Vocals... Bleh

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I know I'm probably in a smaller minority, but am I the only one that really doesn't care for vocals? I know there is a certain philosophy out there that the vocals are the penultimate in sound, and all the other instruments should seek to mimic the human voice, and strings are the closest to the human voice (though the human voice doesn't even begin to have a harmonic series), therefore strings are superior to percussion(though some percussion can closely approximate certain formants, which beat boxers use to there advantage).

Anyway, my philosophy is that the ears are the superior to the vocal chords when making music, and that there are indeed very nice things to listen to that aren't related to the voice, waves, thunder, crispy leaves on a fall day,trains, birds, fireworks, etc.

Is there anyone else out there that feels similarly about vocals?
 

Brian

Gold Member
I know I'm probably in a smaller minority, but am I the only one that really doesn't care for vocals? I know there is a certain philosophy out there that the vocals are the penultimate in sound, and all the other instruments should seek to mimic the human voice, and strings are the closest to the human voice (though the human voice doesn't even begin to have a harmonic series), therefore strings are superior to percussion(though some percussion can closely approximate certain formants, which beat boxers use to there advantage).

Anyway, my philosophy is that the ears are the superior to the vocal chords when making music, and that there are indeed very nice things to listen to that aren't related to the voice, waves, thunder, crispy leaves on a fall day,trains, birds, fireworks, etc.

Is there anyone else out there that feels similarly about vocals?
Not sure if this fits with what you are getting at (in fact it probably doesn't): singers sing songs, musicians make music. :)
 

IJamEcono

Junior Member
Words can certainly enhance music, and there are examples of songs where words and music work together to create a common mood. Think of the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby," for instance. Even without the words, it sounds like a wistful love song. The words intensify the sense of insecurity, longing, and regret, though.

But I lived through the 1980s in a town where all we had on the radio was country and adult contemporary, so I've heard all the wailed vocals of bad, schmaltzy love poetry I'll ever need to. So I guess it depends. When you have somebody like Brian Wilson writing lyrics that are trying to make a complicated point in an artistic way, the results can be fantastic. When you have somebody trying to write a four-minute Hallmark anniversary card, the results are best ignored.
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
I appreciate where you are coming from with not liking vocals. And in many instances I am the same. But for me it's context. Some music benefits from the instrument that is the voice and some does not IMO.

But there have been many discussions on here that have alluded to the fact that audiences by and large don't understand musicianship. This lends me to believe that singing appeals to these people by virtue of the fact that they are not as difficult to understand. We all speak daily, vocalize, and thus the musical and non-musical have a common ground.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I appreciate where you are coming from with not liking vocals. And in many instances I am the same. But for me it's context. Some music benefits from the instrument that is the voice and some does not IMO.

But there have been many discussions on here that have alluded to the fact that audiences by and large don't understand musicianship. This lends me to believe that singing appeals to these people by virtue of the fact that they are not as difficult to understand. We all speak daily, vocalize, and thus the musical and non-musical have a common ground.
Except if it is a different language, which for me happens pretty often.
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
Except if it is a different language, which for me happens pretty often.
Yeah, I'm picking up what you're putting down. I am the same with regards to different languages. Except Brazilian Portuguese.....I can listen to that, sung or spoken, all frikken day and night.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
Depends on artist and genre. I stick my nose up to screams because I just can't hear what the words are. I can listen to any salsa vocals. Rock/metal/vocal jazz/concert choir is on person to person basis.
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
I get very attached to lyrics so for me I'm quite attached to vocals. But the singer has to have some emotion.
 

MileHighDrummer

Senior Member
Let's see. Vocals are the poetry that music turns into songs. So, I appreciate vocals for what they are ...(most of the time)... essential.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I went through a focus on instrumental music in the late 70s and for a while mostly listened to fusion, jazz, and prog (not a lot of vocals). I especially loved the riffs, textures, energy and abstract, psychedelic vibe. I've swung back again and am happy with either vocal or instrumental music, depending on mood.

As with many musos, I'd prefer that vocals were less dominant in mainstream music. I'd love to play in an instrumental band but, outside of art music, audiences tend to demand vocals.
 

Bobrush

Senior Member
But there have been many discussions on here that have alluded to the fact that audiences by and large don't understand musicianship. This lends me to believe that singing appeals to these people by virtue of the fact that they are not as difficult to understand. We all speak daily, vocalize, and thus the musical and non-musical have a common ground.
I think there is some truth to this statement.

Personally, I like some voices and don't like some others, just like any other instrument. However, I do find it a bit disappointing that the general public practically requires vocals. Instrumental hits are rare.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Instrumental hits are rare.
*sigh* how true. I've always loved the old popular instrumental hits ... Wipe Out, Teen Beat, Telstar, Apache, Rumble, Classical Gas, Frankenstein, Hocus Pocus, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Birdland, The Good The Bad And The Ugly, Tubular Bells, The Entertainer, Switched On Bach, Duelling Banjos, Baby Elephant Walk, Chitlins Con Carne, Watermelon Man, Pick Up the Pieces, Peter Gunn ...
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I love a good singer but for the most part I agree with you. I don't even notice the lyrics in a song, even if I try to, I have trouble. It's all of the other things that I look for (melody, tonality etc), and sometimes I'm listening to a song and I just think to myself "I wish that singer would stop ruining the music".

My beef is that they often want to be bigger than the band, they often think it's all about them and the band is just supporting them. We can't play drum solos throughout our songs but for some reason it's okay for a singer to be as busy and indulgent as they possibly can.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I know I'm probably in a smaller minority, but am I the only one that really doesn't care for vocals? I know there is a certain philosophy out there that the vocals are the penultimate in sound, and all the other instruments should seek to mimic the human voice, and strings are the closest to the human voice (though the human voice doesn't even begin to have a harmonic series), therefore strings are superior to percussion(though some percussion can closely approximate certain formants, which beat boxers use to there advantage).

Anyway, my philosophy is that the ears are the superior to the vocal chords when making music, and that there are indeed very nice things to listen to that aren't related to the voice, waves, thunder, crispy leaves on a fall day,trains, birds, fireworks, etc.

Is there anyone else out there that feels similarly about vocals?
Nah. Vocals and the vocalist are the key for me whether that be the prog-rock, ska, punk rock, or 60s music, I enjoy listening to.

I don't listen to much folk and blues because there's too much playing and not enough vocals. Find it all a bit instrumentally, over-indulgent to be honest.

Our band is a fairly simple four part melodic-punk band but it ALL revolves around what our frontman is singing. It's THAT which we are all striving to drive.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I love a good singer but for the most part I agree with you. I don't even notice the lyrics in a song, even if I try to, I have trouble. It's all of the other things that I look for (melody, tonality etc), and sometimes I'm listening to a song and I just think to myself "I wish that singer would stop ruining the music".

My beef is that they often want to be bigger than the band, they often think it's all about them and the band is just supporting them. We can't play drum solos throughout our songs but for some reason it's okay for a singer to be as busy and indulgent as they possibly can.
Mate, they are the FRONT men. It's called it for a reason. It's them who step to the front, and bands live or die by how they perform to a large extent.

Hardest job in any band...I couldn't do it.

(PS: if my front man some day reads this...I'm joking....and have my fingers crossed whilst typing).
 
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