1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How to audition a singer?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bleeding, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. bleeding


    Jan 10, 2007
    I live in Kansas City - we have a 4 piece band (well 3 without the missing vocalist) that stumbled upon a singer 2 years ago that didnt work out.

    1.5 years later, we are still "looking" for a singer. Is there any advice as to how/what/where to find these guys? We basically have been advertising on the standard craigslist/myspace/local music friendly paper places, but not a ton of interest. We get maybe 1 or 2 a week, but no one ever stands out.

    I know there probably isnt a majic forumla - but any and all advice would be appreciated on the subject from your experiences.

  2. So have you not been getting many replies to your ads, or do you just not like the singers you've been auditioning? Or are you auditioning singers that don't accept your invitations to the band?

    Things to look at:

    1) What do your ads look like? Do they clearly and concisely explain what you're looking for with links to a MySpace or other recordings, or do they say "Need singer plz call xxx-xxx-xxxx"? I know I would never respond to an ad of the latter variety. Put some time and thought into your ads if you aren't already.

    2) Are your standards too high? A good singer is really important, no doubt, but you have to consider some other things. Make sure the singer's skill level matches with your own. Maybe your band plays a genre that makes it hard for many vocalists to cope. If so, take that into consideration and cut people some slack.

    3) Could a current member of the band take up vocals? Anyone who claims "I can't sing" usually just means "I don't want to sing." All that's really needed to sing is a good ear, and most musicians have that. Range can be a problem, but you just need to sing within your range for now and expand it as you gain more experience.

    4) I live near KC, I'll be your singer. :p Nah, just kidding. But hey, send me a PM. Maybe I'll try to catch one of your band's shows.
  3. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    The only other places I'd consider are community college/university music schools or places they give formal lessons like music shops that cater to orchestra instruments. You will get many choir and chorale students going through those places. Put up a flyer with those tear-out phone number and email address tabs on it, and you'll get people who will take it who might not normally reply to a craigslist ad.

    You also need to have a much more appealing package to a potential singer. I'm not saying bend over backwards, but if you have a PA, put it on the ad. If you have songs or cover songs, list them...but also express your willingness to put a singer's words to music. If you sing harmonies and do vocal practices (even if you don't just yet) put that on there. What I'm really saying is to sell your band as a better fit for the singer than some other band. Don't be too strict on your musical style, but be willing to adapt to his/her vocal style.
  4. tegnoto89


    Dec 24, 2008
    Definitely check your local university or (depending on how old you are) your high schools. I'm actually more a vocalist than a bassist myself, and I feel like singers with at least some classical background are always solid.
  5. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    PS: Most dedicated singers won't really check out any classified ads for anything because they rarely shop for anything. And if they aren't in a band, many people have no reason to go to Myspace to look for one.
  6. JmJ


    Jan 1, 2008
    Pray, a lot. Might not help but can't hurt.......
  7. bleeding


    Jan 10, 2007
    We have had several people audition - they were ok but not exciting - and one guy that was really good, practiced very hard with us 3 or 4 nights a week for amlost a month, then one night just emailed us "i dont think this is going to work out" - hah. This is seemingly a lot like dating....

    I like the idea of posting flyers. The basic "ad" on craigslist type places just give a basic blurb of who we are, and ask that they check out our website for our demos and contact info - at the following (shameless plug)


    Basically, that site was formed for the purpose (as of now) to play demos and give even more detail about what we are looking for.

    If you have time, take a look at it - criticism is appreaciated.

    Flexibiliity is sort of an issue currently - we have about 15 songs that are basically written - where a singer would need to learn those like he would a cover song - but beyond that, obviously we would hope our creativie abilities would work together?
  8. brotherdoc


    Oct 26, 2008
    What about going out and scouting at karaoke night?
  9. Jam sessions or open mic's.

    Ask other bands as well as musician friends.

    Ask other singers. Most polite (so no one thinks you are trying to steal a singer) is to ask the bassist (for example) if they'd mind if you asked the singer if they knew of any singers looking for a gig.
  10. bearshimmy


    Feb 14, 2005
    I would try making band outings to open mics and karaoke, and talking to some of the better singers.
  11. bleeding


    Jan 10, 2007
    Alright, I am seeing a trent with the open Mic stuff - we ought to try that i think.

    Hey I really appreciate everyones advice.

Share This Page