it's official...I'm crazy

MaryO

Platinum Member
So we are going to try a new tactic with our band mates...hoping it will help our frustration a little. Our lead guitarist/lead singer tends to want to bastardize every song we do, and not in a necessarily good way. Of course, 99 % of our current material we are working with came from his song lists so we've just kind of gone with it even though it drives us nuts.

Our solution? We are going to come in with a couple of new songs in the next couple of weeks with the twist of having me sing them (yes, while I'm playing drums!). This means we are going to ask our front man to (gasp) learn two completely new songs and do them as correctly as possible so that I can actually sing them in the manner they were intended to be sung.

I've never thought of myself as a singer but the boyfriend says I can hold my own and so I'm going to take the leap. I've chosen two songs that I can keep the drum part pretty simple and still sound pretty good. I've experimented with them a little on my own and think I can do well enuf to give it a try. BTW, they are both Melissa Etheridge songs: Angels and Bring Me Some Water.

So, I'm crazy....right? I know singing AND drumming is not an easy task but it's our last resort of seeing if this guy is willing to work with us at all or if he has just become a power hungry front man as we fear. If he refuses to do these songs then it will be time for us to leave once and for all.

So now I'm Just curious if any of you are singer/drummers and if you have any tips (other than don't do it!).
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Go fer it Mary. I have always found it easy to sing and play although I have heard from some people that just can't manage it. The trick is to dumb down the drum parts if necessary so thar the rythm you're playing doesn't battle the rythm you're singing. Eventually you won't need to at all.

For some inspiration check out Cowboy Mouth. A friend I used to work with invited me to a show of theirs out at the casino as he had an extra ticket and no ride. I never knew anyone could be such an engaging frontman from behind the kit, he plays the drums and sing lead. Puts on a helluva show too, never lets the energy drop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mm0KFOq9ag
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
I sing and drum at the same time and I found it very, very hard in the beginning. I had to practice like a madman to get it right.

The thing is is that we have no harmony reference in our instrument...so I found it very hard to practice by myself. If you are rehearsing all the time with the others and they can be very patient then great. It's not how it worked for me.

What did work for me was singing everywhere....driving, showering, standing in line at the shops...everywhere. Embarrassing? Maybe. Necessary? You bet!

After years of doing it I now find that I have a sort of 'disconnect'. I think of it kind of like how Stevie Ray Vaughn used to play guitar. When he was singing his riffs were pretty simple and automatic, when not singing the guitar....well, you know.

Harmonies are another matter, and I had to sit with the other singers to learn the parts. Very worthwhile, but can be tedious and repetative.

In my opinion singing really helped my drumming, and allowed me to be more marketable as a band member/session guy. I say do it, but be prepared to work hard at it to make it good.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Yeah!! Rock it. I hope it produces the desired outcome with your singer, and I hope you have a blast doing it.

We're ALL crazy, BTW.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Excellent!

Like anything else, it's just a practice and coordination thing. Once you get used to doing it, it should be easy. I definitely took alot of time practicing before I actually went public, but it was a task I liked doing.

One tip you may consider - if you use a headmic, you may not be able to control your dynamics as well as you can with a static mic on a stand (I did this alot, when I got loud, I could back off, and if I was soft, I could get closer). The headword microphone does not allow for this, so you might want to decide how you want to do it. I can use both now, but if I had my druthers, I'd use a stand-mounted mic all the time. However, sometimes it looks better when you're not straining to keep your head in one place while your body is contorting to play the drums!

Good luck!
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
Excellent!

Like anything else, it's just a practice and coordination thing. Once you get used to doing it, it should be easy. I definitely took alot of time practicing before I actually went public, but it was a task I liked doing.

One tip you may consider - if you use a headmic, you may not be able to control your dynamics as well as you can with a static mic on a stand (I did this alot, when I got loud, I could back off, and if I was soft, I could get closer). The headword microphone does not allow for this, so you might want to decide how you want to do it. I can use both now, but if I had my druthers, I'd use a stand-mounted mic all the time. However, sometimes it looks better when you're not straining to keep your head in one place while your body is contorting to play the drums!

Good luck!
Hmm, interesting Bo. I had automatically thought of going with the headmic but you make a good point about dynamics. I still think I'll start with one just because I think I'll be more comfortable drumming with it. I'm going to pick up a cheap one until we figure out if I'm really good enuf to do this. If it works out I'll definitely experiment with a stand mount. Thanks for the advice!
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I'd avoid the cheap headset mic as you might lose some quality. They can be a bit problamatic and feedback too.

Better yet, try too get one of these for your mic stand and position your micright where you need it.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Gooseneck19C?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=recording&device=c&network=g&matchtype=&gclid=CKmZrd399LoCFQsSMwodoC0AKg

It's just like when you were learning how to set your kit up. I like to put the mic on my left side so that I turn my head to sing.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Don't do it Mar. It can't be done! Are you nuts? Just who the heck do you think you are there sister? No one said you could do that! I forbid it!

(obvious reverse psychology)

Well look at you. I'm so proud of you...(sniff sniff) Well looky here our little girl done went out and grew up on us lol.

Remember the movie Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry? Yea, like that, only reversed. You are definitely Crazy Mary. Haga!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Hmm, interesting Bo. I had automatically thought of going with the headmic but you make a good point about dynamics. I still think I'll start with one just because I think I'll be more comfortable drumming with it. I'm going to pick up a cheap one until we figure out if I'm really good enuf to do this. If it works out I'll definitely experiment with a stand mount. Thanks for the advice!
I have a cheaper Shure WS20 (or WH20?) headset mic, and like I said, I don't use it much if I have a choice. But this one is a dynamic mic, which means you don't have to worry about phantom power and it blends in better with the other people singing if they're using something standard like a Shure SM58 (or somebody's equivalent). I bought it for $90 new a couple of years ago. It sounds close to my SM58.

Sonically, I question manufacturers who don't give you a choice of dynamic or condenser for their headset mics. Condensers are a little finicky when brought into a 'garage band' situation without a sound guy, and they tend to sound brighter than what everybody else is using (which is mostly dynamic mics). So the fact that Shure makes a head mic with a regular ol ' dynamic mic makes them my favorite microphone company ;)

EDIT: Another cool older Shure headset mic is the SM10 or SM12, both dynamic mics, but they make you look like Brent Mussburger ;)
 
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Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I toy with the idea, and I can do a good rendition of Hey Joe. Really though, I'm just a blues singer. I'd prefer to play drums and rock out than to sing. The thing about singing and drumming, for me, is that it really puts those fills in their place.

Go for it, Mary. Karen Carpenter would be proud.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Plenty people have chimed in about how difficult it is.

Those people are undoubtedly better drummers than I am.

But what I have found is that when I sing along with the (simple) songs that I play, my timing kind of slides tighter into synch with what the song is going. So much so that I've learnt that if my timing starts to feel like it is wandering, the best thing that I can do is sing. (Or in my case, "sing".)
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
No advice to offer Mary, other than keep the drum parts brutally simple until you get more comfortable with it. Go for it girl!
 

Torkerz

Senior Member
So we are going to try a new tactic with our band mates...hoping it will help our frustration a little. Our lead guitarist/lead singer tends to want to bastardize every song we do, and not in a necessarily good way. Of course, 99 % of our current material we are working with came from his song lists so we've just kind of gone with it even though it drives us nuts.

Our solution? We are going to come in with a couple of new songs in the next couple of weeks with the twist of having me sing them (yes, while I'm playing drums!). This means we are going to ask our front man to (gasp) learn two completely new songs and do them as correctly as possible so that I can actually sing them in the manner they were intended to be sung.

I've never thought of myself as a singer but the boyfriend says I can hold my own and so I'm going to take the leap. I've chosen two songs that I can keep the drum part pretty simple and still sound pretty good. I've experimented with them a little on my own and think I can do well enuf to give it a try. BTW, they are both Melissa Etheridge songs: Angels and Bring Me Some Water.

So, I'm crazy....right? I know singing AND drumming is not an easy task but it's our last resort of seeing if this guy is willing to work with us at all or if he has just become a power hungry front man as we fear. If he refuses to do these songs then it will be time for us to leave once and for all.

So now I'm Just curious if any of you are singer/drummers and if you have any tips (other than don't do it!).
I used to provide backing vocals in a tech metal band. That was HAAAAAARD. Playing messed up rhythms and vocals can mess with your head... You have to make it so you're not thinking about the drums and not the singing either really... Lead vocals and playing drums is a bit hmmppphh IMO, but Don Henley did it so I guess you'll be fine. Just mae sure you can sing!
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Plenty people have chimed in about how difficult it is.

Those people are undoubtedly better drummers than I am.

But what I have found is that when I sing along with the (simple) songs that I play, my timing kind of slides tighter into synch with what the song is going. So much so that I've learnt that if my timing starts to feel like it is wandering, the best thing that I can do is sing. (Or in my case, "sing".)
That is pretty much what I was going to say (about myself, not about James) - right down to the word "sing".

Enjoy it, Mary!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I can't remember the guys name, but he drums for a little band called Rush, said in an interview that singing along with the music helps him keep time. Although he isn't mic'd he still sings at a low volume. I hum a lot so just relax and go for it . You never know
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
And I heard there was a little garage band by the name of Genesis that had a drummer/singer who had a slight amount of success. I guess it's doable.

Time to get the recorder back out for sure. The tape will definitely tell the tale if the voice is going to work or not...
 

Torkerz

Senior Member
And I heard there was a little garage band by the name of Genesis that had a drummer/singer who had a slight amount of success. I guess it's doable.
.
If you're lucky enough to sound EXACTLY the same as the lead singer of a chart topping band, and just so happen to be the drummer in that band, then maybe ;-)
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
And I heard there was a little garage band by the name of Genesis that had a drummer/singer who had a slight amount of success. I guess it's doable.

Time to get the recorder back out for sure. The tape will definitely tell the tale if the voice is going to work or not...
Phil did it,Don Henley did it,Carmine Appice did it,Buddy Miles did it,as well as Sheila E.,Karen Carpenter,Roger Taylor,Dave Grohl,Levon Helm....and Ringo*

I had my occasional turn behind the mic.I just played along with the record , at home on pillows or a practice pad,then on the drums.

When I got confortable playing the kit,and singing,I would record it,to see if I really was hitting the notes.The tape dosen't lie.

I also agree about using a mic on a boom stand,or goose neck.It allows for better dynamics,and less feedback.You just have to remember to turn the mic on and off,and to position it quickly,and keep your arms down and under the boom arm.


I used to use a drum stick to kind of swing it over and back.

You CAN do this Mary O.It's just a little out of your comfort zone right now.All you need to do is practice it,and make it IN your confort zone,and just another tool in the tool box.:)

PS....don't forget the leopard print top,and take some pics for Uncle Larry.:):)

Steve B
 
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MJD

Silver Member
The hardest part of singing while playing is maintaining proper breath control and proper diaphragmatic support for your voice. It may take a bit to figure out th right mic placement/what you need to do to your kit to allow you to sit the way you will need to. The fact that you are sitting down is going to make it much harder to sing properly because you no longer have your legs helping with support and alignment. Good luck, when you get it right there are few things more fun to do.
 
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