AUDITION VIDEO PREPARATION

Audition videos need to not only be a demonstration of your best, most prepared playing, but they need to demonstrate that you know how to organize yourself behind the scenes. This organization includes being musically prepared and considering the visual and aural aspects that will come across in the video. In many ways, a video recording should be treated just like an actual audition- you should be prepared to play all of your pieces straight through, and you should consider what you do in the weeks, days, and hours before the recording to set yourself up for success. Here are a few tips:

Recording Logistics

  • location: choose your recording location ahead of time. Go for a solid colored wall in a dry/medium dry acoustic (avoid bathrooms) and practice there often. 
  • equipment: choose your equipment (phone or phone + external microphone).
  • mic placement: if you’ll be using an external microphone, choose the placement ahead of time by doing a few test recordings at different locations.
  • soundproof: let others in your home know when you’ll be recording so that they can silence cell phones and other things that may make noise during the recording session .
  • time: what time of day will you record? when do you have the most energy and the most positive attitude? when do you play your best? do you feel best right after a meal or a few hours later (this is subjective)? 
  • outfit: what will you wear? practice in your outfit.
  • recording day selection: choose three “actual” recording days.
  • setup: setup all of your equipment before you start warming up for the day so that all you need to do is press record when you’re ready.
  • videography: choose how much of yourself will be in the camera shot (need to see your face, instrument, both arms in their entirety, and the full range of your bow (if you’re playing at the frog, the tip should still be in the shot and vice versa).

Practice/Preparation Tips:

  • speaking points: if you are asked to speak during the video, practice your speech many times during practice run throughs. Speaking before you play will affect your heart rate and concentration.
  • continuous play through: consider how you can set up your practicing to be prepared to play all of your pieces straight through- you will not be able to re-do something in the middle of the recording. This will probably involve frequent run throughs in the weeks leading up to the recording.
  • full run throughs: you should start doing full run throughs more than a week in advance
  • practice recordings: for a week leading up to the recording days, do a practice recording every day and save those recordings until the day you submit, in case you end up loving one of them. (this removes a lot of pressure from recording day).
  • variety: be practicing and learning other music while preparing for your recording, so you don’t burn out or over practice the recording piece(s). 

Sample Practice Plan

Week 1
  • -at this point, you should already be familiar with the pieces or have played them before. This is not a good time to learn a brand new piece. If you need to record a brand new piece, you should learn it at-least two months before the recording. 
  • -this is a good time to pull out your piece(s), play through, and make a list of all of the things you’d like to improve before the recording and make a plan for how you’ll improve. 
Week 2
  • you should be able to play through all of your pieces, but not necessarily at the best of your ability yet.
  • keep problem solving.
Week 3
  • daily full play-throughs, assess what is not consistent in a play through and decide how to work on it.
  • pieces should be pretty much up to tempo (but still incorporate plenty of slow practice).
Recording Week
  • materials should be performance ready at the beginning of recording week
  • any improvements in this week should be small refinements or confidence builders (like slow practice).
  • daily run throughs with full recording set-up.
  • actually record your daily run throughs, in-case you’re really happy with a take
  • plan three “actual” recording days to take some of the pressure off, even if you end up choosing a take from a different day.
  • try doing at-least two takes in a row, sometimes we need to work out some nerves on the first one.

Other Notes:

  • this plan is assuming that the audition is extremely important to you and you’d really like to win the opportunity. 
  • This plan is also assuming that you’ve already learned the piece(s) thoroughly and they just need to be refined before the recording. 

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