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Playing an Instrument at An Audition

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Playing an instrument on top of memorizing lines for an audition can be nerve-racking, but if you have a gift for music, there’s a very real possibility you’ll have to keep your instrument of choice in tow and play it for an audience.  Instead of concentrating on how anxiety-provoking this may be, pat yourself on the back for having a stand-out talent.  Change your mindset and use it to your advantage.  Here’s what to expect.

How long have you played? This is a common question for musicians when they’re in the audition room, and regardless of whether you’ve been playing for twenty years to two days, you’ll want to give an honest answer.  Even if you haven’t quite fine tuned your routine, if you opt to be factual up front this will, in turn, up your confidence level when you start to play.  Otherwise, you’ll be focused on the tall tale you’ve just told and unable to concentrate on the tune.

Come prepared. It’s important to have strummed the song once or twice at home prior to engaging with an audience. Make sure you practice ahead of time, so you can work out the kinks and have the confidence to nail a song when it really counts.

Keep it simple. You don’t want to overcomplicate the few minutes you have on stage by adding unnecessary additional equipment or opting for an especially difficult piece to play.  Keep your anticipated performance simple and streamlined, and you’re much more likely to be comfortable when it’s go time.

Just choose one. Along with keeping it simple, if you play more than one instrument, wonderful, but choose only one to showcase at a time.  You can allude to the fact that you play others when you’re asked questions about your musical talent, but you don’t have to cram in a multitude of tools into a short amount of time.  Just focusing on doing one (especially if a particular one is asked for) and doing it well.

Don’t go over time. If you’re allotted a certain number of minutes to give it your all, respect this time and stick with it.  Don’t go over.  If you prepare a 5-minute song but only have two minutes on stage with one minute of play time, you only have two options, and both are not ideal – cut it short or go way over.  This is a bad look.  Come up with something you can perform in the time you are given and play it from start to finish.

Playing an instrument can give you a leg up in entertainment as long as you shine in the spotlight. Practice your routine in advance and try to calm your nerves. Remember, not everyone can do what you can!

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