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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / How is that a person can be a singer...


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Feb 18th, 2016 01:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

and spend the major portion of their lives singing in bands and not know what their key is for any song or be able to play a couple of simple chords on a keyboard or guitar?
My son played T'bone in high school and college. I've seen him go to a drum set and play a couple of standard rock beats, or fumble through a song on the piano. I'm a guitar player but I can play some sax and at least find the notes on a keyboard. Yet so much time gets wasted trying to communicate with some singers.

Contributing Member


Feb 18th, 2016 01:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

LSD = Lead Singer's Disease

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Feb 18th, 2016 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

And...........the only piece of gear they own is a microphone. Sometimes not even that. Most arrive just in time for the downbeat at a gig.

My current policy is no lead singers unless they also play an instrument.

If I want another mouth to feed I'll hire a Go-Go Dancer.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

Same ol **** but my hair's longer
Feb 18th, 2016 02:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'd be happy if they could keep time, let alone know what key the song is in. LOL

Contributing Member


Feb 18th, 2016 05:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

And those that only sing are insecure as musicians and the diva comes out strong

I hate when they want to sing all the leads instead of giving the band a variety of vocal choices. They never know what to do when not singing. And don't get me started on the lack of harmonies....

I have had better bands and a lot more fun with musicians who sing even if they are not as good as a vocalist only. It's about the chemistry not the diva-ness

Contributing Member

South Florida

Feb 18th, 2016 05:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

One of the of the things I have found curious...This happens to both singers and guitar players.

On their own they may have a good sense of key and timing. But once the song moves along somebody else in the band goes off time or key they go with them.

I've noticed really good musicians and singers don't do that.

Contributing Member

I am not a complete

idiot - I have several pieces missing!
Feb 18th, 2016 10:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

"My current policy is no lead singers unless they also play an instrument."


Contributing Member

juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Feb 18th, 2016 11:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm not a very good singer to start out with but knowing where your best range is makes a huge difference between being crappy and decent sounding. Sometimes just a half step up or down is the difference between scratching a song off the list or not. Also a lot depends on the type of song. I like singing bluesy stuff in E,Gb, or G which is good because those are good keys for me to play bluesy guitar in also.

I've never worked with a "front" singer but most other people seem to know what key they want to work in but then again they are playing Keyboard or guitar. It's great to lock into the right key, sometimes you just have to shift around a bit to find it and every song is different.

Contributing Member


Feb 20th, 2016 05:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

for musicians who sing I echo Scott-s' sentiment about knowing your range but also knowing what songs you do well. I have been in situations where the band leader was "letting" me sing a song or two but he decided what songs and they were not best suited for my range and style so there did not sound as good as songs I would have picked. And the songs I would have picked were in the same vein of the bands catalog.

Contributing Member

Subtropical Florida

Feb 21st, 2016 02:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

I recall noting this phenomenon decades ago with the lead singer of a band I'd eventually join. Young guy, poured his heart out with the Stax/Motown stuff, truly a gifted voice (and stage performer). But then he'd do stuff like have his girlfriend "call in sick" for him last minute. There's something to the process of growing up carrying amps, setting up, tearing down and treating bandmates like appendages on stage that can be elusive to the type we're discussing here.

Contributing Member

It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Feb 22nd, 2016 06:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

On the flip side, a good frontman is a great asset to have in a band.

I was fortunate enough to work with one in a band I was in back in the 80's. Great singer, always knew his stuff (including what keys were best for him), knew how to work a crowd, AND always helped hauling gear around. Oh, and he contributed excellent harmonies with others in the band took the lead vocals. So, there are good ones out there.
That band split up years ago but we're still good friends.

Haven't had a "lead singer" in any band I've worked with since then, though.
I was in band with a female lead singer - we went through 2 of them - but that's a whole different story (and, unfortunately, not a good one). Though, in fairness, just because those 2 turned out to be complete head cases, I wouldn't generalize. I've met others who aren't.

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
Feb 22nd, 2016 07:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

The most likely reason is that singers have received little or no 'formal' training... I mean middle school chorus is not exactly a music theory master class. They never handed out music! We did it all by ear, no parts, all unison. And by 7th grade, music was optional, not even mandatory.
Plus a band situation is totally different than singing by yourself at full volume in the car.
We auditioned a couple 'friend of a friend' female singers who had never handled a microphone before! It did not go well.

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Feb 22nd, 2016 12:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

"We auditioned a couple 'friend of a friend' female singers who had never handled a microphone before! It did not go well."

This video

is a huge help.

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / How is that a person can be a singer...

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