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Somewhat shy frontman

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lavaxtris, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    I've been posting way too many forums lately....but here it goes.

    Our lead singer/rhythm guitarist is a little shy, and not very confident in anything he does. He is a great singer, and has a nice voice but nobody can hear him when he sings. I keep hearing that he needs to "project" his voice into the mic to hear him over everything else. He seems to have a bit of nervousness on stage, but even I get like that with the lights in my eyes. He is also really bad at saying stuff about the music, introducing stuff on stage, etc.

    He also is a decent guitarist but knows NOTHING about the common sense of gear stuff. I find him plugging in the guitar into the wrong side of his pedal chain, turning up too loud or sometimes too quiet, forgetting to do minor things like tune, flip his standby switch on, or turn up his volume on his guitar. I dont know if hes just forgetful, or if he just has no checklist organized to make sure everything is working right.

    Hes the one keeping the band together, though. He has the practice space and writes most of the lyrics. I wouldnt want to replace him at all.

    Right now we have two options:
    1. He suggested giving up guitar to focus on singing and stage presense. I think this will help a lot but the other members are skeptical.

    2. Get another lead singer, have him focus on rhythm only. While this might be a good idea, it makes things complicated. I've been in big bands before and I rather be a part of no bigger than a 4 piece band- sides seem to be taken and its harder to get the band working as if it was one mind.

    what should we do? vocal lessons? option 1 or 2? ADD medication? (lol) tell me what you think
  2. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Get him away from playing guitar in the band.

  3. This may not apply directly to your situation, but might give you ideas.

    I play in an originals band. Lead vocalist also plays some guitar. He was ok, but we often heard "singer seems too shy, singer does not project".

    Then, nearly two years ago, a local guitarist was looking to start a Rage Against The Machine tribute. One of our guitarists called him up, offering to play drums, and our lead vocalist as singer. When they told me, I offered to play bass... and so the three of us joined in a RATM band.

    I was not so sure about The singer... since you cannot be shy in RATM.
    But, to my surprise... the guy channeled another self or something, and was pretty good!

    This seemed to help him out in the originals band too. We then started hearing how he had improved etc... and we realised it happened after he started doing the RATM material.

    Maybe you can help your singer too by putting him in a position where he has to let loose a bit, and where he realises he can do it And gains confidence.
  4. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Is he also shy during rehearsals? I would record him in a rehearsal and at a gig and compare the two. Let him hear that he actually sounds good. This should give him more confidence.
  5. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    shy at rehearsals too. I think he just has too much on his mind. I think we will get him off guitar for a while and see what happens. I think it would be better if he only had to worry about memorizing lyrics and keeping his voice in good shape.
  6. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I agree. I would have him do one or the other but not both for a while and see if he improves.
  7. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Support and experience could fix this. If you can arrange a little extra female attention at shows it might help. On the technical side a little compression on his mic wouldn't hurt.
  8. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011

    I have played with people like your singer. One was a keyboard player. The more he had to do, the less he got done. The less he had to do, the better he was at it.

    Keep it simple.
  9. Corbeau


    Dec 14, 2011
    You can try seeing how he feels just singing, and not singing and playing an instrument. Although if he is shy, then not having something to play during instrumental breaks can be awkward for everyone. You have to be prepared to jump around, dance, whatever when you are solely singing. It looks really bad when the band is doing an instrumental break and the singer simply stands there holding the microphone [seen that with some bands, it's pretty cringe-worthy].

    The other option is to play rehearsals as though you are playing on stage. That includes practicing moves and practicing stage banter. It can be hard at first but if you have the moves down while at rehearsal, it's just a matter of repeating what you know. I know when I first started gigging, I was really uncomfortable talking to the crowd.
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I assume that just firing him and getting another singer is not an option. How old are you guys, by the way?

    How comfortable is he with PLAYING guitar? Yes, sounds like he's absent-minded or clueless about elementary things like remembering to tune, etc. But I ask because a shy, self-conscious person sometimes needs a prop to hide behind or, more charitably, to anchor themselves with. If he's all alone with just a microphone, he may actually get worse than if he has something in his hands to hang onto while he sings.

    You say he's the one keeping the band together, but it doesn't sound like he's cut out to be band leader. Someone else needs to step up to that role. And THAT person needs to sit down with him and talk through his process - come up with a checklist, all that kind of thing.

    The singer doesn't HAVE to be the "frontman" in the sense of introducing songs, engaging with the audience, etc. I just saw the Jimmy Herring band supporting Victor Wooten, and noticed that while it's Jimmy Herring's band, he never talked to the audience - the bass player did that job. Hint hint.
  11. lavaxtris


    Feb 3, 2009
    nope...firing him is not an option.
    we are all about 19-21 years of age.

    He is very comfortable at playing rhythm guitar, and would perfer doing so over singing. I guess I am the main songwriter and so called "band leader"... I make most of the calls while our current rhythm/vox is the 2nd brain behind the band (and the only one with a practice space).
    We thought about bringing in a lead singer, but it seems that if we did, we would have another opinion to compete with, maybe not one so cooperative with our song direction, planning, etc. It wouldnt be the same band.

    Although I am the "band leader", I am not the frontman, and would like to keep it that way. Perhaps our lead guitarist would like to take up that role. His ego is big enough lol :D

    I think I rather have him try focusing on one thing at a time, and maybe train him on the guitar common sense stuff until he can do both again.