Singing search/auditions... little help please

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Casey C., Sep 26, 2003.

  1. Casey C.

    Casey C.

    Sep 16, 2000
    Butler, PA, USA
    Ok, so some of you may know the problem in my band with my other topic in this forum. I haven't given the singer the complete boot but he knows its coming.

    Anyways, So the search is on for a new singer. First thing to do is to let it be known that we need a new singer. correct?

    Ok so say someone replies. What to do? What to look for? what to ask? Honestly this is my first fully operative band and I haven't had to run into anything like this. I learned now that we shouldn't settle for the first person that walks in the door.
  2. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    This is what to look for in a singer.

    1. Can they sing on key? I don't care if they sound like Janis Joplin or Freddy Mercury, if they are flat or sharp it sounds like crap. This is the most important thing. Some people in the audience may not be able to tell if a guitar is off key, but they can tell if a vocalist is.
    2. Quality of voice. If he/she sounds in tune but has the vocal quality of a Donald Duck, then time to keep looking. Also keep in mind how their voice fits in with the sound of your band. For example, if their vocal range gets lost in your wall of guitars, then you might want someone with a higher range that can cut through.
    3. Stage presence. Experience usually helps here. Are they shy? Do they lack confidence? If so, look further. Since the singer is typically the one that works the crowd and represents the band, you want someone who represents well. Is the person attractive or repulsive in their appearance and behavior? You want to attract audiences so, avoid the repulsive.
    4. Rhythm and timing. Do they know when to come in? Cuz if they don't then they can mess up the band bigtime. A miscue by the guitar player or bassist can be easily glossed over. The same can't be said for a drummer or singer. If a singer comes in a bar too late or early, the song and the band can be thrown off.
    5. Professionalsm. Do they make it to practice regularly and on time? Will they help set up for gigs? Will they help with some of the legwork of the band? Do they have adequate gear? Do they have the right attitude? Do they have transportation? These are the questions to ask. Avoid the primadonnas, wannabes, and jokers. You're still trying to have fun, so find someone who won't be a royal pain in the a$$.

    It may be hard to find someone with all five factors, but someone with three of the factors with the potential to develop the other two, are decent candidates. Just bring you BS meter when you are hooking up with singers. Good luck.
  3. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    jive1 forgot to mention that the singer needs 1)a reference or reputation and 2)the music taste factor.

    1)Do you or someone in your group know the person or know someone who knows the person? They could have been in jail before...

    2) The Challenge with auditioning singers is that they have to appreciate your music. If they will not sing with conviction, you are waisting his/her and your time. You can find a guy who sings like Bono but wants to scream like Bonn Scott or sounds like Billy Joel who wants to be Axl Rose...ain't happening!

    I do agree with jive1 that basic musical knowlege, meter, key recognition, reliability, Stage presence, vocal range and general profesionalism are bigger than HUGE for a front person!
  4. good advice...

    I would also add a couple things:

    1) Do you get along with this guy? You're going to spending a lot of time with him potentially, you better figure out if he's a jackass or not. For example, do you think he might be the type of guy to try to take over the group, etc.?

    2) Does he write his own songs? The degree that this matters will vary from group to group obviously.

    3) As far as stage presence, I agree for the most part with what was said. However, if the guy's new to singing, and is good in all the other areas, I believe this is one area that can improve with time/experience. Don't necessarily dismiss someone just because they aren't confident at the audition. Many people are nervous at auditions, esp. if they're new to it, and after a couple rehearsals they'll likely come out of their shell. Just give them a little prodding and encouragement. But it is very important to have stage presence.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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