University Jazz Guitar Audition Help

Hey guys, so I’m auditioning for a Jazz Guitar program at my university in March. I have playing guitar for 10 years, but I’ll admit I haven’t been practicing too much for the last couple years and I am a bit rusty. The audition requires me to do a written theory evaluation, which I’m comfortable I can do well on as long as I review. But it also requires me to play two contrasting pieces. It also says the pieces should be RCM level 8 or higher if possible. Unfortunately, I know very little about jazz, as well as how to find out RCM grading for the pieces, so I’m pretty confused right now. I read another thread with someone asking for suggestions on what to play for a guitar audition, and all of the pieces had brass instruments playing lead. Does this mean if I choose those songs I’m supposed to play the trumpet/sax lead part on guitar? Or are there good jazz pieces that can be chosen where the original track has a guitarist playing lead?
Also, any general tips/ advice would be great if anyone else has gone through this in the past. (I’m at York U in Toronto, just on the small chance that anyone reading this has auditioned here)
Sorry for the dumb questions, I just didn’t want to contact the department with these questions in fear of looking bad and jeopardizing my chances of them passing me even more
Thanks in advance!

If this is a bigger program in a bigger school then I really doubt that they will take note of who you are when you contact them and ask the question. The odds of them doing that and then referencing that with your application is probably quite small. It should be in their interest that they get the best students, and it would be dumb to ‘punish’ someone for asking for clarification before the audition.

I’m a bit curious though about you applying for a University course in Jazz while knowing very little about it. Intuitively it says to me that you’re in for quite some work.

When I auditioned for Berklee I played with a play-along recording and I had no idea what the original instrumentation was. It certainly didn’t matter for me at the time. It’s common for jazz musicians to pick songs they like and perform them on whatever instrument they themselves play. If you’re a trumpet player you might play a song where the melody originally was performed by a vocalist, or I as a sax player might play something that originally was on piano. It’s all about interpreting the music with the given instrument lineup. So in a sense it’s about the basic form, rhythm, melody and harmony.

So ‘yes’, I’d imagine that if you’re applying you’d be playing the melody and possibly improvise on top of that, or play a solo, and if you’re auditioning without a rhythm section provided for you then you’d either play the whole piece solo (hard) or play with a backing-track/play-along kind of thing.

What musical pieces are your options?

And you may have to explain what “RCM grading” is…