Do Your Research
Try to get to know what the band is like before you meet them. This could be through checking out interviews, videos, social media, etc. If applicable, it might be worth finding out why the previous member left, whom you are replacing.
The band may very well have tour dates already in the calendar, so it’d be good to make sure that you can be available for those.
Be Well Prepared
There’s nothing like preparation when it comes to any type of audition or exam. It’s the single most effective way of ensuring your success. Knowing the material that you have been asked to prepare is an expectation that you don’t want to miss. Being able to play the songs from memory is a sure sign of preparedness. If you haven’t received anything specific from the band to prepare, then be sure to ask. Another thing to ask is if you need to bring any equipment with you, apart from your instrument. If your instrument needs cleaning, set up or its strings need changing, then this is a good time to do that.
Have everything ready to go in time for when you need to on the day.
Not just musically, but being able to get yourself to the audition on time, if not early. Check the route to the venue and set off with time to spare. You don’t want to have the band hanging around for you, especially if they’re paying for the rehearsal room and have other people to audition afterwards.
This will also give you enough time to warm up before the audition. You might not get a lot of time in front of the band, so be ready when your slot comes up.
Swift and clear communication can make all the difference before you’ve even met the band you are auditioning for. It demonstrates a quality of reliability, which is very important trait to have in a band.
Often, the band leader will be coordinating with numerous people in order to organise rehearsals and gigs, etc., so being the one who always comes back quickly comes across as professional.
Another quality that a lot of bands look for in a fellow musician is that of being able to get along with the other band members. Being likeable or at least amicable is an indication of what it might be like to work with you in the future.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel as though you gel with the band. There will be plenty more bands that are looking for someone like you. It will be better for everyone, including you, if you can join a band that you easily get along with. The chances are that you’ll be spending a lot of time with them, especially when touring, which is when tensions can start to creep in.
Being able to jam (and have fun!) with other musicians at an audition is a great skill to have. Improvising a solo can leave a memorable performance in the minds of the band you’re auditioning for. Sometimes you never know quite what the band will ask of you, so be prepared to showcase your skills. If it happens naturally, then having a quick jam with another band member before the audition officially starts could sway their perception of you.
Dress to Impress
How you look is almost as important to how you sound...! People will remember your audition if you are dressed stylishly and look the part. Band image is a very important factor for a band to consider. Tweaking your outfit to fit in with the band’s image might be the thing that makes you stand out.
If necessary, before you even go to the audition, it’s best to make sure that your motivation for joining the band lines up with the band’s. Check out our other post about band motivation.
Cultivate Your Confidence
Confidence can be something that grows over time. The more auditions that you go for, the more used to them you’ll be, and they’ll become easier. Try to come across as being confident (but not arrogant!) when you audition, as it shows experience. To be confident in what you know, the best way takes us back to an earlier point on being well prepared.
If you don’t hear back from the band again after your audition, never mind! So long as you learn something from your experience, you’ll have a better chance at the next one. Keep on top of your skills by taking lessons and get more helpful insight and tips from a teacher: