Jazz Drumset Repertoire Requirements


Please read the following carefully.

NOTE: This page applies to jazz drummers. Applicants to classical percussion should refer to repertoire requirements here.

Because of COVID-19, we are not having in-person auditions. Instead, the 2021 audition process for Jazz Studies will involve two separate parts: Step One and Step Two



Submit an audition video with the following:

  • Demonstrate a straight ahead jazz time feel (16 bars)
  • Demonstrate a jazz waltz time feel (16 bars)
  • Demonstrate a boss nova and/or sama time feel (16 bars)
  • Demonstrate a funk time feel
  • Demonstrate a balad time feel with brushes (8 bars)
  • Trade 4's with yourself in a jazz (bebop) style: 4 bars of time, 4 bars of improvcised soloing (total of 16 bars)

You are welcome to submit additional material, such as videos of you playing with a bank or with backing trracks, but these are not requirements.



If you pass the auditions for Step One, we will conduct a realtime live interview with you (by Zoom). You must have your instrument ready to perform for us. We will ask you some of the following:

(1) General Knowledge - Theory and Musicianship

You may be asked questions regarding key signatures, such as how many sharps there are in A major. You may also be asked questions regarding chord voicings (such as what notes are in an Eb dominant 7 chord), and about chord symbols. The chords covered will be:

  • Major 6, Major 7
  • Minor 6, Minor 7 b5, Minor natural 7
  • Dominant 7
  • Diminished 7
  • Augmented major 7, Augmented dominant 7

(We will not ask questions about upper extensions, such as b9, #11, etc.)

(2) General Performance Skills

You may be asked to perform long notes or scales. You may be asked to name the notes in the scales. The following scales will be covered:

  • Major
  • Minor (natural, harmonic, melodic)
  • Dorian mode
  • Mixolydian mode

(3) Sight-reading

Applicants on trumpet, saxophone, trombone, piano & acoustic bass will be given a piece to sight-read the melody and solo over the chord symbols. Jazz drumset applicants will be asked to sight-read snare drum music.

(4) Interview

We will ask you about previous jazz experience and instruction, and what your long-term goals and aspirations are. Your interests outside of music will also be discussed, as well as why you have chosen to audition for UCI.

For General Skills, you will be asked to name the notes in a given scale. For sight-reading, you will be given a piece to read the rhythms of a melody, adjusting for pitch as you see fit for your instrument.

You will be asked to perform basic skills on your instrument, such as rolls, as well as various grooves, such as swing, Latin, and funk.


Questions? Contact: Professor Jason Harnell