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Eight Tips for National Guild Auditions




Ready or not… Within a little more than a day’s gap between the start of the National Guild Auditions, I’m sure all of you are jittery and nervous. Some of you are veterans down for another fight, while others simply don’t know what to expect. Either way, here are some tips that you might find helpful during the actual day.


  1. Wake up and dress accordingly
    Remember be classy and professional. Men—shirts tucked in, suits, nice shoes, not too colorful tie, smart belt. Women—keep your dresses long and below the knees (when you sit down). Tie your hair back and don’t wear heels (difficult to pedal with, unless you’re too cool for this).
  2. Play through your songs and technic in the morning.
    Make sure you can perform in your new clothes. Warm up your fingers with some pieces and their problem areas. If you make a mistake don’t beat yourself up for it. Be calm, be cool. Oh run your hands under warm water to get blood flowing!
  3. Arrive early! Half an hour—one hour! Early is the new on time!
    There are no make ups and if you run late you will be stressed. Don’t expect to be provided with practice rooms.
  4. Formality with the Judge—Greetings 
    When you meet your judge make sure you say hello and smile. You’re friendly, they’re doing you a privilege by listening to you. Be happy and welcoming.
  5. Technique—Accuracy, Clarity, Memory
    Make sure your hands together, are in sync in your scales and arpeggios. Make it consistent and clear. After all your technique shows how skilled you are in performing certain standards. Dynamics are not nearly as important as accuracy and clarity and memory.
  6. Performing—Dynamics, Tempo, Accuracy
    Deep breath! Calm yourself. Make sure to stay on tempo, show your dynamic contrast, and to try to play as accurate as you can. If you do make a mistake, keep going! It looks better, shows that you know how to recover, and the judge might not even notice it! When you’re done, take a deep breath and relax your hands on your lap. Remember, your back should be straight for the most part.
  7. If you happen to forget, make huge mistakes…Skip to the end
    Take a deep breath and try to get as far as you can. If you can’t, pick up on where you do know and keep going. If you absolutely have to, skip to somewhere near the ending and play the last few chords. Always remember the ending, it is better than nothing.
  8. Concluding remarks!
    You’re done now! Make sure the judge is done with writing his/her notes and sit patiently. He/she will tell you when to start the next piece or that you’re done. Thank the judge sincerely.