On Thursday evening last, I practiced with a local band here in Hollister, the Shiloh Band. Actually, I only practiced with the two lead singers just to get acquainted, and I may begin playing with them on a regular basis, if the rest of the band likes me (and I like them).
One thing that impressed me was the quality of singing voices in Noelle and Steve Sladon. You can't play and sing the Eagles' "Love Will Keep Us Alive" without really excellent voices. You may get by in a pinch with a mediocre voice, belting out rough and guttural rock songs, but that isn't going to take you far enough. The voices are the steak, the instrumentation merely the condiments.
I don't believe the band I am currently in will go very far with our current vocal abilities. However, I don't contribute much to our vocal effort, so it's easy for me to say. One thing is certain, however, I must sing more and I must improve my singing voice through training and practice. I must contribute a lot more than I am now doing, because problems don't fix themselves and merely griping about a problem won't fix it.
As a bass player, it is difficult to sing lead and play bass riffs at the same time. It can be done, as Paul McCartney has proved, but I am yet to do that. I will start including singing as part of my practice routine, recording it and striving to improve it. In the vocals department, every member of the band must contribute. Simply playing an instrument is not enough.
I will look into voice training and lessons as well, and let you know what I find out.
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