Every member of the band brings an important element to the sound and overall performance. However, in almost every ensemble, it’s the singer that gets the most attention from the audience and serves as the face of the whole band. The singer’s vocal styles and stage presence will set the tone for your group.
If your band is in need of a new singer, you have a difficult decision making process ahead. It’s crucial to take your time and do your due diligence to ensure that the person you choose is the right fit for your group and your sound.
How to find singers in your area
Casting a wide net will help you attract the right person for your band. There are a multitude of ways to get the word out. Post “vocalist wanted” ads on websites like Craigslist and share them on social media. You can also use specialized sites that are just for other musicians: Musicianfinder.com and Bandmix.com are two great examples, but there are many.
Additionally, old-school routes like placing ads in the newspaper and posting flyers around town can be helpful, particularly if you live in an artsy town home to many musicians. Think about posting ads in venues where your band plays.
The audition process needs to be well thought-out and thorough. You’ll only have a short amount of time to get a feel for the singer’s style and personality, so it’s important to make it count. First, it’s a good idea to request a video audition to start off. This will help you weed out prospects that you’re not interested in and narrow it down to the people you want to learn more about.
Once you’ve decided on a pool of candidates, choose a variety of songs for them to perform for you. Ensure that you have a good mix of fast and slow numbers, low and high in pitch, to help get a feel for the performer’s timing and vocal range.
Set a timeline for each audition and try to adhere to it. Otherwise, singing auditions have a tendency to drag on and on. To make the most of the time that you have, ensure that all members of the band are present and have them all take notes during each audition. They should be writing down all of their impressions, positive and negative. After the first round of auditions is complete, get together and compare your notes, then decide as a group who you’ll request for callbacks.
Choosing your new singer
Finding the perfect new vocalist goes beyond just finding someone that can perform your songs well. It’s also important that they have a good work ethic and collaborative personality. When you think you’ve decided on the right new member of your band, request references to help determine these important intangible traits.
Additionally, don’t feel that you have to rush into anything. Use a trial period where the new singer attends practices and perhaps participates in a live show. Agree in advance with the person that a final decision won’t be made until after the trial period, so that if you get a sense that it just isn’t working out, there won’t be hard feelings or complications.
Take time to do the process correctly, and at the end of your search process, auditions and trial period, you’re sure to have an amazing new vocalist who will help guide your band to success.