Audition for band

by Lorenzo

Hi, I'm in 8th grade and I have to audition for band as a freshman. What are the clarinet fundamentals and major scales that you think the band director will ask me?


Hello Lorenzo,

Many apologies for the late reply. I'm sure your audition is long past. However, the answer to this question is timeless and you can use it for future auditions.

Clarinet fundamentals cover a large range of topics like: Correct Embouchure, Correct Articulation, Correct Hand Position, Correct Air Support, etc… You will find the best collection of advice on these fundamentals at Free Online Clarinet Lessons.

Auditions like this typically have three parts: Scales, a Prepared Exercise, and Sight-reading.

1. Scales - memorize your 12 major scales and chromatic scale. Knowing your scales from heart will give you a major, no pun intended, advantage over your competition. Even better, know the scales two octaves, and even best, know the E, F, Gb,and G scales three octaves.

The chromatic scale is often overlooked in importance. At the eighth grade level, low E to high C (two ledger lines above the staff), is a good range. It would be best to know up to high G (fourth ledger line above the staff).

It is my opinion that scales, on any audition, are free points. There is no excuse to lose points for scales. However, I will tell you that many auditionees do not take scales seriously. Knowing the scales will improve your Prepared Exercise and improve your chances of Sight-Reading well.

2. A Prepared Exercise is a small piece of music or an etude that your teacher chooses for you to prepare specifically for an audition. The test of this piece is to see how well-prepared you will come to band. It is likely this piece will be harder than a piece you could sight-read well.

3. Sight-reading is the ultimate test of any musician. The Band Director puts a piece in front of you that you've never seen. You have to play your way through it the best you can. Check here for numerous tips on Sight-reading.

The ultimate goal of sight-reading well is to sit-down, look at the piece for a minute or two, and then play the heck out of it with the correct tempo, notes, rhythms, dynamics, and musical style. One other great trait, sell-it or play with heart!

I hope this helps you on your next audition!


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