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Tips for playing bass and doing vocals

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bt99, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. I'm now the new death metal vocalist for my melodic death metal band .

    My vocals include death growls and high screams.

    So if u have any tips for doing vocals and bass at the same time that would me most brutal.
  2. ekikoo


    Apr 4, 2010
    First post on the board, yay.

    I'm not too good in this area though (noob warning here), but a few hints:
    When practicing, tap your foot while playing.
    Play your bass part fluently ;)
    Sing or speak or growl your vocal line in the same tempo, with correct rhythm.
    Usually the notes you play, and the ones you sing, are "overlapping". Ex. you might have to play two eighth notes, and between them start singing your phrase, it can be really tricky in full tempo.

    So really slow down, tap your foot with fourth or eighth note beats, and grind it until you figure out how it works out...

    Of course it'd be wise to start with really easy stuff, like basic pop songs with 8th-note pulse with the root notes...

    To the Big Boys of the board reading, let me know if i'm way off track here etc!
  3. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    The biggest issue is remembering the lyrics. Since you will be screaming, does that really even matter?
  4. Lol can u plz not bad mouth my music just because u don't like it Thank you
  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Sure, I apologize. Just trying to be funny ya know.:)

    By the way, you better edit that profanity, I promise you they will give you an infraction for it.
  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    moderator warning:
    I edited a couple things: play nice kids!

  7. srry
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
  9. WalWurst


    Apr 8, 2009
    The trick for doing the vocals while playing an instrument is to do one of these automatically. Normally this would be the Instrumental part. You have to practice your songs on bass until you can play them blindly and without thinking about them so that you can concentrate on your singing. Thats the way i did it and it works well.
  10. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm not sure there's any one great way to achieve this.
    I've been singing and playing for some 30 years now, and there's still plenty of songs I just can't do both on.

    Often the vocal melody and rhythms and very contrapuntal to the bass line. It seems impossible to me to play really complex syncopated bass lines and sing at the same time, still.
  11. The problems occur when the beat differs from the meter, this doesn't happen that often and you can usually bend one or the other to fit without anyone noticing, Seven Nation Army (White Stripes) is a good example on the last verse there are too many words.
    Practice with it before the jam and make it fit.
    Bass and vocal has worked well for me for the last 25 years...
    Good Luck!

    Sorry Chef... wrote the same as you - you must be a quicker typist!!!
  12. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    I have sung and played either drums or bass for 45 years. The key is to be proficient enough on your instrument to play on auto-pilot so you can concentrate on your vocal performance. This is particularly important if you are singing harmony because you have to listen for the other vocal parts and blend in.
    You might also check out the Boss VE-20 vocal processor with automatic pitch correction and some great special effects (like devil growls for metal)
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    example of one I'll never get...i love the bassline, and i can kill playing it...but sing it:
    no way.

    "I Wish," Stevie Wonder...as funky as it is, the bassline is pretty straight...no way i can sing over it though:
  14. +1

    My band asked me at rehearsal if I could do lead vocal on "I Feel Good" (James Brown). I told them I'll see what I can do.

    I got home and, yes, I can sing it. Yes, I can play it. Just not at the same time. :)

    Other vocals parts for other songs, both lead and harmony, come much easier. You gotta know your limitations.
  15. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
  16. Alduroth


    Mar 3, 2009
    Got the same thing going on, remembering lyrics sucks. Just play along with bass a couple of times, then sing a couple of times then throw it together. All in a row.

    Or just make up lyrics as you go, that's what I do :p
    Honestly I got this deep growl with gurgle thing, so nobody understands anything.
    Live in holland and they barely speak english here :p
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    everyone knows that real metal singers never use processing to get the devil growls. the ones who do are posers.

    but you are absolutely right about singing and playing. the instrument has to be on auto-pilot. i'm fortunate that i never had much of a problem doing both at the same time, but occasionally i do. so the way i combat it is to just learn the song so well on bass that i can play it in my sleep, then start trying to work in the singing.
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    +1 ( and sorry Chef)
  19. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts
    + 1 to what others have said

    Have the bass line down pat

    have the words and melody (or harmony) down pat

    work on the two together until you have them down pat

    realize that there will be songs that you won't be able to do both on

    The more you do it, the easier it becomes though like any aptitude some people will find it easier then others
  20. RonChase


    Aug 15, 2008
    practice practice practice,I am pretty sure its harder to play bass and sing than guitar and sing

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