GJCW Placement Auditions

Audition Information

If you are new to GJCW, CLICK HERE to sign up for a placement audition time.

Please know that these placement auditions are not competitive. They are designed to help the directors place you in a combo with other students at or near your playing ability.

We encourage you to download and run through the audition piece(s), posted below, that match your instrument(s); and be sure to read the Tips below.

Horn Players

Rhythm Section (piano, bass, drums, guitar)

If you have improvised before and want to show us where you are in your improvising, we’d also like to hear you improvise over the F (concert) blues or a jazz tune of your choice.

Combo Formation

After the auditions our workshop directors use the following criteria to place students into combos that offer each student the best opportunity for growing as an improviser. Please note that a student’s availability on a specific day and time may end up being the main factor determining his/her combo placement.

  • Availability on a given day/time
  • Improvising experience
  • General abilities to read music and play one’s instrument

Tips on how to prepare for an audition

Horn players

Please be ready to play one of the two pieces linked above. Play through the pieces, count out measures that are hard for you, and work to play with a swing feel.

Piano, vibes, and guitar

Be ready to play the chords for one of the two songs (see the supplemental page for the chords; use the “head” to know when to play each chord). You could hit the chord on beat one of each measure, or if you’re familiar with typical “comping” rhythms, show us that.

Bass players

Be ready to play a bass line, or play what is written on the supplemental page, for one of the tunes. Tip: bass players usually play the chord root on beat one, and, depending on the type of tune, move through scale tones to the next chord.


Be ready to play a swing beat for the blues, or what you would play behind one of the tunes above. Keep it simple. Jazz combos need to hear a steady beat, and, generally, complicated playing confuses the band about where the beat is.

All Musicians

Everyone will be invited to improvise over the F blues (or blues in the key of your choice). If you have never improvised over the blues, your friendly combo directors will help you try it during the session. No worries–the workshop is about learning. 🙂