View Full Version : Berklee!?!?!?

05-23-2002, 05:47 AM
I plan on audtioning for a Berklee scholarship. Can anyone tell me anything about the auditions? My pinciple is guitar. It scares the crap out of me but I think I can do it. Thanks

05-23-2002, 06:15 AM
What's up?

You will be given a sight reading piece, will have roughly 20 mins to practice b4 hand.

You will have to perform song of your choice with or without a band backing you up, your choice also.

Than you will have to do some sort to ear training test where they will play something on the piano and you are suppose to play back on your own instrument.

Play scales at around 100 bpms

And than they will jam with you to c how good your improvisation is.

That's roughly it

Good Luck


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05-23-2002, 01:28 PM
Hi MikewillShred,

First of all I wouln't be scared of the audition - yeah, ok you will be nervouse but try to have fun in the first place.

Second, the better you are prepared the better this thing will go for you.

hehe - I do remember mine - I had a great tune in my bag that noone of the guys I played with knew, so I had to tell them all about how I would like to play the tune. There was one part that I wanted bass and drums to play in stop time (so a rhythmical pattern) but did I know at this time that this is called stop time? nope - well ya can guess that this part wasn't played in stop time.

Again, try to be professional and have fun. Also, lemme say that you should pick a tune that you really like, regarding of style. They rather like to hear a honest solo over one chord, than someone trying to improvise over 'Giant Steps' (no kidding - really happened. Since then we called this guy 'Suicide :-))).

Third, I suggest you prepare some kinda tape / CD (if they request it or not). This alone, if done well, can get you a scholarship.

Well, for sure I am not up to date about what's going on at Berklee but I think these basic rules still apply.

Ah yeah, one more thing: I don't know if I just was lucky but one sightreading test was an example out of a William Leavitt book. As soon as I knew that I will attend Berklee I studied all books by him. Well, this sightreading test went really well :-) Furthermore, this saved me a lot of time and I was able to test out of quite some lessons.

When is your audition?


06-08-2002, 02:38 PM
I taught guitar at Berklee for many years, so maybe I can be of help. I left there about 5 years ago, but I stay in touch with my friends on the faculty so, from what I've heard, things haven't changed much.

There are (were) two kinds of auditions for guitarists. One is for guitar labs, the other for ensembles. Labs are classes of 8 guitars, no other instruments, and are within the guitar dept. Ensembles are -- well, ensembles.

There were required labs for chords and reading, but I think those might have been phased out. I'll check. The guitar audition is to see what your basic knowledge of chords, scales, and reading is, to place you in the right level of lab. Don't sweat it. They will place you where you will be comfortable and where you will learn. They will ask you if you have a piece prepared. You can play a solo piece (classical, rock, original, doesn't matter), bring a tape and play along with it, or ask the teacher to play changes for you. If you don't have anything prepared, they might ask you to jam on a blues.
If you can read a little, or play like hell, they might send you to an ensembe audition. That's what Guni described.

Once again, don't sweat it. It's just to get you into the right level of class.

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06-08-2002, 03:15 PM
Hi Steve,

Yeah, I do remember those tests for the labs - Actually it was you who fired me :D (just kidding). This was pretty relaxed and all.

Tougher were the auditions for the ensembles (an understanding teacher should know that guitarists are the worst readers in the world! hehe) -- still, all relaxed and easy going.

MikewillShread is trying to get a scholarship for Berklee through one of the Scholarship tours. I never attended one of those.

Did you ever participate on one of these tours?


06-08-2002, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by Guni
Hi Steve,

MikewillShread is trying to get a scholarship for Berklee through one of the Scholarship tours. I never attended one of those.

Did you ever participate on one of these tours?


I was never involved in the scholarship tours, but I think the same advice applies.

MikeWillShred -- The teachers want to hear what you do well. If you do get a chance to play with the group, make sure you have sheet music for them. Don't make Guni's mistake and ask them to do anything fancy. :) Do tell them what the arrangement will be -- four bar vamp, then the melody, guitar solo...etc.
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Joćo Paulo
08-03-2002, 05:35 AM

Hello S.Carter!

Can you tell me more?


08-03-2002, 02:27 PM
Well, I think I've pretty much covered it, but if you have questions, I'll be glad to answer.

Generally, you want to show them that you can play a melody (or "head") show them that you can solo, and show them that you can comp. Pick a tune that allows you to show your skills.

It's been 5 years since I taught at Berklee, so I don't know the details of how they do auditions now. But one several of the contributors to this board teach there, so maybe email them directly. I'm sure Bret Wilmott would be glad to give advice.

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Joćo Paulo
08-03-2002, 02:40 PM

Thank you Mr. S.Carter!

04-20-2010, 08:17 PM
Hi everyone!

I plan on auditioning for a scholarship at Berklee as well. And though I play some instruments, what I aim to do is actually sing.. Does anyone know someone who auditioned for the scholarship using the voice as an instrument? How would it be?

I want to do composition, but I was told the auditions are the same for everyone, as the first two years of studying are the same, doesn't matter the course... Is that right?


04-21-2010, 04:06 AM
is it really that hard to get into berklee? I've seen some people's audition videos on youtube. they're decent, but nothing that really blew me out of the water. I'm thinking of perhaps applying after I finish getting my music AFA at community college. is it expensive? are scholarships hard to get? do they care about academic grades at all?