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Music: Do you think vocalists are underrated?

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Aquilus
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#1

Posted 08 March 2017 - 01:14 PM

I've always feel like when it comes to bands, the vocalist tends to get a lot of flak for some reason. I always thought it was because many people said they don't play instruments. Though the vocals are an instrument themselves. It takes a lot of courage to be on a stage with just the mic in your hand screaming your heart out. They can help form a rhythm, melody, and can even solo. But in terms of heavy metal I haven't heard a vocal solo that didn't follow guitar or vice versa. People have called some vocalists lazy because they don't practice as much as a guitarist, bassist or drummer. But vocals are very sensitive and they can't be overdone and used like a guitar. In my book, I say sticking to vocals is perfectly fine if someone can't do bass, drums, or guitar at the same time. Multitasking is hard believe me. That's why I'm practicing getting solid bass skills and then I'll jump to vocals. So tell me what you guys think. Do you think they're underestimated?

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Achlys
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#2

Posted 08 March 2017 - 02:57 PM

I thought drummers were the ones who get a lot of flak, haven't you heard the joke three musicians and a drummer?

Shakermaker
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#3

Posted 08 March 2017 - 03:16 PM

I thought drummers were the ones who get a lot of flak, haven't you heard the joke three musicians and a drummer?

I thought the bassists were the underestimated guys, actually hehe.

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Aquilus
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#4

Posted 08 March 2017 - 04:43 PM

 

I thought drummers were the ones who get a lot of flak, haven't you heard the joke three musicians and a drummer?

I thought the bassists were the underestimated guys, actually hehe.

 

You're right bassists are the underestimated guys here. But lately I've heard vocalists getting more flak these days, apparently they're seen as people who don't really do anything.


TheMcSame
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#5

Posted 08 March 2017 - 08:01 PM

Not really... Most complaints about vocalists that I see actually highlight how important they are. I guess bassists aren't bright enough to see that though... Hey, you guys started it, not me... :D

 

Seriously though, most of the flak isn't because they don't play an instrument. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will give guys like James Hetfield and Billie Joe Armstrong flak, and they're both guitarists as well as singers. As for the idea of not being able to play another instrument while singing is kinda... Eh... If you play an instrument while singing, you're playing that instrument almost entirely on muscle memory. Most guitarists talk about being in the zone/zoning out while on stage playing, it's the same thing, they zone out and play purely on muscle memory, the only difference is that they're not singing.

 

 

Also, with the vocalist being so prominent (there's a reason they're called frontmen), they're pretty much the face of the band. There are exceptions, with Guns N Roses you might think of Slash before Axl.

 

 

Most of the flak comes from the simple fact that a vocalist's voice can make or break a song.

I.E... 

Spoiler

 

Also, the idea of all vocalists getting flak for not playing instruments is pretty dumb as well, especially with groups like Rammstein and Babymetal having the vocalists put on a show. The biggest problem vocalists have is knowing what to do with themselves on stage, some hide this problem better than others. Again, Till Lindemann of Rammstein tends to be doing something, if it's not pyro is some uh... Idk... Till being Till or some headbanging in a break of the vocals. Suzuka of Babymetal? She's part of the choreography, not doing as much as the other girls, but with such an amazing voice, she really doesn't have to do much to impress imo.

 

Ozzy is on the opposite side, he never seems to know what to do with himself, not that it's a bad thing, but it's so obvious that he hasn't got a clue what to do with himself it's funny. It's especially prevalent in his more energetic performances...

 

Not that playing an instrument, or having any sort of skill with it makes you any better.

*Cough* Zakk Wylde *cough*... Seriously though, his studio stuff is great... Even Hellraiser is pretty damn good, despite it being filled with pinch harmonics. But f*ck me he can really butcher a song with those pinch harmonics when he wants to. Not to mention the way he butchered his own tone. 


Shakermaker
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#6

Posted 08 March 2017 - 11:14 PM Edited by Shakermaker, 08 March 2017 - 11:25 PM.

 

 

I thought drummers were the ones who get a lot of flak, haven't you heard the joke three musicians and a drummer?

I thought the bassists were the underestimated guys, actually hehe.

 

You're right bassists are the underestimated guys here. But lately I've heard vocalists getting more flak these days, apparently they're seen as people who don't really do anything.

 

Well, I know some people who just can't recognize the talent of a good lead-singer. They listen to guys like Bon Scott, Chris Cornell, Morrissey etc. and for them they just don't make much difference. They're "ok". They don't take into account their potential as frontman, lyricist or their voice control.

 

Edit: And this is a shame for sure, because it's much more fun to listen to the artist music when you fully understand his talent/how good he really is. You start to enjoy it even more.


Aquilus
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#7

Posted 08 March 2017 - 11:33 PM

Not really... Most complaints about vocalists that I see actually highlight how important they are. I guess bassists aren't bright enough to see that though... Hey, you guys started it, not me... :D

 

Seriously though, most of the flak isn't because they don't play an instrument. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will give guys like James Hetfield and Billie Joe Armstrong flak, and they're both guitarists as well as singers. As for the idea of not being able to play another instrument while singing is kinda... Eh... If you play an instrument while singing, you're playing that instrument almost entirely on muscle memory. Most guitarists talk about being in the zone/zoning out while on stage playing, it's the same thing, they zone out and play purely on muscle memory, the only difference is that they're not singing.

 

 

Also, with the vocalist being so prominent (there's a reason they're called frontmen), they're pretty much the face of the band. There are exceptions, with Guns N Roses you might think of Slash before Axl.

 

 

Most of the flak comes from the simple fact that a vocalist's voice can make or break a song.

I.E... 

Spoiler

 

Also, the idea of all vocalists getting flak for not playing instruments is pretty dumb as well, especially with groups like Rammstein and Babymetal having the vocalists put on a show. The biggest problem vocalists have is knowing what to do with themselves on stage, some hide this problem better than others. Again, Till Lindemann of Rammstein tends to be doing something, if it's not pyro is some uh... Idk... Till being Till or some headbanging in a break of the vocals. Suzuka of Babymetal? She's part of the choreography, not doing as much as the other girls, but with such an amazing voice, she really doesn't have to do much to impress imo.

 

Ozzy is on the opposite side, he never seems to know what to do with himself, not that it's a bad thing, but it's so obvious that he hasn't got a clue what to do with himself it's funny. It's especially prevalent in his more energetic performances...

 

Not that playing an instrument, or having any sort of skill with it makes you any better.

*Cough* Zakk Wylde *cough*... Seriously though, his studio stuff is great... Even Hellraiser is pretty damn good, despite it being filled with pinch harmonics. But f*ck me he can really butcher a song with those pinch harmonics when he wants to. Not to mention the way he butchered his own tone. 

I think it's dumb too. I mean I admire someone who can play bass and do vocals at the same time. And a hell of a lot more for someone who can do drums and vocals. But I think a lot of people are bad multitaskers. And as you say- muscle memory. I think if someone is really amazing at doing one thing real well, then I think that's what they should stick to in a band. Though in some cases if someone leaves a band and they take up a role. Kinda like Olaf Wikstrand of Enforcer. He did vocals, but the rhythm guitarist left in 2011 and he took his place. AND HE'S f*ckING AMAZING!


mr quick
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#8

Posted 10 March 2017 - 10:59 PM

A proper vocalist can make or break a performance, but in my experience doing various projects and studio work, the latter is usually the case. 

A lot of people turn to singing because it's very accessible. The way we speak has a certain melody to it, doesn't it? Like when you are happy, angry, or asking a question, the "melody" and even tempo of the sentence can change. Singing a song is easy and requires no training. 

...what does require training, however, is becoming a properly good vocalist. I've worked with so many sh*te vocalists who straight up don't know any music theory or sheet, and as a result, it is very difficult for the band/co-musicians to communicate changes, or the specifics of certain parts which have to be a certain way. I can tolerate a lack of theoretical prowess, but not if they can't read sheet. It's simply unacceptable. 

 

It's a bit of a digression, but I'm closing in on my last straw when it comes to vocalists. It's probably the only instrument with higher ratio of sh*tty artists being perceived as good than guitar. 

The vocalist is usually the butt of every joke which plays on musical ineptitude. This is, simply put, because there's a vast number of terrible singers out there, but somehow they're all getting gigs. It must be frustrating for the good ones. My aunt with a double university degree in vocal performance never could make a living out of it, for example. 


- from this point out it's my usual anti-capitalist, anti-pop rant - 

 

A big part of the problem with the vocalist market being oversaturated with bad singers, is the fact that emphasis is often placed on a combination of dancing/showmanship, traditionally "good" looks, and general marketability. The industry keeps sh*tting out awful, unacceptably bad for-profit "artists", because it's low-cost compared to the high payouts. The uncurable disease which is Antares and the likes basically eliminates any need for actual practice, sustainable technique, and talent. Musicianship is out of the equation. It's just another example of the constant commodification of art, but they keep successfully telling us it's what we like, and we keep buying it. 

- same ol rant over - 

to summarize: There might be some unjust prejudice against vocalists in general, but time and time again there seems to be validity to it. Out of all the vocalists I've worked with, only four to six of them have been what I would describe as sufficiently competent, or in other words: as good as I expect from an alleged professional. 

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Achlys
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#9

Posted 10 March 2017 - 11:09 PM

Very well put, Marwin. :^:
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Jeansowaty
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#10

Posted 11 March 2017 - 01:20 PM

No. Here in Poland it's the complete opposite - the one who howls into the microphone gets all the credit and is praised for having "a lot of talent". No thanks, I prefer instrumental tracks.


Fuzzknuckles
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#11

Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:47 AM

In my experience, singers are just the f*cking worst. I've been in a bunch of bands and reached a point where I decided to only make instrumental music, no singing. Singer's egos are the worst. 

 

And, as a bassist, I am proud to say there is actual factual scientific evidence to suggest we are the most important member in the band. 

 

https://mic.com/arti...lize#.kFVQSiR0N

 

As anyone that's ever played in a standard bass/guitar/drums etc band knows, the rhythm section are the key to the whole thing, everything else is just wanking. 

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Aquilus
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#12

Posted 23 April 2017 - 01:41 PM

In my experience, singers are just the f*cking worst. I've been in a bunch of bands and reached a point where I decided to only make instrumental music, no singing. Singer's egos are the worst. 

 

And, as a bassist, I am proud to say there is actual factual scientific evidence to suggest we are the most important member in the band. 

 

https://mic.com/arti...lize#.kFVQSiR0N

 

As anyone that's ever played in a standard bass/guitar/drums etc band knows, the rhythm section are the key to the whole thing, everything else is just wanking. 

That's a bit true. But I like to make some songs with lyrics. That's why I do bass and vocals.





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