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Guitar and Bass Guitar Audition Information

Your steps to success!

All audition-based guitar applicants must prepare a video audition for pre-screening.  If the performance passes pre-screening, Sean McGowan will notify you to schedule an audition.

All guitar videos must include the following:

1. Guitar Audition Guidelines:

Perform two musical selections based on the following examples:

    • A single melodic line guitar solo based on a transcription of a jazz - fusion - pop or classical piece.
    • A solo classical piece including any repertoire from Bach, Sor, Carcassi, Brouwer or any other comparable selection.
    • A fingerstyle piece using alternate tuning or standard tuning like Michael Hedges or Leo Kottke compositions.

    Demonstrate the following chord types in root-6 and root-5 positions: Maj7, 7, min7, min7(b5) and dim7, min6, 13, 9 and min9

    Scales and Arpeggios – perform the following:

    • Two octave major scales in three different positions – pick any key
    • Seven Greek modes (one position per mode) – pick any key
    • Two octave, seventh chord arpeggios including: ­Major seventh, seventh, minor seventh, minor seventh flat five, and diminished seventh – pick any root note

2. Bass Audition Guidelines:

    1. Repertoire – perform two pieces of varying styles. It would be great if one of the styles was jazz based; classical, funk, R&B, and rock are fine.
    2. Styles demonstration – perform a 30-second style demonstration choosing from two of the following: jazz walking bass, funk, tapping, R&B, or rock.
    3. Scales and Arpeggios – perform the following:
      • One octave arpeggios scales of the following - Maj7, dominant 7, minor 7, minor 7 b5, and fully diminished seventh.
      • Perform all seven Greek modes - one octave - any key.

3. Submit your audition video:

  • All selections must be verbally labeled. Please announce the title of pieces, the name of each scale, mode, chord, and arpeggio.
  • If is the video uploaded to a server or YouTube, Email the link to
  • Mail your audition DVD to:

Music & Entertainment Industry Studies Department
ATTN: Sean McGowan
College of Arts & Media
University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box 162
P.O Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

  • Please include your email and phone number on discs and all electronic communications
  • Complete the Audition Application
  • Audition vides must be received not later than March 25, 2016, 5:00pm MDT

4. Non-Audition Application Form

Students who choose to pursue the Music Business or Recording Arts Emphasis on the Non-Audition Track must complete the Non-Audition Application Form in lieu of an entrance audition. 

5. Minors

The MEIS Department no longer accepts General Musicianship minors.

6. Questions

Please contact the Music & Entertainment Industry Studies Office at or call (303) 556-3480 with any questions.