Q&A: Drummer Vs. Singer

Dear Lis,

My drummer plays so hard and loud that I can’t hear myself sing. I’ve asked him to tone it down but he tells me to sing harder.



Dear Johnny,

This is an age-old problem. Experienced musicians know that the sound of the whole band is more important than any one instrument, but often novices just like to hear themselves play. Whichever instrument is taking a solo should be the focus of attention. Everyone doesn’t solo at the same time. When you’re singing, you’re soloing. All the other instruments should be subordinate to that and create a bed that shows off the soloist. Also, through the course of a song there should be a build in the dynamics with the verses less intense than the choruses, and the final choruses being the biggest. That can’t happen if the drummer is playing his loudest right from the start.

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Lis Lewis is an American voice teacher, author and performance coach. Her clients include Miguel, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, Courtney Love, Britney Spears, Colbie Caillat, Linkin Park, Demi Lovato, Tyson Ritter of The All-American Rejects, The Pussycat Dolls, and Jack Black.

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Category: The Performance