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  • Singer Auditions... stories and lessons learned.

    Now that I've let the cat out of the bag regarding the new lineup we can all have some fun picking apart the utter mistakes we made along the way auditioning singers. The suffering we experienced over the last 9 months was every bit our fault. I think we were exhausted, disillusioned and frankly unmotivated to do the work to find someone good. When our manager said 'let's comb Craigslist and see who we find' I really wanted to exit the building at that point. 

     

    Let's be honest... Craigslist success is based on two things-#2abundance of demand in a region and #2-people connected to the internet looking for supply. I'm often scouring local CL for used music gear and usually pretty disappointed with local offerings. That's b/c even though I'm 75 mins from the heart of NYC there are few professional or gigging musicians in my area. Now I know some here have had success using CL to find musicians. I say it's all about your area.  I prefere Facebook much better than CL because it proves that someone is social media savy (a must in the entertainment world) and you can see the person you are communicating with. When someone who looks like Jeff Bridges from Crazy Heart wants to audition for lead singer of your Top 40 dance band well... as talented as they may b perhaps this wouldn't be the right project for them.  I've always believed the best finds are through people you know... people as motivated as you to get off their ass and play. When we auditioned drummers last Spring all three were referrals from other musicians. In fact it was the singer we fired that actually recommended our drummer.

    We were in a desperate space when we auditioned our 'fired' singer. Our frontman of 10 years had just resigned and we had 9 months of calendar bookings on the table. We had already cancelled the first month to make way for auditions, rehearsals and get a sub-singer ready with a workable setlist. We rented rehearsal space and lined up three Facebook/ Craigslist answerees. The first guy calls in late... way late. Like 30 mins (sigh). So we wait for the second guy to show which is some 23 year old kid, completely unmemorable, couldn't sing well, couldn't rap (so his Pro Tools demo was certainly enhanced). We thank him and finally #1 shows up 1:hr and 15 mins late. Nice looking kid... a little hipster. Short. I'm skeptical. He had sent us a video he produced singing a punk cover of Ace of Base The Sign playing all of the instruments. Yes a You Tube prodigy. When we launched into "Don't Stop believing" I got chills up my back. I looked over and thought I was listening to Steve Perry. So much that after the song I quickly launched into the melody of "Oh Cherrie" He looked confused. He was only 26. After that he sang Fall Out Boy-Sugar I'm Going Down' Now it was clicking... he sounded alot like Patrick Stump too. We asked him how much of our setlist he knew.... none really. His favorite period of music was the late 90's alternative. 3rd Eye Blind.... not so good for the dance stuff I guess but we quickly talked about song choices... Green Day... 3rd Eye... Tonic. That stuff is in resurgance now. Hmmmmmmm. He left and we stayed to discuss.... "wow, did you hear his voice" "Man, we could bring back this song... I've always wanted to cover this..." Our manager: "I didn't like the fact he showed up almost 90 minutes late... who does that to a job interview. He also admitted that he had never heard of us or even knew the clubs that we played. He hasn't performed in a cover band before. I'll say his voice is good but how much work will it take to get him to point B?"  We all acknowledged those points but his talent was undeniable. 

     

    We auditioned the remaining singers but by #4 we were all rolling back to the guy we were first interested in. We called him back for a 2nd audition. He covered "IT's getting Hott in Here" (a setlist staple). He could rap convincingly. We all looked at each other... asked him pointed questions about his time, commitment, interest, enthusaism. He said all of the right things. We offered him the job. Our singer departed Jan 5th. This was Jan 18th. His first official gig was going to be April 4th. 

    Of course if you read the other thread you'll know that we lost a drummer and guitarist shortly after that. That took our eye off the ball... getting this new singer up to speed. But just like an employer fails b/c they don't communicate clear enough goals to the employee, it's up to the new hire to take initiative  and make sure they do whats required. During this time we made two critical mistakes:

    #1- We didn't maintain regular communication and rehearsals with the new singer. We left him alone for a month with the recordings as we continued to gig or deal with crisis. I remember our first gig with our first sub after cancelling a month of shows. We told the new singer about the show and encouraged him to come. That encouragement should have been mandatory. He showed up WoW-eyed at the size of the show, presentation but left in the middle of the 2nd set. His girlfriend was tired. It wasn't until a month ;later that he showed up again to a show. In reality he should have been at every show... helping to load in, helping to tear down... taking in the setlist... making notes. 

    #2-We didn't set a structure and deadline for rehearsing material. So when he showed up he knew bits and pieces of our setlist all over the place, but not enough to rehearse a complete set.

     

    #3- We should have 'vet' him on his stage experience and confidence behind a mic. His voice was terrific and offstage he seemed confident. Almost cocky. Yet not knowing or seeing him perform in front of a live audience was a critcal mistake. Even with our new singer we knew  he sang and performed with several chorus and touring groups. He's a natural on the mic and in front of an audience. 

     

    What was more depressing than having invested two months with the guy and have him less that 30% tight with our material was the audition offers and that came from people who clearly were not a fit or didn't understand what the band was about. Here is a successful dance/party/top 40 band with an established name and people who auditioned were adept at singing Robert Plant and ZZ Top or spent time singing Karaokee... or worse, their bedroom. lacking any stage prescence or presentation skills. 

    We've always pulled people into this band that we knew from playing in other bands and we always had satisfactory results. I've always been a believer... if you want to find a good band. network yourself. get out on the scene and introduce yourself to the best bands in the area. That's how you find work. And that's uaully how bands find reliable players. When touring acts are looking for backing players do they comb Craigslist or do they ask people in the know who they would recommend. (actually I'm sure an agent is involved.

     

    Anyone have experiences auditioning singers they'd like to share? I'd love to hear the good, bad and ugly?

     

    so over this signature BS!!!

  • #2

    I've related most of my singer-search stories here before.   We've usually gone the CL route and had pretty good luck with it.   But the "reality show" moments come during the weeding-out-before-the-audition part of the process.

    I'm usually pretty specific about who were are and what we are looking for in the ads.   So it's amazing to me how off the mark some of the people who answer the ads are.  I say you need to have at least an audio demo (and preferably video demo) to send me before we'll even consider you.   So why are you calling me saying you don't have that stuff?   I say we are looking for someone young and attractive.  So why are you 60 years old and weigh 300 lbs?   I give you our band's songlist and tell you we're looking for a singer that can cover artists like Rihanna and Katy well, so why are you telling me how much you sound just like Janis on "Me and Bobby McGee" and suggesting our band should be doing different material?  We say we're looking for an experienced singer--why are you sending me a recording that is so out-of-tune that it's obvious you've never actually sang professionally in your life?

    But honestly, I've learned I can probably pick singers just based on an audio demo, a photo and a phone call.   After hearing Tiffany sing on a recording and talking to her on the phone I knew she'd be the right singer for our band.  After auditioning her, going through the rest of the girls was simply a courtesy since we already agreed to let them audition.

    Pretty much the same deal with Sarah.  I knew the girl could sing and after talking to her on the phone I could easily tell that, despite her young age, she was going to fit right in with the band personally.   I've told the story already about how I let the other guys in the band talk me into agreeing to go with my 2nd choice and how she didn't work out and we went back to Sarah. 

    I DO love "I told you so" moments.....

    _________________________________________________
    band websites:
    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

    Comment


    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      Also, I've just started the process of looking for a male singer to join the girls up front.  So far it's proving to be rather...umm...interesting.

      But I think I'll wait until it's all over before I relate the stories.


    • mstreck
      mstreck commented
      Editing a comment

      guido61 wrote:

      I give you our band's songlist and tell you we're looking for a singer that can cover artists like Rihanna and Katy well, so why are you telling me how much you sound just like Janis on "Me and Bobby McGee" and suggesting our band should be doing different material? 


      ^^^^^ Definitely my favorite. 


  • #3

    wheresgrant3 wrote:

     He left and we stayed to discuss.... "wow, did you hear his voice" "Man, we could bring back this song... I've always wanted to cover this..." Our manager: "I didn't like the fact he showed up almost 90 minutes late... who does that to a job interview. He also admitted that he had never heard of us or even knew the clubs that we played. He hasn't performed in a cover band before. I'll say his voice is good but how much work will it take to get him to point B?"  We all acknowledged those points but his talent was undeniable. 

     

     



    This is very close to the what happened with us when we briefly decided to go with another girl (Kristen) instead of Sarah.   Although she was 28, Kristen had no real on-stage singing experience.  Had never been in band.   Her main plusses were:

    1) obviously naturally-talented singer; good voice; trained musical experience (classically-trained pianist, college degree in music education).

    2) showed up right on time for the audition, knew her songs, and was dressed like she was ready to go on stage.  (and was drop-dead cover-of-a-magazine gorgeous as well.)  As opposed to Sarah who showed up late, dressed in jeans and a tshirt and was looking up lyrics on her phone to songs I told her a week before we'd be auditioning her with.   Which girl seems like she really wants the job more?

    3) preferred to sing R&B, which I was all for moving more in that direction.  Sarah's more of a country/rock singer.

    I was trying to tell the guys that Sarah's main plus---that she had been singing in bars for the last 5 years fronting her dad's classic rock band--should ultimately be the deciding factor.   When I relented and agreed to go with Kristen, it was largely because of #2 and #3.    I told them that I thought Kristen would probably work out fine, but it would take a lot more time and rehearsal on our part to get her up to speed.  Not to mention more gigs.  Being on stage and fronting a live band---and being able to sing well in that environment--isn't anything you can learn in school or on the internet.  You've got to DO it to learn it. 

    I should have trusted my instincts more as rehearsals turned out to be a lot of work.  Some stuff she just nailed.  Difficult vocals parts and runs and singing harmonies?  No problem. other things--the simple stuff that those of us who have been on stage for years take for granted--were a struggle for her:  coming in on the right beat.  Feeling what the band was doing and moving with it, etc.   And it didn't help at all that, like the guy you auditioned, she had a very narrow knowledge of music.  A big chunk of our songlist--overplayed standards that they are--she had never heard before.  

    Lesson learned:  prior experience is a BIG factor. 

    _________________________________________________
    band websites:
    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

    Comment


    • wheresgrant3
      wheresgrant3 commented
      Editing a comment

      guido61 wrote:

       coming in on the right beat.  Feeling what the band was doing and moving with it, etc.   And it didn't help at all that, like the guy you auditioned, she had a very narrow knowledge of music.  A big chunk of our songlist--overplayed standards that they are--she had never heard before.  

      Lesson learned:  prior experience is a BIG factor. 


      That is something I will never understand.... timing. It is something that Ashley and Jeremy has (they are always both right where they need to be). Jeff (singer we fired) and even some subs were all over the place. One sub in particular would sing Billy Jean three different ways... so we made sure to watch him and just slide into whatever verse, bridge, pre-chorus he would head to. LOL

      Jeff was the singer we hired and then fired. I do take some responsibility in his failure. I manage all of the recordings for the band and I really just dropped material into his lap. He suggested maybe he could perform a set with us prior to his start date and I wasn't onboard. For me it was all or nothing. He did perform one show prior to us letting him go. Our sub had a scheduled acoustic gig that conflicted with our booking. So we told Jeff he would have to sing a brief 30 mins first set until our sub could arrive and finish the night. I mean this guy was so impressive during the audition... I could easily see him getting an audtion to LA on AI. Yet on stage he was nervous, awkward, tight. We started the set and just like rehearsals he sorta hack his way through the songs. His pitch was everywhere and his movements on stage were awkward. Perhaps senseing that the audience wasn't feeling it he smiled even more and became more animated. His biggest flaw wasy being able to keep time with the lyrics (which he was mostly reading not referencing from an iPad). It was a trainwreck. The last straw was he jumped into the 2nd verse of Don't Stop believing in the intro... we're all looking at each other, trying to follow when he realizes his mistake and says smiling into the mic "Oh, yeah I messed that up didn't I" THUD! The club wasn't busy... but the damage was done. We ended the set after that song and our bass player turned to me and said "We got a problem" I'm like... you think?

       

      We hired him Jan 10th and this was April 1st... and he couldn't fake his way through 30 minutes of the setlist.We had a big show scheduled April 10th and we decided to fire him and cancel the show. 

       


  • #4
    I don't see how anything was taken the wrong way, or anyone being offended, it was just disagreed with. I also disagree. The people who can develop and execute a business plans are the ones who need to interview and choose the talent to bring the plan to fruition.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Free prog-related metal from Michigan.<br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.silentlapse.com" target="_blank">http://www.silentlapse.com</a></div>

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    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      I (think I) get what Sventkvg is saying in terms of:  to the degree that the audition process is both about a band trying to find a vocalist to help further their vision of their musical future vs. a singer trying to find a band to help further his/her vision of his/her musical future, then the singer is going to win that battle.

      But the reality is it isn't always so "everything else being equal".   Established bands like NIAB (or even my band) are going to have their own agenda pretty well established.  Which is part of the reason they will more easily attract good talent in the first place.   Sure, changing singers is likely to shift the direction of the band somewhat.  But the modus operandi of the band remains the same.


  • #5
    Our originals band is expected to go home and practice with demo recordings so we don't waste each other's time at rehearsal.

    Solid troll.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Free prog-related metal from Michigan.<br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.silentlapse.com" target="_blank">http://www.silentlapse.com</a></div>

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    • #6

      1995 - Cover Band. Plays a few shows at a local bar. Singer we had was a nice guy, but a pretty terrible singer. Instead of firing him, band just stops telling him when rehearsals are. I was not in on any of the decision-making of this band, and thought it was pretty **** that they never really told him. Band was renamed "Shaft" in honor of the fact that we had given the guy the shaft. I always felt like a dick for not speaking up about how crappy they were. Lesson learned.

      2001 - Cover Band. Singer quits abruptly because his wife was trying to bang the drummer. Find a replacement from another local band who comes in and sings lead and plays guitar. He fills in for a while without saying he wanted in (in fact, specifically saying he didn't want in because he had his other band, which was kind of on hiatus) as we go through the search. We finally narrow it down to a guy who was way into singing with the band, but not as flexible in terms of what he wanted to sing. He was good at promotion, and was working hard on the songs, but right as we made our decision and offered him the job, the fill-in guy who brought way more to the table musically and who was much more of a personality fit changed his mind, so we had to tell the new guy we had a change of heart and were going to go with what was already working. He was pretty pissed off, but understood. I remember meeting with him where he worked to get the band songbook from him. It was a sad day. Band flourished with this new guy - musically got a lot better, more diverse...so much fun! It was the right choice, even if it was a hard one.

      2007 - Band had a singer who just wasn't pulling his weight. He was the frontman but shy and basically sang to a lyric book. Didn't play any other instruments, was a decent singer but a little too clean and "choir" for a lot of the stuff we did. I sent him a "this needs to change" email and then talked to him at length about it. He was super into getting better, but still didn't really do the work, and finally gave up on it. So we decided to be a trio with me on lead vocals for a while while we searched, but we decided we'd only hire someone who was either a better guitarist or bassist than I was and could also sing some, or someone who was a great frontperson. We spent that whole summer auditioning people and ultimately decided to not hire anyone for lead vocals - I was doing a good job with it and playing bass, so we remained a trio and have remained that way to this day. We did hire a bassist/keyboardist briefly and I was going to front the band and play guitar and bass on some stuff (but not most of it), but he decided he was going to pull the "oh, I haven't learned that yet" on the stuff he didn't want to play instead of being honest about it, so we fired his ass after about a month. The trio thing has been great except that it's kept us out of some venues who want bigger bands (even though we sound a lot bigger than the typical trio).

      I apologize for that not being more interesting. Just thought I'd share.

      Brian

      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell

      Comment


      • wheresgrant3
        wheresgrant3 commented
        Editing a comment

        Oh and here is something else I similarly don't understand. Committing lyrics to memory. I learn every song, every chord, every note and commit them to memory. of course I'm not trying to memorize 50,000 words, their meanings and perform them in a meaningful manner. Our previous singer never used lyric sheets. It was all in his head. We learned new songs slowly for that fact but his performance was largely unrestricted. When he sang the song he owned it. 

         

        Cue up sub singers. I understood that all of them were just filling in.  so why learn the songs. All of them used an iPad for frequent reference. All were pretty adept at doing so without it looking too obvious. The singer we hired/fired was completely linked to lyric sheets, a song book and iPad for reference. He looked grey when we told him he couldn't use a music stand. How can you perform if your eyes are constantly looking down?

        Cue up new singers. In rehearsals... lyric sheets for reference. By show time... free moving, free flowing lyrics with no visual aides on stage? Think about it... these two learned 3 hours of music (songs they never performed before) in just over 30 days and four rehearsals. Isn't this the way it should be???

         

         


    • #7
      Tac
      Assumption wrong. Incorrect. Singer was sent home with full live recordings including video of entire shows. Plenty of material to reference. Again he had talent but clearly lacked the experience and confidence to be in a working band. To show up after several weeks unprepared to rehearsal and not be able to connect the dots doesn't scream professional.

      so over this signature BS!!!

      Comment


      • tacdryver
        tacdryver commented
        Editing a comment

        wheresgrant3 wrote:
        Tac
        Assumption wrong. Incorrect. Singer was sent home with full live recordings including video of entire shows. Plenty of material to reference. Again he had talent but clearly lacked the experience and confidence to be in a working band. To show up after several weeks unprepared to rehearsal and not be able to connect the dots doesn't scream professional.


        The singer showed up late to the rehearsal and left one of your gigs early. you detailed all the lack of motivation in your earlier post.....he wasn't really interested in playing with you, regardless of what his actual talent was, as you don't know, because you didn't gig with him.

        In fact I did the exact same thing to a band. But I showed up on time, learned what I could by downloading the tabs, transposing keys, but by the time I had two rehearsals, they thought it was great, I thought it was half ass, by the time I saw them live, to show my interest, I stayed for a few songs, got the vibe, looked around at the clientele, got a feel for what they did, sent an email and said, 'Thanks, moving into another direction, wish you the best'. Saw the band leader at Hometown, he wouldn't even acknolwedge me until I walked by and gave him an obvious nod. He was pissed or something. Another band guy said I left him in the lurch...given I left before the other guitar player did, now two are gone, didn't stop him from accusing me of flaking out on a gig he never told me about. Oh, and I wasn't getting paid just doing it for fun. So I am a little suspect at band guys levying psyche and music critiques on guys that do an audition then walk because it wasn't the right fit.

        That said, sending him home with live recordings was a great idea, but if they weren't in the singers key, then it was no different then me being sent home with artist songs, told to download the tabs, transpose to the band key, then 'practice'. Not happening. He could only sing along to the songs that were in his vocal key and again, he wasn't really interested in doing the gig. Trust me, been there. Auditions or job interviews...I've gone to explore something, see if it's all that, and when I say it's 'not the right fit' no one is happy, I turned them down before they ever knew what I brought to the table.

        So in summary, did you do a band demo in the vocal key that he sang in or did you just expect the singer to sing in the key you wanted? That would be the first 'fail' that would send any singer packing. I mean how many singers can sing like Steve Perry, in his key? That's expecting a lot.

        But what ever the case, the audition process is about finding the right fit, but I just know from my side of things if the band can't give me live recordings, tabs for what they want me to do...I am not spending the two weeks infront of my laptop to find the chords, and tabs, and licks, ect ect to figure out what they do. That is what rehearsal is for. Guys might disagree, but as a lead guitar player, we have to do a little more then a bass walk or a four four in back all night. I need more then 2 rehearsals before a gig to feel comfortable with a song.

         

         


    • #8
      This thread has really taken a turn for the weird.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Free prog-related metal from Michigan.<br />
      <br />
      <a href="http://www.silentlapse.com" target="_blank">http://www.silentlapse.com</a></div>

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      • wesg
        wesg commented
        Editing a comment
        Tacdryver, have you actually ever played with a working band? Do you understand jam dynamics? If I tell you a tune is 1-6-4-5 in G, does that make sense to you?

    • #9
      It's the key the band played and recorded in with the previous singer. I don't think Journey would replace Steve Perry with a baritone. If they can't hit what they need him to, move on to the next guy unless he's just so good that the band feels compelled to change their sound for the singer. If he can't hit it, it's on him to tell the band he can't hit it. Don't waste everyone's time at rehearsal while you spend two weeks figuring it out.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Free prog-related metal from Michigan.<br />
      <br />
      <a href="http://www.silentlapse.com" target="_blank">http://www.silentlapse.com</a></div>

      Comment


      • guido61
        guido61 commented
        Editing a comment

        SLScott86 wrote:
        It's the key the band played and recorded in with the previous singer. I don't think Journey would replace Steve Perry with a baritone. If they can't hit what they need him to, move on to the next guy unless he's just so good that the band feels compelled to change their sound for the singer. If he can't hit it, it's on him to tell the band he can't hit it. Don't waste everyone's time at rehearsal while you spend two weeks figuring it out.

        This ^^^^

        With any change in vocalists, I would expect the songlist to change somewhat.  But if the person you're auditioning requires totally revamping the setlist and keys, then it's probably best to just move on to the next one. 


    • #10
      Google the term "power metal." There are a lot of singers in the Steve Perry range. The point is, if a singer doesn't have the range, you shouldn't hire him. Tuning down a half step here or there is one thing, but if he isn't naturally in the ballpark and changing keys is the rule, then he's the wrong guy.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Free prog-related metal from Michigan.<br />
      <br />
      <a href="http://www.silentlapse.com" target="_blank">http://www.silentlapse.com</a></div>

      Comment


      • jeff42
        jeff42 commented
        Editing a comment

        SLScott86 wrote:
        Google the term "power metal." There are a lot of singers in the Steve Perry range. The point is, if a singer doesn't have the range, you shouldn't hire him. Tuning down a half step here or there is one thing, but if he isn't naturally in the ballpark and changing keys is the rule, then he's the wrong guy.

        will 2nd and kudos this just to toss out power metal names like Tim Owens, Michael Kiske, Timo Kotipelto, Fabio Leon, Roy Kahn, Andre Matos... all who have great range and could sing for journey if its just a range thing. 

        and if the singer didn't have the range he shouldn't sing in the band... a PERFECT example IMO is when Iron Maiden replaced Bruce with Blaze Bayley. the new guy could not hit the notes needed and it showed. The 2 albums they recorded with him only retain a passing resemblance to an Iron Maiden album.

        Now I understand that NIAB are a cover band but there are a damn good cover band with certain style about them. Fans expect the show to be up to certain standards and it wasn't with this guy.

        From what I gathered It wasn't this guy's range that kept him out of the band it was his work ethic and his inexperience fronting a band. Sending someone to woodshed with live recordings of the bands full show should be enough for someone to come to practice and only have to smooth out some stuff. 


    • #11
      And as Tim illustrates, which I've meant to mention, it's not hard to practice a song one way and move it to your more natural key later. You are still getting the lyrics down, the timing, the cadence, the entrances. Those of us without perfect pitch just go off of what the band is doing anyway. If the band tuned down a half step on me I wouldn't even know the difference.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Free prog-related metal from Michigan.<br />
      <br />
      <a href="http://www.silentlapse.com" target="_blank">http://www.silentlapse.com</a></div>

      Comment


      • TIMKEYS
        TIMKEYS commented
        Editing a comment

        SLScott86 wrote:
        And as Tim illustrates, which I've meant to mention, it's not hard to practice a song one way and move it to your more natural key later. You are still getting the lyrics down, the timing, the cadence, the entrances. Those of us without perfect pitch just go off of what the band is doing anyway. If the band tuned down a half step on me I wouldn't even know the difference.

        Where it you run into issues is on stuff that uses a lot of open strings in signature licks.  SRV stuff is like that.   Some keyboard licks can get a little stinky to play in another key  Superstition comes to mind.   You always have the transpose switch for those , and a capo for guitar.   I only use the button on one song.   


    • #12

      If  you give someone a month to learn the show they come in knowing the tunes cold or they are out. A Pro would learn the show. A pro doesn't need 100000 rehearsals...NOW..if there is a show with cue's etc, dancers, etc then you need rehearsal to know when to play, what to play, etc..But you don't need to rehears with a band to learn the material if you are a pro. PERIOD. END DONE. Come in one night to go over intro's endings or anything weird like breaks etc...

      I don't waste my time rehearsing band members to they can learn their parts. We all come in when the parts are learned, go over things for one, maybe 2 rehearsals and GO!! That's a pro cover band.

      Comment


      • jeff42
        jeff42 commented
        Editing a comment

        in my last band we only used subs a few times and this is what happened.

        One bassist was asked to learn our entire show which was about 75% medleys in 2 weeks. We had one rehersal and played a gig. It worked out fine, we didn't have to pull out any boring standards. We played pretty much our show.

        Another bassist had 3 days. He learned about 70% of our show and our soundman played bass for the remaining 30%. We got through it fine considering they didn't have alot of time. We didn't get together to practice. There just wasnt time.

        We had a guy sub for our singer for 3 gigs with about 2 weeks notice. He did well. He knew alot of our tunes but never performed them. We practiced once with him. so it CAN BE DONE. Even with teh more complex medleys we had in the last band. 

        ALL 3 of these guys were great players and did the "PRO" thing and came prepared. Like grant said not everyone practices 5 nights a week. I know I couldn't... And when we do get together (once every few weeks) its no nonsense- new songs and new medleys. We play almost every weekend and have dates booked into may already. We are not TOP dog but IMO we are not bottom of the barrel either

         

        but I still find time for some FALLOUT NEW VEGAS, GTA V and other video games. 


    • #13
      For all the 'experienced pros' in here, all I hear about is craiglist list musician rants, volume complaints, fighting for $300 gigs, and the musical problems that I might hear from a thrash band of 14 year olds. Seems most of the 'problems' I hear from the 'experts' in here, would have been put in the rear view mirror decades ago.
      --------------------------
      As stated all the good gigs are often not worth mentioning. Posting a horror story can be a heads up for other, with issues to watch out for.

      Make sure all your cables are good, we had a bad one and it threw us off.

      Etc.

      We don't practice weekly, but then again, I've played Honky Tonk Woman for the past 30 years, I can nail it cold. It's similar to how I don't practice my ABC's much either.

      We do get together now and then to work on new stuff but we will also work on new stuff on our own so when we get to practice we aren't learning the song together, we are putting all our different parts together.

      We aren't playing for $300 as a band, but we are in the private party market. Better than some, not as good as others. We make enough that its worth the effort and we have a lot of fun as well.
      NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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      • guido61
        guido61 commented
        Editing a comment

        StratGuy22 wrote:


        We don't practice weekly, but then again, I've played Honky Tonk Woman for the past 30 years, I can nail it cold. It's similar to how I don't practice my ABC's much either.

        We do get together now and then to work on new stuff but we will also work on new stuff on our own so when we get to practice we aren't learning the song together, we are putting all our different parts together.


        Yep, that's how we do it as well.

        But having said all that...I actually AM calling the first full band/full volume rehearsal of our entire set for the first time in a long, long time.  Reviewing recordings of the last few gigs and I'm something decidedly "off".  Sure...we've never been the tightest band in the world to begin with, but stuff is looser than it should be.   On songs we've been playing forever, it seems stuff has drifted.  As if people have evolved to playing the songs a bit differently and not really noticed that the other guy has done the same thing but in a different direction.

        So I'm calling for everyone to review everything they play.  And then calling a mini-rehearsal of the backing band to review everything together.  And asking the girls to similarly review their parts as well.   Then I'm renting a rehearsal space for a day so we can set up and work out the full show together.   So we can get things tightened up as we roll into 2014 and we can spend the rehearsal time we do have next year working on new material and not worrying about patching up the holes in the old stuff.

         

         


    • #14
      Nice! In my tightest band I ever played in, we practiced twice a week, focusing on the song, the parts. Starting and stopping to work things out, if needed. . Then before a gig we would practice every day that week. 2 practices before we would go through the whole sets, song after song. Not stopping, just like a gig.

      Then we would be ready for the gig. Probably overkill. We were in our 20's and it was fun as well.
      NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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      • guido61
        guido61 commented
        Editing a comment

        StratGuy22 wrote:
        Nice! In my tightest band I ever played in, we practiced twice a week, focusing on the song, the parts. Starting and stopping to work things out, if needed. . Then before a gig we would practice every day that week. 2 practices before we would go through the whole sets, song after song. Not stopping, just like a gig.

        Then we would be ready for the gig. Probably overkill. We were in our 20's and it was fun as well.

        That was how we did it when I was first starting out in my teens.  It was the only way to get good both at playing those songs and just at being better musicians and a better band in general.  Because we just didn't have the experience.   And yeah, it was fun because we were still so new too it and just loved playing.

        My tightest band was probably my 80s hair band because we played 5 nights a week/50 weeks a year.  Every night was a rehearsal of the set so there was no need to do anything more during the day than just work up new material.  Work on the basics, throw it in the set, know it will be a bit rough on Wed and Thurs and hopefully knock it out of the park on Friday and Saturday.

        With this band, it's become a bit of almost coming full circle because we only gig 2 or 3 times a month and, because of the great physical difference between some band members, full rehearsals almost never happen.   So I suppose it only makes sense that some things would loosen up and go unnoticed over time.  And "talking through" what needs to be done only goes so far.    So I'm actually looking forward to doing all this rehearsal during a slow spot in our schedule.   I hope everyone else in the band is as well.  


    • #15

      :smiley-hijacked::smiley-trolls::smiley-music017:

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