with the amp. After what seems like forever to me, I finally get all my gear hooked up. My nerves were already wired… And then I notice that the other guitar player is gonna hang around. Whoa boy… I’m feeling like ‘ugh, this is NOT gonna go well’. The songs I have ready are a couple of ‘guitar hero’ type songs… play’em right, they sound great, miss ANYTHING, and it’s bad and noticable.
We start off with a couple of easy, ‘couldn’t forget if I tried’ kinda songs. They went reasonably well. I played my tricky parts good enough to make me happy, even though I felt VERY stiff. I did the 4 songs that I had totally prepared. They asked if I had anything else ready, and I said, I’ve got 1 more, but it probably won’t be right. We played it anyway… and the energy level went UP a couple of notches! I missed 1 little part, but the band didn’t stop, and I caught back up immediately. Was there anything more that I could play? "Well, I know the main lick to one song, and can fake the rest"… we kick into that song, and I’m relaxed, and having fun. Who cares if I screw it up? I gave them lower expectations for it… And it went really well! It was a fun jam… Last song…the singer wasn’t wanted to do it, so someone offered to speak the words… well, we kicked off into the song, and the singer was like, to heck with it, it sounds good, I’ll sing it! And it went VERY well!
So, after all the worries, nevrousness, and everything what was the outcome? The band asked BOTH of the guitar players to join! So, I’ve got a band now!