1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

How Many Singers in Your Band?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by alnico357, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,856
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Arkansas
    In my 50-plus years of playing there has been typically one or two lead singers at most. In my current band all four of us sing lead and harmony.
     
    String Tree, Reivaj, Maguchi and 9 others like this.
  2. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    974
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2020
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    That's great. I think it makes a big difference. Our five piece band has one main lead singer, and I sing about eight songs and harmony on some. We both play lead guitar.
     
    bluesguy62 and Fiesta Red like this.
  3. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    2,096
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2019
    Location:
    West By God Virginia
    One lead singer, 3 that sing backup and each of them could be a lead singer in their own band. I've never been in a band with such incredible vocal talent.
     
  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    14,410
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    So, are you now with The Eagles?
    I've rarely played with bands that have a dedicated lead singer. Often I'm the lead singer, and I greatly prefer having another singer or two to share the load. The best situation where I had a "frontman/singer" was a one-off "super group" for a high school reunion. I was able to assemble the "cream" of musicians from our class. We had a guy who was a great singer, and had played with a few minor well known bands. He sang lead on most songs, but when someone else sang, he was fully in support, singing harmony or playing percussion.....contributing to the show, but not expecting to be the center of attention all the time.
    That said, nowadays, I would only seek out a singer if he or she played some other instrument. I'm currently looking for a sax/flute player. ;)
     
  5. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,963
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Location:
    los angeles
    The band i was in for 25-30 years which had many different lineups but with all of them we always had everyone in the band singing with the exception of some of the drummers. Maybe 1/3 of them sang. I however wouldn't call most of us including myself singers. More like vocalists. I mean, if mick jagger is a singer then i guess you could call us singers. But in a bar band you don't exactly have to be steve perry to sing. It's more about vocal tone and picking the right guy in the band to sing a particular song going by who's tone fits it best. Long as u can sing on key of course. The band's first lineup went from 3 members to 5 during the first 7-8 years and during that time all member sag including the drummer who actually sang more then any other member. But with everyone singing harmonies were great. A couple of us had high enough voices so there was always someone who could nail a part.
     
    bluesguy62, SRHmusic and Fiesta Red like this.
  6. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,272
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Pärnu, Estonia, EU
    Everybody must sing in my bands
     
    Bassman8, Reivaj, Maguchi and 7 others like this.
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    94,644
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I'm in lots of bands.
    Most have a singer or two.
    I sing.
    I'm sort of a "relief singer".
    You're relieved when I stop.;)
     
    Bassman8, StrangerNY, Reivaj and 24 others like this.
  8. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,856
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Sounds like you rule "your bands" with an iron fist. When I speak of "my band" I mean the band I am in. We are all equal players.
     
    Maguchi and TheDavis like this.
  9. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,731
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    In my current band:
    Two.
    I do most of the singing, the drummer sings a few and does a lot of harmony vocals. We had just added a killer bassist, who is also a good vocalist, when the pandemic hit, so I guess I could say three—in a three-man band (although we haven’t played a gig due to ——19). The three of us harmonize well together.

    For a brief period, I was in a band that had—no joke—four lead singers, and three different backup singers, none of whom were good harmony vocalists (the whole purpose in a backup vocalist, in my opinion).

    When the band formed, it was supposed to be the lead guitarist, who was also a good singer...(he was my younger cousin, who was the “leader of the band”);

    I was recruited for guitar/slide guitar/harp and some lead vocals.

    His girlfriend was to sing lead vocals as well. His girlfriend (now ex-wife) was/is a fabulous vocalist, should have taken 90% of the lead vocals, with us doing harmonies behind her and singing lead on an odd song here and there...I expressed this opinion, but The Leader did not agree, so it was initially split somewhat evenly, each of us doing about 1/3 of the vocals (with her doing the most)...it worked out well because we could all bounce off each other vocally and musically.

    Then the bassist’s wife wanted to sing...not a great singer...but the leader didn’t want to lose the bassist, so we got our first backup singer.

    Progressively, during the weekly rehearsals over the next five months, the Leader added a third guitarist (his girlfriend’s uncle, who was a very good guitar player...good enough that I gladly set aside some of my “regular” guitar playing and concentrated more on slide and harmonica).
    New guitarist’s wife/aunt of our female lead vocalist wanted to sing. She was good. So now we have the fourth lead singer/third good harmony singer.

    At this point, I privately offered the opinion to The Leader that this was getting a little top-heavy and more was not necessarily better. He said he had it under control, and I needed “to just play some harp and just sing here and there...”

    Then the drummer’s wife wanted to sing. Not that good...but leader didn’t want to lose the drummer, there was our second bad backup singer who also couldn’t sing harmony.

    Then the Bassist’s wife’s best friend wanted to join as singer and maracas (because that’s what we needed—more singers, egos...and maracas!)...she was terrible...but the Fearful Leader couldn’t say no, so there were three backup vocalists...none of whom were good singers and none of which could sing harmony.

    The set list had changed significantly, too. It went from being a bluesy/classic soul band to pop, rock, country, a sprinkling of blues and a touch of plastic soul (Modern/90’s R&B). It was a mess, because there was no flow from song to song.

    At this point, I asked who was going to either build or rent risers for the freaking choir we were forming.

    I was told I was being difficult, and my most recent (and what ended up being my last-ever) incident with alcohol was brought up as a reason the band wasn’t any better.

    Real cool, cuz...I’m struggling and entering sobriety (and consequently playing better), and you want to say my alcoholism is the reason your now-crappy band is failing, instead of the fact you won’t say no to anyone except me, and you have Ten People/Seven Singers/Three of Whom Should Never Sing In Public (one of whom shouldn’t even sing in the shower...the poor ears of the rats and alligators in the sewer!) in a band that no longer has a stylistic core.

    Since I was told I was being so difficult, I decided to make it easier for them. I quit, with the polite warning that it was going to be a disaster when and if they performed.

    They decided not to replace the 15 songs that I sang and/or played a major role in musically (because I wasn’t important and was just “difficult”), and a month or so later had their first gig.

    They had to play the now-shortened set list twice, and most of the people left during the first rotation. They couldn’t get a rhythm or vibe going, and I was told all the different styles, genres, voices and levels of (in)competence happening within a 25-song set was unbearable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
    Stain, bluesguy62, Spooky88 and 7 others like this.
  10. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,913
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    All 5.
     
    Maguchi, bluesguy62 and alnico357 like this.
  11. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,731
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    I understand what you are saying—in my band, everyone is equal, but some people shouldn’t be allowed to send the group in a particular direction (i.e., when the lead guitarist wanted to add a solo banjo rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine”..really!)

    It might be that he has a vision and is sticking to it. Read my narrative above and see what happens when a person who is “the leader” of the band has no control.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
    El Marin and nojazzhere like this.
  12. saleake

    saleake Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    235
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2017
    Location:
    Texas
    My band has one male lead singer, who is also the emcee and plays acoustic, and one female lead singer. The steel player sings backup and some harmony. This is the first band I’ve been in where I don’t sing, but the others are better vocalists than me, so I just roll with it.
     
  13. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    1,619
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2018
    Location:
    Westminster, CO
    Two. My cover band has a dedicated lead singer/frontman, & I sing back up & harmony. Same with my acoustic duo where my friend Rachel is frontlady. I do love to sing lead, although I probably shouldn't.
     
  14. Lucky Day

    Lucky Day Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    1,164
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    1. Rockit Radio- female frontperson/lead singer. I sing a lot of leads, and the other 3 members also each sing a couple
    2. Funktown PDX- 7 piece band with horns. Female lead frontperson/singer. I sing a lot of leads there, too, and 2 other members sing a couple songs each
    3. Grand Illusion (Styx tribute)- 2 guys sing about 80% of the lead vocals, 2 of us sing a couple leads. 4/5 of us sing harmonies.
     
  15. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,343
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    Main band- four piece. Other guitarist and I split lead vocals, and both sing harmony with the other. Bassist sings, but backing vox only.

    Band 2- Female lead vocalist. Me on backing vocals, and I’ll take the lead maybe 20% of the night. Other guitarist sometimes sings backing vox too.
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  16. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,366
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    NEPA USA
    I'm in a 3 piece. Everybody sings lead and harmony.

    This was always a pet peeve of mine. I think that anyone who calls themselves a musician should sing. In the last 40 years I've been in a bunch of bands, with dozens of musicians, and I can think of 4 who didn't sing. The vast majority didn't sing lead, but if you are in a pop/rock cover band, singing backup is a basic expectation.
     
  17. sswoverl

    sswoverl TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    94
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Location:
    Kokomo, IN
    In our seven person band, we have 3 girls and 2 guys who share lead responsibilities, with everyone contributing to background vocals.
     
  18. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,641
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    ah, it kind of don't matter much at the moment. Maybe later this year, we'll see.

    Had a pretty good sitch with a weekly gig, and then the C19stuff arrives. At that time, we had 3 lead-capable singers - we handled it by doing songs in the round. Bob, me, Mike. All night long; lead singer picks the song. 2 sets, we each had about 50 or so to draw from. And four harmony/backup singers, which included the 3 leads and the bass player. Drummer/percussionist didn't sing, that was ok.

    But now: bass player moved out of state, ok, we had a replacement - who also could sing.

    But now: I'm moving out of state. I think once things get back together, the group will still be doing something - the venue owners liked us and I have to wish them well - and hope that the venue survives.

    For where I'm moving, I've already made contact with a long time friend (most excellent guitarist and other instruments), he says he knows a good keyboard player; we'll be looking for bass & drums. I prefer people who sing, but I also prefer a killer rhythm section.
     
  19. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    14,410
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Just...WOW, Red. Thanks for detailing this cluster-nightmare......don't think I'll ever complain about my issues with bass players ever again! BTW, were any of those women named Yoko?
    This is exactly why I don't want to play in a larger group.....too often they just become unmanageable. I can only imagine the OTHER issues that could come up, besides musical ones. I no longer really want to be "good friends" with my bandmates.....friendly?....yes. Compatible? ....definitely. But let's practice or play a gig, have a quick drink and chat, then go our separate ways. If your big band had stayed together much longer, I can guarantee there would have likely been affairs and infidelities......it's almost inevitable. (witness Fleetwood Mac) ;)
     
    Fiesta Red and SRHmusic like this.
  20. basher

    basher Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,125
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    All of us trade off doing lead vox. I'm the only one who can harmony lines, so I also do backing vox on most of our stuff. I really like the vibe this gives us on stage -- it's a lot more fun than having a designated lead singer/frontman.
     
    String Tree and Reivaj like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.