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"You're beter than our last bassist....."

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Ron Plichta, Dec 6, 2011.


  1. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    So the drummer told me last night after rehearsal. I'm subbing for a band for a NYE gig because said bassist departed due to a job relocation. The band said I'm picking up the material quickly and get along well. So by now you're asking why I'm not being brought on permanently?

    I can't sing. :bawl: Said predecessor apparently had a really good voice and could do some leads as well as harmonies. With him gone, it's just the singer on her own. The guitarist and drummer don't sing.

    Who knows how I've tried in the past. Took lessons, bought some instructional books and I still suck. Guess I don't have "it".

    So it looks like this will be a one and done gig for me. They're still looking for a vocalist with some bass ability since it lloks like they don't want to add another guitarist or keyboardist with vocals. Oh well.
     
  2. I've lost a few because of that. I'm not meant to be a singer. The sad part is losing gigs to guys who don't play bass at all.
     
  3. yeah, that does suck.

    but then again, splitting your pay between another member also sucks...
     
  4. ohskigod

    ohskigod

    May 5, 2008
    Seems to be a growing trend. I've seen ads around here for bassist that lead sing?
     
  5. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Hey, at least you got a gig out of it. Who knows, you may have more gigs to play until they find a singing bass player.

    Either way, have fun.
     
  6. In the end, when it comes to music and what people want to hear ... it's all about the voice.
     
  7. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA

    I offered to cover any other gigs until they find a singing bassist. In fact, I saw they placed another ad on Craigslist last night. So that's three ads over the past month or so without much luck.

    If nothing else, it may network me into another permanent gig if what's left of my last band remains on hiatus.
     
  8. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Jan 27, 2010
    Nashville
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Being able to sing doubles what you bring to the table. It can also work against you. A guy I was working pretty regularly with recently started instead calling a different bassist who doesn't sing. From what the drummer said it was because my vocals were making him look bad.
     
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Are they gigging frequently? It seems everybody here wants a bassist who sings... but few do. The ones that do can pick and chose and are only going to pick well established bands that have a lot of gigs booked.

    You might get some more gigs out of them yet :D
     
  10. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I could contact them on CL as various folks, and then flake out on every audition. They might want to keep you rather than deal with flakes.
     
  11. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Thanks, Jong, but I doubt if it would help. Even if I was picked up, I'd have a constant feeling that they "settled" on me and would probably be gone as soon as they found a singing bassist. I'm okay being a hired gun for now.

    My bass instructor offered to try to help me with vocals. It might be too late for this band, but might help out in the future.
     
  12. Maybe they need a guitar player that could sing...
     
  13. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    I don't think they want to expand beyond four people.
     
  14. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I suck at bass, I don't sing much, I get paid.......
     
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    On many songs, I can harmonize quite well but when it comes to delivering the entire vocal part, it's rough sledding. But I keep at it...(there's a range in there somewhere) and it just takes work to find it.
     
  16. jakelly

    jakelly Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    I've never sang while playing bass much before, but I'm starting to sing a little background in my present band. I find it difficult to sing and play bass at the same time but... its not too hard to sing "Yeah slide" in the last chorus of "Slide".
     
  17. BBox Bass

    BBox Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Pennsylvania
    It's been my experience that women are expected to sing no matter what other role they play in a band. While I have always been able to carry a tune, I used to be too shy to sing in front of other people because I didn't believe I was very good. Also, though I could play guitar and sing, I had a much harder time singing and playing bass.

    When I joined my first rock band, one of the first questions I got asked was "You sing, right?" I replied "Uuuh, kindasorta, but not really" (while thinking pleasepleaseplease don't make me sing!). They were disappointed, but kept me around because they desperately needed a bassist, plus I agreed to learn lead vocals on a few songs. A month later, they hired a female lead singer who covered about 2/3 of our setlist. She totally had LSD, and is a big reason why I eventually left that band.

    Many years and bands later, "You sing, right?" is still a question I hear on a regular basis. I've also noticed that most compliments directed my way are about my singing and not bass playing. I still think I'm a better bassist than singer, but hey, a compliment is a compliment. In any event, I am now quite comfortable with describing myself as a singing bassist. In my current band, the male lead guitarist and I split the lead vocals. He handles the newer hard rock and I do the 80s pop/rock female songs and hair metal with high male vocals. The diversity is nice, plus we trade off on giving our voices a break.

    Looking back, I'm glad I was pushed to sing more, because as someone said above, it doubles what you bring to the table and I believe it's made me a better musician in general. I also think that this is one time when women have an advantage over men: So long as they're not completely hideous, bar crowds like to see them on stage. I will never be mistaken for the newest, freshest, unblemished face on American Idol, but put me in front of a mic with a bass in my hand and the audience seems to think that singing chick = good!
     
  18. bigthor

    bigthor

    Jan 19, 2011
    Anybody that can talk can sing. If you play an instrument and have ever learned a song by ear you already have it. Next time you sit down to learn a song sing the lead line. And then do it with every song you know. The next thing you know you will be a singing bassist.
     
  19. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    My bass instructor worked with me on vocals last night and while it was predicatbly rough, it got a little better as the lesson progressed. We'll try it a few more lessons and see where it goes.
     
  20. My (fairly new) band's guitarist told me at the last gig "You're without a doubt the best bassist I've played with...now, if you actually HEARD the other bassists I've played with it wouldn't seem like much of a compliment, but you're good!" lol - great sense of humour!
     

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