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#1
Does it make me a bastard if I'm uncomfortable about possibly doing this? I'm not too familiar with the other singers voice, and its not even a question of whether or not he's good, altho I don't actually know either way. I'm not a huge fan of the dual frontman aesthetic bar a few exceptions, such as The Band and Pete Townshend and John Entwhistle's lead vocal spots, but in a lot of situations it sort of ruins consistency with a change of singers.

TL;DR The guitarist in my band wants to sing the potential songs that he writes music and lyrics for, is it unreasonable to feel emasculated by that?

Edit: Let me clarify, I'm not questioning whether or not bands have succeeded with multiple singers. I'm just wondering if there's a way to come to terms with having to share and not feel emasculated?
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#3
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#4
Dual vocalists are pretty cool, it opens up a lot of options. Remember, it doesn't have to happen on every song...
#5
if he wrote it then I think if he wants he has the right to sing it.
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#7
wolf parade, the beatles, etc.

whichever works better for whichever song..
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#8
I think it can work, but it is important to have vocalists of at least similar ability. If one vocalist far outshines the other vocalist, it can give the set a very uneven feeling, and the audience can be left feelings "so when's the other guy coming back?".

That's not to say the guy could never sing, it's just that he should get singing lessons too if his voice isn't up to scratch.
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#9
^ Like I said, I'm not sure how well he sings. I know in situations in the past during sets where I had one song to sing lead on and backing vocals on the rest, people often told me they thought I should have sung everything. I think the songs I write would also have me come across as "the better singer" because I have a pretty wide range and contrast the high and low registers pretty well, in addition to contrasting general dynamics.

I actually hadn't thought of this, I had just been worried about feeling insecure.
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#11
Triumph. Goo Goo Dolls. Sloan. Alexisonfire.

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

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#12
I am still all for multiple lead singers - in my last band we actually had 3 lead singers.
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#13
Quote by slaptasticdave
I had just been worried about feeling insecure.


Don't worry about the other guy wanting to sing, just make sure that you feel secure.

Seriously, if he writes the song, he has every right to sing it. If his voice is good, then he has every right to sing whatever he wants. If his voice is better than yours, work at it, and if not, then keep trying to make your songs and your voice better.

All of my favorite bands do the duel lead vocal thing, I like it because it gives more diversity in the music. People will enjoy the change of pace between the singers.
#14
I can't believe someone hasn't mentioned this, but Queen. Freddie Mercury was a fantastic singer, highly praised, Yet Roder Taylor and Bryan may still sang lead on some tracks.
#15
Quote by axemanchris
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Saw Sloan last night at NXNE. They pull it off well, though I really think Andrew Scott should stick behind the kit for their sets. They lose something when Patrick Pentland isn't front and center. Still a great, great, underappreciated band. I was talking to a critic from England, and she called them "Canada's Beatles." The more I think about it, the more I like that tag.
Dual vocals, if both singers can actually sing and aren't just hoping for a bigger share of the spotlight, are an absolute blessing. It not only opens up the opportunity for great harmonies, but adds a different dynamic to songs and live performances that can really help a band. If the guy can sing, don't let your ego get in the way. If this makes you feel emasculated, I highly suggest you get over yourself.
#16
Dual vocals, if both singers can actually sing and aren't just hoping for a bigger share of the spotlight, are an absolute blessing. It not only opens up the opportunity for great harmonies, but adds a different dynamic to songs and live performances that can really help a band. If the guy can sing, don't let your ego get in the way. If this makes you feel emasculated, I highly suggest you get over yourself.


This.

You don't know really how well he can sing? Go find out. There's almost certainly something, some style, some song where he will add a better dynamic than you, unless he really shouldn't be singing at all. It's hardly good for your band if your insecurity about not being the lead singer all the time prevents the best vocalist for a song singing it.

I'm really not sure why you would feel 'emasculated' by someone else singing some of the songs, tbh. As long as you've still got an obvious place and role in the band, and you still get to sing, you've not really lost anything, as long as the other guy is decently skilled.
#17
its not just a matter of whether he can sing well it's whether your voices mix nicely
you can have two brilliant singers but if they're voices don't fit together it'll sound like shit
thats the main thing to consider
but backing vocals makes bands sound so much more proffesional however if he sings a song then you sing a song then it just comes across as a battle of egos
a way in which it could work well is if you have two separate vocal lines; lyrics and patterns at the same time that sounds reallly cool
#18
Look at Mayday Parade, once they lost their second vocalist they turned to crap. It really can make a band. Maybe if he doesn't necessarily do lead but just harmonies over you?
#19
Try it. You have nothing to lose by doing that. And of course, if it doesn't work, talk it out with him.
#20
Quote by josh_salty
its not just a matter of whether he can sing well it's whether your voices mix nicely
you can have two brilliant singers but if they're voices don't fit together it'll sound like shit
thats the main thing to consider
but backing vocals makes bands sound so much more proffesional however if he sings a song then you sing a song then it just comes across as a battle of egos
a way in which it could work well is if you have two separate vocal lines; lyrics and patterns at the same time that sounds reallly cool


Great reply. You should try to classify your two vocals and see if they fit together. Just don't sing at the same time ... ofcourse if you are certain that you are better and the others also agree, than your band member doesn't satisfy the criteria to sing lead. It's all about hierarchy.
#21
Quote by AlanHB
I am still all for multiple lead singers - in my last band we actually had 3 lead singers.

IMO a band with two decent singers who can harmonize just sounds amazing and can turn a decent local band into a great one as far as the listening experience goes.

The ideal situation for me is certainly to have two people capable of singing lead vocals, then just work out what fits best on a song-by-song basis. If the guy can sing then let him sing his songs if he wants and work out some cool harmonies. Obviously harmonising all the time is going to get old, but using it for choruses and the odd line or phrase can make a song so much more dynamic.
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#22
Quote by steven seagull
The ideal situation for me is certainly to have two people capable of singing lead vocals, then just work out what fits best on a song-by-song basis. If the guy can sing then let him sing his songs if he wants and work out some cool harmonies. Obviously harmonising all the time is going to get old, but using it for choruses and the odd line or phrase can make a song so much more dynamic.


I mention them every time a thread like this comes up, but Jefferson Airplane made some of the best use of multiple good singers I've ever heard - they had the advantage of 2 male singers and 1 female, and they just used the voices in whatever combination they thought sounded good - sometimes the other 2 stepped aside a 1 of them sang the entire song solo, no backing, no harmony, sometimes it was a straight 1 lead/2 backing/harmony, sometimes 2 or even all 3 of them shared lead, dropping in and out to emphasis particular lines, sometimes they had solo singing in verses and massed harmony on the chorus etc...I'd recommend anyone in a band with multiple vocalists to check them out if they don't already listen to them.
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#23
Here's a thought for the other side, though....

Richie Sambora is a better singer than Jon Bon, but he lets Jon Bon just sing and be the "front guy" and the "pretty face" for the band, while he just sits back, plays guitar, and provides killer harmonies.

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

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#24
But then again, speaking of older bands.... Eagles, ABBA....

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.
#25

Great reply. You should try to classify your two vocals and see if they fit together. Just don't sing at the same time ... ofcourse if you are certain that you are better and the others also agree, than your band member doesn't satisfy the criteria to sing lead. It's all about hierarchy.


Hierarchy? Really? Is that a sensible way to be looking at it?

Yeah, sure, if the other guy can't sing, don't let him sing lead. But if they're competent, and have a different vocal style to you or a different voice, you're only losing out by not allowing them to sing lead at least occasionally.
There's a local band near me that has three lead singers (who all, admittedly, play another instrument as well) and they switch roles, do harmonies, and all sing lead on different songs. It doesn't make the band any less focused, doesn't lead to differences in quality. They've all got distinctively different voices, so they just do whichever ones they're most suited to...normally the ones they wrote themselves.
#26
Well, they might be competent, but there's always "that sound" which the band wants to produce, so if you have a vocalist who lives up to that then great, but if another member who also has good skills but doesn't produce that type of sound wants to add up to harmony or whatever, than that's just butchery. But yes, it can come together that even 10 lead vocalist create a wonderful sound together. I really depends on the people and what they can do. That's why I said hierarchy.
#27
Quote by SeriousMan
Well, they might be competent, but there's always "that sound" which the band wants to produce,


"That sound" for a lot of bands involves multiple lead vocalists.
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#28
I agree...but my point was that it`s quite a challenge to synchronize 2 or more different vocals to create the desireable sound. You mostly get tutty frutties. Then again, I`m an ego maniac and wouldn`t let anyone sing anything but backups unless he/she is truly better than I am. To continue this conversation a little deeper we`d have to define some genres, cuz` ofcourse, it varies from band to band.
#29
Quote by SeriousMan
I agree...but my point was that it`s quite a challenge to synchronize 2 or more different vocals to create the desireable sound. You mostly get tutty frutties. Then again, I`m an ego maniac and wouldn`t let anyone sing anything but backups unless he/she is truly better than I am. To continue this conversation a little deeper we`d have to define some genres, cuz` ofcourse, it varies from band to band.


We're a modern sort of rock band, like Wilco, Pearl Jam, U2, that sort of dynamic, and all of those bands have many members who can sing, but there are hardly any songs where other members sing lead vocals. There's only one Wilco song without Jeff Tweedy singing, only one Pearl Jam song on a studio album without Eddie Vedder, just a couple of U2 songs that The Edge is the only singer. It usually creates a feeling of "why isn't Jeff/Eddie/Bono singing?" Its nothing against John Stirratt, Stone Gossard, or The Edge. They're all great singers in their own right, but its just not the same without each band's respective lead singer.
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#30
^ Can you link me to anything that disproves my notion of "the Edge is a terrible singer"?

When I think of the Edge and lead vocals, I think of Numb, which is.... numbing.

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.
#31
Quote by axemanchris
^ Can you link me to anything that disproves my notion of "the Edge is a terrible singer"?

When I think of the Edge and lead vocals, I think of Numb, which is.... numbing.

CT


Yeah, Numb's not a great showcase of his voice, but have you ever heard Van Diemen's Land?
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Jeff Ament is a sexy sexy beast.



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Yes. Chest hair = automatic awesome. Even if you're a woman.
#32
Quote by slaptasticdave
We're a modern sort of rock band, like Wilco, Pearl Jam, U2, that sort of dynamic, and all of those bands have many members who can sing, but there are hardly any songs where other members sing lead vocals. There's only one Wilco song without Jeff Tweedy singing, only one Pearl Jam song on a studio album without Eddie Vedder, just a couple of U2 songs that The Edge is the only singer. It usually creates a feeling of "why isn't Jeff/Eddie/Bono singing?" Its nothing against John Stirratt, Stone Gossard, or The Edge. They're all great singers in their own right, but its just not the same without each band's respective lead singer.


Well, like I said earlier in the thread do something like Johnny Foreigner does (if you haven't heard of them, I recommend looking them up on youtube see if you'd be interested in doing something like that) . Share vocals on all the songs with maybe a song or two with just one specific singer. Don't have it where x person sings all lead on that song then the other person sings all lead on the other song etc.
#33
like most things, i'd say try it out and see if you like it. you may be surprised
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#34
Why would you limit yourself two one lead per song?

I'd say figure out if he's any good then both sing eachothers songs. Find out eahcothers strong and weakpoints and become a team. That way you'll have the best of both singers!

It can really strengthen your sound.
#35
I'm in a side-project band that has two singers sharing vocal duties and I love it because it means that I get regular breaks during the gig which allowes my throat to rest for longer between songs. That has the added bonus of allowing me to push my voice a little further than I would normaly be able to do if I was doing all the lead vocals and having to pace myself.
#36
Quote by SeriousMan
I agree...but my point was that it`s quite a challenge to synchronize 2 or more different vocals to create the desireable sound. You mostly get tutty frutties. Then again, I`m an ego maniac and wouldn`t let anyone sing anything but backups unless he/she is truly better than I am. To continue this conversation a little deeper we`d have to define some genres, cuz` ofcourse, it varies from band to band.

No it's not, it's basic harmony...ffs even Green Day can manage that.

As far as only letting a "better" singer take vocal duties that's retarded and nothing more than your ego, it's practically impossible to fully quantify what makes someone a better vocalist.
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#37
Quote by steven seagull
No it's not, it's basic harmony...ffs even Green Day can manage that.

As far as only letting a "better" singer take vocal duties that's retarded and nothing more than your ego, it's practically impossible to fully quantify what makes someone a better vocalist.



Not impossible, you just have to effing listen and decide. Ego`s got very little to do with it, rather ability. It`s retarded to undermine a good solo vocalists work with a synthesis with a less skilled one. For me, lead vocals are the most important element of the song, and incorporating more units into that element just because of "better harmony" or "team work" is destructive for the band. What I`m saying is, it doesn`t make sense to me that there should be more than one lead if the others aren`t remotely as good as he/she is.
#38
Quote by steven seagull

As far as only letting a "better" singer take vocal duties that's retarded and nothing more than your ego, it's practically impossible to fully quantify what makes someone a better vocalist.


That said, sometimes it's pretty clear cut that one person is a better singer. I have been in situations where I have advised band members to take singing lessons for a while before taking up leads on songs. Their voices just weren't strong enough yet.
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#39
Quote by AlanHB
That said, sometimes it's pretty clear cut that one person is a better singer. I have been in situations where I have advised band members to take singing lessons for a while before taking up leads on songs. Their voices just weren't strong enough yet.


I've been there too; my old lead guitarist was a good harmonizer, but he just wasn't strong enough vocally to carry a lead line.

That being said, dual lead vocals are the tits, and I say go for it; if he can carry his part, why not?
#40
Quote by AlanHB
That said, sometimes it's pretty clear cut that one person is a better singer. I have been in situations where I have advised band members to take singing lessons for a while before taking up leads on songs. Their voices just weren't strong enough yet.

True, you can always tell if someone's a better singer , but that doesn't always guarantee they'll be a better choice to sing a certain song in a given situation.

Obviously there's obvious no-nos like a weak voice or lacking the ability to sing in tune but equally there's times where the distinction is far from black and white. Paul Stanley is the best singer in KISS, but Peter Criss sang lead vocals on Black Diamond because the band felt it worked better...and let's face it, if you're talking egos you won't find one any bigger than Gene Simmons'.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jun 21, 2010,
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