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Dealing with lousy singers - HELP!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rocknroll777, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. So, we got a six piece band, lead and rythm guitar, drums, keys, singer and a bass (me), and the dude that's singin' is a huge problem. Guy is totally tone deaf, a terrible singer. We would like to kick him out, but the problem is that we're long time friends. I'd like to kick him out, but I'm afraid that action would destroy our frendship. Do you have any advices or the tips? Is there anything I could do to improve his singing?
  2. 4dog


    Aug 18, 2012
    Be nice,if your in this band to "make it" and the whole band feels the same way,then being direct is always the best way, being friends makes it harder, maybe vocal lessons are all he needs,and compassion. Its still gonna hurt him but HOW you deal with it is probably more important than THAT you deal with it. Good luck.
  3. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    We had a singer who had pitch issues. We did everything we could for him (spending one on one time going over the vocal lines, bought an extra set of monitors so he could hear himself better, etc.) but in 9 months things didn't improve and we had to fire him. Well, I had to fire him - I always get the dubious distinction of firing people from the band.:bag:

    Anyhow, I'd recommend that you talk to the other band members (or at least the most influential ones) and, if they agree that your singers sucks, do the following:
    1. Have the whole band sit down with the singer and talk to him about the situation. As best as possible, try not to make it an "us vs. him" confrontation, try to focus on the problem (his singing) not him personally. Don't insult, don't chide, don't run through a litany of complaints. Even if he starts calling everyone in the band as&*%& mother&%#$@, maintain your professionalism. It will almost certainly go badly, but at least do your best to maintain your professionalism and don't allow it to become a shouting match.
    2. Make sure everyone int eh band is present when you confront him, but designate only one person to speak to him on behalf of the other members to avoid him feeling like everyone is ganging up on him. If other band members start shouting with him, ask them to chill out and save the shouting for later and stay on point.
    3. Stress how much you think he's a great person once the microphone is off, and how hard it is to have to let him go, but everyone else in the band agrees and while you're sorry to do it, and don't want to hurt him, you don't have any choice.
    4. Tell outsiders that the split is due to "mutual agreement" to help him save face publicly. No one outside of the band has to know that he was fired bc he sucks - that's your business, not theirs. Of course, the fired singer can bad mouth the band all he wants, do not respond in kind. Take the high road, be gracious and simply stick with the "mutual agreement" story to everyone outside of the band.
    5. Get ready for a long time without a vocalist (unless you've got one waiting in the wings). What changes will have to be made musically? What gigs will you have to cancel? How are you going to search for a new singer? Craigslist? What is your audition criteria?

    Anyhow, whatever you decide, it's not about firing a guy - it's really about what's best for the band.

    Good luck - peace!
  4. DieterVDW


    Sep 19, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    Very tough situation. Honesty pays off in the long end though...
    Good luck!
  5. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Friendships that cannot survive honesty aren't really friendships that are worth having.
  6. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Winning answer.
  7. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I had a similar problem with 2 singers. With the first guy we started recording rehearsals and then let him listen to how bad he was. He finally admitted that he shouldn't be singing.

    The second guy was a long time friend of the guitar player. When he auditioned he assumed he was automatically in the band. I knew right away that he was terrible. We let him come back several times to see if he improved. He didn't so I called the guitar player to discuss it. He asked me to call the singer and let him know that we were going to look for another someone else. He was upset but a few weeks later he called and said that he appreciated the honesty.

    Don't let your friendship get in the way of having a good band. You are just going to be miserable and eventually you will probably end up having an argument that could destroy the relationship anyway. The best thing to do is to be honest. If he is really your friend he will understand. If he doesn't, at least you know that you handled it professionally.
  8. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    An otherwise good band can get away with having one mediocre member on any position but vocals. The vocalist is out front, both on stage and in the mix, any weakness sticks out like a sore thumb.
  9. Thanks for the great tips, friends! :) I have decided that I am going to do this step by step. I recorded the last gig, and I'm going to show him that his singing sucked big time. Right now, only me and rhythm guitarist are considering of kicking him out. The other people in band are like ''yea he sucks, but I don't give a f**k''. Before all that, yes, I am going to try to improve his singing. I will search some online singing lessons, and who knows, maybe I'll learn to sing too LOL :D Another thing that bothers me more than his singing is, you know, he's one of those ''wanna-be'' rockers. His freaking favourite band is Guns'n'roses, and only thing he knows 'bout them is three songs and how Slash looks. Btw I don't like that band in any way. Old-school r'n'r 4 life!

    Thank you good people for taking time for this. Excuse me if I made some grammar mistakes, I don't speak english where I live. Peace.
  10. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    If this is truly the case and the other members really are ok with it I can't help but believe there are other problems with the bands sound. Perhaps you and this other guitarist should consider removing YOURSELVES from this project rather than HIM from it since it seems like you are holding yourselves to higher standards than the rest. If your friendship with this guy is really ok, it may be better to let the band go than trash a friendship if you see these differences already.
  11. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    Another thing, I don't believe I this...other than pointing ours a section you feel may need attention, how are you going to improve HIS singing? Does it make any more sense to say "I'm going to try to improve my drummer's or my guitarist's playing?" You can tell your guitarist you don't think this particular lead isn't working, but it's up to HIM to fix it, not you.
  12. Hey man, we have played gigs and people who listened us only complained about the singer. My playing is allright, nobody ever complained about it.
    About ''I am going to try to improve his singing'' part, maybee I haven't expressed my self the right way. Sorry about that, I don't know english as good as my own language. I was considering to find some online singing lessons and tips and introduce my singer to them.
    Another thing, I ain't ''removing '' my self from this band. Me and my drummer played in another band that split up, so we found a new one with our current rhythm guitarist and keyboardist. The guy who's currently singing is our friend, we asked him to sing and he agreed. He never been a singer or a band member before that. And it turned out that singing really isn't his thing.
  13. I think you already know the answer here - you have to give him the boot. If he's a good friend, he'll understand. No doubt he'll be p****d for a while, but if he's a true friend, he'll get over it. I've had to fire a close friend from a band, and he's still a good friend 20 years later. Deep down, he probably knows he's not up to scratch. Just be honest with him - it's all you can do.

    Don't get me wrong, I know it's a tough situation, but if the band has real potential with a better singer, what else can you do?
  14. pflash4001


    Dec 2, 2011
    Not trying to upset you, but you yourself said the others don't care. I'm saying if only two of you care about this issue, others will come up too.
  15. Thank you all people for taking time for this. :) I'm going to take some time and see how will things turn out. Hope it will be good. :)
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