Mastering the Audition: A Guide for Brass Players


Auditions can be nerve-wracking experiences, even for seasoned musicians. Whether you’re a trumpeter aiming for first chair in an orchestra or a trombonist trying to secure a spot in a jazz ensemble, preparation is key. In this Mastering the Audition: A Guide for Brass Players article, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to ensure you’re at your best when the spotlight is on you.

Know the Requirements

Before you even pick up your instrument, make sure you understand what’s expected of you. Are there specific pieces you need to prepare? Are scales or sight-reading involved? Knowing the requirements inside out will help you tailor your practice sessions effectively.

The Right Warm-Up

A good warm-up is crucial. Start with long notes to get your air flowing and your embouchure set. Move on to scales and arpeggios to cover the range you’ll be using in your pieces. Don’t forget lip trills and other flexibility exercises to get your chops ready for anything.

Practice with Purpose

It’s not just about the number of hours you put in; it’s about how you use them. Break down your pieces into sections and tackle the challenging parts first. Use a metronome to keep your tempo in check and gradually speed up as you become more comfortable.

Mock Auditions

Perform in front of friends, family, or even your smartphone. Recording yourself can provide valuable insights into your performance. Listen critically and adjust as needed.

Mental Preparation

Visualisation techniques can help you prepare mentally. Imagine yourself in the audition room, playing each note perfectly—you’ve mastered the auition! This can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety you might be feeling.

On the Day

On the day of the audition, make sure to arrive early to give yourself time to warm up and settle in. Take deep breaths to calm your nerves and focus on the music. Remember, you’ve prepared for this; you’ve got this.


Auditions are a part of every musician’s journey. They can be stressful, but with the right preparation, you can turn them into opportunities for growth and achievement. Mastering the audition takes preparation and concentration. So go ahead, pick up that horn, and show the world what you’ve got!

For more tips on overcoming nerves, check out our guide on how to overcome stage fright.

For further reading check this out Auditioning 101 (

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