DePaul University School of Music > Admission & Aid > Auditions > Graduate/Certificate > Jazz Percussion

Auditions: Graduate/Certificate - Jazz Percussion

  • Graduate Drumset
  • Graduate Vibraphone

Graduate Drumset

All jazz applicants are required to submit a pre-audition screening video through our Acceptd page by December 1. Pre-screenings must be in video format. All videos received after December 1 will only be considered based on the availability of audition times. Upon passing the pre-screening, you will receive notification by no later than December 20 inviting you to schedule your live audition. ​

​Pre-Screening Requirements

  • ​​A performance of “Elvin Like” from Thompson’s Jazz Solos for Drumset Volume 1

  • Play time in a 4/4 swing feel (half note = 96) for approximately 20 seconds

  • Trade fours (4/4 swing followed by solo, repeated, half note = 96) for approximately 1 minute

  • Play an Afro Cuban 6/8, dotted quarter note = 120

Live Audition Requirements

Note: all applicants must provide their own cymbals, sticks, and hi-hat clutch.

All pre-screening requirements will be included in the live audition in addition to the following requirements:

  • Prepared drumset solo (comparable to Tony Williams’ “Seven Steps to Heaven” or Vernell Fournier’s “Cherokee”). The applicant is required to bring a copy of the transcribed solo to the audition for panel review.​
  • Solo performance of Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee” (rhythmic and pitch/melodic contour, followed by a chorus of time, then one chorus of solo, then the melody)
  • Sight reading (large and small ensemble charts for advanced ensembles and chart interpretation)
  • Up tempo swing performance with brushes and sticks
  • Form identification (complex forms and/or jazz compositions)

NOTE: The prospective student will be required to demonstrate a familiarity with and ability to play the following musical styles on the drumset: 4/4 swing at a variety of tempos;
 rock styles at a variety of tempos;
 bossa nova; 
mambo;
 brush technique – medium and ballad tempi;
 jazz waltz time keeping; odd meter and mixed meter swing at a variety of tempos; samba styles; shuffle; ​​funk

Graduate Vibraphone

 All jazz applicants are required to submit a pre-audition screening video through our Acceptd page by December 1. Pre-screenings must be in video format. All videos received after December 1 will only be considered based on the availability of audition times. Upon passing the pre-screening, you will receive notification by no later than December 20 inviting you to schedule your live audition. ​​​

Pre-Screening Requirements

“Little Niles” - Medium Tempo (quarter note = 168)

“Speedball” - Medium Up Tempo (quarter note = 190)

Using play-along accompaniment or in solo performance, applicants must perform the melody, play a chorus of accompaniment, and then play three choruses of improvisation for each selection. You must also demonstrate use of dampening and pedaling techniques on melodies and improvised choruses. If possible, four-mallet accompaniment with chord inversions should be demonstrated during your chorus of comping.

Live Audition Requirements

Note: Vibraphone will be provided. Applicants must bring a play-along CD or music player with play-along tracks for the audition (iPod or similar, with headphone output jack).

All pre-screening requirements will be included in the live audition in addition to the following requirements:

Graduate jazz vibraphone applicants should be prepared to play along with a Jamey Aebersold recording or its equivalent for a 15-minute audition consisting of two contrasting jazz pieces (i.e. a jazz standard (“Hot House” or “Confirmation”) and a ballad (“If You Could See Me Now” or “Chelsea Bridge”). For each, applicants should be able to play the melody, comp, and improvise on the chord changes. 

Other skills assessed:

  • ​Sight-reading of melody in the jazz style
  • Repertoire knowledge

NOTE: If interested in formally studying drum set, the vibraphone applicant must also prepare the drum​set audition requirements.