Jazz Drumset Audition Requirements

The audition will require a demonstration of the following musical styles.

Undergraduate applicants who would like to submit a recorded audition should follow the steps outlined here: recorded audition. All students who submit a recorded audition will have a virtual interview with the faculty on one of the auditions dates. Applicants can select their date preference on their supplemental music form.

Graduate applicants who would like to submit a recorded audition should upload their recording directly to their Graduate College application. Graduate applicants who submit a recorded audition will also register for a virtual interview with the faculty on one of the audition dates. Applicants can register for their interview after submitting the Graduate College application.​ 

Jazz: Oleo (by Sonny Rollins)
Perform as follows: quarter-note = 200-250 bpm

  • Chorus 1: Interpret melody over drums (w/Hi-Hat on 2 & 4 throughout)
  • Chorus 2: Play Time (Samba feel on B-section)
  • Chorus 3: Improvised solo (Samba feel on B-section)
  • Chorus 4: Interpret melody over drums (w/Hi Hat on 2&4 throughout)

NOTE: Perform each of the following styles for approximately one minute. A demonstration of trading 4-bar, 8-bar, 12-bar improvised solo phrases will be requested as well.

  1. Funk (¼-note = 100-150 bpm)
  2. Samba (½-note = 100-125 bpm)
  3. Bossa Nova (¼ note = 150 bpm)
  4. Mambo (¼ note = 175-185 bpm)
  5. Afro-Cuban 6/8 (dotted-¼ note = 135-145 bpm)

Additional skills

  1. Brush technique
  2. Waltz and odd meter performance (5/4 & 7/4)
  3. Repertoire knowledge
  4. Sight reading

Please email Prof. Spencer if you have questions: spence14@illinois.edu