Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

What song would you use to try out a new singer?


VeloDoug

Recommended Posts

OK gang... have at it...

 

I'm in a cover band of guys all about 40 years old. We play anything from classic rock to hard rock to metal.

 

We've finally decided to get a vocalist that is on par with our instrumental capabilities. I'm one of 2 guitarists. We are both capable lead players and do some harmony solos so Judas Priest, Scorpions, Thin Lizzy, Queensryche are all fair game. We'd like someone that truly rocks and has a cool range.

 

To seed the conversation, here are some of the songs I've started to think about as a good testbed to see what a vocalist's capabilities are:

 

  • Black Sabbath - War Pigs
  • Judas Priest - Another Thing Coming
  • Led Zeppelin - The Ocean
  • Led Zeppelin - Heartbreaker
  • Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song
  • Led Zeppelin - Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Over The Mountain
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Flying High Again
  • Ratt - Round And Round
  • Rush - Working Man
  • Scorpions - No One Like You
  • Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane
  • Van Halen - Unchained

Remember, try not to simply think about your favorite song. Your nominations should be songs that exhibit exceptional vocal skills and style. Feel free to comment on the merits of any that are already in my list.

 

Doug

MUSCLE:91 Mesa Mk4(rack mounted)|Mesa F30|Mesa Nomad45|'78 Marshall 4x12

HEART:07 Gibson LP Std 50s Neck|86 Jackson Soloist|92 PRS Custom 24|01 PRS Singlecut|Taylor 814ce|MIM Strat

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 38
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Desafinado by AC Jobim :D

 

I'd take two or three songs that cover slightly different registers and tempos. Also, before the audition I'd give the singer a list stuff he/she could do and is into.

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert Plant can't even sing Led Zeppelin in the recorded key anymore. :freak: (Those YT bootlegs from O2 still sounded good, though. :thu: )

 

A band I was in tried this once upon a time, too, looking for Robert Plant. We were also short a drummer so we were looking for John Bonham. We auditioned a lot of guys and -- surprise! -- couldn't find anyone to fit the bill. Those are pretty high expectations.

 

Another thing is this kind of puts the cart in front of the horse. You may find it easier to find a singer that sings well, that you get along with well, and then learn the songs he (or she) is capable of. (Especially since you'll probably wind up with someone similar to your band make up; a guy around 40.)

 

Voice is a wicked instrument compared to guitar. You don't put down your gnarly overdriven Strat voice, pick up your clean and chimey Ric 360/12 voice, and then finish off with a balls-to-the-wall LP voice. You only have one voice. Sure it has some variety, but trying to pull off Robert Plant in his prime with Led Zeppelin is going to be a serious stretch for just about anybody. If you want impossible, try to find a female singer that can cover Mariah Carey!

 

So maybe if you're extremely patient you can sift through the 7M+ in The Bay. You only need one in a million, so you should have at least 7 to pick from! :D

 

All jokes aside, you can try your plan of looking for that ultimate singer that would match your awesome chops. I'm just saying to be prepared if it doesn't go well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK gang... have at it...

  • Black Sabbath - War Pigs
  • Judas Priest - Another Thing Coming
  • Led Zeppelin - The Ocean
  • Led Zeppelin - Heartbreaker
  • Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song
  • Led Zeppelin - Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Over The Mountain
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Flying High Again
  • Ratt - Round And Round
  • Rush - Working Man
  • Scorpions - No One Like You
  • Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane
  • Van Halen - Unchained

Doug

 

As soon as you feel your guitar playing abilities are on a par with Tony Iommi, Glen Tipton, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Warren DiMartini, Alex Lifeson, Michael Schenker, and Eddie Van Halen; choose a vocalist for his stage presence, range, and perfect intonation.

 

In the meantime, choose a singer that you can get along with during load-out in the rain at 2:00 a.m. ;)

 

[/end harsh]

 

As for songs, look for something where the vocal doesn't strictly follow the guitar riffing, and get a sense of whether the singer can find the notes and rhythm independent of the instrumental accompaniament

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK gang... have at it...

  • Black Sabbath - War Pigs
  • Judas Priest - Another Thing Coming
  • Led Zeppelin - The Ocean
  • Led Zeppelin - Heartbreaker
  • Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song
  • Led Zeppelin - Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Over The Mountain
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Flying High Again
  • Ratt - Round And Round
  • Rush - Working Man
  • Scorpions - No One Like You
  • Scorpions - Rock You Like A Hurricane
  • Van Halen - Unchained

Doug

 

As soon as you feel your guitar playing abilities are on a par with Tony Iommi, Glen Tipton, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Warren DiMartini, Alex Lifeson, Michael Schenker, and Eddie Van Halen; choose a vocalist for his stage presence, range, and perfect intonation.

 

In the meantime, choose a singer that you can get along with during load-out in the rain at 2:00 a.m. ;)

 

[/end harsh]

 

As for songs, look for something where the vocal doesn't strictly follow the guitar riffing, and get a sense of whether the singer can find the notes and rhythm independent of the instrumental accompaniament

 

Rough day at the office today, Bill??? :/

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for songs, look for something where the vocal doesn't strictly follow the guitar riffing, and get a sense of whether the singer can find the notes and rhythm independent of the instrumental accompaniament
whoa! this was spot-on

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rough day at the office today, Bill??? :/

 

Hey, I offered some serious advice too!

 

You did? I thought you just were telling me I couldn't play guitar without having ever heard me before. I guess you are omniscient, so I'll DEFINITELY take your advice... what was it again?

MUSCLE:91 Mesa Mk4(rack mounted)|Mesa F30|Mesa Nomad45|'78 Marshall 4x12

HEART:07 Gibson LP Std 50s Neck|86 Jackson Soloist|92 PRS Custom 24|01 PRS Singlecut|Taylor 814ce|MIM Strat

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oopsy... yeah, besides the joke that may have seem like a pretty harsh one, I think it's pretty good advice.

 

Also, the whole "different register/tempo" thing--lookn into that when choosing. I think you also want to look at phrasing and diction, although the songs on your list don't necessarily have rapid-fire syllable-after-syllable vocal rhythms. But I guess you'd wanna make sure the singer can dish out the rhythms well and not get lost in terms of the structure of the song.

 

But mainly, I'd talk to each one of the people you audition ahead of time and ask them what they feel comfortable with. Give them a list to choose from... Do AT LEAST 3 songs (remember you don't have to play/sing all/any songs in their entirety), 2 from the ones they feel comfortable with and one that might strech their limits. I would think you want songs in which you'll clearly notice their timbre, their ability to sing IN PITCH without fishing for correct notes when singing the tunes or when improvising (no unnecessary "portamenti"), their rhythm, their phrasing and their range, and that will tell you something about their musical personalities. You might also want to record the auditions, b/c when you play you might no be 100% focusing on how they sound, but you're also thinking about your playing. You'd wanna go back and double-check your impressions.

 

I'm guessing not many people are going to feel comfortable singing Immigrant Song. It fits the description Bill pointed out at parts, has fast passages on the vocals that have to have tight rhythms, and then some of the typical Robert Plant "free" phrasing/rhythms... so there you go, three things that are important in one song. Also, maybe it's not easy b/c of the high-register screams. However, it'd be also an easier song for the instruments to change keys in--and it's fairly short. If your band does this song, I'd put it somewhere in the audiditions repertoire for sure.

 

I'd ditch the Judas Priest song. If you wanna audition a singer w/ JP, take Painkiller or another one, but this one is not exactly a great melody, and anyone could sound good on it regardless of what timbre they have. I don't think it's a song that will tell you a lot about each individual singer.

 

No One Like You seems to me like a good choice as well. Ample register, varying sections in the tempo, the color of the voice has to be round and solid at times, rockin' at others.

 

War Pigs seems easy but in a way it's good b/c of the fact the vocals are in BETWEEN band hits, vocalist is all alone, and while an "easier" song, the vocalist has to have confidence doing it b/c of that fact.

 

Do you like Queensryche?

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rough day at the office today, Bill??? :/

 

Hey, I offered some serious advice too!

 

You did? I thought you just were telling me I couldn't play guitar without having ever heard me before. I guess you are omniscient, so I'll DEFINITELY take your advice... what was it again?

 

Choose a singer that you can get along with during load-out in the rain at 2:00 a.m. ;\)

 

As for songs, look for something where the vocal doesn't strictly follow the guitar riffing, and get a sense of whether the singer can find the notes and rhythm independent of the instrumental accompaniament

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for songs, look for something where the vocal doesn't strictly follow the guitar riffing, and get a sense of whether the singer can find the notes and rhythm independent of the instrumental accompaniament

 

This is absolutely the most important quality in a vocalist, period. You can take all that stage presence and whatever other rubbish you think you need and throw it out the window.

 

If he can't find a melody without the guitar spoon-feeding it to him, he could have David Lee Roth's stage presence and pipes like Pavarotti and I wouldn't have him.

 

(edit)

 

I'm speaking from experience here - I had to fire a singer who had a pretty good voice, and very good presence onstage, but couldn't find a melody even when i pounded it out for him. No rhythm, no sense of melody within key.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As soon as you feel your guitar playing abilities are on a par with Tony Iommi, Glen Tipton, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Warren DiMartini, Alex Lifeson, Michael Schenker, and Eddie Van Halen; choose a vocalist for his stage presence, range, and perfect intonation.

 

In the meantime, choose a singer that you can get along with during load-out in the rain at 2:00 a.m. ;)

 

I actually see this as very fair statement...and also some good advice.

 

You can't demand he fill the shoes of some top-name singers unless the rest of the band can also step up to that same plate in their respective positions.

Everyone should measure up fairly equally...

...unless there is going to be a different pay structure based on talent. ;)

 

And yeah...having a good personality and attitude when you get into the gig grind (not some prima donna who only wants to hold/carry his mic and pose for the girls) is what will count in the long run. :thu:

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, but (not that I didn't think this whole thread was going to be off-topic by the 3rd post) you are very far off topic and this is obvious advice to anyone but a teenager.

MUSCLE:91 Mesa Mk4(rack mounted)|Mesa F30|Mesa Nomad45|'78 Marshall 4x12

HEART:07 Gibson LP Std 50s Neck|86 Jackson Soloist|92 PRS Custom 24|01 PRS Singlecut|Taylor 814ce|MIM Strat

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you erroneously took Bill's advice as a slur against your playing ability.

 

I'm sure he was just stating a basic fact...regardless of your age or ability.

You really didn't provide any details for anyone to go on...so it's kinda' wide open as far as which type of responses you will get.

 

Don't take it the wrong way.

 

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As soon as you feel your guitar playing abilities are on a par with Tony Iommi, Glen Tipton, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Warren DiMartini, Alex Lifeson, Michael Schenker, and Eddie Van Halen; choose a vocalist for his stage presence, range, and perfect intonation.

 

In the meantime, choose a singer that you can get along with during load-out in the rain at 2:00 a.m. ;)

 

I actually see this as very fair statement...and also some good advice.

 

You can't demand he fill the shoes of some top-name singers unless the rest of the band can also step up to that same plate in their respective positions.

Everyone should measure up fairly equally...

...unless there is going to be a different pay structure based on talent. ;)

 

And yeah...having a good personality and attitude when you get into the gig grind (not some prima donna who only wants to hold/carry his mic and pose for the girls) is what will count in the long run. :thu:

 

So, are you guys asking me if I can play? Yes, I learned guitar in the '80s and can friggin' play. All of the songs on my list are ones that I feel my band can pull off at a level that would both impress a vocalist to want to play with us as well as give him a chance to impress us. But again, this is off-topic.

 

BTW... I've narrowed it down to "Another Thing Coming" and "The Ocean". I threw "Over The Mountain", "Round And Round" and "Unchained" in the list to see if anyone had any strong opinions on these songs (remember, this topic is about song choice), but we actually already have them in our setlist. With the exception of OTM (which we learned as a tribute to the 25th anniversary of Randy's death last March) these are our tightest songs and know them note for note. We stopped playing OTM in April because it was hurting our vocalist's throat, so it just needs a little spit and polish to get it back up to speed (pardon the pun).

MUSCLE:91 Mesa Mk4(rack mounted)|Mesa F30|Mesa Nomad45|'78 Marshall 4x12

HEART:07 Gibson LP Std 50s Neck|86 Jackson Soloist|92 PRS Custom 24|01 PRS Singlecut|Taylor 814ce|MIM Strat

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of the songs on my list are ones that I feel my band can pull off at a level that would both impress a vocalist to want to play with us as well as give him a chance to impress us. But again, this is off-topic.

 

Actually...that is very ON topic. :)

 

Now you've stated more definitively which level of talent/ability you require from the singer. :thu:

And being at that high level yourself, I'm sure you already posses a very good method for judging a singer's ability.

 

I still think you would probably just want to pick some of those songs from your set list that you know are demanding and that will cover the widest range/flavor of your set list.

 

Do you already have some singers on tap that claim to have the pipes for those tunes?

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Warpigs would be my choice.

 

It was a strong favorite of mine too... and in 2007 it's message seems as appropriate as it did back in '70! We have one guy in the band that has been slow in life to warm up to Sabbath, so this one didn't fly as high as I had hoped. It has actually been a dream of mine to find a 2nd guitarist so that we could split the solo into the different/simultaneous solos in the left and right channel. I don't think anyone inthe audience would get it, but would be so fun to do. It is like beautiful, organized chaos.

 

Thank you for the opinion!! ...actually on topic, I might add. ;-) :thu:

MUSCLE:91 Mesa Mk4(rack mounted)|Mesa F30|Mesa Nomad45|'78 Marshall 4x12

HEART:07 Gibson LP Std 50s Neck|86 Jackson Soloist|92 PRS Custom 24|01 PRS Singlecut|Taylor 814ce|MIM Strat

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of the songs on my list are ones that I feel my band can pull off at a level that would both impress a vocalist to want to play with us as well as give him a chance to impress us. But again, this is off-topic.

 

Actually...that is very ON topic. :)

 

Now you've stated more definitively which level of talent/ability you require from the singer. :thu:

And being at that high level yourself, I'm sure you already posses a very good method for judging a singer's ability.

 

I still think you would probably just want to pick some of those songs from your set list that you know are demanding and that will cover the widest range/flavor of your set list.

 

Do you already have some singers on tap that claim to have the pipes for those tunes?

 

Ultimately, that is what I was looking for... an "OMG, how could I have overlooked that song" moment from someone's suggestion that wasn't on my list. You guys have a pretty vast recall on songs, so I was trying to tap into that knowledge.

 

We don't have a vocalist lined up, so (I know where you are going, I think) this is a bit of a "what if I win the lottery" moment. Having said that, though, I do live in the SF Bay area and there are a lot of retired musicians that live nearby. You just never know, you know? We may happen across someone that has stopped trying to "make it", but misses performance and just wants to have some fun playing out from time to time.

MUSCLE:91 Mesa Mk4(rack mounted)|Mesa F30|Mesa Nomad45|'78 Marshall 4x12

HEART:07 Gibson LP Std 50s Neck|86 Jackson Soloist|92 PRS Custom 24|01 PRS Singlecut|Taylor 814ce|MIM Strat

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hahahaha! I was just at a holiday party and asked the annoying guy that was trying to sing all by himself to sing this one. :D (Of course we both forgot about the vocalization parts. And he proceeded to "sing" the frickin' guitar riff! :rolleyes: )

 

OMG... that is TOOOO much!! What I want to know is what drug they are on... that guitarist seems to be having a hard day. I love this song... at least the studio version.

MUSCLE:91 Mesa Mk4(rack mounted)|Mesa F30|Mesa Nomad45|'78 Marshall 4x12

HEART:07 Gibson LP Std 50s Neck|86 Jackson Soloist|92 PRS Custom 24|01 PRS Singlecut|Taylor 814ce|MIM Strat

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, dude, your pool is already extremely limited by the fact that your list requires a 2nd baritone or tenor. Most of them are in signed bands - and the "retired guys who don't want to make it anymore" don't have the pipes anymore either - ask Robert Plant about what age does to your falsetto limits.... ;)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...