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New band, poor singer. Advice, please...


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Posted (edited)

As lockdown freedom approaches, I've been jamming/auditioning with three local covers bands. One has invited me to join them. I've only played with them twice - audition, plus first full rehearsal. The first full rehearsal was recorded, and I've been listening to our efforts. It's pretty clear to me that the singer isn't especially good. She sounds flat most of the time to me - my partner describes the singer's voice as "unmusical". I thought this when the band sent me their pre-audition recordings, and I thought it at my first jam/audition. The recordings of the first full rehearsal strengthens my view. What to do? Key points:

I have a feeling - could well be completely wrong - that the singer and one of the guitarists may be an item.

I'm very much the new boy and certainly wouldn't want to upset anybody. "Carry on in quiet desperation is the English way..."

I'm keen to get back out there playing with real people again, but not if I'm always inwardly wincing at the singer's voice.

What's the best approach here, folks?

 

 

Edited by solo4652
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1 minute ago, solo4652 said:

As lockdown freedom approaches, I've been jamming/auditioning with three local covers bands. One has invited me to join them. I've only played with them twice - audition, plus first full rehearsal. The first full rehearsal was recorded, and I've been listening to our efforts. It's pretty clear to me that the singer isn't especially good. She sounds flat most of the time to me - my partner describes the singer's voice as "unmusical". I thought this when the band sent me their pre-audition recordings, and I thought it at my first jam/audition. The recordings of the first full rehearsal strengthens my view. What to do? Key points:

I'm have a feeling - could well be completely wrong - that the singer and one of the guitarists may be an item.

I'm very much the new boy and certainly wouldn't want to upset anybody. "Carry on in quiet desperation is the English way..."

I'm keen to get back out there playing with real people again, but not if I'm always inwardly wincing at the singer's voice.

What's the best approach here, folks?

 

 

If they are indeed an item then you'll find it tough to get rid, most likely they'll boot you if anything.

I would walk - easiest way to avoid drama.

Unfortunately, a lot of punters judge you on your singer and if they're not up to scratch, then there is a high chance you won't get great reviews. Just the way these things work.

I would focus on the other two bands. 

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Ear plugs and always remember to never utter ‘man that be-atch can’t sing’ should get you through it.

Seriously though, if it grates on you now it will only get worse, I’d say walk now and be fair to them in getting another bassist in time for gigging when we’re allowed out to play.

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Bit of "tact & diplomacy"?

Ask her if she feels like she's struggling and what the band can do to help . Maybe suggest a key change?

I've heard Sade struggle a few times - you wouldn't walk from her band...

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Switch to original music and make her voice a feature of what you do. There are lots of great, great bands making great, great music with singers who would be viewed traditionally as "unmusical" 😀

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1 hour ago, solo4652 said:

As lockdown freedom approaches, I've been jamming/auditioning with three local covers bands. One has invited me to join them. I've only played with them twice - audition, plus first full rehearsal. The first full rehearsal was recorded, and I've been listening to our efforts. It's pretty clear to me that the singer isn't especially good. She sounds flat most of the time to me - my partner describes the singer's voice as "unmusical". I thought this when the band sent me their pre-audition recordings, and I thought it at my first jam/audition. The recordings of the first full rehearsal strengthens my view. What to do? Key points:

I have a feeling - could well be completely wrong - that the singer and one of the guitarists may be an item.

I'm very much the new boy and certainly wouldn't want to upset anybody. "Carry on in quiet desperation is the English way..."

I'm keen to get back out there playing with real people again, but not if I'm always inwardly wincing at the singer's voice.

What's the best approach here, folks?

 

 

Don’t.

Simples.

 

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Stroll away.The singer's the focal point of any covers band, and if the singer's sh!t, so will the reputation of the band be, and the likelihood of getting regular good, well-paid gigs.

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1 hour ago, solo4652 said:

As lockdown freedom approaches, I've been jamming/auditioning with three local covers bands. One has invited me to join them. I've only played with them twice - audition, plus first full rehearsal. The first full rehearsal was recorded, and I've been listening to our efforts. It's pretty clear to me that the singer isn't especially good. She sounds flat most of the time to me - my partner describes the singer's voice as "unmusical". I thought this when the band sent me their pre-audition recordings, and I thought it at my first jam/audition. The recordings of the first full rehearsal strengthens my view. What to do? Key points:

I have a feeling - could well be completely wrong - that the singer and one of the guitarists may be an item.

I'm very much the new boy and certainly wouldn't want to upset anybody. "Carry on in quiet desperation is the English way..."

I'm keen to get back out there playing with real people again, but not if I'm always inwardly wincing at the singer's voice.

What's the best approach here, folks?

 

 

I was asked to join a band, a few years ago, and the drummer was shockingly bad. 

I've endured rubbish drummers in other bands but I decided I wasn't joining this band if I had to put up with it this time.

I brought the issue up with the guitarist and he texted me the next day to say they'd got a better one........RESULT!!!

If the singer is going to be an issue, bring it up now, or regret it further down the road.

 

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Posted (edited)

In my book it’s bad form to join a band with the intention of ousting or complaining about an existing member. So don’t join.

At most give that as a reason for not joining, if that member is not the one you're talking to.

Edited by Nail Soup
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I'm an experienced choral singer (not solo) and I don't get how people get to sing and to be so unaware to not realise that they're out-of-tune. If nothing has been done by the band to flag it up, query it, try to work out what the problem is then it's unlikely to change. The reasons vary, but could be poor key choice as some singers - especially 1st sops - get all 'ego' about having to sing top As or whatever. There is also the common issue of 'anyone can sing'. Well, that's true up to a point, but singing, like playing, requires practice and there is technique involved in doing it properly as well.    

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5 minutes ago, zbd1960 said:

I'm an experienced choral singer (not solo) and I don't get how people get to sing and to be so unaware to not realise that they're out-of-tune.

Out of tune singing is caused by technical errors coming between the intention and the delivery: the voice is being told correctly what pitch to sing at, but thanks to problems in producing the sound, a slightly different pitch comes out. If a singer is persistently out of tune, there's probably an ingrained vocal fault which wont be going anywhere soon, let alone in performance.

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Posted (edited)

You might try recording rehearsals on the basis that it's good for everyone to listen back to the recordings to see what issues need to be addressed (which is good practice regardless). See if the singist picks up on her faults and works on them after listening to the recordings (if she and the guitard are an item, maybe he will if she doesn't).

Does the band have decent vocal monitors? Perhaps she struggles to hear herself.

If there's work in the offing and you can stand it for now, stick with them whilst looking for something else. If it's making you unhappy and there's no sign of improvement, you have no alternative to leaving, really.

Edited by Dan Dare
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Even if the singist could sing in tune, alarm bells would be ringing for me if the singard and guitard were an item. 1st rule of band survival: NEVER join a group with a band couple! Haven't you seen Spinal Tap??? 

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