What's up all? Boy Wonder here, I was the guy that wrote So You Want Me To Be in Your Band: The Basics. I read the responses and zakk_wylde4's response stood out. He said I wish someone would write an article about why it's so hard to find singers and drummers. I decided that I would take a stab at it. Now I'm gonna be going all over the place trying to explain this cause I'm a bit of a scatter brain but I'll do the best I can to organize my thoughts
We've all been in this situation, we've got songs, and we've got passion. We even have something resembling a lineup but we don't have anybody to keep the beat. Finding the right drummers important because rhythm determines what style of music you're playing. Hell it took me 3 years to find someone I was completely happy with.
They just are (I know they are in Philly). Drum kits are expensive so not a lot of people have them. There aren't a great deal of music programs in public school so kids aren't learning how to play them. You don't have a whole lot of options unless you have a friend that plays drums.
You finally find someone, you guys talk on the phone a few times, he seems like a cool guy personality wise he's a really good fit so you set up an audition. He shows up on time, you bring his kit to wherever you rehearse, you start to play, and he's terrible. To top all of it off it took you six months to track this guy down. You're back at square one. It's really Slim Pickens unfortunately
A good drummer always has a plethora of options. They know that so a drummer can really have you by the balls. That can be a problem. I've often found that the other members of the band are always accommodating the drummer. You have to rehearse at his house because he doesn't wanna lug his kit around. You tell him not to play so loud, he ignores you. He feels like he can do whatever he wants and he has no problem walking and finding another band if he' not into what's goin on.
Try the whole six degrees of separation thing. Somebody you know knows somebody that knows somebody that plays drums. Ask around. As bad as it sounds go to shows and talk to the drummers in the different bands and see if you can borrow or steal them for your group. Play out. Even if it's just you. Play at open mics and stuff, you never know when you'll run into a guy that happens to play drums. That's all I have on that subject
Moving on to a topic that's near and dear to my heart...
Being a singer myself I can understand how difficult it is to deal with them. I feel like most of the time other musicians don't understand the frontman's role, they just see them as another person in the band. Be nice if it were that way but it's not. When your looking for a singer and you find a good one, one that can really front a band there are certain things you have to understand about them.
First off they have a huge ego! He/She might not be an ass but someone who commands attention from a crowd of people has to think very highly of himself.
Secondly you have to understand the pressure that he/she's under. The singer is going to make or break your band. The rest of the band gets to hide behind your instruments while all eyes are on him. If he doesn't deliver your band sucks. That's why when a band's on tour and the drummer get sick he can be replaced, and no one will be the wiser (nothing against drummers) but if the singers got a sore throat the show's cancelled.
He/she has to feel like he can trust and rely on the rest of the band for backup. I can do whatever I want on stage cause I got two guys playing behind me that I'd take to war. If your singer doesn't trust you it'll never be as good as it could be cause he's waiting for it all to spin out of control. If he/she can trust you they'll let go every show and they'll kick ass.
You can't change them, they are who they are and it's best to find someone else if you're not satisfied.
I find a lot of friction exists between the singer and whoever's the leader of the band (if it isn't the same person) whoever that may be. Once you settle on someone and you get a few rehearsals in and the honeymoon period is over the fights start. So what do they fight about?
Mainly the music. The bands been practicing for months and this prick with the microphone wants to come in and change everything cause he's got an ego problem. Why doesn't he just do what I tell him?
Now in this situation there's one thing you have to know; you may be the leader but he's the boss. The guy with the microphone has to be in control of what's happening on that stage. If he wants you to slow down or speed up, drop or raise a song a half step, or to go on his cues it's only gonna enhance your performance. You're the coach and he's the quarterback and you gotta give him the ball and let him score with it. Why? Cause everybody's looking at him. You have all the time in the world to be equals. But when it has to do with being on that stage he needs to be in charge. If you don't want some premadonna taking over your band step in front of the mic yourself. If the songs are good and don't require vocals that shake a room than you'll be alright. Hendrix couldn't sing a lick, Dylan can't either John Mayer's not the best vocalist on the planet, neither is Clapton (I'm sure you get the point). An honest vocal goes a long way.
All that to say, singers are so hard to find because, there aren't many great ones and when you find one you wanna control them, once you find the right person and you realize that you can't control them you might find that you have something special on your hands. I hope all this rambling helps.