To the family and friends of those who can't sing, I implore you to not encourage them to sing in public. Encourage them to take lessons, practice, or whatever to improve, but don't encourage them to sing in public. For when that happens, musicians suffer. It all began in childhood. Yes, your child was cute singing out of tune and out of time, but as a teen it gets old. Even though you bought your child a fancy new PA in high school, it did not improve his vocals. Our band appreciated it, but after the last battle of the bands, I had to attend college out of state to have any chance of finding a gig or getting laid. I wish it ended then, but it didn't. People like this still get encouragement for some reason. Sometimes your silence is implied encouragement. So, they continue their quest to be a singer, challenging the conventions of pitch, meter, and dynamics while torturing the musicians behind them. As musicians, we have a more keen sense of pitch and time, and it hurts us more than it hurts you. From the open mic trainwreck caused by them not knowing when to come in to the audition with a monotone falsetto version of Summer of 69 that's a 1/2 step flat, the band gets blamed for that. Really, it's not our fault, and please don't agree with them when they use that excuse. Trust us, when we think they suck, they actually do. We don't fake those faces. I know that you are trying to get laid by that cute girl by flattering and telling her she can sing. And sometimes, it works. But, while you hear her wails and moans in bed, we have to deal with her moaning and wailing over "I Will Survive", and trust us it's not sexy. And bands, just because you have a female in the band, you don't have to make her sing anything if the can't. See:Yoko Ono. And for the guys who are good instrumentalists, but terrible vocalists, please encourage them to improve before subjecting their bandmates to their journey in pitch and time. We really enjoy their playing, and we're not jealous of them and trying to keep them down. We want to save our band from embarassment. Even though you think it's cute and get turned on when he sings "Wonderful Tonight" to you, it clears the bar when he does it and no-one gets any action in the place. I know you deal with crying children at home while we're out gigging, but please know that we're suffering too. So, I beg you to go past just your polite smile, and just say they need to practice before subjecting an audience. Or just say they suck. Encourage them to learn, practice, improve, but don't encourage them to sing in public. Each time a flat, out of time version of Summertime is sung, a glimmer of hope dies in a musician. Please, do it for the musicians.