Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

Got an audition tomorrow with a classic rock tribute band! Any tips?

So I got a call from a guitarist from a classic rock tribute band in the area and they sound really awesome because we share the same taste: Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, and all those great high-energy bluesy classic rock bands. I'm just meeting with the guitarist tomorrow and I suppose we'll play through some songs together.
I'm pretty pumped because I've been practicing alot of difficult Led Zeppelin songs this week and have been nailing those notes and the pitch really well. I can consistently belt up to an A5 so I know I got the range and control to pull this off but any tips for having a great vocal audition?


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    Maybe you can find out how their sound system is set up for the audition, as far as monitors, the volume the band will be playing at, etc.

    Like in the other discussion where we talked about getting the monitor volume right for your jams, that same principle will help you to be heard and to not strain during your audition.

    While you don't want to come on sounding like a Know-it-all, or ego freak, you should be able to talk to them about a good vocal mix being heard through what may be very loud guitars, bass, and drums. At least that might help you to prepare yourself for what might happen at the audition.

    Hopefully, they would view your discussion of that issue as a sign of professionalism, and they might even adjust their volume favorably for you because you brought it up, and otherwise they might just blast out and let you fend for yourself.

    You won't be able to give them your best if they bury you in the mix.

    First impressions are important, AND if you get the gig, you will still want to have their cooperation so that you don't blow your voice out after being hired.

    Find out what songs they want to audition you on, and learn them if you don't know them already. Have lyric sheets, just in case you get amnesia.

    Tell yourself that this is the band for you, and that you are the perfect singer for them. See it in your mind as a good thing for both sides of the equation. Have your best thoughts and expectations about the situation, and see yourself being successful in the audition. Focus on that.

    Then go through with the audition and take it as it comes. If you don't get the gig, it will still be a great learning experience for you. If you do get the gig, then WOO-HOOO!

    All the Best!

  • matt53matt53 Pro Posts: 189
    edited December 2015
    @highmtn Thanks so much for your words of advice. I had my audition tonight (finally) and it was a blast! We did House of the Rising Sun, Rock and Roll, Helter Skelter, Dream On and all these vocally crazy classic rock songs. I warmed up well beforehand and I have to say I was on fire, rattling off all these crazy screams and easy upper 4th and 5th octave singing. They were impressed and said I was a great singer. They were genuinely excited to be playing with me. The only issue was that their PA system couldn't handle my vocals AND the other two vocalists in the band; as a result I did get buried in the mix at times. I asked if they could turn my channel up, and they did but it still wasn't enough so my voice is a bit tired now. When singing at lower volumes I had to really push to hear myself and that tired my voice out way more than it should have. I spoke to them and they agreed that next time I can bring my own PA system and run my vocals through a mixer into that. I don't think I should have any issues as long as I can hear myself clearly. When I can hear my voice and it's monitored and miced properly, I can sing almost anything for hours without any issues of hoarseness and blowing out. I've realized that I only run into problems when I have to push to hear myself. Anyway, I'm grateful for the KTVA training that has given me this vocal stamina.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    Glad it went so well. Auditions can be difficult, but it helps when you are able to discuss these issues and agree upon ways to resolve monitoring issues and general volume levels. If you hook up with these dudes for the long run, keep the dialogue going about getting a good overall mix that is the best for the band as a whole... and that means having the vocals as dominant as they would be when listening to a record album.

    Bands that have that worked out amongst themselves really sound the best. A band where the instrumentalists blast away and the one with the loudest amp simply drowns the others out creates a situation that seldom prospers. Bands that work together to create a greater Sum are the ones that will see more frequent bookings. It's just more pleasant to listen to a "finished sound" that is balanced and well below the distortion level of the vocal reproduction system.

    Rock on, @matt53!

  • matt53matt53 Pro Posts: 189
    Thanks @highmtn I do believe they are committed to have a well-balanced mix because when I arrived their lead singer's vocals were very prominent. They tried to boost my mic as much as they could but their PA couldn't handle it. They were open to the idea of me bringing my own PA so I could boost my vocals and avoid blowing out my voice. I have also toyed with the idea of in-ear-monitors if it helps prevent me from oversinging. Also they said that next rehearsal they wanted to record our playing (always an excellent indicator of how serious a band is about improving) so we can figure out how to make our overall sound better. The drummer is excellent and sings backing vocals along with the lead guitarist (who can sing well up to about an E/F above middle C.)
    These guys are about 50-60 years old and can all play pretty competently. I consider myself lucky to find a band who likes playing good old rock'n'roll and early classic roll.
    I know you tackle some really tough songs in your set, Bob, so how tired is your voice after a long gig or rehearsal?
    If I have been belting/wailing/screaming Led Zeppelin and classic rock songs with a good monitor system and good support and technique for 2-3 hours I notice my speaking voice and singing voice sounds a little bit husky afterward. Not breathy or hoarse but just a bit husky. After a short rest I can even sing for another few hours and feel fine afterward. Is this this slight huskiness an okay sign though?
    I think that Ken said that huskiness comes with using the voice correctly. The way my speaking voice sounds after singing for a long time sounds a bit like Ken does after he finished The Pretender or his training with Adam. My main question is what is the IDEAL way for your speaking/singing voice to feel and sound after singing difficult songs all day?
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357
    Ideally, the placement of your speaking voice will not get husky. That is an indication of overblowing. We all have an instinctive tendency to overblow, but it can be overcome by mindfully cutting back the air and remaining conscious of that requirement, even as we are having tons of fun singing our favorite belting songs.

    It takes time to train your brain to remain aware and to keep to the volume level reduced throughout a gig. I find that I'm getting better at it as time progresses. I sometimes have to keep that in mind. The more I do that, the less I have to remind myself to keep doing it, and the fresher my voice stays. I used to tire out, or lose my high notes towards the third or forth hour of a gig. Now the Forth and Fifth sets are where my voice just keeps getting more and more limbered up. I have to not become drunk with power and start showing off. That is the road to ruin. Instead, I have learned to pace myself, and that allows me to sprint continuously. It's OK to go for a higher note here and there, but you just don't have to sing your loudest and highest notes all night long. That will bore the audience. Variation is the spice of life. Control and mitigation of the air flow is a skill and an art form. It will save your voice. It will give you the ability to sound like a little kid all night instead of a husky howler, even when speaking between the songs.

Sign In or Register to comment.