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  • Weird situation with 2 singers....

    When we started this band it was 4 of us. Female lead singer, guitarist, me on bass, and drummer. We switched drummers once. We weren't too serious, and had a bit of trouble finding songs that work with us. Then the lead singer got pregnant. Into her pregnancy, she tells us she's going to be out for awhile as she's on bed rest. (6 months of pregnancy then however after babys born,) She suggests a new singer and introduces us to a male singer. Turns out he's a great fit, and we add more songs into our set and book a show. (First show)

    Despite being on bed rest she ends up miscarrying. Now she's back, and we have 2 singers, which isn't a bad thing, but they each want to be the lead, and don't like "sitting" for 1/2 the show. They both are great singers, but we are having trouble finding stuff for both of them to do.

    He is a singer, that's it. Nothing else.

    She is also a good pianist. Now I know it's simple to just say put her on keys, but a lot of our songs don't have keyboard parts.

    So not wanting either to be mad, or leave the group, how do you people with 2 singers work it?

  • #2

    Put her on keys and develop some keyboard parts. Keys can fit in in any style of music.

    Tell em both they gotta learn to sing harmony.



    • stangconv
      stangconv commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah but she wants to sing to...

  • #3

    Our 4-piece group has, basically, two lead singers. I was the lead singer in my previous band, and I started my current group with a friend who was a frontman for his band. He's the better "frontman", so that's his thing.. I'm also playing guitar and running the lightrig (on a MIDI switch). Still, half the night, I'm singing lead on songs. He contributes by tossing in vocals (when appropriate), going out in the crowd and getting people to sing along on the sing-along parts to some songs, and just generally playing around with the crowd, still doing the "frontman" thing. 

    It doesn't undermine what I'm doing.. in fact, it compliments it. Of course, when he's singing, I just focus more on the guitar/harmonies.

    I would suggest that you get both of your two singers to focus more on engaging the crowd while the other is singing.

    Take a look at some of the famous country duos. Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry.. they've enjoyed a lot of success, and both members sang (and sang alternating lead) in each of those acts.

    Even if it's not at all the type of music.. take a cue from many rap artists you'll see. Going to see many major rap stars.. those folks will have people onstage who's only job is to hype the crowd up, to get them into what's going on. There are ways to have the singer not singing be a bit of a "hype man". I'm not suggesting backwards ballcaps and shouting angrily at the audience. But find what works for them that accomplishes the same thing for your crowd as that does for thiers, and go with it.


    • #4
      We have 4 singers, the whole frontline.

      Bass player sings harmonies only
      I play guitar, sing harmonies and some lead
      The other guitarist sings lead and some harmonies
      The keyboard plays some keys, some lead, some harmonies, sometimes she just plays tambourine.

      She doesn't play keys every song, she doesn't sing every song. None of us sing lead all night. We all trade off taking turns. Leads are shared between us two guitarists as well, sometime trading leads in the same song.

      It all works out fine. Having 2 leads opens the door for a lot of material. I say keep them both. Have a band meeting and sort it all out.


      • Fab4ever
        Fab4ever commented
        Editing a comment


        Are you a cover band or originals? Either way, most songs have harmony parts -- and even those that don't can. Four of the seven of us in my band sing, and it really adds a lot to have harmonies. I also love the advice about engaging the crowd - that's advice some of my bandmates need to hear!

      • SpaceNorman
        SpaceNorman commented
        Editing a comment

        StratGuy22 wrote:
        We have 4 singers, the whole frontline.....
        It all works out fine. Having 2 leads opens the door for a lot of material. I say keep them both. Have a band meeting and sort it all out.

        Not only does having multiple bandmates who sing lead open the door for a lot of material - sooner or later it will save your ass during the cold and flu season.   A band that relies on one lead singer is essentially out of business if that singer comes down with strep throat or bronchitis.   Having multiple bandmates who sing lead protects the working band for those sorts of disruptions.   It's usually a plus from the audience's perspective as well - few vocalists have the range and/or the vocal stamina to sing 180 minutes worth of material (a typical full bar night) - without having to pace themselves and/or without starting to sound a little monotonous.   The sonic variety that multiple leads bring to the table is huge!

    • #5
      The longest gig we played, we started playing at 9pm and went until 4:30 am



      • StageMasters
        StageMasters commented
        Editing a comment

        That's the hell of a long gig StratGuy!! How many sets did you play?

      • sirfun
        sirfun commented
        Editing a comment

        StratGuy22 wrote:
        The longest gig we played, we started playing at 9pm and went until 4:30 am

        ours was a half hour set when we had two singers that "dint get along"

    • #6
      12/3 extension cords

      It was a Spring Breakup party for an oil company. In the spring, everything softens up and the big machinery can't get into the different roads out in the oilfield, so everyone gets a month or so off while everything dries up.

      Perfect time for a last hurrah. We've played it a few times. Always a great time. Pig roast, turkey, 3 little kid swimming pools full of beer, coolers etc, just help yourself.

      The first 2 sets were 45 minutes. Then we played an hour. After that, there's a group of guys that work for the company, and they all play so we let them bang out a half hour set using our gear. Then we took to the stage abou quarter after one and we finished at 2:30

      By then there was only a handful of people left, the diehards. They wanted us to keep going. Our keyboard player's husband said "money talks" the one manager of a different company said "I'll write them a check" to which the husband replied "nah man, cash is king!" so they all threw in and came up with a couple hundred more, and we kept on.

      Luckily, as a band we have so many songs between us and if someone doesn't know it, we are all on the ball enough to pick it up after a verse and a chorus.

      At the time the floor was gravel and there were these big long picnic tables we couldn't move. A weird setup, but everyone just danced on the picnic tables. We were waiting for someone to bite it but it never happened. Now that part of the floor is cemented, and the tables are moved to the side for any gig.

      So we did another 2 sets, the gloves were off by that time and it was what it was. Finally at 4:30 our drummer was done. Strumming and singing is one thing, but drumming is pretty much a full on workout.

      "Keep going" they said.

      "We can't, we're done"

      "Keep going"

      "Dude, it's getting light out"

      Here's a video from one of the songs. This was closer to 3am. For the record, I had never played the song before, hadn't even heard it much, I know it's a standard but it was always a little before my time.

      I'm the fatass in the green following along, and I pulled the solo out of the hat. A couple bad notes but not bad for totally winging it!! We were all jeans and tshirts to start but it cooled off some so on came the flannel lol. This is a case of our keyboard player doing some tambourine, a bit of backups, but most important, being there, a part of the band!


      NYE we played from 9 until 3, with 29 minute breaks. The first set was 45 minutes, the rest clocked in over an hour each.


      • n8cJohn
        n8cJohn commented
        Editing a comment

        If I found myself in a band that had a female vocalist and a keyboard player - I'd make sure that I would do enough gigs to get sick of playing this song - before I made any personnel decisions:


        Even though it is two guys singing back and forth on the record - I always thought it would be better with a guy and a gal trading lines.

    • #7

      A male and female fronted duo?  Sounds like band nirvana.  The flexibility and range you guys should be able to achieve now should be great. 

      When one is singing lead, the other does primary harmonies and backups, and vice versa.  Everyone always has something going on.  This shouldn't be an issue.  Unless there are massive egos involved.


      • FitchFY
        FitchFY commented
        Editing a comment

        Yeah, I'm totally at a loss as to why this is an issue. You've got a male and female lead, one of them plays keys, and you think this is a problem?

        Dude, most people would kill to have that in a band!!! You guys need to see the bigger picture!

        That being said, lead singers aren't known for wanting to share the spotlight.

    • #8
      I suspect there must be an issue here with one or both singers not being completely willing to share the spotlight.
      band websites:


      • StratGuy22
        StratGuy22 commented
        Editing a comment
        Nothing kills a band faster than egos.

        Except maybe sleeping with the singer, and blow.

    • #9
      Hey sorry for the delay... Not liking this new layout...

      Yeah they aren't too keen on splitting the duties... Where as she's kinda like "i was he first" and he "signed up to be a lead singer"


      • StratGuy22
        StratGuy22 commented
        Editing a comment
        They have to see the big picture!!!

      • jeff42
        jeff42 commented
        Editing a comment

        stangconv wrote:
        Hey sorry for the delay... Not liking this new layout...

        Yeah they aren't too keen on splitting the duties... Where as she's kinda like "i was he first" and he "signed up to be a lead singer"

        It could work if they both didn't have this attitude. when my other band  "There & Back Again" started in 2002 we had a male & a female lead vocalist. Our male vocalist did NOT want to have the spotlight all to himself and looked at the whole thing as a group effort. Yep. No Lead Singer Disease for him. Our female vocalist... well. there were tons of things wrong with her I don't know where to start. We finally ended up dumping her but the line up was 2 lead voclaists for a few years. It was nice being able to tackle anything. My advice is show them the big picture if posisble. Wouldn't it be great to cover almost ANYTHING and have 2 people working the crowd? IMO it's a BIG plus. 

    • #10
      We do the odd duet-ish songs:

      Paradise by the Dashboard Light
      Time Warp

      Plus on top of all the "guy" song we cover, we can do such "girl" songs like

      Hate myself for loving you
      When will I belong

      The combination just gives us SUCH a wide variety of songs we can cover. Hopefully they can see beyond, and realize a band is a "we" and not an "I"

      Same holds true for a guitarist that's too loud. I see myself as a guitarist in the band. It's not about me, it's about us. Sure ill bump my volume when I'm doing a solo, but other than that I sit down in the mix, so that WE as a band sound great.

      It's not the Robbie Jones experience.


      • #11
        I have always made it clear. It's a band not a singer with a backup band. I know a few ladies on my area that try to do this and fail.


        • stangconv
          stangconv commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey am update, real simple solution actually. We are just at the point where we are really starting to book gigs, but a huge part of the issue is our practice space wasn't setup properly. When one was singing they would take the "lead" mic and the other would go off to the side and either sit down or go on there phone. Some posts on here got me thinking it was an issue of them not being engaged the whole practice. I re arranged our space so that its like we are on a stage, and put 2 mics up front so now they both have to be engaged the whole practice. It really brought new life into the practices and I haven't heard a single complaint since.

          Thanks for your help!

      • #12
        Nice!! That's awesome to hear