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Audition at the Fair

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sapho
(@sapho)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 133
Topic starter  

OK, audition is coming up in four days. Same deal - 7 minutes, minimum three songs.
I've done this same audition for about eight years.
This year hasn't been easy. I've performed live much less than I usually do. There was a death in the family & I started some new projects that took up my time and attention. Sometimes I tell myself I want a wider dimension life too or 'life gets in the way' of the music and time gets lost doing other things. It's not easy to be obsessed with music like I used to.

I do Folk songs/vocals.

I tend to want to do my 'token' songs - the ones people 'request' from me all the time - the quaint little French or Spanish ballads. But I have never 'won' this competition (it's a points contest & I've never got to the 'cut-off' level - close one year but never over the cut-off limit).

It doesn't really matter that I don't really want the responsibility/license award that comes with 'getting in the cut-off' group. If I do get 'in' it would mean alot of work through-out the year and also 'complying' to alot of rules.

But I'm still the kind of person who always does my best at whatever I do. It's not just judges (a clump of judges) it's also an audience looking to be entertained.

My question is :
In seven minutes, three songs what the h**k can I do to get the judges' attention in a positive way?

I've learned that 'compliance' to the judges' time frames is critical. They do not like it when a performer goes over the limit. Most years I have gone over because I want to finish the song. Afterall, I am singing, and to clip off in the middle of a song just doesn't seem right. One minute before the time is up a man comes up with a big placard with 'One Minute Left' on it.
It is sooooo aggravating.

One guy told me he always finishes before the seven minutes is up.
I will try to do that this year.

I will not try a new song that I'm playing, working on. I noticed many of the classical players do that. They , like me, think it's a continual learning process and somehow feel like introducing a new, favorite song during a high pressure contest.

I do this often in 'low pressure' performances and it seems to add to the enjoyment and easy going delivery of songs and yes, I get to pass the song over a live audience. The audience gets to see a 'genuine' person not a 'shiny, glossy, plastic phoney' all studio trained, fabricated, technical robot.

Since I'm not practiced to the level I usually am I've decided to do three of my own originals. Usually I feel an audience wants to hear a 'familiar' song. Well, you know, you learn this over time that people's ears don't want to listen to something new, really. They enjoy a familiar tune. But my original songs are pretty deep in my head & memory and not likely that I'll make any mistakes and I'm sure that I 'emote' better than while doing a cover tune.

I don't know.
Ok, so any tips. I can take the hardass talk - don't worry.

Portamento - The ability to move from a wrong note to the right one without anyone noticing the original mistake.
Harmonics - The buzzing sound that string instruments make.
Impromptu - A carefully worked out composition.


   
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David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

First, go with the idea of playing two of your own songs. That gives you minutes per song plus a minute's grace time for getting composed or saying something to the audience. One of the two songs should be pretty upbeat and the other can be slow or moderate but both have to be as heartfelt as you can possibly be. The idea is to not hold back and to just let it all out. You can do that with a cover, too, but you've got to really feel you want to from the start and it doesn't sound like you're interested in doing one, so probably best not to go that way.

If possible, pick songs that are interesting in terms of structure and not ones that just have verse, chorus, verse, chorus or (worse) verse, verse, verse, verse. Again, since you've not all that much time to perform having some variety in the song itself will help showcase your talents when you can't count on having enough songs to showcase it for you.

Most of all, have fun and let that show. Make constant eye contact (with judges, with people in the crowd, with everyone) and smile if it's appropriate to the song and the music. If not, just let your own emotions come through.

Don't know if this will help or not (and it assumes a lot since I've not seen you perform and I'm just giving you advice that most people know but still don't incorporate into their playing), but it can help make your performance better.

And keep us posted! Wishing you the best of luck!

Peace


   
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sapho
(@sapho)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 133
Topic starter  

Thnx for yr support, Dave.
I found an online timer, set it to seven min. I fit three songs plus overspill into a fourth. Not sure a joke would go over well in the seventh minute.
All wound up for it tomorrow.

Probably not a good time to change to these new strings - these new kind they claim last longer - comes with extra 'traditional' G string in case I don't like the 'coffee coloured string' (Pro-Arté D'Addario EJ45C - silverplated wound clear nylon).
They warn it takes 3-6 hours to break 'em in. I thought it took about a week before it all settles & stays in tune. ??

Although it's tempting - to make it all sound brighter not so 'clunky'.

Portamento - The ability to move from a wrong note to the right one without anyone noticing the original mistake.
Harmonics - The buzzing sound that string instruments make.
Impromptu - A carefully worked out composition.


   
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David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

Strings can be funny sometimes. But if you change them today (making sure to stretch them as part of the change) and then play for a couple of hours, plus play a little tomorrow before you go, you should be okay.

But don't change them out of nervousness - just to give yourself something else to worry about! If your current strings are more than six months old, then go for it. But you have to be the one who's being honest as to why you want to change them.

Again - go have fun and let everyone else know you're having fun. That's really the best advice I can give you. Try to get unwound and relaxed. The less a big a deal you make it, the better you'll probably play.

Best of luck tomorrow!

Peace

David


   
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sapho
(@sapho)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 133
Topic starter  

I want to confide, spill out every detail - pos & neg - but I won't.
I want to remember the applause of the audience after my third song that took me completely & pleasantly by surprise.
I won't analyze the un-analyzable.

The clump didn't look particularly impressed but I won't know the result for awhile.
I'm not holding my breath but on a personal level I feel it was a success all things considered.

The 'last minute cramming' , dissecting made me see things about the songs I'd missed.
I vowed to myself never to sing those songs again but the next morning I was going over them again, reviewing how they may have sounded.
I sense that I've come into my own somehow with voice and playing style/technique. I'm up there on stage despite everything that's against me.

I promise never to give too much respect to auditions in future.
Disappointment in some of the other 'musicians' in the audience & hanging around - too gross to mention.
Also disappointment in the admin 'clowns' - too petty to mention.

Portamento - The ability to move from a wrong note to the right one without anyone noticing the original mistake.
Harmonics - The buzzing sound that string instruments make.
Impromptu - A carefully worked out composition.


   
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Dan Lasley
(@danlasley)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2118
 

I realize that the purpose of the event is to impress the evaluators, but the "goal" is to please the audience, and you did that.

'Nuff said.


   
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