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! :)

Our Lead Vocal not giving her all...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by repoman, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    ...at rehearsals. We only rehearse once a week as a complete band (we sometimes meet as a partial group on other days but only if we have at least three out of the five in the group.)
    Anyway, all she has to do is sing, no instrument other then her vocal chords.
    She sits on a couch most of the time with her iphone on her lap messing messing around with it...not just between songs but between verses...I swear she looks down at that thing sometimes between lines of verses.
    She doesn't know all the words to our songs (mostly originals) without looking at her iPad (another device she screws around with way too much) and occasionally has to be prompted to come in after, say, a bridge, etc.
    Just for the record, we're not kids,she's pushing 40 and the guys are in their 50's, we've been a complete group for just about a year and have played out a half dozen times. We have a pretty big gig coming up at the end of the month with another local start-up band playing with us, where we are expecting our biggest crowd yet and I'm feeling this singer is going to make the rest of the band look bad with her unpreparedness.
    The thing is, she is a sweet lady, has a great (welll, for what we do) voice and range and doesn't look too shabby on stage, so we have been tolerating her antics for a while now. I can't help feeling that the rest of the band is busting their arses getting ready to do this gig and she just feels she doesn't have to put in the same effort.
    Any comments...
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Fire her
  3. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    I know...that is in consideration after this gig...we're looking to "talk her into" stepping up her game before that happens...
  4. g4string


    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I swear, we are becoming slaves to our devices. It's like we're crippled. The problem is if you confront her, you're attacking her. I left unsaid, it destroys your group. Seems like the lesser of two evils is talk to her. Whomever she has the best repore with her should speak to her. If you do it as a group then it becomes a group attack. Your best option is to have the best band freind talk to her one on one.
  5. Let me guess - she is a friend/SO of someone in the band and was asked to sing with you. Sometimes people that aren't self motivated don't put their all in....
  6. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    ...she does work in the same field as our rhythm guitar, they are both lawyers and occasionally run into each other...that's how we got her...not quite friends but pretty close...
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Sounds like my last lead singer. Sometimes her boyfriend would call to ask when rehearsal will be over or where she is.

    I would talk to her. She's an adult, so she can be reasoned with. If she's offended by that, I think you as a band have a whole 'nother bag of problems dwelling under the surface waiting for you in terms of mutual respect et cetera.
  8. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Give everyone in the band a very simple job description:

    1. Learning the Music: A band member is responsible for learning the lyrics, chords, melodies, arrangements and/or rhythms of the songs he or she will perform relevant to each person's role in the band.

    2. Rehearsals: Rehearsals should be taken seriously. A band member is responsible for arriving on time and working until the song is developed to the satisfaction of the band. A band member should devote time outside of rehearsal to practicing songs.

    Then give her a performance review.

    Then give her improvement goals with deadlines (dates).

    If she improves, keep her. If not, she's gone.

    BTW, I am NOT an HR person...but my daughter is!
  9. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    i have the same problem with our singer (which i made a thread about). ours is usually bad that i even memorize the lyrics before she does. she also has an ipad, coincidentally. she doesnt screw with it as much as yours does, but there was a time where she kept looking at the damned thing too much that it pissed me off.

    the only advice i can give you is: she is not gonna change, and you could either accept that or fire her.

    the same thing i am going through. i have not made a decision yet, because i really do love the work we have done, and it would be such a waste to throw it all away. the flipside is, how long could i take the abuse before i won't give a crap and just fire her sorry butt
  10. Hmm. For close to a year already - honestly, I think about all you can do is talk to her and hope she ups her game for the gig, and if not, you can either continue to allow it or replace her. Good luck and best wishes.
  11. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Ask her to turn off electronic devices off during practice.
  12. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    This drives me crazy - she is NOT a sweet lady. There is nothing sweet about the behavior you are describing and if she was REALLY a nice person, she would not be acting like this was a junior high school band.
  13. Lobomov


    Aug 2, 2013
    Usually answer to these kind of questions automatically assume you can find better to replace questinable bandmenber.

    I'd say, if you can .. then get someone else .. but since you haven't I'm guessing you just have to work around it. Lawyers tend to be busy and stressed people. Busy and stressed people tend to just have enough stamina to roll with the punches but that is all.

    You could also just accept that she's tied to the ipad and improve the quality of lyric sheet to also include notes, structure, bridges, breaks or whatever she needs to be reminded of.

    Also if my stressed out theory is correct, which it needn't be .. then applying more pressure might be the wrong way to improve the situation. Another route might be to engage more yourself, up the ante and increase the fun.

    My lead singer is completely overburdened by work and the only way to make her relax and open up and give it all, is to just give it all at reharsal and pour energy into band.
  14. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    put a box by the door of the rehersal space and have everyone place their electronic items into the box when they enter. Only exception is if someone is on-call at their place of employment.
  15. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    ...you make a good point. She almost acts at times like her singing is interfering with her iphone activities. She wanted to quit early last night so we talked her into one more song...after we did that last song she sat there and fiddled around with her phone for another 10 minutes before leaving... I don't get it...:confused:
  16. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Tell her that one of you had a pacemaker installed, and electronic devices will interfere with it.
  17. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Have a set of instrumentals lined up.
    Maybe she will come to see that she can be replaceable...
  18. g4string


    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I like the amnesty box idea. If she needs cheat sheets, than old fashioned paper. Sounds like she has an addiction issue with her devices. Used to be back in the day you had to worry about druggies and drunks. Still do. But now you have to worry about device junkies. *** kind of world do we live in. I once worked with a guy you was constantly "plugged" in. Never said two words to me the entire time he was on my shift. He had his headphones in and was constantly fiddling with his phone. I followed him after a work one day for a few miles an watched him fiddle with his phone as we was driving his motorcycle. Couldn't believe it. It was really sad to see someone totally disconnected to reality while living in a virtual one. Bummer.
  19. DenverKen


    Dec 20, 2001
    Mile High City
    I once was in a band with a husband and wife team who were similar. When we'd go to structure vocal harmonies, he'd say, "Oh let's just run it and everybody grab a part." He and his wife would invariably end up singing in unison or an octave apart.

    Anyway, I politely suggested working on a real vocal arrangement one time, and we started to -- but they couldn't pull it off. I eventually just left the band. :rolleyes:
  20. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    ...haha, that might work, but I doubt it... :rolleyes: