Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tips to start a Singing Group or Solo Act - part 1

1) Decide if you want to be Musicians or Celebrities.
musicians make music. celebrities make gossip.

when the Beatles were musicians, the media tracked their music.
when the Beatles became celebrities, the media tracked their fights and controversies.

There is nothing wrong with being a celebrity. Pays great. Just be ready
for the extreme emotional ups and downs of being what other people want you to be and not being
able to be yourself.

There is nothing wrong with being a musician. Just be ready for the extreme emotional ups and downs
of very little public reward or recognition.

2) Decide style of music (rock, jazz, pop, contemporary, gospel ...)

3) PRACTICE - expect to sound - not so great - in the beginning. start by singing your favorite songs. Learn the song !! You should be able to make smooth key changes. knowing the song means you know where the melody is going BEFORE it gets there. let's listen to The Zombies - Care of cell 44 . Listen to how effortlesly he changes keys on his vocal. This is a very difficult key change - they really understand the song. please visit the Zombies official web page at:

4) decide if you will be
    a) Solo Act and sing your own background vocals.
    b) Solo Act with background singers or
    c) Harmonization Group (e.g. The Eagles, 38 Special)

a) Solo Act and sing your own background vocals.
Audiences sort of expect that modern day singers will have some form of background singers. even if it means the singers voice is used as a backing track. if your going to provide a proffessional level recording or performance, having background vocals is mandatory.
This style was made popular by several entertainers, most notably the Carpenters. I don't think anyone has been able to produce such sophisticated self backup singing since.

b) solo act with background singers
background singers make songs. let me rephrase that. background singers make the song. Great backup vocals can take a song from sounding below average to sounding like the special songs that we love and enjoy.

c)Harmonization group (e.g. The Eagles, 38 Special)

This one is tough to achieve. If your just starting out. I would suggest - proceed with caution - on this one. different people have different lives, schedules and motivations. Trying to get several different people to keep the same vision, motivation and talent levels, may be a bit much for beginners. If you go this route try to be as flexible as possible with your band mates. Don't try to control band members - try to incorporate their suggestions into decision making. It's too early to pre-define who is the "leader" and who is replaceable. no one is replaceable !!

WE WILL PICK UP WITH PART 2 - IN THE NEAR FUTURE - this topic is too big to cover in 1 blog post.
Until then here's an old one by Maureen Mcgovern called The Morning After.
please visit her official site at: