There is a huge difference between singing in a band and humming in your car on your way to Walmart. The ability to have a good singing voice and hit the right notes while singing is, of course, important. But that’s not all it takes. There’s an extra set of skills needed to perform with a band.
This article teaches you how to become a better lead vocalist and make yourself an asset to your band.
Learn to Sing in a Tempo
“Being able to sing in sync with tempo is absolutely essential for a lead vocalist, although not so much when you’re humming,” says Jerred Price, the lead vocalist of the world’s most popular Elton John tribute band.
Most people learn to sing by casually humming or listening to songs and singing along. These ways of practicing are pretty convenient and can improve your ability to accurately hit notes—but you can’t improve your rhythm this way. The result is that even the people who are pretty good at singing solo can’t sing in sync with a band.
The best way to improve your rhythm is to sing with a metronome. You don’t have to buy a physical one, there are mobile apps that work just as well.
Singing with a metronome allows you to sing with rhythm. This also lets you listen to your voice while you’re singing. This creates a feedback loop that gradually improves your ability to sing in a tempo.
Learn Basic Music Theory
Even though most successful musicians such as The Beatles, David Bowie, and Sir Elton John himself never formally studied music, musicians who play instruments in a band usually know at least some music theory. Singers are the only odd one out.
But to sing in a band, you have to be able to communicate your ideas with the other members—and for that, you’ll need music theory. You’ll need to learn different keys, different chords, and relationships between different notes and chords. You’ll also need to learn instrument jargon such as names of different components of a guitar.
Practice with the Band
Performing with a band is a collective activity. Jerred Price says, “it takes a lot of bonding among the band members to perform in harmony with each other.” The only way to get better at performing with your band is by, well, performing with your band. This is where all your other skills will develop. You’ll learn to sing in sync with the drummer and sing notes appropriate to the chords that the instrumentalists are playing.