#1
Hi, I'm new to the forums and also am new to being in a band.

I've been playing guitar since I was 11 (now 16) and have formed a band with a few of my mates. We're all pretty competent musicians but spent a long time looking for a singer.

Finally one of our mates agreed to come and sing. He has zero musical experience and vastly different tastes in music to the rest of us. At the time we were just stoked to have someone there to sing and we just assumed that he'd pick it up eventually.

Three months on and we've got some good original songs that are being ruined by horrible vocals. We've tried to help him and we're getting group singing lessons, but he just has no sense of timing, pitch and intensity. Our songs starts, people start getting into it and then cringe as the vocals come in. He doesn't practice at home and isn't getting any better.

So we've decided that he has to go and we'll take turns singing (we're not great, but we're better than he is and we all know what we need to do to improve) unless we eventually find a better vocallist.

I'm just so nervous about telling him because he's a good mate and he loves the fact that he's in a band. He'd be shattered and embarassed if we got rid of him.

I know it won't be easy, but I'm just after advice from people with experience on how to go about telling him. Surely we don't invite him over to band practice and have him rock up ready to 'sing' and then send him home? Do we do it via phone/text? Just ask him over to talk?

I know these questions have been asked before, but it's usually about someone who doesn't want to practice/isn't getting along with others/has personal problems. In this case it's purely ability and he's a good friend.

Any help would be appreciated.
#2
you all need to sit down and talk about it. maybe there is still room for improvement. if he just realises that his spot in the band depends on how he progresses the next month or so he might try harder.
If it doesnt work you just going to have to let him go... he just needs to know that.
#3
go to him, and tell him straight up.

he will be angry, but hey, wouldn't you be?

if your serious about this band, and want to keep this guy as a friend, then tell him straight up.

things will work out in the long run.

As you may have noticed, i've done this before.
#4
if hes not practicing then he probably doesn't care, so just tell him your voice is different to what were looking for....
#5
Quote by AwesomeDrummer
go to him, and tell him straight up.

he will be angry, but hey, wouldn't you be?

if your serious about this band, and want to keep this guy as a friend, then tell him straight up.

things will work out in the long run.

As you may have noticed, i've done this before.

this is right
be honest
lying doesnt make anything better
o and dont ditch him be nice to him
and yeh you could always say youve got a month to improve otherwise your out
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#6
if u do it by phone, i will kick u myself.

don't ever consider that, you're just going to come off as a jerk if you do it

tell him with no cutting around the corners. if you give him the respect he deserves, he will give you the respect you deserve.
#7
Quote by Will-kun
you all need to sit down and talk about it. maybe there is still room for improvement. if he just realises that his spot in the band depends on how he progresses the next month or so he might try harder.
If it doesnt work you just going to have to let him go... he just needs to know that.


That's another issue. We've got one month before we're in year 11 at school and that combined with sport and work means very little time for practice. We need to get gig-ready in the next month, and that would mean we'd have to practice like crazy with us singing. We don't want to have to wait till February, kick him out then and have no time to practice ourselves. I really don't believe he will get any better in the next few months. He can't understand the concepts of bars and beats, and he has no idea what we mean when we say he's singing out of key.

go to him, and tell him straight up.

he will be angry, but hey, wouldn't you be?

if your serious about this band, and want to keep this guy as a friend, then tell him straight up.

things will work out in the long run.

As you may have noticed, i've done this before.


I suppose this might be the best answer in the long run. But what exactly do you say? He absolutely loves being in the band...we've got to stress that it isn't personal. I'm just looking for those little phrases that soften the blow. It seems incredibly harsh to just say "you're not good enough and you're out of the band"
#8
just be straight up, don't make a huge deal out of it
tell him u dont think hes keeping up with the band and u guys want to look for someone with some more experience.

If hes a mate he should be understanding
#9
Tell him something like this:

"Im sorry pal but your voice doesnt fit our music. We have decided to search for a new singer. You dont have to come to our practises anymore, unless you just wanna listen"
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#10
By "softening the blow", you're just sweetening the poison. Either way it's going to hurt him. Meet him one on one. Don't bring the entire band into it. Call him up, arrange a meeting at your practice space or wherever is convenient. When he arrives, have him sit down with you, across from each other, and keep your eyes locked on his, don't look away. Tell him straight up, in your own words, that the band feels his vocal ability is not up to par and you feel that without any significant improvement, he will be detrimental to the success of the band. Assuming you want things to work out, let him know that. Tell him you're willing to give him a month to find vocal lessons and to actually practice daily and get better. Go as far as to recommend teachers if you can, or offer to help find a teacher for him. Show him that you want him to get better. If you just want to get rid of him, do all of that minus the giving a month part. From there it's up to him to deal with being thrown out of the band ...Your job is done.
#11
Quote by Mud Martian
By "softening the blow", you're just sweetening the poison. Either way it's going to hurt him. Meet him one on one. Don't bring the entire band into it. Call him up, arrange a meeting at your practice space or wherever is convenient. When he arrives, have him sit down with you, across from each other, and keep your eyes locked on his, don't look away. Tell him straight up, in your own words, that the band feels his vocal ability is not up to par and you feel that without any significant improvement, he will be detrimental to the success of the band. Assuming you want things to work out, let him know that. Tell him you're willing to give him a month to find vocal lessons and to actually practice daily and get better. Go as far as to recommend teachers if you can, or offer to help find a teacher for him. Show him that you want him to get better. If you just want to get rid of him, do all of that minus the giving a month part. From there it's up to him to deal with being thrown out of the band ...Your job is done.




That's the fairest way to do it.
Think about it like this, in any other job (and if you wish to be professional, you have to think about your band as a business and the band members as either company directors or employees) a person is almost always given a warning and a chance to improve before being dismissed.
#12
Quote by Mud Martian
Tell him you're willing to give him a month to find vocal lessons and to actually practice daily and get better. Go as far as to recommend teachers if you can, or offer to help find a teacher for him. Show him that you want him to get better. If you just want to get rid of him, do all of that minus the giving a month part. From there it's up to him to deal with being thrown out of the band ...Your job is done.


When he started he was very reluctant to get lessons, partly because he didn't think he needed them and partly because he didn't want to fork out $20 a week (I live in Australia so this would be about 13 USD). So we compromised and decided to get group lessons at $10 each. Most of us have made some solid progress but he's still way, way behind. We're constantly encouraging him to get a keyboard and practice scales/hitting notes but he didn't like that idea and instead he's gone and bought an electric guitar and wants to learn nothing but Underoath songs

So I can't see any real improvement coming from there.

The other big issue is the massive difference in musical tastes. My favourite bands are Chili Peppers, Incubus, Offspring, Metallica etc and the other band members lean a bit more towards older stuff, but it's all fairly similar. Then the singer listens to nothing but screamo emo. There's just a huge creative difference there.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm blabbing on, but it's just a topic that I have given a hell of a lot of thought to. Thank you all for your advice and I'll let you know how it turns out. We agreed that we wouldn't tell him before christmas though.

I just have to figure out where to tell him. Since it's summer holidays right now the only time I see him is at band practice.
#13
Quote by AwesomeDrummer
go to him, and tell him straight up.

he will be angry, but hey, wouldn't you be?

if your serious about this band, and want to keep this guy as a friend, then tell him straight up.

things will work out in the long run.

As you may have noticed, i've done this before.


this. me and my singer did this to our old guitarist and drummer. partially cause of style differences, partly cause they didnt put the extra work in, partly cause they would never have the time. they took it hard and were mad at first, but they've come to our shows since and know now why we did what we did. wehad 0 chance of making it and probably 5% chance of actually playing more than one show with them. we reworked our lineup, and now the band gels so much better.

i do like the idea, from a friends point, of giving them the month to get lessons and whatnot, but if you know in your heart its not going to work out, dont lie. be 99% strait forward(i leave that 1% cause you could sound like a complete dick if you told them the whole truth. people dont always need to head that). and while at first he may not talk to you for a few days, weeks, or longer. eventually a real friend will come to grasps and understand. i mean, some people are great friends, but just arnt ment for music. its not their fault. they might have the passion, but not understand the effort needed to make it work.

trust me, it feels really good once its done. you'll be supprised how your writing opens up once this weight is off your shoulders
#14
Quote by Boydy24
Hi, I'm new to the forums and also am new to being in a band.

I've been playing guitar since I was 11 (now 16) and have formed a band with a few of my mates. We're all pretty competent musicians but spent a long time looking for a singer.

Finally one of our mates agreed to come and sing. He has zero musical experience and vastly different tastes in music to the rest of us. At the time we were just stoked to have someone there to sing and we just assumed that he'd pick it up eventually.

Three months on and we've got some good original songs that are being ruined by horrible vocals. We've tried to help him and we're getting group singing lessons, but he just has no sense of timing, pitch and intensity. Our songs starts, people start getting into it and then cringe as the vocals come in. He doesn't practice at home and isn't getting any better.

So we've decided that he has to go and we'll take turns singing (we're not great, but we're better than he is and we all know what we need to do to improve) unless we eventually find a better vocallist.

I'm just so nervous about telling him because he's a good mate and he loves the fact that he's in a band. He'd be shattered and embarassed if we got rid of him.

I know it won't be easy, but I'm just after advice from people with experience on how to go about telling him. Surely we don't invite him over to band practice and have him rock up ready to 'sing' and then send him home? Do we do it via phone/text? Just ask him over to talk?

I know these questions have been asked before, but it's usually about someone who doesn't want to practice/isn't getting along with others/has personal problems. In this case it's purely ability and he's a good friend.

Any help would be appreciated.



Haha dude I was just about to post something exactly like this.
The singer in the band Im in just isn't good enough either and I have no idea how to kick him out either.

I think telling him that "You've got blablabla long to improve or you're out" won't work, because really its just delaying the inevitable, he won't magically get better.

The harsh truth is you've just got to tell him straight.
Now matter how nicely you put it, you're kicking him out and its pretty harsh.. so hes gunna be pissed but It'll eventually be okay,

Heh, we kicked out our bassist because of really poor peformance and he said "you're ****ed" but everythings okay now =P

I wish you luck, at the end of the day, hes only human =]
#16
Well... you've gotten some great advice so far. It sounds like you want him out, and want him out NOW. As nice as it would be to give him a second chance as has been suggested, it really doesn't sound like you want to.

Fair 'nuff.

I think the card you should play is the musical differences one. Sit him down over a coffee, beer, hot chocolate, egg nog, whatever and have a chat. Be straight up with him, but only tell him what he needs to hear - not more, but not lies.

Make the point that this is not YOUR decision, but one arrived at unanimously as a band, and that his musical direction is fine, but isn't your thing, and the direction the band wants to continue to grow in is even further from what he is doing than the stuff now is. Ultimately, one of you is going to be unhappy. The future of the band depends on having everyone on board with this clear musical direction.

It's nothing personal.... just something that needs to happen. You all think he's a great guy, blah, blah, blah... you get the idea.

That way, you don't have to insult his abilities, or call him on his lack of self-discipline to improve.

That is, of course, assuming everything I said would be an honest portrayal of your current situation...

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#17
Quote by Boydy24
When he started he was very reluctant to get lessons, partly because he didn't think he needed them and partly because he didn't want to fork out $20 a week (I live in Australia so this would be about 13 USD). So we compromised and decided to get group lessons at $10 each. Most of us have made some solid progress but he's still way, way behind. We're constantly encouraging him to get a keyboard and practice scales/hitting notes but he didn't like that idea and instead he's gone and bought an electric guitar and wants to learn nothing but Underoath songs

So I can't see any real improvement coming from there.

The other big issue is the massive difference in musical tastes. My favourite bands are Chili Peppers, Incubus, Offspring, Metallica etc and the other band members lean a bit more towards older stuff, but it's all fairly similar. Then the singer listens to nothing but screamo emo. There's just a huge creative difference there.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm blabbing on, but it's just a topic that I have given a hell of a lot of thought to. Thank you all for your advice and I'll let you know how it turns out. We agreed that we wouldn't tell him before christmas though.

I just have to figure out where to tell him. Since it's summer holidays right now the only time I see him is at band practice.

where abouts in australia are you?
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#18
Quote by davo_333
where abouts in australia are you?


Southern Victoria. We've had an average temperature of about 17 degrees so far this summer. Was up in Cairns and Brisbane not long ago and it was absolutely beautiful...oh well, I'd rather crap weather and footy than good weather and rugby!
#19
Man up and tell him that he just doesn't cut it.

You have reasons.
-He doesn't practice
-He didnt take your advice on using intruments for pitching
-He didnt want to take private lessons
-He has different musical taste


Boom. 4 reason why he isn't fit for the band just by reading a thread. I'm sure you can come up with more reasons since you've been around him for a while.

If anything, it should be your band that's pissed

Dont let him say "Alright I'll start listening to your stuff"
You either have a soul for the genre or you don't. Anyone can stuff a few Chilli songs into their ipod.

Don't give him a month to get better blah blah this that cow chiken. It isn't magic -- doesn't happen overnight. A month isn't really alot to time to see alot of improvement unless he works his ass off, which judging from the above, he probably isn't going to do. You'll just be delaying whats bound to happen anyway.

Just tell him his voice isn't fit for what the band is looking for.
bro0otal

Drummer



Guitarist___________Bassist________________Vox______________________Lead Guitarist
______________________________________________________
#20
Tell him to practice or he is out. If he doesn't practice just kick him, this guy doesn't even sound interested in your band.
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#21
Quote by slash-120
Just out of interest, do you have any recordings?


We do have some. I just bought a Digitech GNX4 and we recorded our first two originals, and that was what really pushed us over the edge. The music was sounding pretty good and the vocals were just horrible.

I haven't got all my gear at my house but I'll upload them soon.
#22
He was a friend before involvement with the band, he can be a friend again after hes out.

Yeh, its upsetting but most things you'll end up doing in life cant keep everyone happy and content.

You'll also have to tell him in person ... that how i feel about it anyway, really doing anything that isnt small talk or absolutely cant be done in person at the time over a phone is just a bit cowardly ... plus the dramatic tension and what not makes it more effective.

But still remember, if he stays around you and the other members of the band like he did before he joined then thats the mark of a good friend, damn good measure of character imo.
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#23
I think we're going to meet up with him somewhere, but I'm just not sure where to do it. Pretty much our only two options are to ask him to come over to the drummer's house (where we practice) and tell him there (which would lead to lots of awkward silences while he waits to get picked up) or to meet up with him at McDonald's or somewhere public.
#24
Just meet him in a public place, be nice about it but tell him straight up. And if you go to McDonalds make sure you Mcbuy him a McCoke)
#25
If you go to school together, which I assume you don't, that'd be the easiest. But yar, McDonalds. And share fries with him.
#26
Quote by TheIrishPatriot
If you go to school together, which I assume you don't, that'd be the easiest. But yar, McDonalds. And share fries with him.


We're on summer holidays now. No school in December and January.

And it looks like it shall be mcdonald's today.
#27
Tip: If he's a great guy and wants to stay with the band, just give him a different position in the group. Tell him his style of singing isn't what you guys are looking for. If he's a cool guy, I'm sure he'll understand. Like I said, if he still wants hang around with you guys and stuff, just give him a different position in the band. Keyboards, tambourines, backup singer, anything...
#28
It is done. We asked him to meet us at mcdonald's for a 'band meeting'. We planned to buy him something and have a face-to-face talk about how it's not working out, but he sent us a text and said he couldn't make it. We all know didn't have anything on and he couldn't make it out of laziness. And we wanted him out today. So (against advice and our preference) we called him. Our drummer did the talking and told him that we want to go in a different direction, and that his vocals aren't what we're looking for. He said it was all ok but it was obvious that he was pretty shattered.

We really didn't want to do it via phone, but we want to start concerntrating on our own vocals and we've got singing lessons tomorrow, so we figure that it is much better for us to be getting the most attention rather than wasting more effort on him.

Quote by wwfattitude1998
Tip: If he's a great guy and wants to stay with the band, just give him a different position in the group. Tell him his style of singing isn't what you guys are looking for. If he's a cool guy, I'm sure he'll understand. Like I said, if he still wants hang around with you guys and stuff, just give him a different position in the band. Keyboards, tambourines, backup singer, anything...


He has absolutely no musical knowledge or experience. He just can't contribute and doesn't seem to be willing to put time into improving. I don't think he'll be talking to any of us for a while, but hopefully by the time school goes back he'll be over it.

PS: After the very first song we played without him (I did the vocals), our drummer's mum (who has never commented on our music and didn't know of any change to the band) came up stairs and told us it was the best song we've ever played. It was hard kicking him out, but I'm sure that it is best for the band.
#29
Ahhh glad you have done it, would still like to hear some recordings out of curiosity!:P.
Hope it works out for the best
#31
We've only fully finished a few original songs (got lots of riffs waiting to be organised) so it's a bit hard to say exactly what kind of band we are. We play some stuff that is close to metal and some songs are light, cruisy soft rock songs.