I used to audition new musicians one-on-one, for a soul music band. After that, if I really liked them, I invited the new musician to rehearse with the rest of the band. Is that a common practice?

Some of them argued that it is hard to try anything with only voice and one instrument, or it's not fun to try with a backtrack. However, I want first to see what kind of people they are before joining the rest of the band.

What's the common practice? Do usually band audition with the entire band or one-on-one?


2 Answers 2


Playing without the rest of the band? I'd walk away from it. It's a two way thing. While you want to know how the prospective player works, they also want to know how the rest of the band works. All very well trying out someone on a one to one basis, where they have little to blend in with or work off, but see it from their side too.

Some of the bands I've 'joined' and gigged with, there's not even been a rehearsal, let alone an audition. but they're reading bands, so the situation is maybe far different from yours. Others have had numerous rehearsals, including the introductory one - with the full band. Sometimes there's been a list of stuff a week before, sometimes I don't know until the practice.

And why do you think your view matters more than the other players? 'Cos it's your band? That's all very well, but may backfire when the drummer or another member decides he doesn't get on with the new member, either musically or personality wise. Then it's look for a new drummer time!

There are, as Carl indicates, no 'normal' practice with prospective new members, mainly as there are so many different types of bands, groups, orchestras, etc, with huge differences in how and what they play, and how they rehearse. Although for a mainstream soul band, with maybe 8 or so players, I'd always go for a full band first play - horn players would need to have the others playing at the same time anyway.


You might be interested to know how auditions go for positions in symphony orchestras. In most, but not all, cases, applicants perform solo or with a piano accompanist for a couple rounds. If they are selected, they are on a "trial" basis for a year or so before being granted the equivalent of tenure.
There are cases where an orchestra may be courting a specific player, and they go straight to playing full-orchestra rehearsals to see how the sounds and styles blend.

There is no common practice for any group of any size. If you know a player well (either personally or by attending their performances), you might consider whether a solo audition will tell you anything.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.