Aargh, all my favorite guitarists have terrible singers (themselves)

BMX

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3,489
I wish the reality/economics were different but all my favorite blues/rock guitarists have decided they want to be Clapton so they do the singing themselves and it’s just not good.

I wish there was a model where they could tour and record with a real singer like Derek Trucks does and still make enough money. It seems like for every guitarist who can actually sing there are 100 that can’t but do so anyway.

I get so excited to hear the intro grooves and musicianship and then the singing starts and half the time I can’t even make it to solo.

after a certain amount of success why don’t they round out their band with real singers (and songs in many cases)? You’d think that they’d make up for it in ticket sales to attract more than just a crowd of guitarists?

Is it just for the money or is it ego of being out front and getting all the attention?
 

GulfportBound

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8,285
My own experience is that, when you hook up with musicians and you're the guitar player, especially if you're playing the blues but not strictly regarding that genre, they assume you're a singer, too, never mind that you don't sing well or don't like to sing.

Which happens to be true in my case: I suck as a singer and I know it. About the only passable singing I can do is guide vocals on demos I make of songs I write and even that's pushing it. I'd rather just play my guitar and write music and let someone else who has the gift for it handle the singing.
 

twotone

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3,933
I wish there was a model where they could tour and record with a real singer like Derek Trucks does and still make enough money. It seems like for every guitarist who can actually sing there are 100 that can’t but do so anyway.
Male vocalists that can wail are hard to come by.
 

kcprogguitar

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2,709
It’s simple.

If you’re the guitar player/vocalist you aren’t sharing creative control.

If you’re, say, Eric Johnson or Robben Ford, with a singer who kicks ass, it becomes about the singer. Then there’s the money from writing, publishing and whatever. If you’re the guitar player with a singer, you’re working for the singer. You dig Page and May. Far more people dig Plant and Mercury.
 

theanthonyv

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1,709
Most blues/rock guitarists who sing nowadays seem to have thoroughly bland voices with no soul or too much fake soul. I love Eric Johnson, but he shouldn’t sing. Same for Greg Koch, Robben Ford, John Mayer, Joe B, Matt Schofield and others. Sorry to sound so negative, but it’s true. Most of these guys can’t carry much of a tune, or they try WAYYYYY too hard, as if effort can replace musicality or good pitch and tone.

I get why they want to sing (control over the musical direction and set list of the band), but it doesn’t mean they should.
 

soldersucker

Member
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2,599
Kenny Wayne Shepherd seems to have had a nice carreer with a dedicated singer.
I understand the OP's thoughts and have had the same revelation many times.
Come to think of it world class guitarist that are great singers are rare.
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
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12,426
And that's the reason right there why I cannot listen to SRV, Robben Ford and Eric Johnson.
I don't have a problem with Johnson or SRV, but Ford is someone I probably haven't heard enough of simply because I had to turn the song off because of the vocals. When you can go to your local second-rate blues jam on a Thursday night and somebody can belt out "Start It Up" better than the record.... oof.
 

thewhit

Gold Supporting Member
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3,623
A Player I approve of in so many ways but singing, is DG of DGT. I actually think that he could get a lot better with some vocal training yet I suspect that many quality players who try to sing, don't realize how much is lost when they take on that task themselves at a level that pales in comparison to their guitar skills.
 




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