As a music school, here at ACM we know all about music auditions. An audition is the one moment within a musician’s career that can sometimes count above all else. At a gig, a musician will perform to a room of (usually) non-judgemental strangers, with the occasional inclusion of an industry professional secretively dusting through the crowd in search of new talent. At an audition, you know these important individuals will be in attendance, and if all goes well, that they’ll be the ones to hand you the key to open the doors onto the next stage of your career.
Where a gig performance helps you to shape your craft, the audition is the moment of reveal; you’ll receive integral feedback, honest opinions and perhaps even new and exciting opportunities. In other words, it’s very important that you make the appropriate arrangements to ensure you are fully prepared. At ACM, we provide many chances for students to show off their talent, such as the recent DECCA auditions where some of our very talented musicians performed in front of the prestigious record label; the industry home to many acclaimed artists such as Gregory Porter, Jeff Goldblum, and Seal.
Here are some tips on how to tackle auditions to help you come away with the best possible results:
First and Foremost – Are You Feeling Content?
Possibly the most important tip when it comes to preparing for any significant occasion is the practice of good wellbeing. Make sure you get enough sleep, have eaten a healthy, light meal before hand (you don’t want to be giving your best with a full English weighing you down!) and have taken the time to feel mentally content. Generally, mindfulness is a vital component to a healthy existence, so why not make sure you take a few moments within your week to focus on your breathing, analyse your feelings, cut out the noise of negative thinking and meditate, meditate, meditate!
Professionalism Is Key
If it’s an A&R panel that you are performing in front of, it will consist of fully-fledged industry professionals. Although they don’t expect you to be as polished and refined as an artist who has been working within the business for some time, they do expect you to show the potential of an performer who can be easily developed and molded into something of a true professional. In other words, make sure you play the part and dazzle them with how ready you are – this is basically a job interview, so approach it in the same context!
Dress For The Job You Want
Let’s face it – no one wants to see you strut the stage like a rockstar but still in your sweat-stained work clothes you quickly picked up from your floor-drobe that morning! This tip goes hand in hand with the previous, so lose yourself in the illusion of stardom in every possible way.
Even if you don’t feel it. Be yourself and don’t let negative thoughts or self doubt overpower you during the audition. Just remember you have nothing to lose, and only good can come from the experience. Make yourself approachable, be kind, respectful, and make it clear to the individuals who are auditioning you that you are someone who could be easy to work with.
Do Your Research
It’s always worth researching the auditioners. Whether it’s the participants within an A&R panel, or the members within the band you’re aiming to work with, always know who your audience is and work it to your advantage. Does the lead vocalist specialise in hip-hop but also have a undivided love for Radiohead? Slip in some Radiohead into your audition. Go the extra mile.
As previously mentioned within the first step, preparation is key to ensuring a smooth audition. However the most basic tip of course, aside from mental preparation, is to make sure you are fully, physically rehearsed. Being entirely knowledgeable of what you plan to do in your audition will reduce any chance of performance anxiety. Of course these feelings are always natural and to be expected, so make sure you read ACM’s guide to combating performance anxiety for extra support. If you’re thoroughly prepared, muscle memory will take over, and the only thing you have left to do is perform, rather than focus on the technicalities of your performance.
Be Ready For Anything
Be ready and be hungry. But also, don’t focus too much on the “what if’s”. Recognise that you can only perform to the best of your ability, and even if you don’t receive the results you were looking for, this is only a learning curve. To be rejected is not a life-long statement. Return back to the fretboard, mixing desk or whatever instrument you do best (also why not check out ACM’s impressive range of instrumental music courses), and get in as much practice as you can for the next time round. Maybe today wasn’t your day, or maybe today your style wasn’t what they were looking for. You never know what the next audition might bring!
We hope you have enjoyed reading our tips and that they have helped you with your preparation. Happy auditioning and good luck!
If you’d like to learn more about how you can get access to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and auditions, come along to one of ACM’s Open Days.