My first time singing and playing - caught on minidisc whilst drummer auditioning...

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by alexclaber, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
  2. junerig


    Sep 12, 2005
    I'm not sure if you are looking for criticism or not...but I can give you my opinion.I only clicked the top link.
    I don't think you can sing.Although unique and charming in its own way, I don't think the tone or intonation of your voice lends itself well to being exposed like that.Ofcourse there are many examples of bass players who can't sing for ****s and who do it anyway: Stanley Clarke, Victor Wooten and Claypool off the top of me head.
    I am a horrible singer myself, that's why I don't sing!
    But that's me, ofcourse.
    Your playing shows promise, although it could do with a good tightening up.The grooves flow abit awkward at times and this is not always to do with the drummer.Also, I noticed the bass lines in the first two tunes are very similar rhythmwise.
    Did the drummer get the gig?
  3. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Opinions are always useful!

    Interesting... Well obviously I can sing - just not to a sufficiently high standard that you deem it singing. But if it's not singing, then what is it? So you think there's no hope for me as a vocalist? But there are many many successful bands with worse singers. There are even very successful singer/songwriters that can't sing by your yardstick - step forward Bob Dylan!

    Well necessity is the mother of invention. And a lack of decent singers around and the fact that I'm the songwriter and lyricist means that it makes sense for me to be the vocalist as well.

    It's my first time playing and singing with a drummer, and I was fighting some tempo battles with his Copelandisms. And first time playing loud in a year and I was digging in too hard etc. I thought I might have got some credit for pulling off some nasty syncopations whilst singing though! ;)

    Very similar? Of the same 16th note ilk maybe, but quite different grooves on the whole. And the I think out of the other 20 odd songs I've written, there aren't too many other 16th notey basslines - but you're not to know that!


    But thanks for your feedback - hopefully I don't come across as too combative but I did think that you might find something positive to say (other than bass playing showing promise - I mean, dammit, I've been playing for nine years and thought I'd come a long way in that time! ;)), this singing and playing malarkey isn't that easy!

    What did you think of the songs - music and lyrics?

    Any other feedback greatly appreciated - particularly from other singing bassists!

  4. junerig


    Sep 12, 2005
    Hi again Alex. Sorry to bother you again…
    I think you sounded just as combative as I sounded rude! I apologize if you were offended by my comments. But when I have to give my opinion, I give it straight - without too much wrapping.
    I can’t do that fancy quoting-thing…damnit, so I’ll just clarify and respond this way:

    It seems we just have a different view on this singing business. See, if I were to raise my voice to a loud volume, it wouldn’t make me think of myself as being capable of singing. If I were to do this, I would call it ‘talking or yelling at a loud volume’. Of course you want to express yourself vocally, being a songwriter / lyricist, and I have no problem with that. But I can't tell you 'It sounds good' when I don't think it does. It has nothing to do with 'my yardstick' or that I am snobbish about singing in general, but my opinion of this is formed from what I think of the performance of other singers. I don’t like the singing; I would never buy an album with it or play in a band situation with it. I would actually leave the pub because of it. I can’t think of anyone I know who would like it…but OY! Remember the words of Dirty Harry: ‘Well, opinions are like ********, everybody has one’, and that’s exactly how much my opinion should matter to you – none!
    You should do what you think best for you and your group and not pay any attention to what people like me say! But I am telling you…whether you’re listening or not, getting a singer who ‘can sing’ by my standards or can ‘sing well’ by yours would vastly add to the credibility of the music.

    It was the rhythmic structure of the bass lines I was talking about. If you don't see what I mean, it's probably because it's so much your style of writing lines (well - they are your lines! :D ) that you don't see anything in common between them. And this is all fine when you have as many songs in the set as you say. But as you say: I couldn't know that. I can only relate to the aural evidence.

    I hear all you're saying about singing and playing at the same time - I understand completely! But when I listen to the music, I have to judge it for what it is and not why it is. I base my opinion on the sound of the whole thing (there’s that ol’ aural evidence-thingy again), and that could, in theory, be the sound of a singer being accompanied by a non-singing bass player + drums and guitar. It doesn't matter if the guitarist is playing drums with his elbows and feet at the same time...if it's not convincing. I'm sorry but I can't make those kinds of excuses when listening to music.
    I am sure you have come a long way in the 9 years you have been playing - and you can't know that when I say 'your playing shows promise' that it actually means more than when some other random would say those words. I mean them and it was meant as a compliment.
    Nine years is quite a while to have been playing, but I fail to see the relevance of this fact. I don’t make concessions when listening to music – it doesn’t matter if the player is male or female, young or old, missing an arm or on five legs, what colour he or she is – it is the playing I base my opinion on…and from.
    I myself am a very groove oriented player and that also makes me generally attentive to the 'groove factor' of all music-from my own perspective, of course! I like your lines and your technique seems fine, but I think you would benefit from some attention to tightening up. That is no attack on your playing – it’s a piece of advice.
    Okay, I'm off on a short holiday for the weekend and I will leave you alone (*cheers are heard*)

    P.S. You sound like a nice guy!
  5. some people can sing and others can't
    if you can't, some singing lessons would considerably improve your abilities

  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I don't think singing is about raising your voice to a loud volume, it's about producing a melody with your voice. Of course, to sing in a band it helps to be able to get above speaking volume but it's fundamentally about singing a tune. I realise my intonation is nowhere near dead on, but neither is it so far off that the tune is indistinguishable. But maybe it is - it gets hard to see the wood for the trees when you're doing all the writing...

    Thanks for the elaboration on your other comments - all useful to hear.

    Well I did have some singing lessons about a year ago and things were progressing well. However, I ran out of time/money for them, have since written an album, and it's now time to go back to my teacher and sort my vocals out. Hopefully she was being honest in her opinion that I did have a good voice, it just needs some (read: a lot of!) work, and I'm not just an atonal fool being parted from his money whilst chasing a hopless goal...

  7. Hm.

    You can't sing, but you can get down, which I admire. Keep working on your singing if you're serious, as that is the only way you'll get better. At your current state though, I would suggest not performing that live.

    edit -

    To substantiate my criticism - you do not sound very confident in your singing, hence why it is most troublesome to listen to.
  8. middlebit


    Sep 10, 2005
  9. I'm still listening to it. Your singing sounds a bit shy. Try to let loose a bit more, and definately go back to your instructor. It will be beneficial for recording and playing live. You can sing alright, certainly better than I can, and there is definately potential for improvement, but right now I can see the singing as potentially problematic. Your playing is good, especially for having to sing. Overall it sounds good(with some of the aforementioned awkward groves detracting a bit, but more practice with a drummer and that'll be ironed out), but right now the vocals are a bit of a detractor.