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School of Music


Jazz Auditions

Jazz students must audition for the jazz faculty, but are also expected to play for the teachers of your primary instrument [applied area].

Contact the appropriate area for specific audition expectations:

A. Prepare 3" standard" tunes:

  • Medium Swing
  • Ballad
  • Straight eighth (bossa nova, samba)

Be prepared to play melody and improvise on each tune.

B. Play "Blues" in any key of your choice. Be able to play a blues melody (head) and improvise.
C. Major and minor scales and arpeggios
D. The audition also consists of sight reading different styles of music: Jazz, Latin, Straight 8th (Latin or rock).

Accompaniment: A jazz piano accompanist and a CD player are available.

PIANISTS and GUITARISTS are expected to play the melody and improvise and will be asked to "comp" the chord changes. An amplifier is provided at the audition site. 

BASSISTS are asked to play basslines that outline the harmony and reflect the rhythmic style of the selection. Bassists may also choose to improvise. An amplifier is provided at the audition site. Bassists are encouraged to experience acoustic/upright and electric bass and may audition on either or both. Some part of the audition should be on upright bass. Bassists should contact

Craig Butterfield, (803) 777-4324, prior to audition.

DRUMS and PERCUSSION must demonstrate various styles including:

  • SWING: Medium to fast swing and shuffle
  • STRAIGHT EIGHTHS: (bossa nova, mambo, salsa, samba, songo, funk, pop, etc.)
  • Be Prepared to play this Etude: Drum Audition No. 1
  • Be prepared to trade 4s and 8s on all of the above styles.

Drummers should contact Scott Herring, (link to email) (803) 777-2155, prior to audition.