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How To Fill the Vocalist Shoes

How To Fill the Vocalist Shoes

Singers need to remember 3 things when joining an existing band –says Morten Sønderby

If you are joining the band because a former band member has left, you might have doubts about “filling the shoes”.

I’m actually a new member of the hit vocal a cappella group Basix (best European Album 2x) and even though I tend to be a pretty confident as a singer and performer, I needed to go through some steps to make this work well.

1. Understand Their Expectations
A band is a “culture” with its own habits, dos & don’ts and “been there done-that’s”. It’s a great idea to get their expectations to you revealed as soon and as clearly as possible. For instance, are you expected to blend in, contribute with your unique sound/style? stand out? What about stage presence – what will best fit with the group?

2. Know That It’s Not About The Answers
You don’t have to have all the answers for these questions (or other ones that might emerge) – in fact, it’s really about the courage to ask… A LOT! I advise you to speak up and express your considerations, worries and even your doubts. Remember that you’ve been chosen to fill the position in the band – your new colleagues probably share your desire to make everyone in the group thrive… especially the “new guy”.

3. Bring Something New to the Table
Of course you want to adapt to the group you are joining – but if that is your only goal – then couldn’t somebody else just take your place? Don’t be shy about bringing something new to the Table – your special talents – or even your skills behind the scenes.

– Morten Sønderby

Anders’ Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids

Noe Saenz Noe Saenz – “Shine a Light” by McFly (Cover)

Noe, I love that you have such an effective way of personalizing this song. All of your phasing and changes to the melody make for interesting listening. However I want you to consider your overall emotional impression. To me this is a song about a guy who’s sad, because he’s lost the girl that he loved. And what I see is a guy loving to sing the song. It’s like you want to impress me. I totally understand the need, but this approach almost never does the song any good. So yes – I think you are a good singer, but work on centering your singing in the emotion of the lyrics.

George Pelham George Pelham – “FutreSex/LoveSound” by Justin Timberlake (Cover)

George: I’m really impressed with your singing-guitar work; you manage to to keep the rhythm steady even when you do add off-beat phrases. As I remember the original track it’s almost like a naughty flirting and looooong foreplay, and I miss that a little bit in your video. It’s very obvious that you do know what the song is about, but I have a feeling that you are too “busy” making all the phrases sound perfect. I wonder what it would sound like if you recorded the guitar first and then added your vocals later? That could be an interesting experiment for you and I think you could learn a lot from doing it. I also think it could be interesting to hear your version of flirting and foreplay:-)

Rebel Bran Rebel Bran – “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen (Cover)

Brian, I love this song just as much as I can see that you do. I really like the intensity that you keep up throughout the song. I agree with the comment about not seeing your face – I’d like to! And since it’s a track that you recorded yourself with your band, I think it could be interesting to see the whole band to convey that strong live-feeling. Well done for your vocal work and story-telling focus.

BasixWith a grand total of 7 international CARA awards, including “Best European Album” and “Best Holiday Album” the Danish vocal pop group Basix have proven themselves to be among the very best of a cappella groups worldwide.
Follow the group on www.basix.dk or Facebook