This is both a skills and knowledge test for intermediate players who are looking to audition for a band. This would be a band who is ready to gig, or has previously gigged…. not a muck around band that only plays 5 tunes in the garage.
THIS IS THE SCENARIO
You look up Gumtree and you see an ad for a Guitar player for a band playing covers and originals. The band wants to work so it plays a variety of material that appeal to a wide variety of age groups.
The band mainly works the pubs and plays a mixture of tunes that range from Nirvana, Greenday, Foo Fighters, and Grunge/punk/alt material..... to Metal and Hard rock (No screamo)..... to Blues/Blues rock and a mixture of classic rock tunes.
You turn up, set up your gear and the band says “let’s just have an easy jam to warm up”.
The chords are below; what scale would work over this/ set of chords?
|: Dm11 C | G Am | Dm11 C | G/B Am :|
RHYTHM GUITAR SKILLS
THEY NOW SAY LET’S DO A SIMPLE GREEN DAY TUNE AS SHOWN BELOW.
They just need you to play a mixture slightly distorted bar and power chords. They can’t be bothered tuning down for one tune so they play it in Ab which suits their vocalist.
Here are the chords, you have 3 seconds to look down the page before they start.
Next they tell you they have just written a song in a similar feel and tempo and would like to see what you can do with it. They scribble the chords out on the back of an old pie packet and you get about 5 seconds to look at the chords before they count in. Fast post punk/power pop style, slightly distorted bar chords. The other guitarist is playing all of the power/5 chords….they want you to play the full bar chords to fill it out.
They are writing a few tunes in a variety of different styles. They give you a simple AC/DC style chord sequence but need you to “soup it up” a bit. What could you come up with on the spot that would make it sound a little more hard rock. You can’t change the basic chords but you can fool around with the voicings.
|: A5 | D5 G5 | A5 | C5 G5 :|
The bass player has come up with an idea for a song based on a Phrygian riff in A. It’s mainly just an A root note played in fast 8th notes with a few fills drawn from the Phrygian scale.
Using your 5th open string as a pedal note….come up with a series of high Power/5 chords from the A phrygian scale that would complement his bass line.
The band does a couple of funk/dance covers that guarantee a packed dance floor. The other rhythm guitarist is singing and only plays a basic A7th vamp.
What kind of 3 or 4 note chords chords could you play over the top that would make the 8 bars on the one A7th chord a lot more interesting? Try and make up a riff based on chords….NO LEAD.
The bands agent books them into a couple of pubs that are known for blues audiences. Although the band is not a blues band the singer guitarist used to play in a blues band, so the band has cobbled together a few blues tunes to keep the blues barflies happy.
The band says “lets just play a 12 bar in A by Robert Cray”. They assume you know how to play a 12 bar so they count in and play.
The singer is playing the basic 2 string runka chunka blues thing….they want you to try and simulate the keyboard part….which is playing 9th and 13th chords. You get to bars 9 & 10 and 11 & 12 and you realise what you are playing is not matching up with what the rest of the band is playing.
What common chord substitutions could be going on here that they assumed you would know about, or pick up?
When the band does these blues pubs it’s quite common for a few well known vocalists to turn up a sing a couple of tunes. One guy often shows up and being a pro, he has some simple chord charts written out for the more complex tunes.
The band decides to try you out on the chords to a BB King tune. It’s a slow 12/8 time gospel blues tune shown below. You have 5 seconds to glance at the chords.
|: C# | C#+ | F# | A# dim |
| C# B Bb E7 | Eb7 |G#7 A7 | G#7 :|
You also have to solo over it…..but one scale doesn’t fit the bill…..how should you approach this solo.
When you audition you never know what could be thrown at you….so you need to be able to analyze a chord sequence and work out the correct scale before you play a note. If you appear to be hunting for the right notes you lose points at an audition.
The chords are below; what scale would work over this/ set of chords? I’m only looking for basic Pentatonic answers here.
|: Dm11 C | G Am | Dm11 C | G/B Am :|
What about this
|: Fmaj7 Em7 | Dm7 Cmaj7 :|
|: A C#m | Bm E7 :|
Slow metal power ballad...Extra brownie points for a more advanced scale on this one
|: Am | G#dim | Dm | Esus E/G# :|
Or this old classic
|: G D | Am | G D | C :|
Famous blues ballad in 6/8…..PLAY THE CHORDS AS WELL
|: Dm7 |Dm7/G |Cmaj7 |Fmaj7 |Bm7b5 |E7#9 | Am | :|
Instrumental by Andy Timmons
|: D | A | Bm | G :|
What about the two jams below….Both based on G….how would you make them sound different. What scales could you use.
Why won’t an A Dorian scale work across this chord sequence?
|: Am G | F G :|
What are the names of the notes on the: 5 seconds to answer
1st string 4th fret
4th string 11 fret
5th string 6th fret
3rd string 15th fret
2nd string 11th fret
1st string 6th fret
2nd string 9th fret
(kindergarten stuff) 5 seconds to answer
What are the notes in the G minor pentatonic scale
What are the notes in a C# minor chord
What is the difference between E7th and E Major 7th
What is the formula used to work out an E7#9 (Hendrix/SRV chord)
What are 3 main chords an the key of Bb
What are the chords in a turnaround in G
You set up head and cabinet.....plug in your guitar and pedals and turn it on. No sound...all volumes are up.
What would be a good check list of fault finding procedures to isolate the problem?
You can't fix the problem....gig starts in 5 minutes......What does your backup rig consist of?
Which of the combinations below would be the most dangerous at a gig?
Water & Scotch
Water & soap
Water & electricity
Why is it not a good idea to use a guitar cable as a speaker lead.
What is the Fletcher Munsen effect.
Is a 100watt amp twice as loud as a 50watt amp.
What is the measurement of wattage that is regarded by musicians as the best indication of the true power of an amp?
Watts: Average, Music power, RMS, True power, Max Power, Peak, Peak to Peak, Cobblers.
In what way does the speaker impedance affect the output power of a solid state amp?
What would be the main advantage of a 100w amp over a 50watt amp.
You have two 8 ohm speakers wired in parallel.....what is the total impedance of this network.
What type of guitar amp (Valve or Solid State) would be undamaged if you forgot to plug the speakers in and turned it
up and played?
Your guitar, pedals, and amp sound awesome at home.......but when you get to rehearsal or a gig you can't hear yourself
no matter how loud you turn up, the sound is lousy with no clarity and a muddy mess. What went wrong?
that's all I can think of at the moment...but I may add more as I get new
Well that's all I can think of at the moment...but I may add more as I get new ideas.
If you could do or answer 80-100% of the quizz you probably shouldn't have bothered......you're probably already gigging anyway.
If you got around 50-70% your almost there! Come and see me.....I'll get you the rest of the way reasonably quickly......no need to bomb out at an audition again!.
If you got less then 50%.....come and get help. You need a program that concentrates on industry level skills.....
* Not favourite bits and pieces of songs and riffs
* Not flashy 8 fingered tapping or the flavour of the month sweep picking lick you found on Youtube.
* Not higher level modal theory that you barely understand...let alone use on the job.
YOU NEED BASIC SKILLS ....GROUND IN TO THE THE POINT WHERE THEY ARE SUBCONSCIOUS AND AUTOMATIC;
THAT WAY YOU WON'T BLOW IT NO MATTER HOW NERVOUS YOU MAY BE.
MOST TEACHERS WON'T DO THIS.....THEY ARE AFRAID YOU'LL GET BORED AND LEAVE.
But I will......I’ll get your playing up to a competent practical standard if you willing to work hard and show some trust.
have many, many students out there in the semi pro and pro
industry who put the work in.....and got the result.
I'VE HAD 30+ YEARS TO GET THIS RIGHT...MY METHODS WORK.....DO YOU HAVE THE DETERMINATION?