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Warming Up

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Hi everyone. My name is Neil and I play bass in the Louisville based rock band, Timothy Day & The Knights. I also sing harmony but need help! I think this site will help me.

I have been warming up my tired old scratchy voice for a few weeks and it is getting stronger. I was able to hit some high harmony notes and Tim was very pleased. He is a good friend and this rock band ROCKS! Tim is a good singer and guitarist. We have Billy on keys (WOW!!), Donnie on drums (THE BEST), Johnny on 2nd guitar (outstanding picker), and me on bass (fiery). My harmony vocals are rough but I'm getting there.

We cannot understate the importance of warming up, not only vocally, but instrumentally also. As a bar band, we play our own instruments. In this setting, singers who do not master an instrument are as useless as floppy thangs on a boar hog! There are five of us in the band, all VERY good players, and we strive to get a thick sound with the given instrumentation. It is not like an opera concert, symphony, or full orchestra. I've played in them and could just focus on the guitar work. I've also sang in church choir where the focus is on voice alone. Bar musicians don't have this luxury as it can be cumbersome to play and sing. Tim works VERY hard as the lead singer and lead guitarist, but we all have big fun. My job is quite difficult as I have to walk the bass and sing the 2nd voice harmony with counter melody.

The bass is not a melodic instrument, it is not counter melody, it is the bass voice. It is a huge challenge to move the bass line and find the right notes to form the chords in the backing vocal. Heck, I'm just an old country picker LOL. I took music theory but didn't think all that formal training was useful. Now, I wish......

Anyway, it is just as important to warm up instrumentally, especially in a 4-5 piece band. Today we started rehearsal with Johnny Be Goode and my poor old hand tired quickly from the extensive walk. I had spent the day vocalizing and getting ready to practice but had never touched my bass. My voice was ready and sounded pretty good but the first 15 minutes was spent out of time, dragging, and missing cues.

Next time, I will warm up extensively with vocals and the bass. Of course, the bass can be used as the warming instrument. I had used the piano all day to vocalize but next time will pluck the thick strings with my lung resonator.

 

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