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Jarom

Passengers in the studio

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Like we've said before, you have a VERY particular style. Very unique and pretty damn cool. On the top end, your voice is reminiscent of Robert Smith. Is there something in particular you feel you're struggling with in this song, or something about your voice you would like to work on?

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I'm not really having any vocal issues but I do have issues performing it at live shows due to drummers not knowing how to play the song on the drums and people not able to sing the backing vocals. I've thought about using a minus track but that might seem to cheesy.

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1 hour ago, Jarom said:

I'm not really having any vocal issues but I do have issues performing it at live shows due to drummers not knowing how to play the song on the drums and people not able to sing the backing vocals. I've thought about using a minus track but that might seem to cheesy.

Having a well-rehearsed band definitely makes a difference! How are you arranging a band live currently? Backing tracks can definitely make a huge difference too, but, as you said, can come across a bit cheesy. However, it's all in how you do them.

My drummer always plays to a click, along with backing tracks. But teh backing tracks are just that, backing. We try to make sure anything that stands out is being played/sang live (even if along with the backing). For instance, we have 3 or 4 guitar parts, but 1 guitarist. He chooses the most prominent guitar part to play live. Bacling vocals also have 3 to 4 parts, but someone is always singing along with them. Keyboards are on backing tracks unless there's a prominent piano part of synth lead.

Another way I've seen it done is making a spectacle of having a backing track. I've seen the lead singer of a punk band do a solo performance on acoustic guitar. He set up a stool next to him with a mic'ed tape recorder. Pressing play gave him a light rhythm part and backing vocals, and everyone loved it. On a bigger scale, Trent reznor did the same when he performed on piano. All his beats and strings were on a boom box, placed on top of the piano.

In a band setting, I've mostly seen it done with vocals and keys, even on a pro level. Tesseeract's last singer, Ashe,  had very lush harmonies, but no one else was singing. Van Halen did an entire tour without a keyboardist, only keys on backing. Granted, one screw up on their song Jump, and it went viral in a bad way. The backing tracks were out of key. I've also seen some big label guys have people on stage with them faking it. Sadly, it was obvious.

The point is, backing tracks can work, if you find other ways to make the performance interesting and don't try to pretend it's live.

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