Guitar Audition Fails

I spent the first fifteen years of my adult life (and several years of my non-adult life) co-leading various rock and roll bands with my brother. In that time, we auditioned quite a few musicians, mostly guitar players. For whatever reason, that was always the biggest revolving door in our lineup. For every guy we hired (they were always guys back then) we probably interviewed and/or auditioned twenty more. We learned to watch for things they might say that would immediately disqualify them. Herewith a personal list, with translations for non-musicians:


Top Ten Things Guitar Players Say That Will End The Audition

10. I graduated from the Guitar Institute of Technology.
Translation: You have recently learned how to play a lot of scales very fast but have yet to develop any personal style or sense of taste.

9. I don’t use any effects, ’cause they’re bullshit.
Translation: You’re a techno-purist. You’re also a cheapskate. Okay if you’re Steve Cropper.

8. I play jazz. I shouldn’t have any trouble with your stuff
Translation: You will try to make all our songs into jazz songs. Neither of us will be happy about this.

7. I know a guy who works with name of the biggest band in town
Translation: You met a guy once who knows a guy who used to be a roadie for name of the biggest band in town. Yeah, I’ve met him too.

6. I never worked with a real drummer before
Translation: You have your own unique sense of rhythm that doesn’t involve regular time. Or you’ve only played with a drum machine in which case your rhythm will be so regular our drummer will throw sticks at you.

5. I can’t really play at a lower volume
Translation: You only have one sound/tone and we’re hearing it. You’ve never played an acoustic guitar

4. I can play the Blues. Sure. They’re easy.
Translation: Shows a lack of respect. You’ve learned the notes but not the feeling.

3. I don’t really play rhythm guitar
Translation: We’re not looking for Ritchie Blackmore, unless you’re actually him.

2. I’m looking for a band with a record contract
Translation: And we’re looking for a guitar player without any ego.

1. I wrote a song I think you guys should play
Translation: That’s nice. Let’s see if you can last three months as our guitar-player first

Heard any other good ones? Feel free to add drummers, keyboard players, etc to the list. This is an equal opportunity snark zone.

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