Playing Bass and Lead Singing

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by michelleyas, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. djlevin


    Feb 28, 2013
    I’m a female bass player-singer too! I’m a contralto (look it up!) so lots of songs are a bit high for me. Not a problem! Just change the key. I’m a lot older than you and play mostly jazz and blues so I won’t suggest something that’s not your thing, except I’ve found that blues progressions make it easier to sing, ie: you learn to walk and chew gum at the same time much faster. Good luck!
    michelleyas likes this.
  2. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Take it Easy The Eagles
    michelleyas likes this.
  3. I either sing lead vox or am the primary backing vocalist in most of the bands I work with.

    I can tell you thst developing your vocals will land you a lot more gigs than just playing. Most of the successful bassists I know have put just as much time into developing their vocals, and being able to harmonize with the lead vocalist. Finding thirds, fifths, sevenths, that will get you gigs, trust me. Bass is a backing instrument. Develop your voice as a backing instrument as well and be able to offer two instruments for the price of one.

    Singing and playing bass is awkward. At first. But so was playing. The more time you put into this the better you will get. Building stamina in your voice is paramount to singing well, and fluidly. At this point I can separate my vocals and bass lines and sing/play independently of each other. That took serious time to develop, but well worth it in job opportunities.

    My suggestion is to find a song that isn't that taxing on your voice. One with an easy bass line that either chugs along or follows the vocal line rhythmically. Practice the song, and whisper the words over the bass line to get the flow of the vocals down. At first you will pay more attention to your voice than bass line, hence the easy chugging bass. Less to think about.

    As you develope your new skill, pick songs that are more challenging in both areas, until it becomes second nature. This is the easiest doing backing vocals. Work up solid backing vocals, staying with the harmony (not the melody) so you can separate them. Harmonies are nothing more than simple vocal chords.. (I'm sorry, bad pun).

    This is the best kept secret in a gigging musicians arsenal. Develop it and prepare to get the gigs.
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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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