Singers who cannot memorize lyrics....

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by cragginshred, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. oldtelefart

    oldtelefart Member

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    I worked with a chick singer who could not function without her book of lyrics and music stand.

    Had to turn back 30 miles down the road to a gig because she forgot the book. The book was the only thing she ever carried in or out at a gig. She'd been singing Moondance (Two verses!) for 20+ years and couldn't do it without the book.

    Her bassplayer husband wrote out the lyrics for her, so he knew them all. Writing down the lyrics in longhand seems to imprint them in memory, it's how I did it anyway.
     
  2. JB Winterblues

    JB Winterblues Supporting Member

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    Springsteen's been using one for years. It's cooler on the floor than hanging off the mic stand. But I need one.
     
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  3. cragginshred

    cragginshred Member

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    Update from gig last Sat pm.
    Singer says 'I don't think I need the ipad for the 1st set'
    I set it up anyways.
    2nd song he is going into the chorus were the 2nd verse is.
    He's looking at it every song.

    Later in the night he forgets lyrics and is frantically bumbling with it.

    Worse yet, his voice was cracking and going out. On top of that he is so overly confident that he is killing it. Why can't singers hear themselves and properly evaluate? If I try to give him any feedback, particularly what other people are saying he responds with 'your blowing my confidence'.................so I relegate it to my drummer who is able talk to him better than I am

    Why are sings so hyper sensitive and unaware of how there really sound?
     
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  4. CRBMoA

    CRBMoA Member

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    There is a difference when you have invited a few thousand friends to come listen to you play 40 years of your catalogue, OF STUFF YOU ACTUALLY WROTE, vs not having the enthusiasm or desire to learn parts.

    I am not talking about hired guns or pit musicians and certainly not talking about sessions work.

    I am talking about the singer in the dad band that has been singing the same covers for a decade but still reads the lyrics.
     
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  5. cragginshred

    cragginshred Member

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    For those using one I get it, but the key has to be discreetly using it and not reading entire sentences.
     
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  6. Roark

    Roark Member

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    He has to learn the songs, just wait until he has to sing something really hard like Chris Cornell, vocal inflections don't translate to paper very well.
     
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  7. tycobb73

    tycobb73 Supporting Member

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    I'm bound so no cheating. Because of this I can memorize faster than most. But what's helped is doing karaoke in my living room with the back to the TV only looking when I have to. Also understanding the story of the song helps.
     
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  8. cragginshred

    cragginshred Member

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    another issue is my singer wants to play guitar too, come up with logo ideas and a few other things distracting him form keeping the main thing the main thing
     
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  9. MrAstro

    MrAstro Member

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    Just scat sing. Who needs lyrics :dunno

    Actually I play solo guitar - who needs a singer! ;)
     
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  10. Birddog

    Birddog Member

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    My last band (I retired from gigging a couple of years ago) we had a lead singer who was completely reliant on the iPad for songs. It's not that he didn't know the lyrics. In rehearsal, he could always do it without. In live performances, though, he had it there. It wasn't only a distracting crutch, but it further ruined our stage presence. It got to the point where we'd always know he'd miss a word or two while switching to the next page. He admitted it was a crutch but would not give it up. It's a shame, because he was one of the best singers I ever worked with. I always thought that it gave him an excuse not to make eye contact with the crowd, since he has a relatively shy personality. We went to see the band perform not too long ago, and he was still glued to the iPad, singing songs he's known for at least five years. It's a shame.
     
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  11. cragginshred

    cragginshred Member

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    As the OP another update. My singer in question forgot the lyrics to 'Gimme 3 steps'............................What the? He then scambled to get the ipad open while we are chugging along waiting for him to get the ipad open playing a song we don't even want to play.
    My drummer said the guy probably bought the album when it came out. Singer texts us he is done with the ipad. How deluded can one get?
     
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  12. Doctor of Rock and Roll

    Doctor of Rock and Roll Member

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    I notice not just singers but whole bands doing this,everybody using some kind of device. I always wonder what if the ipad takes a dump what are they going to do then? I always found writing out arrangements solidifies the structure in my mind so I can memorize it especially if the music is more complicated .
     
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  13. GottaPracticeMore

    GottaPracticeMore Member

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    In my experience, even if you have all the lyrics memorized, there are blackouts from time to time, even with songs you’ve sung hundreds of times before.
     
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  14. Dave Shoop

    Dave Shoop Member

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    Singers are no different than drummers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists etc, etc. They're either good at what they do or they aren't. They are either working to improve or they aren't and they either should be up on stage or they shouldn't.

    Sensitivity to criticism is not unique to vocalists.

    I believe memorizing the lyrics is part of the job and if you can do it you will give a better performance. Yes, Springsteen and others have discreet monitors but typically they don't lock onto them. They glance occasionally. Springsteen is one of the more active performers on stage as far as moving around so the monitor isn't being used that much.
     
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  15. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    It's like a kid with a pacifier. Eventually you take it away and they adapt. But if they keep using it, they'll keep needing it.
     
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  16. gjohnson441496lpjr

    gjohnson441496lpjr Member

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    He obviously doesn't learn songs on his own time. Like any musician, he needs to practice. I worked with a singer that did the same; using a cellphone on stage. I tried for months to convince the singer to learn the songs before the "next" gig. I couldn't take it anymore so I quit the band as it was embarrassing to me.
     
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  17. cragginshred

    cragginshred Member

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    The frustrating thing is he is distracted with other aspects of the band and thinks he can go cold turkey without the ipad which went horribly array last Sat pm at the tavern gig
     
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  18. bluesoul

    bluesoul Gold Supporting Member

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    Best thing to do when you can't remember lyrics....just point the mic towards the audience for the sing along. Some of us have to do it a lot:)
     
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  19. Jiffy_Jeff

    Jiffy_Jeff Playin Tunes and Having Fun! Silver Supporting Member

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    Hell my band has been together for 8 years and the damn bass player still cant remember the words to old time rock and roll....... ........ hate that song..


    8 Freakin Years!!
     
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  20. Guitar Stu

    Guitar Stu Member

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    And that is part of the experience of going to see a live band. You are going to watch humans not robots. I will get verses mixed up probably at least one song a gig and the audience is normally none the wiser. Occasionally I will have a lyric blackout. I let the band go round one time, maybe joke about it with the audience, and if it still doesn't come to me I will do one of the other verses or even sing the same verse twice. The show goes on.

    When I go see a friends band who is incredibly tight some of the best moments can be when I see them miss something in a song. The general audience won't catch it but I will and I love it. Normally see the band giving each other a friendly funny look.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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