Jazz Band Audition Requirements

Auditions are scheduled at the Dillard Center for the Arts, 2501 NW 11th St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL on specific dates as scheduled by the Arts faculty.

Applicants may warm up for thirty minutes in an assigned practice room before their auditions. If an applicant is late for the scheduled audition, the audition committee will decide whether or not to hear the audition. The committee is not obliged to hear all the music that an applicant may have prepared nor to give an audition evaluation.

On the day of the scheduled audition, students must demonstrate the ability to read music. Students will be given a sight-reading piece of appropriate grade level and must demonstrate the ability to follow musical direction.

When the student enters the room, he/she will be asked to perform:

a) The specific prepared exercises for their instrument(s) as listed below.

b) A chromatic scale covering the range for their instrument (as listed below.) The scale will be performed in even eighth notes at a minimum tempo of MM quarter note = 144. The scale will be tongued ascending and slurred d descending where applicable. Scale is to be memorized.

c) Seven major scales, (in 2 minutes or less) from memory, complete with arpeggios, at a minimum tempo of MM quarter note = 100. Scales are to be performed a minimum of 2 octaves where possible. Students who wish to play a 3rd octave may do so. All scales must be performed within the allotted time frame. Scales must be performed in complete octaves. The scale pattern is quarter note followed by eight note, with the articulations tongued ascending, and slurred descending. Arpeggios are to be included. (In The Same Manner And Style As The FBA All State Audition Requirements).

The student will be asked to perform scales in their transposed form. Scales will be performed in the following order, starting with the concert key of: G, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, & Db. All instruments should perform scales for at least two octaves and perform a two-octave chromatic scale by memory. Knowledge of minor scales and/or modes is not required, but will enhance audition. Pianists should perform scales two hands with correct fingerings.

d) A short sight - reading exercise(s) to demonstrate the student’s reading ability. The student will have thirty seconds to study the piece before playing it. ( Percussionists must audition on snare and xylophone. Sight - reading will be required in both areas.

What to bring: Guitarists and bassist: bring your instrument and cords. A guitar/bass amp will be provided. Pianists: Piano is provided. Drums; A drum set will be provided. All musicians: Please bring one copy of all music to be performed for the audition panel.

Alto & Bari Sax; Chromatic: 2 octaves from C - Prepared Piece: Billie's Bounce, Play the head w/repeat as written, improv for TWO (2) choruses only (although the sheet music states 4), take the DS after the second chorus, then to coda. Download The Alto & Bari Saxophone Prepared Piece | Download The Accompaniment Track

Tenor Sax; Chromatic: 2 octaves from C - Prepared Piece: Billie's Bounce, Play the head w/repeat as written, improv for TWO (2) choruses only (although the sheet music states 4), take the DS after the second chorus, then to coda. Download The Tenor Saxophone Prepared Piece | Download The Accompaniment Track

Piano; Prepared Piece: Billie's Bounce, Comp the head w/repeat as written, improv for TWO (2) choruses only (although the sheet music states 4), take the DS after the second chorus, then to coda. Download The Piano Prepared Piece | Download The Accompaniment Track

Bass; Prepared Piece: Billie's Bounce, ALL As written. Download The Bass Prepared Piece | The prepared piece will be performed either as a solo or with rhythm section accompaniment.

Trumpet/Baritone TC; Chromatic: 2 octaves from G - Prepared Piece: Billie's Bounce, Play the head w/repeat as written, improv for TWO (2) choruses only (although the sheet music states 4), take the DS after the second chorus, then to coda. Download The Trumpet Prepared Piece | Download The Accompaniment Track

Trombone; Chromatic: 2 octaves from F - Prepared Piece: Billie's Bounce, Play the head w/repeat as written, improv for TWO (2) choruses only over the chord changes for the head, repeat the head, play until the end. Download The Trombone Prepared Piece | Download The Accompaniment Track

Guitar; Prepared Piece: Billie's Bounce, Comp the head w/repeat as written, improv for TWO (2) choruses only (although the sheet music states 4), take the DS after the second chorus, then to coda. Download The Guitar Prepared Piece | Download The Accompaniment Track

Drum Set; Prepared Piece - 32 bar groove with appropriate improvisational fills reflecting each of the following styles:

  • Straight Ahead Swing at 150 bpm
  • Samba or Bossa Nova at 100 - 140 bpm
  • Funk/Gospel at 100 bpm

(See YouTube.com for examples of the above featuring Sonny Payne, Louie Bellson, Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Harvey Mason, Dave Girabaldi)