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band woes

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(@ph0nage)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 199
Topic starter  

my "band" has been together for roughly 6 weeks now. It consists of a myself and another guitarist, then a bass. We've been using drum tracks.

We decided that we'd like to get a vocalist to give us a complete sound, so we put up an ad on craigslist - saying we're in it just for fun right now, but wouldn't mind eventually getting small paid gigs.

I was shocked because we got 5 responses.

Anyways - we met with one last night. He was supposed to practice a few of our songs and go through them with us. He did practice one song with us....but we only got through 3 songs in 2 hours due to wasted time! He kept saying, "we should do this" or "we should do that" And pushed us in directions we weren't wanting to go - and even tried to get us to work on a new song DURING PRACTICE that none of us had heard before. He did have a great voice and a strong talent for keyboard...but we were just frustrated after he left.

When you're auditioning....I always expect someone to show us what they have to offer, let them see what we have to offer, see if there are common goals, and if our personalities get along. We're pretty sure that we're going to get with some of the other vocalists and meet them. I realize compromise is necessary. But this seemed beyond that

Am I in for a great deal of frustration in the future...or was this not a typical experience?

and our songlist so far is...
Smashing Pumpkins - Today
Soundgarden - Outshined
Toadies - I Come From the Water
Coheed & Cambria - 10 Speed
Local H - Bound for the Floor
Collective Soul - Where the River Flows
Taproot - Birthday

Not too hard, but works great w/ 2 guitarists


   
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(@xylembassguitar)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 66
 

Recruiting a new member for a band is always a varied experience. Sometimes the right person just walks into the door and instantly gels with the rest of the bad. Other times, well, it goes more like what you've described. However, I wouldn't continue on with the expectation that the rest of the auditions are going to go as poorly and if nothing else, a bad audition will make for a good story later on in life.

You might try being a little more specific with regard to the new vocalist's role in your want ads/listings, that may help to weed out people with certain expectations and intentions...

Good luck finding your new bandmember.

Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars


   
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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

Sorry to hear about the problems. Finding a vocalist seems to be a common theme these days. I hope it starts getting better for you. :)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@dan-t)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5044
 

Well, you just found out who not to ask to be your band's vocalist. Doesn't matter if the person is talented, if they frustrate everyone else, it isn't going to work. Keep auditioning other people, you'll know when the right one shows up. They've got to click both musically & socially.
And yes, being in a band can be frustrating, but if you've got the right people, not so much. :wink:

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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 KR2
(@kr2)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2717
 

Specifically,
what was the "we should do this" and "we should do that"? . . .
and what direction was he pushing that you didn't want to go . . . and why didn't you want to go there?

Inquiring minds what to know,
KR2

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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(@ph0nage)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 199
Topic starter  

Ken,

He was wanting to get out and gig relatively quick. From the beginning, our ad had said it would be a while before we wanted to get out and do that.

He wanted to rearrange a lot of our covers for his keyboard, which is fine. In the rearranging, he generally ended up with most of the "cool parts" that either I or the other guitarist would have had. Sure, he can have some of them....but I quit playing tuba and picked up guitar for a reason....tuba parts were boring!

He said he really wanted to eventually do a mostly acoustic set. If you look at our setlist, that's not where we're really going right now.

That's a few of them.

On the Bright Side......He said we were a lot better than the other groups he had met with already and was shocked we'd only been together for 6 weeks. Our bassist has only been playing for 3 months! That was a self esteem boost. He did say he would like to join if we'd have him (yet, we're still looking).

We're actually auditioning another guy today who just sings. So maybe I'll let you know how that goes. I'm trying to keep an open mind! Thanks for the responses!


   
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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1305
 

A band is like a dysfunctional group marriage.

When you're looking to add someone, you're gonna interview a lot of people that just don't fit. There's quite a few out there that will leave ya just shaking your head saying, "Man . . . that guy/girl is a few sandwiches short of a picnic!"

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Well, I'm going to be a little different and say you should give this guy another chance, and think about your song choice. The most difficult position to fill in any band is the singer. Whether we as musicians like it or not, it is the singer that always gets the attention in any band. Who gets more attention, Mick Jagger or Keith Richards? Keith is great, but Mick is the show. That's the way it has always been, and always will be.

Wanna know the difference between a good band and a great band? THE SINGER.

And most people do not understand singing. People believe a good singer can sing anything well. Nothing can be further from the truth. Successful pro singers very carefully select the songs they sing and only perform songs they sing well. Often this means you must discard songs that you personally love.

I would approach it like this: Tell the guy you will let him sing, and you will perform songs he sings well. But he needs to focus on the singing, and let you guys be the band. And he will find he sings far better if his parts are minor anyway. There are a few great singers who can sing well while playing an instrument (Elton John for example), but that is the exception and not the rule. Look at bands while they play, you will see the singer is usually playing a super simple part or not at all.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@danlasley)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2118
 

You might simply tell him: "You have a great voice, and the keyboards are a plus, but we are a guitar band, and we know what we want to do. We'd like to have you join us, but we're concerned that we are not heading in the same direction."

What's the worst that could happen? He walks away.


   
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(@ph0nage)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 199
Topic starter  

Thanks for the advice guys.

Wes, Laz - My initial idea was to tell him what we thought - and what would need to change in order for him to work with us - much like you said. My concern was that a lot of the things he was really into and pushing for weren't exciting us - and that if he did agree with the direction, that he would eventually keep bringing up his wants/needs for a new direction as time went on.

We did audition another singer today, and BAM! He almost fit like a glove. He said that he played acoustic guitar, and demonstrated for us. He was pretty good. Even better, his singing was great! He said that he could play acoustic on songs if he wanted us to, but that singing was his main desire. He went through Today and Outshined with us, then showed us some of the music he had written. Asked about religious, political, or any other affiliations that he would need to know about. I definitely piped in and mentioned i was a christian, and he had no problem with that. His goals were similar to ours, although he had definitely been in some experienced bands on the west coast. Apparently the indiana scene isn't comparable :-P

We're definitely asking him to come back next Thursday! Wes, Laz - If we hadn't found other vocalists, we would have probably ended up taking your advice.

Thanks all! I am shocked at the skill and talent of the vocalists who are responding to a beginning band.


   
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(@danlasley)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2118
 

Can you send the other guy toward cnev?


   
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(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

And he's obviously joking about that since it's highly doubtful that the singers you don't want are going to trek out from Indiana to Connecticut to audition. Although stranger things have happened... :wink:

Peace


   
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(@dan-t)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5044
 

Glad to hear you found someone who fit both personality wise & talent wise. 8)

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

Wow just saw this. Congrats on finding a singer, we've gone through 5 now and still no luck. Haven't tried the Craiglist thing yet though.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@xylembassguitar)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 66
 

Congrats on the new potential singer ph0nage. Let us know how he works out.

Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars


   
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