Guitar Auditions Audition Requirements for Guitar Majors

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1 Guitar Auditions Audition equirements for Guitar Majors The McNally Smith College of Music Guitar Department wants each prospective student to be as prepared as possible for his or her audition. The primary goal of the audition is to make sure each freshman has the skills required to thrive at MSCM. Prepare what is in this packet and present it at your audition, or make a video recording if you are unable to audition at McNally Smith or at one of our off- site audition locations. It is imperative that you practice and prepare with a metronome. You re ability to play in time with the metronome is a major factor in the audition scoring. Speed is not important but good solid timing is. The audition has six sections. Scales must be played with a metronome at the audition (or on the video). Other sections of the audition will have recorded backing tracks for you to play with. 1

2 The scales and chords on the audition require that you memorize the notes on (at least) the 5th and 6th strings of the guitar. E A D G B E F Bb F# Gb G C G# C# Ab Db A D A# D# Bb Eb B C E F C# F# Db Gb D G D# G# Eb Ab E B A This fretboard shows the note names on the 5th and 6th string. oots of scales, chords, and arpeggios occur on these strings. The notes can be found on other strings using octave shapes. 12th fret 2

3 All scales, chords, and apreggios are built around the following 5 octave shapes, containing either 2 or 3 roots within a position. Pattern/Octave Shape I Pattern/Octave Shape II Pattern/Octave Shape III Pattern/Octave Shape IV Pattern/Octave Shape V 3

4 The chords and scales in sections 1 and 2 should be memorized. The instructor will ask you to play each chord from a different root.* Section 1 Chord Knowledge Barre Chords Be able to play the following barre chords: Open Chords Be able to play each of these open string chords: 4

5 Moveable 7 th Chords Be able to play the following moveable 7 th chords: If this is a video audition, play the following chords Barre Chords: o Bb Major with the root on the 6th string o F# Minor, with the root on the 6th string o E Major, with the root on the 5th string o C# Minor, with the root on the 5th string Moveable 7th Chords: o A Major 7, root on 6th string o C Dominant 7, root on the 6th string o G Minor 7, root on the 6th string o B Minor 7(b5), root on the 6th string o C Major 7, root on the 5th string o E Dominant 7, root on the 5th string o Bb Minor 7, root on the 5th string o F Minor 7(b5), root on the 5th string 5

6 Section 2 Scale Knowledge Play the following scales ascending from the lowest to the highest note and then descending from highest to lowest note. Use alternate picking (down, up, down, up etc.) playing 8 th notes with a metronome. Downbeats (down strokes) should coincide with the click of the metronome and upbeats (upstrokes) should be in between the clicks of the metronome. Practice these scales with the metronome set on 80 beats per minute (bpm). The tonic (name of the scale) for each scale is on the low E string. Practice in all keys. The instructor will choose a different key for each scale. If this is a video audition, play the following scales, all beginning with the root on the 6th string: o Bb Minor Pentatonic o F Blues o A Natural Minor o C Major Pentatonic o G Major 6

7 Section 3 hythm Guitar There are five rhythm guitar examples written below representing different styles. Each has two corresponding audio tracks; one with the example being played on guitar along with the bass and drums and the other track with no guitar. Play each example as much like the audio examples as possible. If some of the chords are new to you, refer to the diagrams written above the staff. 7

8 Section 4 Improvisation There are three improvisation chord progression examples written below representing minor, major and blues tonalities. Each has a minus- one audio track to accompany you. Your goal should be to play clean solo phrases, in time, in the right key and be as musical as possible demonstrating the articulation devices you know (bends, hammer- ons, pull- offs, slides). You may use a clean or distorted sound. Your solos do not need to be complex or technically impressive. We want to hear your ability to invent phrases and play musically in time. It is acceptable to pre- plan solos if you prefer. Keep your solos fairly short on the minor and major examples. Play two times through the blues progression. 8

9 Section 5 - Sight eading Single Line & Chord Chart Do not be intimidated by this section. Most guitarists don t read well (or at all) at first. If you are able to work the following examples out, it will indicate to us that you have the ability to find written notes and chords on the guitar. If you are unable to play the following examples, it will not prevent you from being accepted into the program. Your success here will not determine your placement in reading classes. You will still need to take a sight reading exam before the start of your first semester if you want to be placed in a class beyond level one. You can prepare by buying any beginning reading book for guitar and working through as much as you can in advance. A good book to work through is Music eading for Guitar by David Oakes published by Hal Leonard. It is available online. On the following examples, tempo is not indicated, because the student must determine the speed they are capable of reading each passage. Evenness of tempo is MUCH more important than speed. 1) An example of what might be played toward the end of your first semester (a key signature with two sharps, leaps/arpeggio figures, and a variety of rhythms - this example can be played entirely in 2nd position, but you may play it wherever you can find it, for now): 2) An example of a chord chart (many chord charts are little more than the rhythm guitar examples above, in section 3; this example requires chord knowledge and has rhythmic figures, with single notes mixed in): 9

10 Section 6 Prepared Piece Your prepared piece should demonstrate your musicality. You have two choices for this section: 1. Prepare a 2 to 3- minute solo guitar piece that you can perform for the audition instructor. This could be a classical guitar piece, a jazz chord melody or a finger- style tune. It should stand alone without accompaniment. 2. Prepare a 2 to 3- minute piece to perform with a backing track. This can be any genre. You must provide the backing track and the audio device to play it on with a 1/8 inch stereo output jack for the audition instructor to connect with our playback system. Video Auditions - pay attention to balance on this section and others with backing tracks. We want to hear your instrument clearly, but still hear the "band" you are fronting. Typically an audition is 45 minutes long. There is time at the start for the audition instructor and you to get acquainted and for you to get comfortable with your surroundings. Do not bring extra equipment. All you need is your electric guitar and a chord. You may also bring an acoustic or classical guitar for your prepared piece. 10

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