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Any SINGERS here??? Today was different...


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For the past twenty years, I have been acustomed to playing music while sitting down, and having a drumset in front of me as well as at least a couple of guys with guitars standing between me and the audience.

 

That may be changing...

 

I happened to see an ad in the paper placed by a successful area band looking for a lead singer.

They play mainly 60's era music. Some of it made me cringe, but most of it was pretty good. Also the band is tight.

 

So I thought, 'what the hell'...I've always thought I had a pretty decent voice, but I've never had a chance to really develop it or to show it off. I gave them a call and had an audition today. I thought the audition came off pretty well. They still have a couple of guys left to audition, but I think my chances are about as good as anybody's -unless someone really good steps up.

 

I can't tell you how nervous I was. Had this been a drum gig, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. But to stand up and sing, with no instrument to use as a security blanket....man, that was weird for me.

 

I'd like to get the gig because it would allow me to do something different, and to have a little fun at it. Plus, I think these guys get paid pretty well, and they keep a reasonably busy calender. If I don't get it, I'm okay with that. Life goes on.

 

Actually, my biggest fear is that I DO get the gig. Because then I have to actually learn these songs, and do them justice. I have to come up with some kind of stage-craft that makes me look like a frontman, without making me look like a cheezy 'Nick Summers' lounge singer... :cool:

 

But also, I have to be able to deliver the goods as a singer for HOURS every gig PLUS rehearsals! I only sang 4 songs with them, and I AM FEELING IT! I have kind of a scratchy throat now. It's not bad, but ut's noticeable.

 

It wasn't like I was trying to sound like Bon Scott or somebody.

But I was trying to put just a little grit in my voice....ya know, to sound a little 'weathered'.....like I'd had a cigarette or two, and had some women do me wrong during my life. More of a Blues sound than Hard Rock...

 

I don't think I over-did it. But, it does have me wondering about just what singers do to keep their voices going.

 

How many singers do we have here, anyway?

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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I can relate. Although I don't really consider myself a singer, I have been the lead vocal or lead vocal/guitar for any band I've been in. That is only 11 years of bands, but nonetheless...

 

Many times I've wished that, for once, I could be the guy that just plays guitar - not the guy that's always in the spot.

No matter how good something is, there will always be someone blasting away on a forum somewhere about how much they hate it.
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If you have a rough, edgy voice to start with keeping your voice in shape is not usually a problem. However if it is not natural, and you are straining, it could cause some problems.

 

I think the best thing any singer can do is sing alot, and sing in your real voice. It is the healthiest, and best long term plan for taking care of your instrument.

 

I hope that helps.

Jotown:)

 

"It's all good: Except when it's Great"

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I sing and have handled lead vox duties in a number of different configurations from large bands to acoustic duos. Still, I've had the comfort of one or two keyboards in front of me...giving my hands something to do.

 

Be yourself. Sing the song as if it happened to you. Scan the crowd and make eye contact. If you're having fun everyone else will too.

 

Take care of the voice, especially if you're doing multiple nights. You might want to take a few sessions with a respected coach to get some warmup techniques (and to recognize anything wrong with your current approach that might cause damage). Get a personal vaporizer and keep it with you at gigs...best way to get moisture where you need it.

 

Congrats on "stepping out" from behind the kit. Woo-hoo!

 

:thu:

this house is empty now...
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The most I've done is singing half the lead, but harmony on pretty much the rest of them. In our last 6 nights a week band we had three strong singers so I just had to sing about a third of the lead. My singing partners had all sorts of rituals like not eating before a gig, lemon/honey/whiskey concotions, various exercises... The only thing that helped me was just doing it. Your gut and throat are muscles and need to be in shape. Sing often and don't ever push your voice into gravel if it hurts (during or after). I found the gravel came naturally after many many hours of singing every night and it never hurts if you do it right.
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I've been easing into the role of singing more and more for my band. I sing about half the songs now. That's up quite a bit from two or three songs a year a go. I also sing harmonies on everything else so I'm vocalizing for 4 hours on show nights.

 

I find that the voice is a muscle and you have to take care of it. As long as I get plenty of sleep on show nights I'm unstoppable. Of course that isn't always the case. When I'm tired or run down so is my voice. So I pick my spots in those cases. I've found that some of the harder songs I sing aren't sang full out by the dang artists themselves so when I'm a little run down I might back off a little. It's really about learning your limitations.

 

Unless your one of those guys that are blessed with Iron vocal chords. If that's the case well…. I hate you… ;)

Double Posting since March 2002

Random Post Generator #26797

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I have been back at it singing lead and playing bass for a few months now. I used to sweat bullets, but it gets better as you get more comfortable. I kind of like Ted's idea of wearing a marching band snare...Now if you could only get one of the other people to play a fife....
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Originally posted by Jotown:

If you have a rough, edgy voice to start with keeping your voice in shape is not usually a problem. However if it is not natural, and you are straining, it could cause some problems.

Amen to that. I sing just a couple lines (the second vocal part) when we do Metallica's "Sandman", and it really hurts the ol' throat. As far as nerves, though, it gets easier the more you do it. I only sing lead on three or four songs, but I'm enjoying it more and more.

 

Of course, I'm still hiding behind my organ... ;)

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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:cool:

 

The best advice I could offer for voice is to regularly practice singing along with lines you practice on instuments.

Not only does that keep your ear sharp but it can help keep your range wide (or widen it) without turning practice into dry exercises.

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You may also find that there are external forces on your voice to watch for. I know that my voice is not up to speed until about 4 or 5 pm, before that it will not be as relaxed and warm as I'd like it to be. You want to drink plenty of lukewarm water, because cold water may help strain your throat. And I've found that the more I sing, the more I'm able to physically feel what my vocal cords are doing and relax the parts of my throat that I don't need to tense up. That makes singing extended high passages much easier.
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Well I been off the reefer for a good 6 months now, and you know, I can't sing a bit better for it... my range is exactly the same maybe octave and a half that it was. After hearing a live recording of Bonnie Raitt, I've taken up some of these lemon-honey-whiskey concoctions, but to what avail I don't know.

 

I think I might have permanently shot the whole upper register of my voice by screaming myself completely raw, from great emotional pain... oh well. I suppose I should count myself lucky all the same.

 

Just in the past couple days I've considered seeing this one chick singer who gives lessons and clinics and that- she has all kinds of vocal chops and a nice raw tone, so when she talks in between songs her voice is all hoarse, but she can do this night after night forever as far as I can tell.

 

FWIW.

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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Originally posted by Tedster:

Wear a parade snare drum

Well, I'm hoping they let me play a little guitar. I don't even care much if it's in the mix. I'd like the chance to build my guitar chops up, and of course, it also gives me something to do while I'm singing.

 

Something about singing with no instrument feels about the same as playing 'air guitar' to me. I know that isn't a fair statement to make....because singing is probably harder to do than playing air guitar... :D

But seriously, I guess it's just where I'm coming from. I'm used to having a large instrument to haul around and set up, and play.

 

Maybe I'd feel better if I carried an sm-58 around in a large 70 pound flightcase???? :confused:

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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hey super 8!

 

good luck & hope you get the gig. the best advice i can give you is to just sing every day. sing properly, not screaching or belting or overdoing things, but in your car or around your house, try to get about 2-3 hours of cumulative practice in every day. i'd say i sing on average about 4 hours every day (normal weekday). learn your voice and your physical limitations. get completely comfortable with what your voice can and can't do before testing the limits.

 

keep yourself hydrated all day long. everyone has their own advice on what to drink, what not to drink, etc...general guidelines are what to stay away from - caffeine, dairy, alcohol...i would go against the grain and say stay away from lemon as well...citric acid will strip your vocal cords. honey is good...bee pollen, etc...but i've never had any sort of ritual. and keep plenty of bottles of water on stage. drum riser, monitor, on top of a bass amp. if you are moving around much, you don't want to have to be searching for a bottle of water during the middle of a song.

 

finally, here's a bit of pharmaceutical advice. i have been taking 3-4 tablets daily of the over the counter "asthma" relief pills you see in convenience stores. not the ephedra supplements like STACKER (which i think are banned now anyway). the pills sold in the same area up by the cash register with the novelty lighters, etc...they contain 200 mg of guafinisen and 20 mg of ephedrine. the guafinisen acts as a loosening agent. it may sound gross, but what i have found over the past several months is that by taking a daily regimen of this (and ibuprofen), the song-making parts of my throat have been completely clear and free of any sort of phlegm. by taking it daily, it's had a cumulative effect to where i can actually be singing at 9 in the morning what i would expect to have to wait until after noon to do. there's lots of implications to taking supplements, etc, so be sure you know what you personally can and can't do.

 

and gig day be sure to take about 800 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours or so. then take another 800 mg post gig. your throat will thank you for it.

 

sorry to ramble on! hope that helps a little, and good luck....

 

DISCLAIMER: upon rereading this post, i want to make it absolutely clear that before taking ANY kind of supplements, chemicals, etc, be SURE to discuss with a doctor.

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Super, you multi-tasker!

 

If you get uncomfortable just standing there, might I suggest the Davey Jones Solution:

 

3 maracas in each hand and a flowered shirt with puffy sleeves, lots of hawaiian leis around your neck....

 

Seriously, though...I have been lead-singing since '74, but most always with an instrument (first drums, then guitar, then bass, now bass and/or acoustic guitar). One thing that helps me when I'm singing without an instrument is taking the mic off the micstand. I know, it sounds elementary, but for the longest time I would leave the mic on the boom and move up to it, standing there with my hands in my pockets (what do you DO with the damn things when you don't have an instrument to play?). I have a pretty good voice with a 3+ octave range, but I was dull as dishwater, just standing there. When I finally took the damn thing off the stand, it opened up a new world of being able to emote feelings to the audience. Not 'Lee Tyler emoting', not 'Angus emoting', but using your body language along with your voice and the lyric to help develop the 'feel' of the song you're putting across to the crowd. I find it works out very well - it adds a dimension to the song that I was never able to get from singing and playing at the same time...

 

...and now people don't think I'm playing pocket-pool...

 

Good luck! Hope you gets da gig!

 

-Tim from Jersey :thu:

Play. Just play.
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