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When singers aren't musicians/pet peeves

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Don Higdon, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Last night I subbed another gig with a vocalist out front.
    One of my pet peeves is when a singer turns to you and says "Do you know --(whatever tune she wants)--?" and then sings it at you, and keeps on singing it at you after you've answered. It p-sses me off in so many ways.
    Am I alone?
    Any other pet peeves out there?
  2. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Or worse yet they call a tune, sing the first couple lines and say "What key is that?"
  3. TomSauter


    Dec 22, 2004
    Kennesaw, GA
    I hate it when they talk to the band with the mic up to their mouth. I also hate when I show up to a singer gig and I see bongos set up next to the microphone. I could go on forever about chick singers but I don't want it to get to dark:)
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Introducing me as "my bass player, Marcus Johnson"..... while I'm soloing.
  5. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    When the mood in the room has been slowly and carefully shaped by the dynamics and harmonics of the last song, only to be killed by a boring, unnecessary 'tween-songs monologue...

    Unless you're Flanders and Swan, I generally want just a moment of silence between songs.
  6. Worse yet, after determining the key, they proceed to sing the key across 5 randomly chosen keys at random points in the song.
  7. I don't have to worry about that any more. They won't hire me. They all know that I know all the lyrics.
  8. you're my idol, sir paul
  9. Thanks, Kev.....
    What REALLY pisses them off is that I know that they sound just as awful in F as they do in F# or E.
  10. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I once did a year long stint with a stripper who was a singer. Couldn't sing her way out of a bucket and nobody cared.

    Including me.

    Made great money.

    Damn guitar player banged her and ****ed the whole gig.
  11. i'm surprised it wasn't the drummer
  12. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    It's usually not. To much drool and even worse day jobs.
  13. Ahah, I play with a guy like that
    His english isn't great, but he knows the lyrics to everything
  14. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    In Nashville, there are "songwriters" that aren't musicians. It's all about lyrics to them. (lyrics are important, but..) They'll say about someone, "He's really good with the melodies" which means melodies, harmonies, rhythms, anything that isn't lyrics. These "songwriters" come to demo sessions with rough versions of their songs, and the players change and add chords, then the demo singers change and embellish the melody and phrasing, etc. (None of this is for writer's credit, it just helps you get hired next time.) Then the wonderboy's song gets cut, and now he's the new genius who's producing someone's record....

    Makes me wanna hollar, throw up both my hands....
  15. Those guys are supposed to by called "Lyricists"
    Guys like Ira Gershwin, Hal David, Bernie Taupin, Oscar Hammerstein II, Lorenz Hart... big names all... ( virtual points for naming their musical partners..)
    Other guys write the music, these guys write the lyrics.

    Even Mozart did not write the text for his operas, Lorenzo Daponte did. (for Opera, the term is 'librettist') Most of the classical composers did not write lyrics for the vocal music they did.

    A funny movie to watch is the one with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore appropriately called "Music and Lyrics". It came out last year.

    Those studio musicians who tweaked the music in significant ways should actually get songwriting credit.
    Sometimes bands do it like
    lyrics by : individual.
    music by : the whole band
  16. This is so annoying. Singers who are not musicians are to me, karaoke singers. A 'musician who's instrument is voice' is the way to go! They are rare, so rare...

    The other pain in the but is when we properly key a song with a large melodic range for said singer, (because said singer is incapable of keying her own songs) and then the next rehearsal they want it in a new key because they are having trouble. Next rehearsal, another key...

    Well yeah, you actually have to warm up your voice BEFORE the rehearsal so you are ready to go and sing the lows and the highs and all in between.
  17. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    In my lifetime the actual singer to smart musician quotient is very low like most everyone else. I do enjoy a good singer bashing so I want you to continue this but I'd like to take a moment to point out a few thing for the kids.
    1. The singer is always right even when they aren't.
    2. The singer's name is usually on the marquee, not yours.
    3. The corollary to #2 being if you aren't on the bandstand at downbeat you have a problem, if the singer isn't on the bandstand at downbeat the gig has a problem.
    4. The singer in bands that have them usually make or break the gig, thus the need for rule one.
    5. The bass player's presence or lack thereof on the gig while inspiring or a downer does not usually make or break the gig. You can't usually substitute the word singer in that and make it true. If it is true, fire the singer they are dead weight on the ticket.
    6. The better you understand rule #1 the more work you will have.
    7. The less noise you make about rule #1 the more money you'll make.
    8. The better you enact rule #1 so that the singer is not even aware of it the more gigs you get and the more money you make.
    9. Jazz gigs where the singer is not on the marquee, does not write the checks and only does 50% or less of the tunes but gets paid a full cut or more are usually a bummer. It is not always required to enact rule #1 in these cases. Individual discretion can apply here.
    10. In cases like point #9 if you apply rule #1 anyhow you may get dirty looks from your bandmates today but they will probably have less gigs than you in the course of any calender year be they with singers or without.
    Well folks what did I miss?
  18. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Nice work Phil.


    How many singers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    One. They hold the lightbulb and wait for the rest of the world to revolve around them.
  19. bassbuddie


    Jan 8, 2003
    LOL this one is my favorite. I start my solo and the singer says let's give a good hand to Francois (that's me), clap clap clap and the improvisation is over.
  20. My one exception to that one (granted, no singer was involved) was when comedian Pete Barbutti used to introduce me.
    "And on bass........dirty brown varnish. Take it, Dirty Brown....."

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