Friday, April 10, 2015

Singing and playing, playing and singing

This little band I've been playing in lately is having me sing about 4 or 5 songs. Me! I've been singing backups for years and this is the first time I've been singing lead.

We're about 5 months in now (wow! 5 months already?) and it's coming along nicely. At first I wasn't so sure. Luckily, one of my bandmates records all the rehearsals and, believe it or not, it hasn't been all bad. I thought I would hate the sound of my own voice; it's not too bad. I just have to listen as if it's not my own voice.

The trouble is, all four of us sing and I'm not sure if we can all hear each other.

There are times when it doesn't sound too bad. Then there are times when it sounds quite rough. Some are nearly in tune, some aren't. It's never perfect, but it's also a lot worse than it should be.

I saw my ex-mates' band, The Pop Cycle, a few weeks ago. It was David's first show with Brett and his mates and it went pretty well. What I really noticed, though, was how much better their vocals sounded than my band's vocals. With this new inspiration, I brought it to my bandmates' attention.

At first, the guys seemed to play it off, like, "hell, man, it's rock and roll, what do you expect?" I told them we should be better, that I didn't want to go out there and sound like crap. I didn't want people to say, "well, the band sounds pretty good, but man, they suck at singing!" I want it all to be good.

So we started practicing a little more on the vocals. It has gotten a bit better. But it's still rough. I think the guys are used to just playing and not worrying too much about vox, as they've been a "garage" band, and all.

Well, I was spoiled by the singing in the bands I've been in in the past and I'm trying to bring these guys up. They can all sing and so can I. We just need to all get on the same page.

Right now, I'm listening to the recording we did at last night's rehearsal. It's, meh, OK, etc. Like Simon Cowell says, "If I'm being honest," well, it's pretty bad. Especially the vocals. Add to the fact that me and Corey are off to the races on nearly every song and, well, you have a pretty rough rehearsal.

But the thing is, it wasn't that bad. Musically, it's pretty solid. But we definitely need to work on:
  • Vocals (lead and harmonies)
  • Tempos (too much pushing the beat)
I'm guilty of all the stuff I've mentioned, but I think some tough love may be necessary in order for those things I mentioned to improve.