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Going with a group: why and how

Going with a group: why and how
Matt and I had performed together before, in several a cappella acts. He is a phenomenal beatboxer with great musical chops. But we had both drifted off into solo live-looping as our primary performing outlet.

He had the great idea that we should combine forces as a duo looping act. We eventually appeared as the only-ever duo act in the BOSS Loop Station World Championships.

Working with him opened my eyes to many advantages of working in a group.

Collaborating was an opportunity to learnCollaborating was an opportunity to learn. We traded ideas, shared techniques for using our gear, explored musical ideas, and we were inspired to research and seek out further information.

For these same reason, I joined a band.

I had spent a decade performing a cappella, with short stints as a drummer or back-up singer in various cover bands. But for all my time as a singer I had never been the full-time lead singer of a band.

The opportunity arose and I joined the Irish rock band Delilah’s Revenge. I have re-discovered many advantages to working with a group. Here are some things that you might gain from group work:

Checkbox Social activity! Fun and interaction and, ideally, friendship.

Checkbox Sharing the burden. You should expect that others will help with an even share of the work, just as they will expect you to pull your weight. Done correctly, the group will progress on the path to success.

Checkbox So much to learn! From music skills, to industry tricks of the trade, to performing technique, to personal habits, involvement in a music group offers infinite opportunity for learning (from both good and bad examples)… for those willing to open their eyes, of course.

Checkbox Relationship skills! Learning to live amiciably with others who have different ideas and habits is, to put it bluntly, a basic life skill that is sorely lacking in modern society.

Checkbox Compromise, collaboration, co-existence: good for everyone!

Ways to Make it Happen

There are many ways to be involved in a group. Here are some ideas:

Join a choir: professional, community, or church, go sing great music, learn and practice good vocal technique, work on harmonies… it’s never a bad thing!

Find a band: perform at open mic nights, performers there are often looking to collaborate. Advertise through craigslist (or your country’s equivilent).

Collaborate with other solo artists: record a duet, or a team-up; perform as part of each other’s bands at a joint show; team up for special events. Other solo artists are craving joint work, too.

Seek out group music classes: group instrument classes, school of rock-type learning bands.

In the comments below, please share the valuable things you have learned from working in a music group. Also share your ideas of how and where to find group performing opportunities!

My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids

Tenui vdw Tenui vdw – “Plane” (Cover)

Great developing talent! Nice voice, nice performing skills, you have great tools you’re working with. I’d love to hear MORE of your voice: your sound is relaxed and seemingly effortless, but hard to hear over the guitar. Might want to mic your voice closely, but some of the airiness and some of the missed pitches in the ‘less important’ notes (‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ at 3:48, ‘high’ at 4:07) sound like you could use more gut pressure. I think you could sing out more without hurting the style of sound you’re singing in.

Yra Skeemen Yra Skeemen – “Becha” (Original)

Strong. I don’t understand the language of the lyrics, but I enjoyed listening to the song for the musical lines you’re singing. Expressive and interesting, and that transcends language. You’re good enough that you can focus on the tiny details that aren’t perfect (1:55-2:33 and again 3:08) the energy is fantastic! Pitch suffers a little. I’ll take energy and emotion over pitch any day, but if you can have energy and emotion _with_ great pitch, why wouldn’t you? Work to strengthen your voice and breath support so you can be as loud as you want. The contrasting quiet part at 2:40 and at the end is so cool! You’re a great storyteller!

Ayleen Ayleen – “Boys Like You” (Cover)

I enjoyed listening to this song. Talent and positive intention make for charming music. Don’t the let the relaxed sit-on-the-bed-and-tell-a-sweet-story vibe cheat the underlying physical energy of your sound. Light and breathy sound should never be lazy. I feel like your entire sound would sparkle a little more if you invited more breath from your core. Pitch would float a hair higher so it was right in the center and you wouldn’t lose the occassional end-of-phrase words or the higher notes. You’ve got great potential, focus on the details and keep making great music!

Mister Tim is a published composer, award-winning recording artist,and in-demand performer, teacher & performance coach. In addition to an active performing and touring schedule with his his solo vocal live-looping/beatbox shows, Mister Tim sings with Boulder, CO-based Celtic Rock band Delilah’s Revenge, manages the… Read More