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Department of Music
Commercial Music Audition Requirements

Commercial Voice

  • Prepare two songs. No more than 4 minutes total in length for both songs.
  • 2 contrasting songs: Songs can be any published popular song from the 1920's to current music.  Categories can include musical theater, published folk songs, jazz, blues, rock, pop, rap, country, Christian, R&B, indie, alternative.  Any popular genre with contrasting style, tempo, and/or mood.  (Ex.  If one song is slow in tempo, the other should be up tempo.)
  • One of the two contrasting songs can include an original song submitted with a lyric and lead sheet if there are vocals and chord or drum chart if it is an instrumental performance.
  • All vocal performances must be accompanied.  No a cappella (unaccompanied) vocal performances will be accepted. 
  • The Music Department will not provide a collaborative pianist for auditions. A backing track without the solo vocals, or the solo instrument, may be used. 
  • The audition may include sight singing for singers; sight reading and/or scales for instrumentalists in addition to the performance of the prepared songs.
  • If the audition is conducted via video the full body should be visible.
  • The student should prepare and speak an introduction to each piece. The introduction and performance should demonstrate a strong stage presence and effective communication skills. 
  •  Professional artist attire is recommended.
  • The student will be responsible for sending charts, lyrics, a list of titles, composers, and keys of all repertoire to be performed prior to the audition date. This list should be emailed to

Questions? Contact Professor Jilla Webb, Professor of Practice, Commercial Voice.

Commercial Percussion

You must supply your own sticks, mallets, and brushes. Play-along tracks need to be on a computer (no phones) with a headphone output. Auburn appreciates all styles of music, so choose music that you enjoy and reflects your musicianship and skill.


Concert Snare Drum

  • Rudiment demonstration: slow-fast-slow
  • Single Stroke Roll
  • Double Stroke Open Roll
  • Paradiddles
  • Paradiddle-diddles


  • ​All major scales in two octaves. You can play on either instrument. 

Drum Set

  • Demonstration and improvisation of each of the following three styles. Each style performance should last for 1 minute. Play an associated groove or feel, and improvise fills and/or solos based on that style.
    • Rock (Rock, Funk, etc.)
    • Jazz (swing)
    • Latin (Samba, Bossa Nova, Mambo, Soca, etc.)
  • Play-alongs – 2 contrasting styles
    • Choose two tracks from well-established bands or artists to play along with. The tracks should have contrasting tempos and styles. These performances don’t have to be exact transcriptions. Each track should be no longer than 3 - 4 minutes.
  • Sight reading
    • Rhythmic sight reading on drum set.

Questions? Contact Doug Rosener

Commercial Guitar and Electric Bass 


  1. “C” major, “ G” major, “F’’ major, “Bb” major, “Eb”major two octaves ascending and descending.
  2. “A”, “E”, “D”, “C”, harmonic minor, two octaves ascending and descending.
  3. Students will be required to play with a metronome with the quarter note equal to 120BPM

Chords ( Guitar Only)

  1. All open chords; major, minor, minor 7, major 7
  2. All bar chords, major and minor with the root on the 5th and 6th string.
  3. All Dominant 7th chords with the root on the 5th and 6th strings
  4. All minor 7th chords with the root on the 6th and 5th string

Arpeggios (Bass only)

  1. Arpeggiate the following chords
  2. C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, F#, B, E, A, D, G-All major chords C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, F#, B, E, A, D, G- All minor chords

Performance piece

Choose a rock, country or pop piece and perform it as a solo or with a backing track. This needs to be only about 2 minutes. This needs to showcase your best attributes. If you are a rhythm player or a solo note player, be that player!

Short Essay

Write a short essay that describes the reason for wanting to enter the commercial music program at Auburn University. Tell us about your goals and aspirations. Who has inspired you and where do you plan to be in 5 years. Please provide 4 copies of the essay to bring to your audition.

Questions about Guitar and Electric Bass? Contact Patrick Bruce at

Commercial Piano

  • Applicant will perform three selections (original or covers) from one or more contemporary musical genres such as pop, rock, R&B, folk, gospel, country, etc., demonstrating appropriate stylistic elements. Selections should be in contrasting styles, performed either solo, with a live band or backing track.
  • One selection must be performed on a synthesizer or electronic keyboard with a sound other than piano.
  • One selection should demonstrate an improvised solo.

Questions? Contact Professor Khari Allen Lee