Getting a gig -- especially a major one -- is a lot tougher these days. Cattle call auditions no longer exist. Audition information is either passed through the grapevine or a person is invited to audition based on past performance and recommendations. This is all premised on one thing. You are not going to hear about anything if you are not on the scene.
You get on the scene by playing and networking. Do the best job you can every time you play. When you meet other musicians, always be professional and confident. Personality carries as much weight as playing ability when a musician is being considered for an audition or gig.
Only audition for gigs that you are interested in. Don't audition for a Progressive Rock Gig if you have no interest in the music. The audition will be over before you finish playing eight bars. Musicians have a great bullshit detector and they will know a "Gunslinger" when they hear it.
Preparation is key. If the artist you are auditioning for has recordings, get them. If that artist is performing live, go and hear them. The most important thing is to bring yourself to the audition. The people who are auditioning you are listening for several things. How well you play is a given. How well you know the music and what you bring to the table musically are the more important factors.
When you are at the audition listen to the music and the oral instructions carefully. This is the artist or group telling you exactly what they expect. This is also the point where you get to audition them. It is here that you will find out if you are dealing with seasoned pros or idiots. This is the point where you get to ask yourself: "Do I want to work with these guys?"
Checking your ego at the door is also important. This Ego thing has several aspects to it. First, you have to have a healthy ego to be in this business. It's ego bordering on conceit and arrogance that will get you get you crossed off the list. Most auditions are recorded and if you are not selected the first time, you may be called the next time or recommended for a different gig. Always look to the future.
The music business is volatile but one thing is certain. Work, common sense and a good attitude can open a lot of doors.
The groove continues...