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  • Singers lend me some advice

    Hello, I have a bit of a situation. My current band is in the planning/writing stages so we haven't played a show yet. My other guitarist wants to sing and play, but the poor guy is noticeably off key alot. While I'm a guitarist at heart, I did discover I have a pretty good signing voice and would love to sing and play but my other guitar player wants it bad, and I really don't want to be an ass and take it away. I also have really good stage presence, and have been told I should be a frontman. So I'm left with two possibilites: Either he just needs some practice and might be the next Robert Plant, or he doesn't improve and I have to tell him its not going to work with him singing. If he doesn't improve, how do I let him know in a civil and respectful way? I can't just boot this guy either, he's a great guitarist and we're a two guitar team kind of band.

  • #2

    Hey there,

    I think its important to be passionate about singing. I think his passion would be considered his strength in this case. But I think everything boils down to band dynamics and serving the music well. Every band will have different chemistry, some bands are democratic while some bands its usually one person calling the shots. You could have your band do a vote to be the lead vocalist. If you don't have enough people in your band to have a proper vote then maybe you can have people in your band's support team to vote as well.

    You could try setting a one month deadline to give you both a chance to improve beforehand. If his singing improved enough maybe you both can be vocalists. Kinda like the band Blink 182, Tom or Mark usually switch on lead vocals depending on what song it is. Tom's voice was higher so he usually sang the higher-ranged songs and Mark's voice was lower so he sang in the lower range. Basically whatever is appropriate for the song.

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    • staticsound
      staticsound commented
      Editing a comment
      Man, that's a tough one. This is a problem that should be taken care of asap...especially if you're in the writing stages. You don't want to get everything done and show ready, and then have to change things up.

      If you have the better voice, and being the frontman is what you want, you're gonna have to break it to the guy. It ain't gonna be easy, all musicians have a fragile ego...lol. He could always do backups or you guys could trade off, like Davie said.

      If he's gonna sing, it still needs to be brought to his attention that he needs to put in the man hours and practice. In my own experience, it's best just to flat out tell him...not like "you suck bro, take some lessons", maybe just bring it to his attention that he's off key at times and there's some rough spots that could be worked on. Try recording a jam session, some people don't realize they're off unless they hear it played back...and sometimes they still can't tell...if that's the case, don't let him sing lead...lol

      Anyways, just my 2 cents.

  • #3

    Firstly, how many others are in the band, are they aware of your dilema and have they made any comment either way? If nothing else, you could keep it a democratic process if the other members agree, Other than that, you just nned to be strong and get the point across. Yes, most bands are a mish, mash of personalities, abilities and egos but ultimately you are all there with the common goal of making the best music you can. As a vocalist myself, I would say that he probably wouldn't be that great at backing you on harmony's based on the fact that you say he is off key a lot. Perhaps you could let him be the more prominent guitarist to compensate. Either way, it needs sorting asap otherwise it will boil over and eat away at you. Ultimately, if he simply can't see it, he may not be the right guy.

    Good luck with it


    • #4

      hi there,

      great that you have a band. nobody here can give you any definite advice because we have nothing to compare to. we don't know how you sound, we don't know how the other guy sounds. so anything anyone says here will be generic advice, unless you do a recording and post it so we can have a listen.

      that said, if i assume everything you say is true, i would agree to what everyone here has said. there's a general consensus here that these kinds of issues need to be dealt with directly and openly, with no hard feelings. not easy to do, but then you wanted your own band didn't you?

      i particularly love the blink 182 example above. they're not my favourite band by any standards (i listen to jazz) but the way they get along as a band is really something most other bands should look to learn from.

      whatever your decision, good luck and keep singing!

      I write articles about voice and singing at No Note Singing