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Guitar Audition Requirements

School of Music guitar audition requirements vary based on the degree program you are interested in pursuing.

Jazz Emphasis and Jazz Minor:

Guitar applicants for the Jazz Performance major must perform two jazz standards of contrasting tempos and styles (e.g. ballad, medium swing, up-tempo, bossa nova). Applicants must state the melody of the standard tune and then improvise on the full song form at least one time through.

For the Jazz Performance audition, applicants may choose to perform the tunes in any combination of the following ways:

  1. Solo guitar arrangement with no accompaniment (chords, bass notes, and melody covered at the same time). This is the most challenging setting of the three options, as the applicant will still be expected to improvise on the form of the tune.
  2. Accompanied by one (1) additional performer on one of the following rhythm instruments: piano, guitar, or bass. Accompanists are not provided by the school, so if the applicant wishes to perform with a live accompanist they must make arrangements to bring one in themselves.
  3. Accompanied by a pre-recorded backing track (such as the play-along Aebersold CDs or the iReal Pro app). The applicant must provide their own backing track and the school will provide a stereo system for playback.

Music Therapy, Music Industry, Music Education, Composition, Music Minors, and all other non-performance tracks:

Guitar applicants for Music Therapy, Music Industry, Music Education and Composition majors, Music minors, and all other non-performance tracks must perform two pieces of contrasting styles that showcase their ability as a guitarist.

We suggest that applicants select pieces that "stand alone" as solo material rather than guitar parts taken out of the context of an ensemble recording. The selection of classical, jazz, or folk finger-style repertoire is highly encouraged; although other styles are acceptable too.

Keep in mind that the school does not provide accompanists, so if an applicant requires accompaniment for their audition pieces, it must be in the form of a pre-recorded backing track, provided on a CD or MP3 player by the applicant. The school will provide a stereo system for playback.

Remember to select pieces that showcase some or all of the following: guitar technique, ability to improvise, and solid timekeeping. Applicants may sing while playing their selections as long as the main purpose is to show off their guitar skills.