Auditions

Auditions for 2017 membership of SYJO and SYJO2  are on now. Prospective members please email to make an appointment. Auditions are held in our St Leonards rehearsal room.

Audition Requirements

Please read and understand the How To Join page first. Please read all of it, including the sections on committment and attitude. Here are some additional details for each ensemble:

SYJO

There are no specific requirements for this band other than excellent sight reading ability. We take the best people who audition. If someone’s playing ability is noticably lower than the average of the group, we won’t take them. Here are a couple of extra guidelines that may help:

  • You must be a jazz musician. This doesn’t mean you have to be a professional player, just that you love jazz, you respect jazz, you want to play jazz, you want to get better at playing jazz, you know a lot about jazz, and you want to be with other people who feel the same way about jazz as you do.
  • You must be able to come to all rehearsals and gigs. If something dreadful ever stops you making a rehearsal or gig it is your responsibility to make sure there is a replacement player of suitable standard covering for you. It is your job to organise them.
  • If you are likely to miss rehearsals whenever uni exams are coming up or you have an assignment due, please don’t ask to join this band. That kind of thing disadvantages at least seventeen other people and you have no right to do that.
  • It is a huge advantage to be an excellent improviser, though not essential. You must be at least competent.

SYJO2

At your audition you will be asked to play one or two things that demonstrate your playing ability. Remember, this is a jazz band so that is what you should play. You should be able to play well, to sight read reasonably well, and to like jazz. Be prepared to answer some questions in your audition that prove that you do actually have an interest in jazz!

  • Have functional sight reading ability. You don’t have to be outstanding at this, yet, because you will improve as a result of rehearsing with the band. But you do need to be reasonably fluent, otherwise you won’t keep up.
  • Know how to play at least major and minor scales up to four flats and four sharps.
  • Have an genuine interest in playing and listening to jazz music. We will ask general jazz knowledge questions at the audition.
  • Be prepared to play one or two short things to give a good idea of your playing level.
  • Trumpet players need to be able to play at least A on top of the staff.
  • Trombone players should be able to play at least up to G above middle C
  • Drummers need to know how to play all common jazz feels and be able to interpret a big band drum part. They need to be able to maintain a steady beat at all dynamic levels. Must know what comping is and be able to do it.
  • Guitarists need to be able to read music and chord symbols. Tablature is never used. Should be able to play movable forms of all common jazz chords and alterations. Should be able to play all major and minor scales plus modes, and so on, in “closed” positions (ie, no open strings). Must be able to play 4 to the bar and comping styles.
  • Bass players need to be able to sight read music and read off chord symbols. Should be able to improvise at least a strong walking bass line, a bossa style line and a rock style bass line from chord symbols at a wide range of speeds. Should be able to play all major and minor scales above first position plus modes and arpeggios.
  • Pianists need to be able to play off chord symbols as well as notation. Must know what comping is and be able to do it.
  • Sax players need to have stable intonation within general playing range and be able to match another instrument’s pitch.
  • Non-standard big band instruments can apply. We’ll consider them based on their ability, apparent potential, genuine interest in jazz music, and attitude.
  • Ability and experience in jazz improvisation are a definite advantage.

SYJO3

(currently not being offered – please contact us to register interest for future updates)

  • Have functional sight reading ability. You don’t have to be outstanding at this, yet, because you will improve as a result of rehearsing with the band.
  • Know how to play at least major and minor scales up to four flats and four sharps.
  • Be prepared to play one or two short things to give a good idea of your playing level.
  • Trumpet players need to be able to play at least G on top of the staff
  • Tromboone players should be able to play at least up to F above middle C
  • Drummers need to know how to play swing, bossa, generic “Latin”, and rock grooves. They need to be able to maintain a steady beat and have at least some LH – RH independence.
  • Guitarists need to be able to read music and chord symbols. Tablature is never used. Should be able to play at least movable forms of major, minor and dominant 7th chords. Should be able to play major and minor scales in “closed” positions (ie, no open strings).
  • Bass players need to be able to sight read music and read off chord symbols. Should be able to improvise at least a simple walking bass line, a bossa style line and a rock style bass line from chord symbols. Should be able to play major and minor scales above first position.
  • Pianists need to be able to play off chord symbols as well as notation.
  • Sax players need to have stable intonation within general playing range and be able to match another instrument’s pitch.
  • Non-standard big band instruments can apply. We’ll consider them based on their ability, apparent potential, genuine interest in jazz music, and attitude.

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