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You’re Always Auditioning by Jonathan Moody

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Sunday night finished a three-week theatre run with a very diverse group of people in the pit. The rhythm section was comprised of “veterans” in the area, all of whom I’ve played with for many years; three of us had also played the show before. The horn and reed parts were all comprised of students from the local University. Monday morning found an email from the Music Director to me, asking my opinion on the musicians in the pit. Also included on the email list was the pianist from the show.

It bears mentioning that, while this Music Director is a “new guy” in town, he has just taken a position in the Musical Theatre program at the same University the students attend, as well as the current Music Director of a very talented, energetic (and dare I say well-paying) Summerstock theatre. The pianist in question is also a Music Director in town that has been directing for over 10 years. While the guitarist was not on the email list, he is also the Musician Liason at another local Summerstock theatre, hiring all of the musicians for the visiting Music Director.

Myself? I’m just a guy that plays with almost every single Music Director in town, as well as an unofficial consultant to directors when they find themselves with a couple holes to fill in their pit lineup.

Very quickly the three of us agreed on who would get hired again (sadly, a small list), who might get hired if there was no other option (a smaller list) and who not to hire (the longest list of the three). What they did or didn’t do isn’t important at this point. The point is that these students just failed an audition that they’ll probably never find out.

Simply put, you are always auditioning. You will never – NEVER – know who is watching or listening to you play. Therefore, if you are not conducting yourself in a professional manner on and off the gig, you run the risk of losing possible future gigs from people you may have never given a second thought to. I’m amazed that I still get comments from people on Facebook talking about my gigs with a former band… that I left over seven years ago. You never know who in the audience or right next to you, will remember something and talk to someone else.

Especially in the area of musical theatre, word of mouth recommendations hold a lot of weight; there is no time to hold formal auditions for musicians. So, MDs rely on musicians they trust to recommend like-minded musicians to fill gaps and holes. As previously stated, MDs then talk with the same musicians after the show to go over who worked out and who didn’t. In the end, the ones that didn’t cut it don’t find out; they’re just at home on a Friday wondering why all of their friends got gigs.

So, while it calls for another article entirely, here’s my quick list of criteria that I look for in musicians. Yes, these should all be common sense, but sadly they bear repeating.

• Show up on time. That means if your rehearsal starts at 5pm, you are there and ready to play. If you have a lot of gear, show up early to load in and set up.

• Do your job. I realize that some parts may seem below you (and trust me, the 1-5 pattern in “Oklahoma!” gets old really quickly) and playing something else may be more exciting, but you accepted the gig as it was. Don’t screw around because you’re bored.

• Be prepared. Know what you’re supposed to be playing and be able to do it well. If there are challenging parts, work on them. One mistake is acceptable; the same repeated mistake is not.

• Have a good attitude. It really speaks for itself.

Especially in this day and age, the saying of “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” rings true. Showing up late, being unprepared and screwing around, having a poor attitude are all things that scream, “Don’t hire me again” when people mention your name. A little common sense can’t guarantee that you’ll land more gigs, but it will make sure that when people start talking about you, they’re doing it for the right reasons.

Bass Videos

Working-Class Zeros: Episode #3 – John Patitucci IG Video, The Summer Festival Gig, iPads on Stage

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WORKING-CLASS ZEROS With Steve Rosati and Shawn Cav

In this episode we cover John Patitucci’s IG video about saying ‘no’ to the gig, the Summer Festival gig, and iPads on stage (sure it’s awesome but is it necessary?)

These stories from the front are with real-life, day-to-day musicians who deal with work life and gigging and how they make it work out. Each month, topics may include… the kind of gigs you get, the money, dealing with less-than-ideal rooms, as well as the gear you need to get the job done… and the list goes on from there.” – Steve the Bass Guy and Shawn Cav

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Curly Hendo

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Interview Wity Bassist Curly Hendo

Bassist Curly Hendo…

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, bassist Curly Hendo has been super busy. Starting with dance from a young age, Curly took up bass shortly after and has been going strong ever since. She has collaborated with numerous acts worldwide and is an in-demand session/touring bassist and musical director.

Join me as we learn about Curly’s musical journey, how she gets her sound, and her plans for a very bright future.

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @jermsbass @degierguitars @meridian_guitars @xvector_basses @marleaux_bassguitars @mattissonbass @alesvychodilbasses @gvguitars @thebassplace @xylembassguitar

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at danielbenmortiz.com/

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Gear News

New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Dual Compressor/Effects Loop

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New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Duel Compressor/Effects Loop

Step Into X2C With Phil Jones Bass Dual Compressor/Effects Loop…

Phil Jones Bass latest pedal innovation is the X2C Dual Compressor with Dual Effects Loop for performance and recording. The X2C incorporates advanced compressor circuit technology and provides comprehensive tone control with a dual crossover feature which divides the signal into frequency bands ranging from 100Hz to 500Hz, ensuring exceptional clarity and dynamics in tone refinement. 

With insert jacks on each band, the X2C unlocks limitless creativity, enabling players to use various FX pedals for custom tone sculpting. Additionally, it functions as an electronic crossover, ideal for driving high-performance, 2-way bass rigs.

PJB’s Dual-Band compression design is more flexible than standard single-band compressors and provides a more natural and transparent sound. It also provides greater control over shaping and managing dynamics where standard compressors affect the entire frequency spectrum of an audio signal.  

PJB’s dual compressor enables the player to shape specific frequency ranges of an audio signal which allows for compressing the low frequencies while preserving the high frequencies, or vice-versa. Treating the low-end with a dedicated band also allows for heavy compression without affecting the midrange frequencies, which carry the attack of the sound. 

Effects can be plugged into the insert jacks on the X2C and controlled separately. As an example, the lows can be adjusted separately for an overdrive pedal while the highs can be controlled for a chorus. 

Dividing the audio spectrum into fundamental frequencies and harmonics is also effective in the enrichment of slapping techniques. The low frequencies can be compressed without changing the dynamics of the “slap”. By controlling the low frequencies and focusing the attack on the slap the amplifier will sound louder while avoiding overloading of the amp or speakers. The low band can be compressed without the harmonics being affected. In addition, the send jacks can go to different amplifiers/speakers for a bi-amplification set up.

Compact and potent, the X2C embodies studio-grade excellence, setting a new standard for dynamic processing in an uncompromising, portable pedal. The street price is $359.99.

Visit online at www.pjbworld.com

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