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singing bassists

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    As I was perusing the classifieds the other day due to the fact that I wish no longer to be a part of the band that tortures my psyche (my cover band) - I noticed a lot of "bassist with strong vocals needed" ads. I've heard often times that if you sing and you're a bass player you will work all the time.

    I can sing if I want to, but I hate to, and my technique sucks. I sing lead on one Nerve song, backups when I feel like it, and that's all I want to do.

    Anyhoo... I never see any threads on singing and playing. How many of you sing???? I think I want to start honing this skill - any thoughts, suggestions???? Tell how much you love/hate it.

    Singers, where are ya'll???????

    PS. Is NY the only place where people actually laugh at you if you say Ya'll????
  2. Kraken


    Jun 19, 2001
    Aylesbury, England
    Hey I can't give any Advice, but I would like to see where it goes. and as I saw someone say, Every thread should have one reply!!


  3. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    I would laugh and I dont live in NY.

    but my singing sucks so I'll keep my mouth shut ;)
  4. Well this one's interesting because I've got a kind-a feeling that I'm going to be the bands bass playing lead vocalist. Not out of choice, you understand but of necess...nescit...:eek:...need!!

    We've been trying to get a singer since Christmas. But no joy. We can't really carry on without a singer so, as backing vocalist and occasional vocalist vocalist, looks like I'm in the firing line.

    My singing's adiquate: just. I find playing a reasonable bass line and singing, very difficult.

    I'm not really fussed about this but what can you do???????

  5. In the band I'm in right now I sing lead on 5-7 songs and a lot of backing vocals. I also came to this by default. Our lead singer left the band a month after I joined so, rather than making a 'knee jerk' type reaction in finding a new singer, we just divvied up the songs she sang lead on and kept going. One of the issues was we had a lot of good gigs booked that we didn't want to cancel. I've also had a lot of previous experience in singing and playing bass so it seemed like the right decision at the time.

    As far as playing and singing at the same time-- I can play pretty complicated bass lines and still sing well. It tends to have an impact on any spontaneity, though. I have to keep my bass lines pretty well defined or I'll start screwing up. I have a hard time 'winging' a lick and singing at the same time. Being able to embellish my bass lines is one of the joys I find in playing music so I have a sort of love/hate thing going with playing bass and singing at the same time.:cool:
  6. ChronicPyromaniac


    Jan 25, 2001
    Right now, I'm doing the lead vocals while my band is looking for a singer. Luckily, it's pop-punk, so my bass playing doesn't suffer ;). Also, I'm the main songwriter, so I know how everything should sound and stuff. It's actually kinda fun!
  7. I played in a jam-band with a coupl'a guys who thought my vocals were crappy, and the guitarist was worse, go figure.....He did most of the vocals and It was impossible to harmoize with him, so I kept my mouth closed...Since leaving, I've jammed with my older brother who is a quite talented singer - smoking all the time, but I can harmonize with him, he sings lead in a band, and sticks me on high harmonies...Playing and singing for me takes time on some lines, but I get it eventually....I always warm up with an easier song, and then do a song without playing to warm up the pipes fully, usually something with alot of range(Steelhart -I'll Never Let you go)Ususally smokes the high end and warms me up for a show....I also keep a BIG, BIG(read 2-3 liter) bottle of WATER(best friend of a vocalist)....And I'm good to go....
  8. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Can I sing? Define sing. I have the gutteral yell/growl associated w/ metal, hardcore, ect. In that style, I can indeed sing with some degree of competancy. Beyond that, I can't hold a melody very well, mostly due inexperiece. That, and as a natural ability, singin' is NOT something I was blessed with. However, as a metal vocalist, I have some success.

    I do it, only because most singers have issues with other people's lyrics, perfering to use their material soley. As such, I'm going to branch off, and do a side project (I can't play bass and sing well at the same time. One or the other suffers terribly), wherein I screech, only so that MY songs will be played. This isn't going to happen in any years less than the fingers on my right hand, because I'm too busy as a bassist to get a PA to sing through.
  9. I've never gotten the hang of singing while playing the bass. Seems like the kind of thing only certain people have a talent for, and I'm not one of them. I think what throws me off is that I can't concentrate on the bass line and the vocal part simultaneously. Not to mention, I sing like a goat with a sinus infection being strangled with piano wire.

    I've only sung once in front of a live crowd, and that was when I was way ripped and did "Ace of Spades" when our singer lost his voice towards the end of one of our gigs. I did sing a couple of songs with my last band in a "studio" setting (read: 4-track recorder in our basement), and it just so happened the motor on the 4-track was dying during the recording, and when we played it back, it was like 1 1/2 times faster. One of the funniest things we ever recorded, and it was completely unintentional.

    If you can sing even a little bit, it makes you more valuable to a band than someone like me who can't.
  10. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Never thought I would be able to play and Sing until about a year ago... It just clicked..

    I am a vocal performance major and bass is my secondary instr. Mixing the 2 never seemed very safe.. one day it just happened..

    I started out as the lead singer in my new band.. But i wanted to play the bass more than i wanted to sing.. Everyone knows i can sing. So we got 2 awesome singers to take the lead... I do some back up vocals and what not... But I love to be able to just play... If need be i'll sing.. but I really just wanna play...
  11. hi
    i can sing and play bass but i dont sound very nice

    i say if you can sing sing

    yea ok maybe your bass lines might be slightly simpler
    but there is still room for fills
  12. Slap that G

    Slap that G

    Apr 16, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    yeah. i read up there somewhere someone said that a 2 litre bottle of water is the vocalists best friend. I say that a 2 litre bottle of good vodka does the trick even better.

    so there.
  13. I have had a singing lesson every week (almost) since I was 9 years old, and I still am. I sing in my church band, and I sing backing vocals in my originals bands. I prefer to do that while playing bass cos i find that if I sing lead vocals while playing bass, i dont pay enough attention to my playing.
  14. its strange... but i can only sing with some lines... i cant sing to some really really simple lines... while i can sing to alot of very complicated rhythms as well. i have a fair voice... its good for like punk and pop-punk but not for anything else.. i got that whole greenday type voice and offspring thing going ya know.. ya dont need any knowledge in singing to do it, just you need a nice sounding voice. but is there any ways to learn how to sing and play at the same time... like exercises or something?
  15. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I sing pretty good second tenor / baritone. I can play bass pretty good. I can do them simultaneuosly pretty crappy :D .

    Funny, though, 'cause today I did both pretty well. That's 'cause the one song I did play and sing on, the bass line lays right over the background chorus, so I could sing along with the other tenor in our choir. I can count on one hand the number of songs I'm comfortable with singing and playing at the same time. All of them are background vocals.

    Just for grins though, I'm working on "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus, 'cause most of the lead vocals lay right over a staccato type keyboard bass line, with lot's of room to embellish between verses.


  16. Armand Karlsen

    Armand Karlsen

    Mar 30, 2002
    London UK
    Just my 2 cents: I used to sing in my school choir, but now I only sing to myself while playing my favourite tunes. It sounds ok to me... but that's hearing it through headphones... and a tune that's cranked right up :) I've only ever concentrated on the lyrics and tune, so I have a big problem with volume/projecting my voice.

  17. Well, if you don't mind the vocals being slightly slurred...
  18. supergreg


    Jan 20, 2002
    The only songs I can sing leads on are Tom Sawyer and Vital Signs.
  19. Slap that G

    Slap that G

    Apr 16, 2002
    Vancouver, BC

    Yeer. thlurred ith cool sumsimes.
  20. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I only started singing and playing at the same time a couple months ago when I finally gave in and bought a mic stand for my band. I can only pull it off if I know the bassline so well that I don't have to think about it. After I learn the bassline I can start thinking about the vocals. It helps to slow things down and figure out exactly where things fit in with relation to each other.

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