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Cloud0129
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:04 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:15 pm 
 

Is it wrong for me to think that a vocalist does worse when he's also playing the guitars or bass?

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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:20 pm 
 

Seems pretty obvious to me, but I can't produce an example right now. Why is there none in the OP?

It's hard to do several things at the same time.
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Gelal
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:48 pm 
 

Right off the bat I can only think of one vocalist that fits the requirement, and I don't remember him being noticeably worse on the one song he sang while playing guitar. However, as pointed out by inhumanist, it's no wonder that it would be the case normally, since it's probably more difficult to sing and play something at the same time than to just sing.
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Poisonfume
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:02 pm 
 

I would assume that singing and drumming at the same time is FAR worse. Autopsy seems to pull it off fine, though. I think if the musician is skilled enough and has trained to do both at the same time, the only thing that really suffers is his stage presence. Vocalists that play an instrument tend to stay in the same place and do very little, while free vocalists can very energetic and make the performance very dynamic.
Off the top of my head, I have to admit that Sakis Tolis from RC is not perfect in his execution of guitar/vocals.
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Riffs
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:08 pm 
 

As a rule of thumb, my favorite vocalists focus on their vocals and do not play guitar. Singing is extremely physical and a lot of great metal vocalists really push themselves to the limit. If you've got a great range, variety of vocal tones and a really expressive voice, you probably have enough on your plate. But there are exceptions, of course. I still suspect they would have done even better as vocalists if they hadn't played guitar. But I have mad respect for people who can pull off both playing and singing.

Interestingly enough, if you sing and play guitar long enough, it becomes a part of you. A lot of guys who do both feel awkward if they suddenly don't hold a guitar. Likewise, I know several vocalists are not comfortable singing if they don't actually hold a mic (like when recording in studio). It all becomes like a ritual and you adopt a certain stance and a way of feeling and doing things.
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PureFrackingArmageddon
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:36 pm 
 

I know for me I can only sing when I play guitar... I started out playing (and singing/screaming) to Darkthrone and Mayhem and such, and while I actually have long since dropped that and started to sing with my real voice I can't sing without playing at the same time, it really makes you focus and get into the music when you're doing both.

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swayze
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:09 pm 
 

I definitely blow at playing guitar and singing at the same time (unless the singing follows the same rhythm and melody as the guitar), but surely there are lots of examples of people do both just fine... James Hetfield? Jon Notdveidt? Grutle Kjellson? Just off the top of my head. I've never been to any live shows of these bands, but I've seen enough Metallica and Dissection shows (taped) and neither frontman seems to compromise on either his playing or his singing/yelling.

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MARSDUDE
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:22 pm 
 

Daniel Gildenlow from Pain of Salvation says otherwise.

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Ilwhyan
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:16 pm 
 

Cloud0129 wrote:
A vocalist does worse when he's also playing the guitars or bass?

Naming your threads in this fashion is a frowned upon practice. Your thread title should be a concise description of the topic, and the message itself shouldn't be a mere continuation of that. If you really couldn't come up with anything good, you should've actually reversed the title and post content so that the more descriptive one would be the title.

As for post content, you should've cited your experiences.

I think many singer-instrumentalists come from a situation where the band had difficulties finding someone suitable to sing or to play an instrument (James Hetfield probably faced this situation, as well as Hansi Kürsch, the former being mainly a guitarist and the latter a vocalist - Hetfield isn't much of a singer, and Kürsch's bass playing was somewhat questionable, indicating that their actual focus was elsewhere). There are also cases when the main songwriter and intsrumentalists wants complete control over the vocals, which is probably the case with Dave Mustaine. Mustaine's vocals are notoriously shitty, so obviously he's a 100% guitarist who merely assumed the position of a vocalist.

There are cases of extremely competent vocalist-instrumentalists, however. Mikael Åkerfeldt plays demanding guitar parts together with vocal parts far from easy. His competence in both fields is quite laudable, although clearly his harsh vocals lapsed towards the end. I've never seen Anata live, so I can't comment on Fredrik Schälin's ability to sing while playing, but his technique in both vocals and especially guitar playing is excellent. Incantation's John McEntee is more than an adequate replacement for Craig Pillard, proving him too to be advanced in both vocals and guitar playing.
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lord_ghengis
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:21 pm 
 

Hooded menace is an interesting example, Lasse is the famous voice of the band, and records in studio, but he gives the vocal duties to the bassist when they play live.
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Smalley
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:55 pm 
 

This might be considered anecdotal evidence, but the fact that no one in the unholy trinity of what are generally considered to be the top metal vocalists (Dio, Halford, and Dickinson) play an instrument at the same time as they sing, may count for something here..

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TheUglySoldier
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:00 pm 
 

I am a MUCH better bass player than I am guitarist. I can sing and play guitar at the same time a little bit, but sing and play bass? Forget about it. Although, sometimes I'll surprised myself. I find if the riff isn't particularly melodic, then it is pretty easy.

The reason my band is hunting for a new guitarist before we start gigging is because our singer/guitarist just can't do the parts we are writing now - back when stuff was simpler he was fine, but now it just ain't working. That, and I'd prefer him to be able to jump around on stage.

PFA's comment about it working in his favour is interesting.
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enigmatech
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:02 pm 
 

Chuck Schuldiner? This man had the greatest death growl ever (a tip of the hat to John Tardy and Martin Van Drunen), and also managed to cement himself as the greatest guitarist in all of death metal, too. Call me a fanboy (it's true), but he is certainly an example of an accomplished guitarist/vocalist if there ever was one.

Another example is Stevie Ray Vaughn. Obviously he was one of the best guitarists of all time, but his vocals were also phenomenal in my opinion. You don't usually hear people praising his voice, but it's hard to top the amount of emotion he put in.

And what about fuckin' Geddy Lee??
Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdbd9oGDWd0

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Twisted_Psychology
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:55 pm 
 

As a singer/bassist myself, I'll never understand how guys like Glenn Hughes and Dug Pinnick pull it off. My band has often played with the idea of bringing in a bassist to focus on my vocals, but teaching someone else your parts can be a pain in the ass since they'll never really play them the way you expect them to be heard.

On the flip side, there are plenty of singers that pull off the instrument/vocals combination well and arguably come out better for it. I really don't think bands like Motorhead, Slayer, and High On Fire would be where they are if their frontmen had just focused on their singing voices...
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MalignantTyrant
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:47 pm 
 

Behemoth actually has Orion and Seth chime in on vocals (at least live playing). I think that they do that to make it a bit easier for Nergal to do his part with the others trading vocal arrangements.
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Kerber
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:33 am 
 

It is wrong for you to think, period.

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metroplex
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:32 am 
 

Cloud0129 wrote:
A vocalist does worse when he's also playing the guitars or bass?


Ron Royce would like a word with you.

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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:37 am 
 

Kerber was warned, feel free to disregard his post. (no, actually do it) While the OP is mediocre, the thread can be alright.

My point of view, he's weird when he's not doing both too...
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andersbang
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:58 am 
 

I would say it's wrong to think that, yeah. There are numerous examples of vocalists being awesome while focusing only on vocals, and numerous examples of the opposite, so as a GENERAL 'RULE' I wouldn't give it any merit.

I'm a death metal kinda guy and some of my absolute favorite stuff are from dudes that both play an instrument and do vocals: Ross Dolan (Immolation - bass), Ted Skjellum (Darkthrones Soulside Journey - guitar), Craig Pillard (early Incantation - guitar), Kelland (Ulcerate - bass), Luc Lemay (Gorguts - guitar), Pete Helmkamp (Angelcorpse - bass), Karl Sanders & Dallas (Nile - guitar - guitar), Jarkko Rantanen (Adramelechs Psycostasia - drums) etc etc etc
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truvelocity
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:33 am 
 

Kai Hansen was always better when he stuck to playing guitar

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Rocka_Rollas
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:53 am 
 

Poisonfume wrote:
I would assume that singing and drumming at the same time is FAR worse. Autopsy seems to pull it off fine, though. I think if the musician is skilled enough and has trained to do both at the same time, the only thing that really suffers is his stage presence. Vocalists that play an instrument tend to stay in the same place and do very little, while free vocalists can very energetic and make the performance very dynamic.
Off the top of my head, I have to admit that Sakis Tolis from RC is not perfect in his execution of guitar/vocals.

I don't agree.
If you sing you don't have to just keep track of the tempo but also a lot of different notes, and they maybe not even go by the vocal lines.

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TheGrimWombat
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:32 am 
 

If Mustaine stopped playing guitar, I bet he could sing at least as well as "Sad Wings"-era Halford.
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joppek
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:32 am 
 

enigmatech wrote:
Chuck Schuldiner? This man had the greatest death growl ever (a tip of the hat to John Tardy and Martin Van Drunen), and also managed to cement himself as the greatest guitarist in all of death metal, too. Call me a fanboy (it's true), but he is certainly an example of an accomplished guitarist/vocalist if there ever was one.

Another example is Stevie Ray Vaughn. Obviously he was one of the best guitarists of all time, but his vocals were also phenomenal in my opinion. You don't usually hear people praising his voice, but it's hard to top the amount of emotion he put in.

And what about fuckin' Geddy Lee??
Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdbd9oGDWd0


i'd also throw in devin townsend and rory gallagher
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Abominatrix
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:56 am 
 

Well, I seem to have an unpopular view about this and am going to come at this from the opposite angle of the op. It's not that a vocalist does better if he plays another instrument, and it is indeed a lot more difficult to pull off, but...I have a lot more respect generally for guys who don't just sing. These "frontmen" are usually the most irritating part of the band, have a high sense of entitlement and act like primadonnas merely because they open their mouths into a mic and make sexy moves at the crowd. All right, there are exceptions, for sure, and I have no bones to pick with anybody like John Arch or Bruce Dickinson, who have fully earned and deserve their "frontman" status, but come on now...most of these metal and rock "singers" are just not all that and are usually the most replaceable part of a band as far as I'm concerned.

If you are dedicated to playing bass, or guitar, and singing as well, you've earned your right to play in a rock or metal band and even write music. That, to me, is awesome...

And it is certainly really hard to play drums and sing simultaneously. I honestly am in awe of Chris from Autopsy, not merely because he does this, but because their songs often have a *lot* of lyrics, and he's just spitting them out while thrashing away on the drums and often doing absolutely mad fills. Proscriptor is obviously another example of same, although he seems to have taken a back seat with vocals lately...too bad as the other guy(s) are dull.
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mjollnir
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:35 pm 
 

Ihsahn. The riffs that guy pulls off while singing are amazing!!

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Poisonfume
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:52 pm 
 

swayze wrote:
I definitely blow at playing guitar and singing at the same time (unless the singing follows the same rhythm and melody as the guitar), but surely there are lots of examples of people do both just fine... James Hetfield?


Hetfield? Hetfield is constantly missing notes and screwing up riffs, from my experience. He's a perfect example of guitar/vocals not working out.
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Necronipple
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:55 pm 
 

Mikael Akerfeldt pulled it off very well. That is until his voice started to seriously regress the past couple of years. The 5 times I saw then live, up until 2007 I believe, he was great.

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Abominatrix
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:09 pm 
 

Necronipple wrote:
Mikael Akerfeldt pulled it off very well. That is until his voice started to seriously regress the past couple of years. The 5 times I saw then live, up until 2007 I believe, he was great.



He was actually; I remember reading an interview where he talked about havign to train himself to play and sing "Serenity Painted Deathh" (think that was the song title) because of the differeing rhythms of vocal and guitar. It is sure a challenge, but one you should be willing to face if you are in a band. Unless you're world class, singers without a thing in their hands, leave the hall! :P

Edit: Before someone harasses me for this, I'm being slightly facetious here...but only slightly, mind you; I don't really have a problem when somebody like Frank Mullen doesn't play an instrument, but I guess I would rather that he did. :P
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GTog
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:32 pm 
 

metroplex wrote:
Cloud0129 wrote:
A vocalist does worse when he's also playing the guitars or bass?


Ron Royce would like a word with you.


^ This. Guy plays some insane bass and keeps up the vocals without a hitch. Like a Geddy Lee of thrash. I guess the lesson here is to be really really good at the instrument and let the vocals work themselves out.

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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:37 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
He was actually; I remember reading an interview where he talked about havign to train himself to play and sing "Serenity Painted Deathh" (think that was the song title) because of the differeing rhythms of vocal and guitar. It is sure a challenge, but one you should be willing to face if you are in a band. Unless you're world class, singers without a thing in their hands, leave the hall! :P

Edit: Before someone harasses me for this, I'm being slightly facetious here...but only slightly, mind you; I don't really have a problem when somebody like Frank Mullen doesn't play an instrument, but I guess I would rather that he did. :P

Ideally speaking, I would agree, but the truth is, none of my absolute favourite vocalists play any instrument in their bands (at the moment, anyway - Kürsch deserved his status as one of my favourites only after he quit playing the bass in Blind Guardian).

When the vocalist is also an instrumentalist, the band can implement lenghty instrumental passages without putting the vocalist in an awkward position where he/she has nothing to do.
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Wrath_Of_War
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:47 pm 
 

I don't see or agree with this at all. My black metal band consists of two members, including myself (we lack a bass player), and we both do lead vocals. Neither of us have any issues doing both at the same time. I play guitar in the band, but I'm also a drummer, and can do vocals while drumming decently well, and the mistakes I do make could easily be worked out with regular practice, which I don't have much time for these days (ugh).

It all depends on the person, and how much they practice it, I guess. Bands like Autopsy and Absu have drummers that have NO problems doing vocals while playing, and there are plenty of other bands who's vocalist is also the guitar or bass player, and they do it well.

Random note: A friend came to visit me over the summer, and my band had a show during her visit. She learned one of my songs, and did the vocals for it at the show. I made about 4-5 mistakes during the rehearsal the night before, and about 2 during the actual performance, because I wasn't doing the vocals while playing. I was so used to singing the song while I played it, I guess it threw me off to not be doing it. I had to quietly whisper the lyrics while I played it to help keep me on track. It was weird. I'd think that focusing all my attention to doing just the guitars would help, but I managed to mess up a few times.

I personally care more for a vocalist who plays an instrument. I think it shows a great deal of talent, rather than someone just screaming into a microphone. I know that's narrow minded and simplistic of me, and it probably comes from the fact that I see way too many vocalists who cup the mic (which is obnoxious), or go on and on with ridiculous stage banter. I've also dealt with a few people who have said, "I don't know how to play anything, but I'm a vocalist" and not even own a PA system or microphone. That's a person who knows how to do metal vocals, not a vocalist.

Abominatrix wrote:
Most of these metal and rock "singers"...are usually the most replaceable part of a band as far as I'm concerned.

Proscriptor...seems to have taken a back seat with vocals lately...too bad as the other guy(s) are dull.

I agree with both of these statements. Unless a vocalist is GREAT (Bruce Dickenson, Rob Halford, and many others on an endless list), you're pretty replaceable, more so than the other musicians. That's my view on it, anyway. And the Absu thing made me laugh. I think their bass player is a crappy vocalist. But he can definitely play well while singing.
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swayze
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:16 pm 
 

Poisonfume wrote:
Hetfield? Hetfield is constantly missing notes and screwing up riffs, from my experience. He's a perfect example of guitar/vocals not working out.


Haha really? Maybe I'm too forgiving. Other examples I can think of are pretty much all the dudes in Mastodon. I have no idea how Brann casually sings while doing those fills.

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LegendMaker
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:07 pm 
 

I often wondered the same thing for comics, as many, many a "writer/artist" are either writers who happen to draw or artists who also write, as opposed to being equally gifted and capable in both. With a singer/instrumentalist, there's the added challenge of performing equally well for both at the same time. Being truly gifted at one thing is already something, so obviously a majority of musicians who also sing are in fact more skilled or more at ease with one of the two roles. That said there's something about the whole being more than the sum of its parts, and I do feel there's usually something more, on an emotional level, from a guy playing and singing at the same time than from the same parts being handled by two guys.

PureFrackingArmageddon wrote:
I know for me I can only sing when I play guitar... I started out playing (and singing/screaming) to Darkthrone and Mayhem and such, and while I actually have long since dropped that and started to sing with my real voice I can't sing without playing at the same time, it really makes you focus and get into the music when you're doing both.

Likewise (well, I never covered either bands you mentioned, and still do harsh vocals only, but the point stands). The thing is, with songs I wrote as a guy who do both guitars and vocals, then practiced and performed while always doing both, it's how the songs are: my guitars and vocals parts are as one from the get-go, and I'm lost if I remove either of the two, because then it stops coming naturally, and I actually have to think "uh, okay, that's where I'd normally sing that line, so..." or "right, that riff is played one... no, no, no... two more times, yup, two, and then comes my line!!! fuck! it's now! fuck fuck!" I can also relate to Wrath_Of_War's anecdote in that sense.

I'm pretty sure a similar process must occur with most singer-songwriters who simultaneously play an instrument and do vocals. Take Mark Shelton. As a listener, we stumble upon a part where he plays an insane freestyle solo while following a continuous and completely different melody with his voice, and wonder how the fuck he can pull it off. But I'm sure it's the other way around: those two parts were always as one; it's been set up that way right from the writing stage, and the data is all stored together in his brain. In other words, it'd be much more difficult for someone else to reproduce (regardless of musicianship) if only for the fact that they'd need to take in the guitar part, and the vocal parts, and then work out how to do both at once; the guy who came up with both as a bundle right from the start only had one process to go through instead of three.

Also, drummer/singer being awesome as fuck at both and more than the sum of its parts? Are we playing Taboo? Dan. Beehler. Duh.

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While the OP is mediocre, the thread can be alright.

Sure, but could the title please be edited? It'd be nice to click on, say, "Vocalist/Instrumentalist vs Vocalist OR Instrumentalist" or anything actually referring to the topic, rather than "drum rolls... and the topic is...". Anyways, sure, not that crucial, and it's your call. Just a thought.

TheGrimWombat wrote:
If Mustaine stopped playing guitar, I bet he could sing at least as well as "Sad Wings"-era Halford.

Dude, whatever happened to our spliff-sharing policy? At least as well as one of the greatest performances by one of the greatest metal singers ever, huh?... Pass on the doobie already! :D
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TheMizwaOfMuzzyTah
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:20 am 
 

Chris Cornell.

Still sounds great, too. With or without a guitar in his hand, he has golden vocal chords.

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jedimasterhassan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:20 am 
 

there's no doubt that singing and playing at the same time can have a negative effect on either one. that's not to say that it's not possible to do both seamlessly, there are countless examples of musicians who can, but the fact remains that it IS difficult, and each one takes a good amount of concentration. i sing and play guitar in my band, when we started off that was the original idea, but i couldn't pull it off at the time, so we hired another guitarist to fill in, eventually that started to not work too well, and by that point i was good enough that i could pull it off half way decently. now i'm pretty good with it. i'm absolutely much better at either one when i'm only doing it by itself. there are songs i still struggle with, but ussually once i've played them enough times i get used to it and i'm able to do it no problem.

there's also the issue someone else brought up, a vocalist can perform much better if he's not bogged down by holding an instrument (in this case i mean performing as in putting on a show, or being dramatic). it can also be much harder to sing certain things while standing in a fixed position in front of a mic stand. my range is similar to Halford's, sometimes live i'll have a difficult time hitting certain notes, and i've realized that it's because i have to change my position a bit to hit the note better. like when you watch halford sing painkiller live nowadays, he's hunched over because it's easier for him to hit those notes that way. a few months back my guitar crapped out onstage, so the other guitarist had to play both of our parts while i just did vocals, and my vocals (and performance) were noticably improved. maybe i'll consider getting a headset microphone thingy to use live (i can't stand the way they look though)

there are times i've thought about trying to find a guitarist again to play my parts while i just sing live, but i'm way too much of a control freak, i get annoyed when things don't sound how i intended them too, and i love being able to improvise onstage and keep things fresh. i just love doing both things way too much to change too much

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joppek
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:36 am 
 

almost forgot mattias from freak kitchen - saw them live once, and not only does the guy play some really complicated stuff while singing well, he's also jumping around and making a show
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Napero
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:41 am 
 

Cloud0129, if you wish to start threads, give them names that describe the content. Using these vague "do you think that you can shove a whole...." bullshit names that are obviously intended to lure in unsuspecting users are useless. I'll edit this one, but in the future, remember this.
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Wrath_Of_War
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:11 pm 
 

jedimasterhassan wrote:
maybe i'll consider getting a headset microphone thingy to use live (i can't stand the way they look though)
They look pretty silly, but people use them. Proscriptor uses one. He even used it when he did guest vocals for a Zemial song, holding NO instrument (the video is online). The drummer of Thornspawn used to use one, but told me, "Mine was cheap, and I couldn't keep it from moving. If you buy one, don't go cheap." He has been using a traditional mic for several years. The guitarist of Macabre uses one, too.

I considered buying one. Not to help my voice, because it wouldn't make a damn bit of difference for me, but because my mic stand got knocked over at 4 shows my band played in a row, and I just got frustrated. I don't think I'm going to get one though. I'd just end up running around the stage like an idiot, and there are other things I'd rather spend my money on. But if you think it'll help you, I say go for it.
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Hircine
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:28 pm 
 

Twisted_Psychology wrote:
As a singer/bassist myself, I'll never understand how guys like Glenn Hughes and Dug Pinnick pull it off. My band has often played with the idea of bringing in a bassist to focus on my vocals, but teaching someone else your parts can be a pain in the ass since they'll never really play them the way you expect them to be heard.


Yeah, I did a Death From Above 1979 song once for a musical project that required me to at least attempt to sing at the same time. It was bloody difficult, even for one of their more easy songs.
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Twisted_Psychology
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:50 pm 
 

Hircine wrote:
Twisted_Psychology wrote:
As a singer/bassist myself, I'll never understand how guys like Glenn Hughes and Dug Pinnick pull it off. My band has often played with the idea of bringing in a bassist to focus on my vocals, but teaching someone else your parts can be a pain in the ass since they'll never really play them the way you expect them to be heard.


Yeah, I did a Death From Above 1979 song once for a musical project that required me to at least attempt to sing at the same time. It was bloody difficult, even for one of their more easy songs.


If it makes you feel any better, Death From Above 1979 had their drummer do all the singing.
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