This Article is About
vocalist
personality clashes
types of personalities
great personality
vocalists
skill level
confrontation
Do You Have A Vocalist?
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Some groups cannot perform without one......Others don't want one......And yet some are indifferent to the whole idea of a vocalist in their band. Where do you stand on the vocal issue? Well the subject deserves some discussion and we're gonna’ do just that. Who knows, maybe you'll find something in which you can relate but at any rate, enjoy.

I've performed with a wide range of vocalists through the years and just like with anything else, you see good, bad and ugly. I have to say however, there are more “goods” to talk about. Yes, it is always good being able to reflect on the positives and store the negatives in a neat little file for your personal ledger of experience. Such experience should teach you that it isnt wise to burn bridges in this business as any other. Sad to say, a number of musical frienships were destroyed, due to personality clashes, sometimes over minor issues.

Types of personalities. It is always a pleasure to work with a vocalist that knows his/her limitations and steer clear of pushing beyond those limits. I am presently working on a project here in Chicago, incorporating the master skills of a local Jazz vocalist and friend, "Jennifer Graham", along with "Women In Motion," a trio of talented ladies that will be performing background vocals for me in an upcoming concert. It is indeed a pleasure to work with talent on this level, with great personality as an added treat....they literally sound like windchimes, in fact one member told me, we take pride in what we do. This is the right attitude to have.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case.....some vocalists dont have the right attitude and even ignor their limitations, for instance it could be the desire to sing a particular song to the degree that limitations are ignored. It is not the fault of the band that you cannot sing beyond a certain range, so if you "crack" in your attempt, this is not the time to accuse the guitarist of playing wrong chords.....Yes, I've seen this up close and too personal.

Moreover, when a vocalist simply tells the band, "hey I like that song as well, it's just that I can't hit some of those notes naturally, we can give it a try but I don't feel comfortable with it". This describes a person well aware of their abilities and this usually works out quite well for everybody. Instead of a big confrontation you could use that valuable time selecting another song to learn.

Trained vocalist, a good thing. I remember doing a show, some years ago and a vocalist showed up while the band was on the first break. I hadn't seen him in years but knew his skill level. We had no vocalist that night so I asked him if he wouldn't mind sitting in for a few songs.....Notice, when the band asked what songs he could do, he said, "No!, what songs do you guys know" Wow! And I must add, he almost stole the show from us....unintentionally, of course. This man had skills and the whole package, workable personality, modest and all the things you could ever ask for in a vocalist.

Michael, the vocalist had extensive musical training, he learned music and theory in an adult music class years back and really benefitted not only himself but those he would work with. Michael also learned how to make music a special part of his life!

Vocalists are a true gift to any band, regardless of the amount of singing they do in the group. It is always nice to have that feature and If you aspire to be a vocalist, learn the educational part of singing. Study vocal shaping, music and theory including reading music. Learn the piano.....all of this adds up to a vocalist who will be recognized as an asset to any band. Sing it!


Street Talk

Thanks for the background insight into the makings of a great piece of music! Best wishes

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Pierre1  

I feel naked without backing vocals. They add soooo much to the vibe. Gives a feeling of something greater than just me myself and I vibe.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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