Audition results

Last week, I mentioned I had another audition. It went fine, I suppose. I was asked to come back next week and they were all pretty excited to have "low end" in their sound again.

That's the good stuff. Now for the not so good.

I wasn't a fan of anything they were playing. For me to really be happy in a band, I need to first off be a fan. It just wasn't easy to listen to with the songs changing keys from D minor to F minor to Eb minor to C# minor to E minor to C minor all in the same song. Yes, that's everything chromatically from C to F in one song done as key changes. The rhythm guitar and keys changed that much, but the lead seemed to be stuck in the same scale the whole day.

I didn't feel any of it as a result. I admit, I sometimes write stuff that's sketchy theory wise, but it's usually for a reason (adding some tension, transitioning, etc.) and not just because we had played four bars in one key already so it was time to change. Mark taught me well not to change just for the sake of change, and that the majority of changes should stay in the same key but perhaps just a quick change of root (and mode) to stay in the same scale but give it some sonic difference.

It was loud. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people think that hearing the drums in a practice setting means everyone else in the band is too quiet. This was a small practice room at Guitar Center, and my ears are still ringing a couple days later.

GC's supplied bass amp sucked. Yes, it was an Acoustic head with a decent 8x10 cab, but it sounded as if something was blown. No matter how low I turned the gain while plugged into the side of the head labeled "active" instead of "passive", it would still distort badly, but usually as the sound was fading out and not as it was at it's peak. Specific notes were the worst offenders (C# & F#), but lower volumes on any of the notes could cause problems. I guess that's fine if you don't play with any dynamics, but that leads to my next point.

There were no dynamics. It was all just one volume... super loud. I got the whole thing recorded with my phone and an external mic that could handle the input levels, but looking at the waveform it looked like one of those nasty, super compressed mastered tracks. Loudness wars for sure, but not in a good way.

Anyway, my final assessment is that I'm probably not looking for what they have going. Perhaps I'm too picky, but I think I've earned the right to be picky to some extent. I've paid my dues playing with bands that I wasn't totally happy with, so I'm going to wait for the right band this time - or start the right band - so I'm not wasting more years with people and bands that don't meet my expectations.

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