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  • Replacing the Irreplaceable Member

    I dont often start threads in here... but I am wrestling with something

    Back in late August our superstar singing guitarist (VERY talented 30-year old guy) announced that he was going back to school, working 30 hours a week AND focusing on his originals career. This left no time for the cover band.

    So began the decidedly gross task of replacing him. Finding guitar players is not a huge problem but the guy was a fantastic player and an even better singer. A natural tenor, he was able to do stuff like Crazy, Billie Jean and Another Ones Bites the Dust with relative ease. So he left a pretty big hole in the band.

    Here is the full list:

    American Girl
    Another One Bites the Dust
    Basket Case
    Billie Jean
    Buddy Holly
    Crazy
    Fortunate Son
    Get Ready
    Hard to Handle
    Hungry Like the Wolf
    I Saw Her Standing There
    Just What I Needed
    Lonely Boy
    Moves Like Jagger
    Play That Funky Music
    Rock This Town
    Sex on Fire
    Shine
    Summer of 69
    Working For The Weekend

    He, I and the bass player split lead singer duties (20/33/4 songs respectively)

    As the mixed bag of auditions (4 dudes + 3 no-shows) draws to a close tonight, we are likely resolved to a great guitar player with limited singing ability.

    So what would you do with those 20 songs?

    We are thinking of splitting between myself and the bass player. I am not sure how well we will pull them off yet (some are easy, some not so much), but how much effort would you expend in trying to make them work versus just picking up some new songs to replace them. A couple are already candidates to be dropped.

    Put another way, are there any songs above which you would just ditch and not look back?
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Vocal Gear:</b> Audix OM3xb, Boss VE-20 | <b>Synth Gear: </b>Muse Receptor V1.0 | <b>Controllers: </b>M-Audio Axiom Pro 61, Roland AX7<br><br><br><br></div>

  • #2
    Few, if any, songs are irreplaceable. Although it sometimes seems like that when something is working well. A couple of the songs on your list (American Girl, PTFM, RTT, a few others probably) I would think would work just as well with anybody singing them who can hit the notes, and they aren't that hard to sing to begin with.

    Others probably really need a strong vocal to carry them (Fortunate Son, WFTW) and should probably just be dropped if no one else can sing them as well as the old guy. To the degree you have fans who associate any songs with the guitarist singing them, it would be best to just move on and forward.

    If it were me, I'd keep a couple of the easy ones, replace the rest, and use it as an opportunity to re-tool the band into something better/different rather than trying to keep it as-much-the-same as possible.
    _________________________________________________
    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

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    • #3
      Few, if any, songs are irreplaceable


      Did you mean songs or singers?
      <div class="signaturecontainer">--<br><br>Hammond: BC, M3, Split L111, L122 / Leslie: 51, 760 / Yamaha: DGX-620, PF-85<br><br>Follow my new band, <a href="http://DrBombay.ca/connect.html" target="_blank">Dr. Bombay</a>! We're going to be organasmic!</div>

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      • #4
        Did you mean songs or singers?


        I meant songs, but in this case it seems they are one and the same. If the singer was truely irreplacable, the band would either be breaking up or taking on a greatly different outlook. Instead, the OP's definition of "irreplaceable member" seems to be: "we can't easily find a singing guitarist who sings the same songs just as well as the old guy, thereby making replacing him more work for us than we'd rather have to deal with."
        _________________________________________________
        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


        • #5
          If it were me, I'd keep a couple of the easy ones, replace the rest, and use it as an opportunity to re-tool the band into something better/different rather than trying to keep it as-much-the-same as possible.


          That's where my head is at. Though I fear I may be alone in that regard (in the band). There are a couple stronger tunes that I would hate to see go and would probably spend some time trying to get them to work.
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Vocal Gear:</b> Audix OM3xb, Boss VE-20 | <b>Synth Gear: </b>Muse Receptor V1.0 | <b>Controllers: </b>M-Audio Axiom Pro 61, Roland AX7<br><br><br><br></div>

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          • #6
            I meant songs, but in this case it seems they are one and the same. If the singer was truely irreplacable, the band would either be breaking up or taking on a greatly different outlook. Instead, the OP's definition of "irreplaceable member" seems to be: "we can't easily find a singing guitarist who sings the same songs just as well as the old guy, thereby making replacing him more work for us than we'd rather have to deal with."


            Nothing like hyperbole in a thread title to solicit responses
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Vocal Gear:</b> Audix OM3xb, Boss VE-20 | <b>Synth Gear: </b>Muse Receptor V1.0 | <b>Controllers: </b>M-Audio Axiom Pro 61, Roland AX7<br><br><br><br></div>

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            • #7
              Sex on Fire, not familiar with that one? Do people respond and do they dance to it?

              American Girl - to sing it all you need to do is put a close hanger pin on your nose to give you that Tom Petty sound, hate the song with a passion, I'd drop it like a used condom. (sorry bad memories with that song, geetar players always do it WHY????)

              All the rest seem to be pretty standard and good tunes for the average bar band and I'd keep them.

              Lonely Boy - newer release see it posted on here a lot, listened to it, I think it sucks bad, not sure what the attraction is????

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              • #8
                That's where my head is at. Though I fear I may be alone in that regard (in the band). There are a couple stronger tunes that I would hate to see go and would probably spend some time trying to get them to work.


                I hear ya. Just don't forget the bigger picture and that's that there are likely some other songs out there that would work just as well in the same spot in your set that one of the other guys could sing better (thereby making it a better song for the "New" ****************takes.)

                Nothing kills a song quicker than a poor lead-vocal, IMO. Especially on a song that really needs a strong, solid delivery. Nobody is really going to miss any song you didn't play at all. They WILL likely notice a song you sing poorly, however.

                OTHO, it's certainly all a song-by-song/band-by-band proposition. And some songs ARE so strong that you can 'get by' with poor vocals. For us, that song is "Sweet Child of Mine". The drummer sings it--"OK" at best--and he hates doing it for that reason. I refuse to drop the song because it KILLS virtually every night/every crowd, and I keep suggesting one of the girls take it over. They both refuse while insisting that the drummer's less-than-stellar vocal is still better than either of them could do. I disagree. So around and around we go with that debate while continuing to play the song to huge crowd response while the drummer croaks through it.

                So I guess my answer is---give those killer tunes of yours a shot, and if the response is still great and you aren't THAT embarrassed by the performance...all is well!
                _________________________________________________
                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


                • #9
                  I dont often start threads in here... but I am wrestling with something

                  Back in late August our superstar singing guitarist (VERY talented 30-year old guy) announced that he was going back to school, working 30 hours a week AND focusing on his originals career. This left no time for the cover band.


                  So what would you do with those 20 songs?

                  We are thinking of splitting between myself and the bass player. I am not sure how well we will pull them off yet (some are easy, some not so much), but how much effort would you expend in trying to make them work versus just picking up some new songs to replace them. A couple are already candidates to be dropped.

                  Put another way, are there any songs above which you would just ditch and not look back?


                  As a musician playing in a band, I tend to want to have the best possible vocals on every song. As a sound tech mixing bands every week, I see lots of bands do popular songs with less than stellar vocals, and it never seems to matter to the crowd. From the 'crowd' perspective, I'd keep whichever songs have done the best in the past in terms of packing the dance floor and getting good audience response, so long as the vocals are at least 'acceptable' and not off key etc.

                  The only other solution would be to add a lead singer to the lineup. (Not sure if that's something you could afford to do).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I dont often start threads in here... but I am wrestling with something

                    Back in late August our superstar singing guitarist (VERY talented 30-year old guy) announced that he was going back to school, working 30 hours a week AND focusing on his originals career. This left no time for the cover band...

                    ...He, I and the bass player split lead singer duties (20/33/4 songs respectively)

                    As the mixed bag of auditions (4 dudes + 3 no-shows) draws to a close tonight, we are likely resolved to a great guitar player with limited singing ability.

                    So what would you do with those 20 songs?

                    We are thinking of splitting between myself and the bass player. I am not sure how well we will pull them off yet (some are easy, some not so much), but how much effort would you expend in trying to make them work versus just picking up some new songs to replace them. A couple are already candidates to be dropped.

                    Put another way, are there any songs above which you would just ditch and not look back?


                    I would put the focus on the songs you and the bass player can pull off and work on more that you can easily sing. If a lot of these songs will strain your vocal chords, I would drop them until you actually find someone who can actually handle them. I'm a baritone, so I leave out songs that I can't sing very well, even if I love the songs. I sing the majority of the tunes, so I have to adjust the songs we do accordingly to what we can pull off well.

                    The thing to always remember is that vocals make or break the band unless you have some other kind of gimmick going on. Most bands will gain a following based on how many people like your singing. If you are straining to do songs that are out of your league, you will lose your audience.
                    (This is my Non-Signature.)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Look at this a the perfect chance to drop all the crap songs and retool to make a better band. This happened to me in 2005 and we became a better band because of it. What it doesn't mean is you guys have to be down and out for months. Its a ton of work but it can be done with minimal downtown.
                      www.ostrichhat.com

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                      • #12
                        "Cemetaries are full of irreplaceable people." I agree with "guido61".
                        Everybody is terminally ill.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Look at this a the perfect chance to drop all the crap songs and retool to make a better band. This happened to me in 2005 and we became a better band because of it. What it doesn't mean is you guys have to be down and out for months. Its a ton of work but it can be done with minimal downtown.


                          Yeah I agree.

                          Don't cast the members to the setlist (if you're having this much trouble),
                          instead , make the setlist to the strengths of the members
                          SELLING
                          $40 Washburn Lyon wah
                          $50 Korg EXP2 expression pedal
                          $80 Ernie Ball VP Jr volume pedal
                          $60 Electro Harmonix Octave Multiplexer
                          $600 Rivera TBR1 2 channel preamp stereo power amp
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                          $140 Carvin DCM 150-150 watt stereo power amp

                          www.jpaulmusic.com
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                          • #14
                            How about getting someone who only sings, perhaps a chick singer?

                            Is that a viable option? I know a few people who are strong singers, but either do not play an instrument, or are not good/versatile enough to cut it as a instrumentalist in a gigging band.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font color="#4169e1"> <a href="http://www.paulzerra.com/" target="_blank">http://www.paulzerra.com/</a> </font><br />
                            <br />
                            Here is a Blues tune I do w/my trio to warm up:<br />
                            <br />
                            <a href="https://www.box.com/s/43da5e4ca6432d021eb8" target="_blank">https://www.box.com/s/43da5e4ca6432d021eb8</a><br />
                            <br />
                            Music teacher and piano player.</div>

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                            • #15
                              I would recommend that you keep all of 'his' songs that you can. Change the key if necessary, but keep them. Your audience is used to hearing you guys do those songs, and they work for you. You've lost him, but you don't have to lose his songs.

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