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Old 04-02-2006, 02:35 PM   #1
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Unhappy Is there a difference?

With the present day emergence of "Drum Groups", do any of you guys notice a difference in the way people sing?

What I'm getting at is when I'm sitting at the "Center Drum" I've noticed a good number of people not singing hard, or at least so it seems! I know with large numbers like you find at the center drum, you CAN have volume with little to no effort but with a small "group" you have to make up for not having the numbers and have to "put out" a bit more.

From personal experience I sing, I typically sing hard every time b/c I just love to sing.
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSS
From personal experience I sing, I typically sing hard every time b/c I just love to sing.
amen
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSS
With the present day emergence of "Drum Groups", do any of you guys notice a difference in the way people sing?

What I'm getting at is when I'm sitting at the "Center Drum" I've noticed a good number of people not singing hard, or at least so it seems! I know with large numbers like you find at the center drum, you CAN have volume with little to no effort but with a small "group" you have to make up for not having the numbers and have to "put out" a bit more.

From personal experience I sing, I typically sing hard every time b/c I just love to sing.
LSS, I agree with you. I have been doing powwow sound for a number of years and found what you say to be very true. It seems that only the leads push out the volumn in a newer drum. Its not like the old days when everyone around a drum lost their voice by the end of a powwow.

It could be that singers are afraid to sing loud so they will not embarrass themselves or the others around the drum. Some of the quiet ones have really good voices. Others can't sing a lick so they sing quietly. Some think by singing loud they will screw up the song or over power the lead. One big problem is that some singers just don't know the songs.

As a sound man I watch the singers to see who isn't putting out. Then change the positions of the microphones so the quiet ones get direct contact and don't realise it. That way I can balance the singers to get even voices all around the drum thru the sound system. We always use 2 to 4 microphones for the singers around a drum. We use a lot of off-axes techiniques to mic singers that sing quietly. It looks like the microphone is pointed away from the quiet singers so they sing a little louder. It works every time!
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMJ Productions
It could be that singers are afraid to sing loud so they will not embarrass themselves or the others around the drum. Some of the quiet ones have really good voices. Others can't sing a lick so they sing quietly. Some think by singing loud they will screw up the song or over power the lead. One big problem is that some singers just don't know the songs.
TKMJ,

One other thing should be considered is just a lack of confidence. This can compound any of the other issues that you list above. I personally have experienced this myself and am working to overcome it. I worry about my voice, how well I blend, and the correctness of my singing. And while I really love singing, it's really hard work to try to do it right. And being who I am, I really have to do my best every time otherwise I'm open to criticism as are those around me.

I also agree that knowing the songs is one of the biggest problems, at least for me. Being on the east coast, I have to rely alot on recorded music for learning southern songs. I try to sing with a variety of different folks each year to learn new songs or refine my understanding of songs I think that I know. This helps me with my confidence while also keeping me humble as I always run across songs I haven't heard before, or at least don't remember hearing. But I've found that the better I know a song, and what's behind that song, the more confident I am in singing it.

LIke LSS, I try to sing to the best of my ability no matter if I'm singing as a part of a group or at the big drum. I've heard of politics around the drum where some singers won't sing, or won't sing as hard, when a certain person leads a song and stuff like that. But personally, I just don't get it.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:58 AM   #5
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i personally sing as hard as i can as long as my voice holds out, i love to sing, if the song is really kickin and the folks in the circle are dancin hard then i sing even harder, makes me feel real good to jam out
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:14 AM   #6
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If the song is pumping and starts jamming I sing harder. Another thing that will get the voice going is a good set of back-ups... when those women are jamming too it forces me to sing stronger as well.
By the way... Danbear... nice George Flett artwork! That's my wife's uncle, I can spot his work a mile away.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:20 PM   #7
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But what if....

...the song that is sung needs time to build into a kickin' song...do you just loaf?

...the song is not a kickin' song...do you just mutter through it?

Don't we as singers owe it to the dancers to "put out" each and every time?




Wait!

Lemme clarify that "put out" is not referring to the 49! Thats a different convo all together.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedShield
If the song is pumping and starts jamming I sing harder. Another thing that will get the voice going is a good set of back-ups... when those women are jamming too it forces me to sing stronger as well.
By the way... Danbear... nice George Flett artwork! That's my wife's uncle, I can spot his work a mile away.
Hey Red, You don't have to tell me how hard you sing. We've worked together before when you were with another drum. Because of you I had to get an extra audio compressor and better microphones. You start rockin and you don't need the sound system.

JAM ON!!!!!



Hobbs49, I didn't think of that one. Thanks!!! And tune up that voice for the summer season!!!!

Let the summer season be long and a blast!!!!!

I'm READY!!!!! WE can do 25000 watts now!!!!! It's time to hear the voices and FEEL the drums


LSS, I am refering to "Who is not putting out" as who is not singing loud enough, or "output" of the voice.

Agreed! 49er is a totally different subject. We can discuss that later.

All I know is I am ready for the spring and summer powwow season. Fall too!!!

Last edited by TKMJ Productions; 04-04-2006 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedShield
If the song is pumping and starts jamming I sing harder. Another thing that will get the voice going is a good set of back-ups... when those women are jamming too it forces me to sing stronger as well.
By the way... Danbear... nice George Flett artwork! That's my wife's uncle, I can spot his work a mile away.
yeah i love the pic i've seen a hand sketch on some web site then i saw this, tell Mr. Flett i love his work especially this piece.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSS
...the song that is sung needs time to build into a kickin' song...do you just loaf?

...the song is not a kickin' song...do you just mutter through it?

Don't we as singers owe it to the dancers to "put out" each and every time?




Wait!

Lemme clarify that "put out" is not referring to the 49! Thats a different convo all together.
there are the occasional songs that you sing so many times that do become kind of blah, but you still have to sing just as hard on those songs as the ones that really rock ya know
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:08 PM   #11
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I just sing as hard as I can every song, and if my voice goes out, oh well I guess.
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:21 PM   #12
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hmmm...no one singing hard at the center drum...well depends..if your the center drum and the only drum...sometimes you gotta just CRUISE!!! especially if you have gourd dance and war dance..what if its a 3 day powwow and your center drum...do they have that in hobbiest country? Not tryna get in anyones skin but i dont know how to ask that question....as long as everyones singing who cares..
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:09 PM   #13
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SBZ4life, good reply...

I had not thought about these situations (i.e. gourd dance, war dance, multiple sessions) despite doing any of these, if not all of these during a given weekend.

If one has a gig that is 3 days long, then yeah....pace yourself. Let the songs build for ya.

If ya have gourd dance, pace yourself.

If you're loafing just because and none of the above apply, get your butt in gear! Lets "jam-monkey"!

Nothing looks worse, in my opinion, than having half your crew singing hard and the other half...."oh well, what the H#!!"
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSS
I had not thought about these situations (i.e. gourd dance, war dance, multiple sessions) despite doing any of these, if not all of these during a given weekend.

If one has a gig that is 3 days long, then yeah....pace yourself. Let the songs build for ya.

If ya have gourd dance, pace yourself.

If you're loafing just because and none of the above apply, get your butt in gear! Lets "jam-monkey"!

Nothing looks worse, in my opinion, than having half your crew singing hard and the other half...."oh well, what the H#!!"
I can see saving your voice during a long haul powwow or when the the drum has a heavy load like a powwow being a few drums short. That's a given. That's where the sound man has a big job. The singers need to sing at a comfortable level so they can save their voices for later when it really counts.

The sound man must set up the microphones so the singers only need to sing at a reasonable volumn to be picked up and run thru the sound system. Microphone placement is the key. They must be close enough to pick up the voices nicely, but out of the way of the hand with the drum stick. It gets tricky placing microphones so they are out of the way but pickup nicely.

I have lost a lot of microphones and stands learning the process. It was well worth it to learn how to work with a drum.

And yes, a drum can use my microphone stands to hang thing on that belong to the drum. I don't mind a bit. Besides the items help balance the stands.
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:16 AM   #15
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Well We Kick It Out No Matter If We Are At A Pow Wow With 20 Dancers Or 400 Thats How We Sing And New Drums Wonder How Our Voices Hold Out But The Harder You Sing The Stronger Your Voice Is It's Not A Style For All Drums Though
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:52 AM   #16
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Situations and experience are important factors in this question.

I sing all winter long at all the smaller powwows. Toward the spring I try and make a few 49's so that I can get hoarse once or twice. By the time summer comes around I can last all night and day during a 3-day powwow of singing gourd dance, wardance and 49! *L

Now...

Singing at a powwow where there are numerous drums VERSUS singing at a powwow for 3-4 days continously with 2 or 3 drums are two different situations.

In the case of the latter, no matter what ... you have to pace yourself.

Worse case scenario...

We were host drum in Memphis one year in a closed dirt floored building. The northern host drum did not show up so we handled the whole show of singing gourd dance, intertribals, specials, contests (including jingle dress side step, double beats, chicken dance, duck and dive)! and it was really dusty and HOT!!!!

But we all paced ourselves and made it.

In a contest situation such as Denver March or the Gathering, that's another story. It's "all out singing,' EVERYTIME you sing!"
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:13 PM   #17
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oooor.....

How are the guys singing? The ones that you CAN hear? Ever try to sing when you got someone next to you singing loud as hell out of tune? Or even just loud enough? Ever been the guy next to the guy singing on beat? Or someone, and you just canít quite figure out who hitting the drum off beat. Ever been that guy? Itís hard singing when you have guys who canít.
Ever notice how easy it is to jam out when you are singing with guys who CAN sing? But nothing kills a song quicker than when you have guys singing out of tune, on beat, and or messing up the beat. It just kills the mood and makes you feel dirty.

Iíve seen top notch singers sit in with scrappy drums and really TRY to start singing only to watch them take a breath open their mouth START to sing, then let out their breath and shut their mouth as their eyebrows crease in frustration. So this may or may not be the case depending on your individual circumstances, but donít automatically assume that those guys not singing hard are just being lazy.
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:14 PM   #18
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Talking know whatcha mean....

...Here in the East,there are alot of drums that sing on-beat,and it's hard to get them to sing any other way. As far as singing loud,I have to tone it down myself.I am Opera trained and began singing Southern and was drowning out the other Singers!But I sing with a great group of guys from all across the country,and no on -beat stuff!(we do need help with gourd songs,so if anyone out there can hook us up......don't wanna mess it up!.keep smilin"1
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:56 PM   #19
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Having limited experience at the "Center Drum" I am reluctant to answer the questions that come my way from peers. Keep your experiences/input coming guys. Its always great to have varying opinions.
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:56 PM   #20
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TKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond reputeTKMJ Productions has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ohio, Oregon. Two locations, No waiting
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youwerethinkinit
oooor.....

How are the guys singing? The ones that you CAN hear? Ever try to sing when you got someone next to you singing loud as hell out of tune? Or even just loud enough? Ever been the guy next to the guy singing on beat? Or someone, and you just canít quite figure out who hitting the drum off beat. Ever been that guy? Itís hard singing when you have guys who canít.
Ever notice how easy it is to jam out when you are singing with guys who CAN sing? But nothing kills a song quicker than when you have guys singing out of tune, on beat, and or messing up the beat. It just kills the mood and makes you feel dirty.

Iíve seen top notch singers sit in with scrappy drums and really TRY to start singing only to watch them take a breath open their mouth START to sing, then let out their breath and shut their mouth as their eyebrows crease in frustration. So this may or may not be the case depending on your individual circumstances, but donít automatically assume that those guys not singing hard are just being lazy.
I can't tell you how many times I've seen a good singer just shut down because something was not right. The lead starts and stops in a flash. The drum keep tempo and a new song starts or the lead is passed to another. I call it voice cramps. Something usually isn't right. It could be the wrong song for the dancers, wrong tempo for the song, it just wasn't the right time OR "forgot the words". Who knows why for sure. It just happens.

I have also seen some singers that can't carry a tune in a bucket but know all the words in their language and have all the heart in the world. They just belt it out like no ones business. A singing lesson or two would help a lot.

As a sound guy I have learned over the years to expect the unexpected out of every drum I work with. I have witnessed singers out of tune, beaters flipped off the drum, singers being poked with a drum stick to stop singing, etc. You name it, it seems I saw it. I can tell you some really funny stories about a lot of drums out there.

I also carry fresh lemons, Halls cough drops, osha root or bitter root, and other stuff in case a singer needs it. To me it just makes it easier for the singers and myself. The idea here is to give the dancers the best you can give. It just makes a better gathering for all.
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