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screening a singer

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by pcollin, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. pcollin


    Dec 22, 2005
    Portland, Maine
    We have a new opening for a new singer. The band has been playing together for 5 years (classic rock) and are a very tight unit. I would think coming into that would be a benefit for a prospective singer. Unfortunately after 6 auditions we haven't found "the one". Most seem to come with the idea that we will play what he/she knows/plays or the other extreme shows up with nothing to offer but "can sing whatever you guys play". We provide a song list before every auditiion and ask them to pick 4-5 so we have a starting point. Some do/some don't bother to prepare. It's really agravating! We use Craigslist and open mic nights to find candidates. Any suggestions to help find talent?
  2. Local music college is a good place to look, if you have one of those nearby.

    Make sure the word is out that your band needs someone.

    Go out to see bands often and talk up the fact that you're looking.

    Network with everyone you know and make sure you leave contact information behind.

    Approach singers that you like and ask them if they're interested in joining another project.
  3. Hit the karaoke nights at the local dive bars. Surprisingly sometimes there is untapped talent in those places because that's where people that like to sing like to hang out to show off their talent. Yes, there lots of drunks that can't sing a note that you have to wade through also. Our lead singer came from a karaoke background and she couldn't be happier making the upgrade to fronting a real band. You can see if a person is a good fit visually and has stage presence.
  4. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Sometimes, you just need to talk to people.

    I played a gig where our lead singer flaked, and left me to struggle through a night on vocals. After the gig, I was talking to the bartender, and then found out she was a trained classical vocalist. She's our singer now, and we love her.

    It can be hard to get people to audition at a time when the whole band can get together, and if it doesn't work out, lots of people feel like their time is wasted and sometimes get discouraged by it. What I have done to reduce that is to prescreen a vocalist by having them come over and sing along while I play acoustic guitar. I get to hear their voice with no excuses related to the PA, or how they can't hear themselves. I may not get their stage presence, mic technique, or how they mesh with other members from it, but I will know if they can sing on key and the timbre of their voice which I consider to be the most important.
  5. TBrett


    Nov 3, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    That's a very good idea! It's also why we ask for recorded samples up front. Saves everyone a lot of time.

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