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Thread: Should I feel self-conscious and slighted?

  1. #1
    Drunken Stage Monkey frenzy1971's Avatar
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    Should I feel self-conscious and slighted?

    Hi,
    I've been playing in a band as a rthythm guitarist, pianist and singer for several months. We are all good friends. We play 1975-1980's classic rock, i.e. kansas, styx, led zep. The drummer and the bass player put an ad in and want to add yet another singer who has a lower range and can sing with a "scratchy voice". I sing high, clean vocals. We already have 2 guitarists not counting me, a dummer, and bass player, and what I mentioned that i play. All of our songs in our repitoire are in the high ranges except one. I have a trained voice and get complimented everytime someone hears me for the first time.
    Am I being silly and petty in letting this upset me? They swear up and down they aren't looking to replace me, but I feel like if we do something low, then why not adapt and have me take the octave? It just seems kind of dumb to have another guy sitting around twiddling his thumbs until something low comes around. It makes me self-conscious and feel that the 2 folks (drummer and bass player- married) are dead set on having someone with the rough voice they want so they can sound like every other biker band in town. I've let it bug me to the point I feel like letting them find a guy and quitting when they do and find some people who would like having a singer who can do journey etc, instead of making him feel inadequate.
    Am I just being too sensitive?

  2. #2
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Tell them to shove it and form your own band.

  3. #3
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    I have been in similar situations, although not in a band. I also know of other cases, outside of the music world, where similar stuff comes up. You ARE being sensitive, and I think that's totally natural. It has to sting--you were 'the man' on vocals. It's normal to feel a sense of being displaced, or at least that there's a potential for that. BUT, there is ALWAYS that potential, eh?

    I feel you should always be looking for opportunities--not necessarily looking to jump ship or specifically looking for another job--but always keeping your eyes open. In this case, I see three scenarios:

    1) Your friends aren't lying, but they have individually thought of replacing you.
    2) They have no intention of replacing you, they like your vocals, but think they can make the band 'better'.
    3) Either of the above, but in 6 months they begin to take steps to move you out. It was never planned that way, but that's the path it takes.

    So what to do? There's no harm in being a sensitive kinda guy and telling your closest bud what your feelings are. There's no harm in beginning a planned program of seeking out other opportunities--starting perhaps to simply develop a network of folks with whom you can play to just test the waters. Finally, there's no harm in learning how to work with a second vocalist. I've got to think that having that on your resume is a plus--in the world of music I'd expect that being able to do it technically isn't nearly as valuable as being able to do it and still get along well as a functioning band.

    So in a nutshell, don't assume the worst, but always plan for it. Plus, USE this opportunity to your maximum advantage (learning experience, skills development). But DON'T agonize over it and let resentment build up until you explode in a fit one day and walk out. That's professional suicide, I'm thinking.
    Last edited by Bongo Boy; 09-11-2004 at 03:36 AM.
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  4. #4
    Drunken Stage Monkey frenzy1971's Avatar
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    wow, what a great answer! I just found this forum today by accident. Thank you for your obejctive insightfulness. That's what I needed to hear. I have another oppurtunity from a working band begging for me if things don't work out with this one.

  5. #5
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    Well, if you could sit in with the other band, even if just occassionally, it would send a message to your current mates that you're valued elsewhere. Don't make a big deal out of it or shove it in their faces--just be honest about it. If they take notice and show some concern, you'll know where you stand.

    Obviously I know nothing about how bands work, but I don't see why a vocalist can't make guest appearances. Jazz folks work that way as a normal routine.

    I'd also say be honest with yourself about the *possibility* that you simply don't want to share the spotlight. I think that's an okay feeling to have, and if that's a condition you want in order to be happy, admit it and move on. Don't step on your own noodle to make a point, though. Never screw yourself to 'make a point'...no gives a hoot about your point 5 minutes after you've made it. Move on under the best conditions you can orchestrate for yourself--without compromising integrity.
    Last edited by Bongo Boy; 09-11-2004 at 03:48 AM.
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  6. #6
    Drunken Stage Monkey frenzy1971's Avatar
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    follow-up

    Thought I'd follow up on this. I talked to my band mates the other night and told them that I really wanted to be the sole singer and felt that I could do it and give them the sound they were looking for. They have agreed and so far are happy with the results. Thanks for the help.

  7. #7
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    Excellent. I'm glad things are working out.
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

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