How to audition a vocalist?
May 25, 2005 12:42 PM Subscribe
What's the best way to audition a vocalist?
posted by LordSludge to media & arts (10 answers total)
My band is currently seeking a vocalist to fill out our 3-piece (guitar/bass/drums) progressive metal band (think "Tool", "Dream Theater", "Rush", etc., if it matters). While we know our material well, we haven't cut our first demo CD yet, let alone our first album, so nobody else is gonna know our songs. The other musicians seem to be fine with just playing a song and having the auditioning vocalist try to come up with stuff on the spot, but unless the singer is telepathic, I can't see how this would ever work -- he's too busy trying to learn the song and compose his own part on-the-fly for us to get a fair idea of his vocal quality, range, etc. (Those guys probably do smoke too much weed...)
I have a few ideas to remedy this:
1. Have us three musicians learn 3 or 4 very well-known cover songs that most any prospective vocalist can sing to.
2. Contact the singer ahead of time, ask him for 1 or 2 songs he'd like us to learn, then play them for him to sing with when he arrives.
3. Acquire a library of 20-30 karaoke tracks (songs without lead vocals), and let the prospect just pick a few and sing along.
I actually like the last option the best -- anybody know where can we find free (or very cheap) instrumented (non-MIDI) songs without vocals? (I've tried software to remove vocals, and it's pretty lousy...)
Anybody got other/better ideas of how to approach this?
Or is the engineer in me over-thinking this whole deal?