We Are The Music Makers
What’s really the most scarce when looking for good players for a band… bassist, drummer, vocalist, keyboardist, or vocalist?
Consider starting a band and would like to fill the position(s) most difficult scarce to raise my chances of getting something good going. I feel like bassists and vocalists have been the most difficult to find in my experience so was considering doing those but that could change. What do you guys think? What has been the most difficult to find decent musicians of?
I rarely see this topic on this sub, but it deserves a place. Vocal parts can absolutely make a song. But what should they sing?
Disclaimer: I sing and play instruments and write songs.
There is one tip that helped me immensely, and it came from an interview with band members of Mr. Bungle talking about Mike Patton’s process.
He built his lyrics by singing along to determine the melody and VOWEL SOUNDS that sounded right. Then he used that as template to create words around the vowel sounds so the words he put onto them sounded correct and expressed a meaning.
This really helped me in writing lyrics, much more than scribbling in my notebook, which I did for years. Finding the right vowel sounds makes the song more fun to sing and listen to.
I love Buddy Holly for this reason. They seem so correct and you can really chew on the vocals.
Man there's so much to know and to do. Compared to being in a band and heading into the studio with an engineer and/or a producer.
Say you're a singer/songwriter who wants to make some songs, and have backing some virtual instruments:
You've got to know your instrument. Let's say guitar. Gotta make sure you have good technique. Know your chords and at least a little theory. Then you have to get your tone right. Do you DI and then use a digital software amp? Or do you mic you amp? Speaking of which... What's the best set up for this mic, and which mic should it be?
Now how much should I pay for the vocal mic? Which pattern should I use? Where should I put the mic in my limited space? How do I get rid of the hiss and the boxy sound? Is... Is that a ghost in the background of this track? Dad? How does a noise gate work?
Which of the 800 DAWs should I use? Reaper? Sure, looks cool. It's cheap too with tons of features. Okay, so now... Gotta learn countless shortcuts. Hey look, I'm using the Insert key for the first time in my life! Now I don't have a piano or keyboard to play on, so...let's see... Alt + B. Oh cool. But how do I play it on my laptop without the mouse? Oh, so I dock it...then I right click and choose to use all commands anywhere, this turning off all shortcuts I learned.
Okay, now let's get so virtual instruments. I'd love to have some kind of organ sound. Okay, so I can use this one that's free, but there's this super high quality one that's 200 dollars.... Yeah it's an investment. Oh no, the manual is 50 pages of shortcuts and information on each knob. I guess I'll skip that synth I had in mind with the cables. That'll probably come with an encyclopedia. Also I don't know what Attack, Release, and Decay do necessarily.
Oh I need drums now. Hey, Superior Drummer! Awesome. Alright so... Huh that tom sounds weird. I can change it out I guess with this button. And detune it... I'm not a drummer either so I've never thought about toms before. Oh they sell all kinds of other kits too! Huh this beat is great but just slightly off. Well I can go in here and map the notes and velocity. Just gotta figure out what velocity means.
Okay so I have all that. Now. I'd love some echo on my voice. "Reverb" I guess is the name. Man, there's a lot of different sliders. I'm not sure of the right amount of wet or dry here. I don't know how many milliseconds of decay are good.
I'm getting somewhere. I think. And now... Mixing.... Oh. Oh God. There's so much to this.
You know, thinking back on it, I should have probably written a few songs before all this.
So two things
naturally I don’t have a voice designed for singing. Since I hit puberty my family has constantly reminded me of that inability (When it’s their weak genes to blame really)
Over the years though my voice has gotten way better as I understand how notes work, and how to control my voice.
2. I have quite a deep singing voice which I don’t mind but it certainly has limitations, like if I make quite a upbeat tune my voice doesn’t really suit it. Also my voice is hard to mix as it blends in so much with the instruments.
Recently I’ve been trying to go higher and higher, find a nice mid/high range I can do. I’ve added it to a few songs and it sounds good.
Yesterday I went probably the highest I’ve been and on the recording it sounds good against the lower vocals.
The problem is that it is so unnatural for me, after one line of lyrics I get the croak. I’ve been trying to use my diaphragm when singing higher and it does cause a bit of strain on me.
It’s annoying because I can hear it there but can’t let it flourish.
Is this something that will just get easier with time, or am I missing a technique?
What rituals/techniques have you done to increase comradery & sense of common goal between bandmates?
I am a drummer who has just started jamming with a dedicated friend. We just finished our 4th session today with hopefully many months more to come. We have largely come together on mutual circumstances but for the most part our music taste is fairly oppositional.
Don't get me wrong, of what we've rehearsed I've really liked where this is going. But in some sense we've both "dulled" our sensibilities. They want more indie rock, I want more emotional hardcore. We've come together on labels like "screamo" but what I really want is some sense of similar aspiration. Maybe some way of preserving our individual qualities while trying to make them merge together for something fresh?
Overall, I am thinking of just doing solely music-listening days (obv a good first start), but what are other ways your bands have come together and really "solidified" what y'all are going for?
EDIT: Using the word "ritual" in the title was the best and worst decision, lol. Ty all.