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Gulp: time for me to sing

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by James_E, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. James_E

    James_E Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Never really been a singer. Never truly worked at it much.

    Joined a band last October, the 3 other guys all sing. Pressure's been on for me to find something to sing and to start bringing it vocally both as lead on a couple songs and adding background vox. Even the regulars in the crowd are yelling "Jamie where's YOUR mic?"

    Well... time has come. At the stag for the drummer this past weekend the lads were on me to pick a song to break my cherry with.

    Song I picked, and worked on to make sure I can pull it off, is Jimmy Eat World "The Middle". I guess I'll be singing it at a gig we have May 10 at a bsepro wrestling charity event(would have been debuting it at the party gig we have May 2 but I can't make it to that one...)

    I'm nervous, but I recorded myself singing it last night, acapella, and it was ok, after only about an hour of work. When I play along with it on bass or guitar, it's even better.
  2. southernrocker

    southernrocker Inactive

    Apr 4, 2009
    good luck! I'm the lead vocalist in my classic rock cover group. If you have any trouble singing, learn Rush. Like them or not, Geddy Lee is the man. I learned to sing by playing and singin along with a recording. try working Man and Tow sawyer. Good Luck!
  3. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    If I sing it has to be something 3 chordish and played with 8th notes.
  4. James_E

    James_E Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I just talked to our lead singer about it. I think he wants to play bass and I'll play guitar (we do switcharoo in our sets since all 4 of us can play drums, bass and guitar)
  5. Knifedge


    Jan 24, 2009
    What I did was pick a song that is easy and steady on the bass (some kind of wonderful) to cut my teeth into. It will start you on the road to getting used to doing two things at once.. as you get better with that song, progress to songs that are slightly harder. This gets your confidence up as well.. it also makes it easier to learn to sing backup vocals.. Not saying that is how you should do it, but that is what worked for me.. now, I have no problems singing lead or backup and playing either bass or guitar, but it does take practice...
  6. James_E

    James_E Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I actually don't find it too hard to sing and play at the same time. I have done some of that, when playing by myself but never actually SANG.. more like whisper-singing if you know what I mean.

    It's hitting the right notes, vocally... that is a challenge, whether I'm playing or not.
  7. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Tries the nerves, don't it?... :D

    No worries brother, we've all been there. Just get up there and do yo thang, it'll get easier the more you do it.
  8. BigKahuna13


    Nov 21, 2004
    LI New York
    I don't know how many times I've heard "You're a really good bassist, but we need someone who can also sing." Got so bad that my wife gave me singing training software so I could learn how to sing.

    It actually paid off. I don't sing lead on anything but we do a number of songs where we sing 4-part harmony and I'm actually comfortable singing a third or a fifith and not
    just doubling the lead. Playing anything but simple lines while singing is much more of a
    challenge now.
  9. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Learning a good portion of the ZZ Top catalog years ago helped with the sing and play thing. The beat is usually steady, the chord changes aren't numerous and most songs are in G, C or E, so it makes for quick learning.

    Listening to accoustic stuff will also help you. If you can play guitar, learning a lot of Dylan, Cat Stevens, etc. will mean you'll cut your teeth with something that is easily remembered and that doesn't require too much quick thinking (ho crap, missed my fill, where's the key change again ? is the C major or minor this time around ?).
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    Would you please post the name of the software?

    You might want to check out: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=173764 if you haven't already.
  11. James_E

    James_E Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the encouragement folks. We ran it past the other members of the band and their excited as they like that song. I'm going to focus on this one for now and then expand later once I get more confidence. This one is in my range though.
  12. I play that song, you playing guitar is harder than bass on that one....
  13. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006
    The current band I'm in demanded that I sing back ups from day one. It wasn't too hard on songs that I knew inside and out, but on the the songs that I wasn't familiar with it took a lot of practice. There are still a couple of songs that I just can't sing back up and play at the same time because of some internal timing issue, but I'm working on it. On the upside, I get to sing lead and play bass on The Trooper. It's the highlight of my night.
  14. Adam Bomb

    Adam Bomb

    Mar 26, 2008
    Bezerkely, CA
    I can sing; it was what I did before I played bass. I always vowed/assumed that I would never have to play and sing. Because, I can't.

    Effing bandmates!

    At our next gig we are going to cover "If You Want Me to Stay", and I am going to sing and play. It's a good song to learn how to do this on, especially for me, b/c it's one of my favorite songs. I have noticed too that since the playing-singing barrier has been broken, it seems possible, almost doable, with other songs too. I could do "Love Me Two Times" if they put a gun to my head (which, at this point, I would not put past them).

    My wife says it's easy if you learn the playing and the singing at the same time. But often in these matters, her actual musical ability makes her input useless to me.

    --Bomb :bassist:
  15. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    James E, I know it is nerve-wracking, but I suggest that you dive in and do it. It gets easier with practice. Learning to sing and play (I do both lead and backing vocals) has enriched my playing experience so much. I think it has made me a better bassist, and it is certainly fun to take a more active role at gigs. I think I have as much fun singing now as I do playing bass.

    I wish you the best of luck!
  16. BigKahuna13


    Nov 21, 2004
    LI New York
    Thanks for the link!

    Sure it's Singing Coach Unlimited. The graphics are cheesy but I found the lessons to be effective and especially liked the graphical display of what pitch I was singing compared against what pitch I was supposed to be singing.
  17. I sing a few in my band - it's a top priority that I find songs in my range that suit my vocal timbre. I am currently singing The Fray "Over My Head" and Better Than Ezra "Good." I have also sang Tom Petty "Running Down A Dream" and Toad the Wet Sprocket "Something's Always Wrong" in the past.
  18. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008
    I can relate, James_E. I've played bass for 15 years. Just started trying to sing about 8 months ago. It's getting easier to play & sing. I sort of 'ignore' certain bass parts or runs that counter the vocal melody. That is, I play the part but it's more just going through the fingerings while focusing on the vocal part. My vocals were really bad at first (really bad) but they are getting better.
  19. DaveLS


    Sep 5, 2008
    Thanks for the link BigKahuna13! I'll check out that software.

    I sing backups on most songs and lead on a couple and it's a BLAST!! My advice: Learn the bass lines so that you don't have to think about them. Burn them into your fingers until your hands are on auto pilot! Then memorize as much of the song as you can. Then you only have to concentrate on your pitch. Everything else just happens. It takes a lot of work, but eventually it happens.

    I have about a 45 min. drive to and from work, so I take a printed copy of the lyrics and spend that time memorizing.
  20. D Rokk

    D Rokk Inactive

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    one of the first songs i learned to play and sing..

    beast and the harlot by avenged sevenfold is a pretty good one to learn to play and sing as well

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