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Poll: OT - Backing Vocals


getz out

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Since my voice has a limited upper range, most of my career has been away from the lead mic. But I am so moved by harmonies that I just fell into singing them long before I was playing bass, and continued when I was in bands. During my stint in an originals band, I was often expected to come up with the non-lead vocal parts. These were in the subtle or complex style (no shouts/raps/etc.). I was often the one singing the high falsetto parts.

 

My current band does "Vehicle", where I help shout "love you - need you", and "Rosalita", which is somewhere between a shout and a harmony. We hope to add a lead singer soon, and then I'll be back to my old falsetto tricks again. Wish I had the strength there that I did when I was 19.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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As for style of backup vocals...whatever the song calls for. Some songs need nothing more than a lead vocal. In some, some "ahhs" or "oohs" will suffice. Still others beg for more complex call and response type things.

 

Whatever...but I do crave backup vocals.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

My current band does "Vehicle", where I help shout "love you - need you",

Tom

Hey Tom - we do that also, and I sing the same part. My favorite song of our sets - and not because I have to sing! :D

 

I'm fortunate to get to sing :rolleyes: on most of our songs. Classic Rock (60's and 70's)... Those backups were much more intricate than given credit for...'specially the Motown stuff.

 

Jim

Jim

Confirmed RoscoeHead

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Of all the "bar" bands I've been in, or been aquainted with, the ones who had multiple vocal harmonies have ALWAYS been the most successful.

 

I theorize that it's because while not everyone can identify with the bass player or guitar player, almost everyone can identify with sining.

 

It used to annoy me that bands with mediocre instrumental musicianship but good vocals could get more gigs than me. Now I appreciate the musicianship that goes into good vocals.

 

I don't care how f**kin' good you can play, if you can't sing at least a little, you've cut your chances of finding a successful career in music in half. At best.

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STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

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originally posted by Social Critic

My vocals has that low, three note range, two of which are not found in nature and the third only forest animals that can sense approaching earthquakes can hear.
Don't underestimate the power of the quartertone :idea:

 

All you young'uns out there, take the advice of us old dogs and LEARN TO SING BACK UPS!

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Fred said:

Singing backups is not only fun but it's helped make me a more disciplined player. To sing I have to really nail the bass part so I can put my concentration on singing in key.
What about if you are doing some old Aretha or Marvin Gaye? With the bassline lines constantly evolving, should we, as bassists, have to be responsible for kicking out harmonies while trying to recreate or pay homage to some of the finest moments in music history?

 

I guess I feel like hanging a sign on my bass that says "I'm busy playing some sh*t, don't bother me on this song" every time I play some of the old Motown stuff. The parts are different every time.

 

Wow, I'm cranky this morning.

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Only on songs where the bass part is TRICK and NEEDS total attention do I not sing background (unless I'm singing the main part). Then I make sure the guys playing less demanding parts DO take care of the chores. I'm usually the one in the band who shows the others where the notes are in songs they don't "get", and the one who usually moves to a different harmony layer when one of them hits the wrong tier ; }
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I've gone from a brief moment of being a backing vocalist 4 years ago, to suddenly finding myself singing lead. Had a really fun band (and bizarrely it seems like a band despite there only being two of us!) practice last night (after an hour of blaspheming at speakon leads) with lots of improvising vocals and basslines and looping etc. It'll take some time to get it all together, but there's a really potent vibe and a HUGE groove! :D

 

Alex

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I don't care how f**kin' good you can play, if you can't sing at least a little, you've cut your chances of finding a successful career in music in half. At best.
Absolutely, but unfortunately true.

When I first started playing, I was in a mediocer band that gigged regular. There used to be an awesome instrumental band that we were all friends with who couldn't hardly get a gig and they never understood why. I suggested that they add a singer a couple of times, but they didn't want to. They thought it somehow cheapened their music. I didn't think that it would, but they saw it the other way. I also wanted to say well stop complaining then! It really sucked for them because the music was really good. They eventually broke up. The whole time though, they new that they were a better band then us and couldn't believe they hardly played out. Really sucked for them.

I personally like some instrumental stuff, but when I go to a club I want to here a full band, which IMO, includes a singer.

 

Out of curiosity - How many people think that it's easier to entertain someone with just a guitar than just with a bass?

I find that if I'm all by myself and playing a bass for someone (going through cover songs) that I loose their attention pretty quick. However if someone is playing a guitar, people seem to be able to pay more attention for a longer period. I really think it comes down to the fact that most music is guitar driven instead of bass driven.

Example of guitar driven: Johnny Be Good (Chuck Berry)

Example of bass driven: Sanctified (NIN)

It also seems the more bass driven songs I play, the longer people pay attention. Anyone else notice this or am I smoking crack?

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Tenstrum : I suggested that they add a singer a couple of times, but they didn't want to. They thought it somehow cheapened their music.
It DOES. Out here in the hinterlands each additional member really hurts the pocketbook. Playing for cheaper sucks. That's why I'm always trying to convince this great, well-rounded guitarist I gig with sometimes to stop being such a snob and sing some songs. He CAN sound good. If all three of us sung (we know a good drummer that would be game for a REAL band again) we could kill. As it is, we just meet as subs occasionally, usually in a four piece band that's formed on a core of mediocrity.
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Well... I wasn't talking about financial. More musically. Like a singer would make their music degrade some how.

Seems like you guys could have a good band. Has anyone tried doing a couple of songs w/vocals and just sing. Kinda try to force someone into singing? Maybe you could do it during a warmup? Never know. Once someone starts singing, it may change the band's outlook...

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Tenstrum,

 

Yeah, I knew exactly what you were saying. And some guys have some attitude about it. I've tired in poast bands to have a couple FUN group-sing tunes/interludes, and to have ocassional vocal practices. I often mention the Beatles when trying to convince older players that it's a GOOD thing to care about.

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BTW - what has happened to your name? When ever I see you last replied it has:

Last reply by: (insert nothing here)

Have you taken a Prince turn and using just a symbol for your name now? ;)

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Originally posted by   :

I've had only praise for Speakons. What's the prob?

I don't really know - it's weird!

 

My trusty old leads are no-name 4-pole speakons with rather skinny 2x1.5mm^2 leads. Before I bought the bigger power amp I thought it would be wise to upgrade to heavier gauge (and shorter) cables, so I bought some 2x6mm^2 cable and (not knowing enough about speakon specs) some 2-pole Neutrik speakons. I then found the cable was too thick to fit any of the outer sleeve into the plugs' strain relief and also that there was simply too much copper to squeeze into the 'terminal block' (what do they call that bit?) So the outer sleeve had to go and as did half of the core's thickness at the terminals. Messy. Then tested them at home and they didn't work - the output level LEDs just went up and up on the amp and no sound came out. After a lengthy and unsuccessful battle to take the leads apart, I gave up and went back to ye olde leads.

 

Then last weekend I decided to sort the leads out - got them out, had a look at the wiring - they looked fine - plugged them in, and they worked fine. Went to my band practice, plugged them in and no sound! :(

 

Borrowed another speakon lead and still no sound. Drove home, dug out my old leads, took them back, plugged them in, and hey presto, everything back to normal!

 

I'm guessing it's something to do with the wiring configuration. I don't know what it is in the Acme but I'm guessing it's 1+ and 1-, and I know the QSC in parallel mode is 1+ and 1- from each output. Maybe those leads weren't wired right but surely a 2-pole speakon would be 1+ and 1-?

 

Weird...

 

Alex

 

P.S. Good to have you back Mr Green.

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Yeah, I had to strip some copper from each wire to get the round S-conductor 10 gauge cable to work with the latest Speakon 4-pole design as a +1/-1, but nothing too troublesome. No stripping of outer insulation ot anything. It's tight space to work in though and I suppose you could end up with an intermittent...

 

Should ask Andy if those are simple +1/-1. I buy 4-pole for everything because there are a lot of ways to do things, and I've found some gear wires +2 to +1, and -2 to -2. That QSC bridge situation for their Channel One connector can throw you for some configs too.

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Yeah, Nicklab,

 

a couple of these sub gigs kind of thrust me into ones I hadn't sung before while playing. Good thing I was put on the spot AFTER having the bass role under the skin for some time. Made all the difference.

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