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  • Auditioning new singers: what a process!

    For those who have been following along, our 2nd lead singer, Amy, gave her notice to us a couple of months back, so we've been searching for her replacement for the last few weeks.

    Craigslist has been good to us in the past, so we decided to go that route.  And we got plenty of responses---girls in all shapes, sizes and flavors.  Girls from 18 to 55.  Girls who have never played in a band before to those who have been singing professionally all their lives.  Girls who were great singers to those who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.   I felt like Randy Jackson at an American Idol cattle call audition trying to decide who send on to Hollywood.   I haven't really gone through an audition process like this since looking for drummers back in my 80s hair-band days.

    We narrowed it down to 3 for the final audition:  a 21 year old girl who's been singing in bars in her dad's classic rock band for the last 5 years; a 28 year old girl with a degree in music education but has never sung with a live band before outside of things she did in church; and a 47 year old who had sung with many bands similar to ours "back in the day" and was ready to get back into playing music again.

    Really tough decision because all three had qualities we were looking for.  The 47 year old would probably have been the best fit since we're all around that same age, she looks great, and her life is pretty settled.  I wouldn't see her leaving the band anytime soon.   The other two are still so young that obviously singing with this band isn't their ultimate music career goal.  We'd just be another notch on their resume and experience ladder.  But we all decided that from the "business" perspective, we need to go with youth.  Even if it means we go into it understanding we'll likely be doing this same process again in a year or two. 

    So it was down to the first two girls.  The 21 year old was actually more experienced and an amazing rock singer.  She just stood there belting out big rock tunes with one hand in her pocket like she was drinking a glass of water.  The bad news was she just stood there belting out big rock tunes with one hand in her pocket like she was drinking a glass of water.  We worried her stage prescence might be lacking and besides, we've already got a big-rock-belter with Tiffany. 

    So we went with the least experienced vocalist with more R&B/hip-hop leanings.  Who is also an experienced dancer.  It felt a little weird not pulling the trigger for the best raw vocal talent, but I think that this girl will be the better overall fit.  We're excited about new directions and full band rehearsals begin next week.   Plus all the extra yada yada of shooting new photos and making a new video.  Time to get to work!

    In the meantime, I guess I can share with you all the "audition" video she sent me.  Her singing acapella in her kitchen.  (By far not the strangest "audition" audio or video I was subjected to, believe me....)

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  • #2

    Based on your description, I'd say you made the right compromise. A good voice is only 1 element of a much bigger equation. I'd argue that stage presence and the ability to make it a fun event is even more important. It sounds like that was the route you went.

    <div class="signaturecontainer">Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. -Will Rogers<br><br><a href="http://facebook.com/SpitShineRocks" target="_blank">http://facebook.com/SpitShineRocks</a></div>

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    • RoadRanger
      RoadRanger commented
      Editing a comment

      Nice soulful voice! I always have a talk with anyone who mentions anything about church first though as to their willingness to to do some of the F word songs...


  • #3

    Nice Kitchen !!!!   (... plus the singing was pretty good and she seems pretty easy on the eyes!)  Congrats on what looks like a good hunt!

    The SpaceNorman

    www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
    www.souldoutrocks.com

    Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
    Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
    Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

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    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      SpaceNorman wrote:

      Nice Kitchen !!!!  

      Yes it is!  I get a bit hungry whenever I watch that clip.

      But yeah, I like her voice.  She has a nice tone, good pitch, harmonizes well, and moves well and otherwise will look great on stage.  No doubt the boys in the audience are going to like her a LOT.   And her attitude was cool.  I think she'll fit in nicely with our little family of misfits.  She also is a classically trained pianist who offered up to do the wedding-background-music crap I usually get stuck doing without me even mentioning it.  So I'll have an extra set of hands on the keys!  Nothing wrong with that!

      My only concern is the lack of band experience.  I can (and did) tell her as much as a could about what to expect at gigs, and she said she's cool with all of it, but that still might not stop her from saying "**************** this ****************!" the first time she's helping to load up the trailer in -20 degrees in the snow at 2 AM.   That's what separates the men from the boys (and the women from the girls, I suppose) in this business and the people that can't handle that get weeded out at a pretty early age.  Those of us like you and me who love playing so much that we don't care about all the other bull**************** keep trucking on.   Plus there's no way to know if her voice is built for gigging until we throw her up on stage for a few sets and see how well it holds up.

      But what are you gonna do?  There's no sure things in this business.  At some point all you can do is trust your instincts and take your chances and hope for the best and if things don't work out, you move on.   I feel about 85% sure on this one. 


  • #4
    At the end of the day, I just go with my gut. It's done me right (we offered Meagan the job on the spot) and its also done me wrong. Our current drummer is the perfect example of my gut failing me. He playe like a robot in auditions, so we went with someone who was more "exciting". Failed miserably. Brought our current guy back. To this day he rehearses like he's bored, but onstage, he's a joy to watch. Sticks flipping and playing like an animal. Honestly, his return from California has me rejuvenated again.

    But this brings me to the 21 year old. I'd have liked to see some live footage of her before making a decision. Spme people just rehearse/audition differently than they perform.

    But that being said, the chick in the video can definitely sing, and if she can naturally do harmonies without direction, that's huge IMO.

    I'm sure it'll all work out well.
    ****************

    Jason
    My band: http://www.facebook.com/thetrickydickies

    "Do or do not. There is no try" - Yoda

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    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      TrickyBoy wrote:


      But this brings me to the 21 year old. I'd have liked to see some live footage of her before making a decision. Spme people just rehearse/audition differently than they perform.



      Good point.  And actually I did see some live footage of her playing with her dad's band.  Her stage presence wasn't much better than what she auditioned with, but I wasn't really judging her much on that.  Small bar/small band thing is going to be different from what she'd be required to do with us.  I'm sure she'd have been able to kick it up a notch.  But it was the combination of the live footage we saw and just her overall "presence".  She was a nice, cute girl.  The one we hired lights up the room when she enters it and commands attention.  So it was impossible to not take that into consideration. 

      She may have also had an unfair advantage in that she was the only one who has seen the band perform.  We happened to be doing a gig very close to where she works the night before, so I invited her down to check us out.  So I think that might have inspired her to bring a bit more of the proper attitude with her to the audition. 

       


    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      TrickyBoy wrote:
      At the end of the day, I just go with my gut. It's done me right (we offered Meagan the job on the spot) and its also done me wrong. Our current drummer is the perfect example of my gut failing me. He playe like a robot in auditions, so we went with someone who was more "exciting". Failed miserably. Brought our current guy back.


      Yeah, this kind of stuff scares me.  We had a bit of revolving-throne with drummers before we came upon our current drummer years back and TWICE we had guys who auditioned/rehearsed great and then just fell apart at the gigs.  I don't know what the deal was.  Couldn't have really been lack of experience, because they were both older guys who had played in a lot of bands, but for whatever reason, they just couldn't make it groove at the gigs. 

      But hey---if this girl doesn't work out, we'll just move on to the next one.  Maybe the 21 year old will still want the gig.  Who knows?  I guess I'm getting jaded in my old age....lol.


  • #5

    She sounds and looks like a good choice. 21 is too young in my opinion. 28's a good age. Plus she's hot and excited about the project and sings well. . . done.

    <div class="signaturecontainer">Check my band:<br>SoulPlay<br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TH9-e4FmaE">SoulPlay Promotional Video</a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.soulplayband.com">SoulPlay Web-site</a><br><br>Key Rig: Alesis Fusion 8HD; Alesis Vortex Keytar; Toshiba i7 laptop running Cantabile VST host with IK Multimedia Total Workstation Bundle, NI Vintage Organs, Tyrell N6, Sylenth1, Imperfect Samples Walnut Concert Grand; Tascam US-1641 USB MIDI/Audio Interface.</div>

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    • SusieP
      SusieP commented
      Editing a comment

      Just caught up on guido's adventures in recruiting a new female singer.

      I see the last post was written a little while ago,

      So how's she working out now?

       


  • #6
    I don't know if I could keep her away from drummers... I think she might kinda have a thing for them...
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    • jeff42
      jeff42 commented
      Editing a comment

      guido61 wrote:
      I don't know if I could keep her away from drummers... I think she might kinda have a thing for them...

      Wooooooo!!!!!


  • #7
    I haven't chimed in on this but i think she's great. And I have a sneaking suspicion that she will really shine in the next few months. Some people are just born to be on the stage and that's what I got from her video. Good luck with this it should be a fun ride.
    ___

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    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      Lee Knight wrote:
      I haven't chimed in on this but i think she's great. And I have a sneaking suspicion that she will really shine in the next few months. Some people are just born to be on the stage and that's what I got from her video. Good luck with this it should be a fun ride.

      Thanks, man.  I appreciate that!  Yeah, I think she'll be a performer as well.  Can't wait to get some video of her. 


    • MartinC
      MartinC commented
      Editing a comment

      Lee Knight wrote:
      I haven't chimed in on this but i think she's great. And I have a sneaking suspicion that she will really shine in the next few months. Some people are just born to be on the stage and that's what I got from her video. Good luck with this it should be a fun ride.

      I think the same-she's got talent, but....... never sung in a band? Wants to try out for AI? Those are red flags IMO. It will be interesting. Wouldn't it be incredible if she turned out to be great and your the one who helped her figure that out?


  • #8
    He thinks I'm cute!!! He thinks I'm cute!!
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    • wesg
      wesg commented
      Editing a comment
      Be careful, if you grow your hair back, he might dip your pony tail into the ink well!

  • #9
    Yeah. No ****************. I wasn't invited either.
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    • SusieP
      SusieP commented
      Editing a comment

      All joking aside, it is good news that your existing female singer and your new recruit are getting along with each other well.

       

      That's a good sign.

       

       


  • #10
    It's going well. 4 gigs with her so far. Still working on getting on the vocal "blend" to be as seamless as it was before, and she has a tendency to sing a bit too far ahead of the beat, but that will all come with time. Best news is she fits in really well with the band personality-wise. More so than I thought a girl her age would be able to. Now I just gotta get the pics and video scheduled....
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    • SusieP
      SusieP commented
      Editing a comment

      guido61 wrote:
      It's going well. 4 gigs with her so far. Still working on getting on the vocal "blend" to be as seamless as it was before, and she has a tendency to sing a bit too far ahead of the beat, but that will all come with time. Best news is she fits in really well with the band personality-wise. More so than I thought a girl her age would be able to. Now I just gotta get the pics and video scheduled....

      This is great news.

      Only four gigs in is too soon for her to be as polished as you want, but she's fitting in, and that's worth so much.  The polish will come in time.

       

      But you know that.

       

      So glad it's working out for you.

       

       

       

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