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OT? Do you ever sing whilst playing bass?


alexclaber

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The last SEVERAL bands I've been in rarely had real, decent singers. I mean, with this one band one guy would come and go when he was available. "Why is it that singers are so damn finicky?", I thought.

 

Well as a result of mostly being in bands without singers, and where you need vocal direction so you know where you are in the song, I went out and bought a mic, boom stand, and started singing at home and at rehearsals.

 

At first it was rough man. Real rough. But over time things improved dramatically and since I started singing and playing about a year and a half ago, I've gotten a lot better. I even bought a keyboard so I can sing to pitch and work on range and I even started doing some exercises...

 

NOW I know why singers are finicky. It takes a lot of time and dedication to build up a voice, I guess they feel like they don't want to waste their breath if they don't wanna be there...I understand that...

 

I think I'm a much better player now than I was 10 years ago, when all I played was metal and I didn't sing. So now if I'm looking for a band I throw that out there and it makes me that much more valuable...

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath

 

Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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No. I did sing occasionally as a guitarist and at one point in the early days even rehearsed with a band as lead singer. But I wasn't a natural front man and I left before we even played a gig. In fact my first proper gig as a guitarist, (ie ignoring on-or-two song guest spots with bands I wasn't in) was in a band supporting the band I'd previously been the singer with.

 

I never had much of an opinion of my voice and I find it a lot harder to play bass and sing than play guitar and sing. I find playing bass an excellent excuse for not singing.

 

(When I first saw this thread title I imagined it was about singing along while you solo, a la Keith Jarrett. I've been listening a lot to Enrico Rava's very beautiful "Easy Living" - if you are at all into pre-electric Miles Davis you should hear this album. The bassist on this album sings along with his solos, but for it's a lot less distracting than Jarrett's grunts can sometimes be).

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On any given night, I will sing 60 to 80% of the songs in the cover band. Some of them (My Sharona, Twist And Shout, Bullet the Blue Sky, to name a few) just kick my ass vocally and leave me ruined for a song or two. I used to front bands but the older I get, the harder it is to sing all night. That and I'm tired of being mediocre at two things at once and really want to concentrate on being a better bassist.

 

A couple weeks ago I was golfing with my guitarist (he refers to me as HIS bass player) and we discussed this for a few holes and decided to seek a singer for our cover band. I hope it works out. First audition is tomorrow night.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Does screaming and growling count????

I really don't have a rock singing voice. Much more suited for bass in a Gospel Quartet. That being said, I usually end up being the one who does the growling whenever we do a song where that come into play. I do actually manage to pull off a falsetto on "Control" by Puddle of Mudd and on "Dirty Deeds" by ACDC. But for the most part, I growl and on songs like "Bodies" by Drowning Pool.

We did an orginal song once where I got to say the word "Hollow" in a really deep spooky voice. Pretty cool. People would be like: "What's that effect that makes your singers voice so deep and creepy." He'd say: "That's the bass player...and he isn't using any effects..." Such funny looks people would give me after that... :)

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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I was the lead singer for my old band, playing bass at the same time. Most of it was pretty simple, rock that I could just pump out quarter notes. Some was more complex. We covered Muse's "Time Is Running Out" (rough vocals, fun bass) and Bulls on Parade (rapping and bass is much harder than singing, in my opinion).

 

Whatever I do next, I'm planning on singing at least backup. Otherwise, I'll miss being the center of attention...

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Passable back up vocalist live, while playing.

 

Passable lead vocalist in a studio, while not playing.

 

Just can't seem to sing lead and play well...

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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I've sung my own songs in a few hodge-podge bands, and am always available for backup work. In my main band, though, things are sticky. We wrote the backing vocals on the album in the singer's range, and he's ten times the singer any of the rest of us are. So, many of the backing vocals are high and tough (middle C on up about an octave). I'm probably as good or better a singer than any of the other guys, but sometimes I just can't play my bass part and sing at the same time. Some of the other guys have trouble hearing harmonies, though, and the band as a whole is pretty much always too damn loud to decently hear oneself, so live backing vocals are pretty much always a hot-button issue. Oh well!
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I didn't vote because I've never done any singing with any bands I've been in. However, it is one of my musical goals for this year to begin singing backing vocals. My voice is in the baritone/bass range but I can do some falsetto pretty well.

 

For me it has not been as much about my voice as about trying to play and sing at the same time :freak: . So I'll practice and see what happens.

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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i sing, although whenever i write a song i never know what Key i should sing it in ( i guess thats a downfall of teaching yourself music)

 

i have no idea what the different parts of singing are like tenor, bass, beritone, all i know is they go from high to low.

 

and what the hell's a Falsetto?

 

:confused:

 

:)

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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for me, singing while playing guitar(lead or rhythm) is the easiest thing in the world.

 

i even play harmonica and guitar at the same time, no problem(and my voice is much better than dylan :freak: )

 

on the other hand, i am not capable of singing lead while playing bass. even simple quarter note blues riffs will get thrown off i sing.

 

oh well :rolleyes:

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Funny story. In a cover band many years ago, we used to do Alice In Chains "Man In A Box". I sang lead vocal on it, plus about 1/3 of our songs at the time. At one gig, the monitor mix just wasn't right. It wasn't loud enough for me to hear myself at all, and trying to raise it created ridiculous feedback (amateur soundman). So, needless to say I over-sang on songs before that one. When the rather high register chorus came along, I was singing and truly pushing with all my might, but my voice was totally burned out and nothing was coming out of my mouth. I couldn't even croak out the chorus!

 

So, what do you do in those circumstances? You can't turn around and look at your amp like there's something wrong with it, since this is vocals we're talking about and not a bass line that you just flubbed up. So, I bumped the mic a few times and wiggled the mic cable with my free hand on the verse when playing an open string part on bass. Lo and behold, it worked! Equipment problem? Of course! (It was just my personal equipment!)

 

I didn't feel too bad though...the other lead singer at the time had the same problem...her voice completely cut out on her best song! What a night!

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Falsetto is a high pitched register, usually the highest register for the male voice. Acceptable for female singers, but not always for male singers. Its like a fake voice you're straining the vocal chords...

 

I was singing falsetto+raspy on "Highway to Hell" took me a while to nail that song, too. Haha I sound just like Bon Scott after a pack of cigarettes...

 

Ideally I would rather let a real lead singer take over the show and win over the crowd while I focused on the rhythm section. I wouldn't mind singing backups and maybe lead on a song or two.

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath

 

Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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I disagree that falsetto (also referred to as "head voice) is a strain on the vocal chords. If it is, you're probably not doing it quite right. There shouldn't be any strain. The strain is probably coming from trying to push too much air through. Falsetto results from vibration of the "false folds" as opposed to the true vocal chords. The vibration is very small (like the higher notes on a stringed instrument) so they don't take too much air to get them going.

 

I'm not the biggest R&B fan but check out Maxwell or Curtis Mayfield (who isn't really R&B, necessarily) and you'll hear plenty of falsetto with no strain. And it's definitely not false.

 

Anyway,... I sing backup with my band. I can only pull it off during parts where the bass is greatly simplified. I'm eager to try more complex playing while I sing, because I've found with enough practice I can usually do it, but I have yet to do it in a band setting (the more complex parts, that is).

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I've been the vocalist in my band for about 3 1/2 years now. I guess I've done ok. Not great. I've been taking lessons and they have been helping quite a bit. Not night and day, but I can tell there's a different quality or maturity happening. I've only been singing seriously a few years. Playing bass many years. So I don't expect my performance level on both bass and vocals to exactly match up. It takes practice to play some of the bouncy thrash rythms if I do some counter over it with a vocal line. Or the other way around. It's all a good challenge. I do clean, heavy, and death metal vocals. I hope I have not shamed my band too much thus far.

 

There was some stuff above that I didn't agree with about the falsetto thing. It I'm guessing correctly, it's being mistaken for a vocal range rather than a technique. I still excperience vocal blow out after some death metal or heavy vocals if I don't do them with some finesse. I can sing one song and toast my voice for the night. My vocal teacher compares it to your vocal folds having a black eye. By The way, I love Bon Scott's voice. One of a kind. I love all the AC/DC albums, but there's something about the album High Voltage when I think about his vocals.

Mike Bear

 

Artisan-Vocals/Bass

Instructor

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I'm the lead singer (and bassist) in a band - was reading some bass articles that said a lot of bassists found it a problem (singing and playing). I never did, but maybe that's because I tend to have quite roaming melodic basslines, therefore if the vocal melody is syncopated it isn't going against the bass too much (if that makes sense)

He who decends to the level of a beast takes away the pain of being a man.

 

www.popmachine.co.uk

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It's funny, as soon as they find out you can sing, boom, you have to sing.

 

I enjoy singing, and will do the occasional lead vocal (if I had my druthers) but I often get into "I'm the only vocalist on the job" gig. What I would REALLY like to do, is be in a band with a few other vocalists and sing harmony. I really like Chicago for that (and other) reasons, they have several strong vocalists who can sing parts. My idea of musical heaven. I could also really enjoy being in a band with a really strong lead vocalist, and be part of the background vocals team. That would also be fun.

I'm trying to think but nuthin' happens....
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I do a lot of backup singing in the cover band, I sing lead on only three songs at the moment: Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Jane's Addiction "Been Caught Stealin'", and Guns N Roses "Paradise City".
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My band just picked up a lead singer, who has a much better voice than I do. We did that because I could sing about 1/3 of our material decently. I have neither the range nor the training to be the sole front person unless the material is very carefully chosen (hmmm sounds like my playing as well :) ).

 

I do have intonation problems at times, so that's bad. And I forget to breath properly, so that's bad. Which is why I wish I had time for lessons, because I think I could make good progress on those things.

 

I enjoy singing a small set of leads. Getz and 73pbass got to hear me doing a Cactus tune.

 

As to backgrounds and falsetto, I used to have a decent falsetto, and frequently sang the highest parts. I find that I can't reach some really high notes that I used to hit (I loved singing a third above in the ahhhhs at the end of Boston's More Than A Feeling), and I can't seem to articulate the words as well as I used to.

 

Fortunately, I'm pretty good at holding on to my own vocal part. Once I learn my line, I can usually deliver.

 

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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