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Old 09-18-2012, 01:10 AM   #1
TNA
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Mediocre singer but great frontman

Just wanted to get some opinions on the singer for my band. I have been told by people that he is a bad singer. Personally I don't hear it, sure he's not the best, but i think he is far from bad. I've also had other people tell me they liked his voice though. So lets just put it at he is a below average singer. But he is a terrific frontman. He'll dress up, he uses the stage well, he gets the audience into it. So I'm just curious if you would rather have the mediocre singer, but great frontman. Or great singer and bad frontman, someone like Maynard maybe? Here's some of our songs if you want to hear him http://soundcloud.com/lostfrequency
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:16 AM   #2
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No problem there mate, havent listened yet but Mick Jagger isnt a great singer but one of the best frontmen of all time. also i think that now more than ever the live show is the most important thing for a band - so better to be good on stage than in the studio.

You should be glad to have a singer with that kind of prescence coz they dont come around often!
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
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Dude, he's not a bad singer at all. The Singer from Mars Volta is an awful singer but a perfect frontman, me myself i'm a really really bad singer but i'm a frontman of a band that i judge 'Individualistic' http://soundcloud.com/the-strings-pullers
so don't pay attention to such crap dude.. your music rules.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:47 AM   #4
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I agree with what's been said in that a great stage presence is far more important then a great voice, but he actually has a pretty good voice. He does seem to have a problem hitting his notes though. He's often a bit flat on those tracks, which makes my ears cringe, but I'm hoping I'm just a bit sensitive to that stuff.

Definitely a keeper, but he should really put some work into his technical ability.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:25 AM   #5
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I am all for the big crazy frontman thing but seriously this guy is awful he sings flat on most of the tracks you posted. If you have a lot folks already telling you this at your shows id be on the lookout for someone better. I guess it depends on how serious the project is if you guys wanna go somewhere with it he will defo need some vocal coaching or the alternative find someone else. The thing to remember is you guys are all investing time and money into the band you should not be afraid to voice your opinions if there's any part of it that is lacking or not up to par. So many times band members are too passive about things like this. If i were in your band it would be something id have to speak out about.

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Old 09-18-2012, 08:14 AM   #6
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really, really flat. He makes me shudder. if he's like that in the studio, what's he like live?
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:31 AM   #7
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Woah. This guy just can't really sing at all...
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:33 AM   #8
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He's close to his notes but often is just a bit flat. I'd say suggest lessons but that never really goes well. With a couple lessons I'd bet he could get way better in no time. The people saying he can't sing are being to harsh, he would sound good if he were on pitch all the time.

Yeah, the flat notes is a problem.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by RealUnrealRob
The people saying he can't sing are being to harsh, he would sound good if he were on pitch all the time.

Yeah...everyone would be a good singer, if they were on pitch all the time. If you aren't on pitch, you can't sing...
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:58 AM   #10
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I can't listen to your tracks because I'm currently at work. However, if your singer is as flat as some people are suggesting, could you not try and determine what his actualy vocal range is, and write new songs to suit his range, whilst transposing your current songs into a key he can sing in more comfortably? For example, loads of bands use lower tunings to help out their singer. GN'R only tuned half a step down to help out Axl. My band's previous singer had similar things said about him and I think, like you, whilst people do have a point, he isn't as bad as they made out. I just think our songs weren't always in his range. If I could go back in time, I would've suggested what I've said in this post to my band.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:58 PM   #11
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Ha just like always, I have some people saying he is awful and others saying he's not bad. Like I said I don't think he's terrible, but he could definitely benefit from some singing lessons. It's pretty hard to tell someone to get singing lessons though.

There is no way I would get rid of him though. Just finding a singer period is hard enough. And he has turned out to be a great friend, a great bandmate, and a great frontman. I have suggested tuning down a half step before, but for some reason we never did it. Maybe I'll suggest it again.

The biggest critics of his voice are my parents, who constantly tell me he is almost un listenable. Which really gets to me because I value their opinions, and would hope they would be more on the kinder side of critiquing the band.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNA
The biggest critics of his voice are my parents, who constantly tell me he is almost un listenable. Which really gets to me because I value their opinions, and would hope they would be more on the kinder side of critiquing the band.
Listening to your tracks, I definitely think you mostly just need to work out his vocal range and accommodate for it. He can hit some of the notes but does fall quite flat a lot of the time. He could defo do with doing some vocal practices/training but in many songs it sounds to me like he's straining.

Song by song:

Feelin: Sorry, but the vocals are really flat in this. He pulls of some of the higher, short notes (with delay on them) but mainly is out of tune.

Ship: The verses are sketchy but the choruses are okay. It sounds like he sings in the same register for the whole song, even though the verse and chorus are different.

Wake Me Up: Sounds fine to me. Could be a bit tighter in parts but I've heard a lot worse.

Fly Away: His voice is flat but it sounds like he can hit the proper notes at points. I don't know whether it is just out of his range, or that he doesn't think he's off key.

Travelin' Eyes: Seems okay to me. Again, could be tighter but not a bad performance.

Lastly, I can see your parent's point of view. Your singer does sing flat quite a lot. If he's the same live, it would be rather unpleasant. But, I've also noticed most non-musical people seem to be a lot more critical of singers than any other people in a band. This is because most people focus on the singing, not the instruments, as they can relate to singing the most. There's a lot of room for improvement/progression with your singer. I don't think your singer has a bad voice. He just doesn't have the range for most of your songs. Also, does he know/admit when he sings flat? If not, perhaps some ear training would help too. If he doesn't realise/think he's singing flat, he won't try and change how he sings.

tl;dr: I think most of the problem lies with his vocal range and maybe his musical ear (or lack thereof). Try transposing your songs to keys you know he can sing in. e.g. Wake Me Up and Travelin' Eyes are in his range. and see how you get on. There is hope for him yet. Good luck!
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Dog_666
Listening to your tracks, I definitely think you mostly just need to work out his vocal range and accommodate for it. He can hit some of the notes but does fall quite flat a lot of the time. He could defo do with doing some vocal practices/training but in many songs it sounds to me like he's straining.

Song by song:

Feelin: Sorry, but the vocals are really flat in this. He pulls of some of the higher, short notes (with delay on them) but mainly is out of tune.

Ship: The verses are sketchy but the choruses are okay. It sounds like he sings in the same register for the whole song, even though the verse and chorus are different.

Wake Me Up: Sounds fine to me. Could be a bit tighter in parts but I've heard a lot worse.

Fly Away: His voice is flat but it sounds like he can hit the proper notes at points. I don't know whether it is just out of his range, or that he doesn't think he's off key.

Travelin' Eyes: Seems okay to me. Again, could be tighter but not a bad performance.

Lastly, I can see your parent's point of view. Your singer does sing flat quite a lot. If he's the same live, it would be rather unpleasant. But, I've also noticed most non-musical people seem to be a lot more critical of singers than any other people in a band. This is because most people focus on the singing, not the instruments, as they can relate to singing the most. There's a lot of room for improvement/progression with your singer. I don't think your singer has a bad voice. He just doesn't have the range for most of your songs. Also, does he know/admit when he sings flat? If not, perhaps some ear training would help too. If he doesn't realise/think he's singing flat, he won't try and change how he sings.

tl;dr: I think most of the problem lies with his vocal range and maybe his musical ear (or lack thereof). Try transposing your songs to keys you know he can sing in. e.g. Wake Me Up and Travelin' Eyes are in his range. and see how you get on. There is hope for him yet. Good luck!


Thanks, this is really helpful. I know he does take into consideration how he is singing, and will evaluate his vocal performances. He does sing outside of practice and it seems like he does make an effort to improve. Also, now that you have pointed it out again is that he really can't hear his mistakes clearly because our practice PA sucks. We can barely hear him singing at practice, so obviously that is not helping him if he can't even hear himself properly. I've been really trying to get everyone in the band to use headphones instead of the speakers that we can't hear well. I've bought everything to be able to get everyone in the band headphones to listen on but they are still resistant.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:43 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TNA
.......our practice PA sucks. We can barely hear him singing at practice, so obviously that is not helping him if he can't even hear himself properly...

Yeah thats a big problem, as you said. its not helping him or the band. The only time he can hear himself is at recording sessions or gigs. I bet he just thinks "yay" about that...

Your earphones suggestion is a good one there.... or maybe you can hire a rehersal space that has a PA?
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TNA
I've been really trying to get everyone in the band to use headphones instead of the speakers that we can't hear well. I've bought everything to be able to get everyone in the band headphones to listen on but they are still resistant.

You could always make a suggestion that a rehearsal is divided up into two sections: One half being a practice for stage performance, so no headphones required. The other half being one a practice to musical performance, so headphones are required. Though, ideally, I'd do the musical performace bit first so your ears aren't ringing too much.

Alternatively, you could just try practicing at a lower volume and make the drummer use his practice pads to make his drums quieter. That way you won't have to max out the PA, your singer won't have to strain his voice to try and hear himself etc. I know all about 'volume wars' between band members and singers come off the worst.

Also, since you've spent money on all the headphone equipment, would you be willing to buy one or two floor monitors for your singer? Even that would be a major help to him.

I know the above will probably not be popular with your other band mates but caring about this sort of stuff is what makes bands improve and sound better. Have they given any reason why they won't use headphones?
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:15 AM   #16
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Yeah, honestly all I'm getting from the three tacks I sampled is that he's pushing himself for volume. The result is something that sounds super generic, really not that interesting. It's not that he sounds bad, per se, it's that he doesn't sound good - there's no compelling positive quality to his singing.

A lot of very successful rock singers haven't been great singers, but have had a great personality - Elvis, Mick, Bono. This is even true in harder rock stuff (david lee roth never sounds like anyone other than david lee roth). But the thing is that personality isn't just about stage presence - that personality comes through the vocals even of the recorded songs.

I agree with your suggestion that you guys need to back the f off the volume. He needs to find his voice as a singer. This isn't a technical thing, really, although good techniqu will help - but unless you want him to be a generic yeller, you're pushing him too loud, too fast.

It's not about headphones. The simple truth is that you guys need to be practicing at a level where you can all hear each other, otherwise it's largely a waste of time.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:44 PM   #17
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It's really not possible to simply lower the volume for us. We practice in a very live room at my house. I am the drummer, I don't necessarily hit hard, but a very live room and just my drums in general make for some loud drums. This forces me to ask the guitarist and bass player to turn up their amps so I can hear them. Then since our PA is not that powerful, our singer gets the bad end of the deal and nobody can hear him. Our PA simply doesn't have enough power to get loud enough over the rest of the band, we have several monitors, you just can't hear them clearly. This is why I suggested using headphones, we can turn those up as loud as we want. I usually will wear them during practice with just the singer on my headphone mix and it works great. I don't know why the other guys won't do it, they're not necessarily opposed to it, they just never seem to get around to bringing headphones, and I guess they don't mind not being able to hear the singer. It sucks that they are fine with the situation, but I'm not spending any more money on stuff for them. I own the PA, the house we practice in, all the mics, the entire bass setup.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:07 PM   #18
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I am the drummer, I don't necessarily hit hard, but a very live room and just my drums in general make for some loud drums.


Brutal truth time.

You are the problem.

Use brushes rather than sticks and learn some technique.

Every good drummer can drum quietly.

You need to learn how to drum with high intensity but low volume. You don't know how to do this yet. That's okay.

Learning how to do this will make you a better drummer, even when you drum loud.

You have a PA. Even if it's a weak one, I don't care - the gear is not the problem.

You are the problem. If you can't figure this out on your own, take lessons and tell the teacher "I need to learn how to drum quietly, but with intensity."

Don't blame the equipment, and don't blame the room. Master your instrument.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by HotspurJr
Brutal truth time.

You are the problem.

Use brushes rather than sticks and learn some technique.

Every good drummer can drum quietly.

You need to learn how to drum with high intensity but low volume. You don't know how to do this yet. That's okay.

Learning how to do this will make you a better drummer, even when you drum loud.

You have a PA. Even if it's a weak one, I don't care - the gear is not the problem.

You are the problem. If you can't figure this out on your own, take lessons and tell the teacher "I need to learn how to drum quietly, but with intensity."

Don't blame the equipment, and don't blame the room. Master your instrument.


Umm No? I know how to play my instrument very well. Sure I can drum quietly, but you don't play the same if you are trying to play quietly. You certainly don't get the same feel or rebound when using brushes. That's like saying to a guitar player, ok don't strum the strings too hard, oh and use this pick made out of tissue paper. I've taken lessons from drummers who are in platinum selling bands. Sorry drums are a loud instrument and they don't have a volume control.

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Old 09-20-2012, 05:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TNA
Sorry drums are a loud instrument and they don't have a volume control.
Can you not use practice pads for part of your rehearsals to dampen your drums? You would then take up less of the sonic space in the room and the guitars and bass can alsothen be lowered in volume. I know the drums won't sound 'proper/as good' but the whole purpose is to help improve the vocals, so you shouldn't mind taking the hit for your singer. You're having band practice and they are practice pads. That isn't a coincidence. And it doesn't have to be for the whole rehearsal, just part of it.

Also, have you tried raising the monitors up to nearer your singer's ear level? Even getting some earplugs like these would probably improve his abiltiy to hear himself.

http://www.hearos.com/products/rock-n-roll

Lastly, why not simply try giving your singer the headphones you usually use? It'd be much more beneficial for him to hear himself, rather than you. It'll cost you nothing and you don't have to alter anything about your current setup.
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