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Showmanship, Charisma, blah blah blah

My band is giving me shit because at our last show they said I didn't talk or interact with the audience enough. They said they wanted me to give off more of a warm, approachable persona. They said I lacked the necessarily charisma to front a band. They all think I'm a good singer, but they tell me that being a good singer is only a fraction of what it takes to front a band.

I think they're wrong, and I'm angry with them. Your stage presence or your showmanship is something that can easily be fixed. It isn't something you have to put years of hard work and practice into, unlike developing a good singing voice. In my estimation I would think that that type of thing should only account for like 10% of your job as a singer. When I go up on stage I am fully focused on singing every note clearly and with perfect tone. That's my goal. That doesn't mean I'm shy or afraid of the audience. That's bullshit. I'm not shy, I'm just in concentration mode.

After using the KTVA for the last year, my voice is better than ever. I have a legitimate 4 octave range. My chest voice has expanded by an entire whole tone. My connection between the registers has been solidified and the transition is smooth. My high pitched screams sound stronger and more powerful than ever. I have a strong grasp of how and when to modify my vowels. I use great support and am developing glottal compression. I know how to apply mask and vocal fries when appropriate.

Can anyone else relate to what I'm going through here?

Comments

  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 9,916Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    I hear what you're saying, and can relate to it as well. On the other hand, probably a lot of people would say "it's your job" to interface with the audience, and they would probably be right. But that doesn't mean that it isn't the rest of the band's job to also be generating more than notes from their instruments.

    Not too long ago you posted a video of you and your band. I remember hearing your voice and thinking you were doing a good job. But I also remember getting a strong impression that the entire band (Both you and the other members) all seemed to be in their own individual "space" or "place". In other words, they didn't seem to be interacting with you, and vice-versa, and they didn't seem to be interacting with one another. So in all honesty, I think the entire band (and vocalist) could conceivably be more interesting to watch and listen to if ALL of the members came out of their hiding-places and became more of a unified force, moving towards the same musical (and possibly theatrical, if you want to call it that) place.

    It was almost as if each person in the band was at their own separate gig.

    It's common to see bands that don't look up from their guitars or at one another... but it's also less entertaining, and seems a little self-absorbed. And sometimes we get into groups where the members just don't particularly care for one another as friends, or even as equal human beings...

    People who hear bands generally want to think that the band members are having a good time or want the crowd to get caught up in the music or in a party or dancing or SOMETHING...

    You are a good musician and so are your bandmates. I think the whole thing would be better if you all seemed to acknowledge one another AS the songs progress, and somehow generate some energy that will get the crowd going along with you.

    It's great when you are so well-respected as a musician or vocalist that people just want to appreciate your musicianship and artistry, but that's often not the case. So then, we are like the gladiator looking up at the audience... "Are you not entertained!?!"

    Bands sometimes have to get on the same wavelength somehow. If there is friction in the band, that will show, and will detract from the music.

    I think it is true to say that it won't be enough for you alone to be the only person on stage with charisma. And I think it's bull if they are saying that if only you had charisma then they would spring into action. Your band can be much more successful if ALL work together to create some charisma, or, at the very least, look like they are having a better time.

    Your bandmates shouldn't blame you for something the entire band needs to work together on. It may be your job to Front the band, but the band needs to BACK you with their vote of confidence and interaction. And if the interaction with the audience needs to bump up a notch or three, then so be it, but it should be across the board. No David Lee Roth persona is going to want to front a band that has no sense of showmanship of its own. What's good for one is what's good for all.

    All the Best, Kevin!

    Bob

  • Well, I'm moving past them and looking for another band anyway. There's really no future for me with them. They only rehearse once a week and they cancelled our last two rehearsals because of work or family reasons. I tried to book us a show in Baltimore and they declined because they had other obligations. Rick, the founder, seems passionate about the music but he is not a good leader nor does he know how to deal with conflict. He escalates situations and gets paranoid about irrelevant stuff. I loved playing with them but I'm sure there are probably better opportunities out there for me.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 9,916Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    You're right about other opportunities. The situation will definitely be better in the long run if you get a good feeling of working together between yourself and the group. Hopefully the band will want to do their part as to making some synergy happen onstage, and you will be in a more enjoyable situation moving forward.
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