We had purchased plane tickets to fly across the country, and we had no idea what we were doing.
I was attending my first drum corps audition as a high schooler. My buddy, Nick, and I hadn’t even registered beforehand or gotten the audition packet.
Coming from Texas, I was more distracted by the snow than the pressing concern that we were seeing the warm-up exercises for the first time.
In the end, we received a callback, but it wasn’t pretty. Needless to say, I’ve wisened up a bit since then.
DO THIS INSTEAD
One question asked:
What kind of practice regimen would you recommend we follow between now and then to clean ourselves up and prepare? -Sam
While I explain everyone’s regimen will be different, depending on their individual strengths and weaknesses, there are some general rules of thumb that will be good for anyone:
Practice every day. Each day you’re not moving forward, you’re actually moving backwards.
Schedule your practice time. Be very protective of it, and make sure each minute of it is spent deliberately trying to improve a specific thing.
Video record yourself. Role-play your 10 minute individual audition and evaluate yourself as if you were the tech. Would you give yourself a call back?
Practice as if you’re at the audition. The physical setup of standing behind the drum on a stand, and marking time with a Metronome while you play, but also the performance mindset that you’re in a room in front of 100 other auditionees and 3 techs staring down at you to see what you can do.
Practice with a buddy. Take turns being the “center,” taking on the role of being perfect and lining up with the metronome. The other person’s job is to practice playing clean with the center. Take turns switching roles.
- Make a checklist of the items above, preferably in a practice journal
- Schedule when you’ll be able to practice, record and buddy up with a friend
- No excuses allowed this month; record yourself at least once a week, if not everyday
Thanks for Reading
Video below where I expand on each of the topics. Vets and Teachers – what are your best audition tips?