There’s a time to sing and a time to learn how. I have worked with so many bands that just need to understand this; and more importantly to know when is the right time to do each of the above.
I find myself so very often saying the same things to bands who are much better instrumentalists than I could ever be. Learn your guitar licks religiously if you wish, but if you can’t sing your own songs from start to finish without going off key then you are wasting your time if you come to me saying you want to play with the “big boys”. You could say it’s all part of the ethic of your genre but even the most established punk/rock/metal outfits still manage to deliver a strong vocal performance. You can tell that even bands like Lost Prophets (who – despite losing all their initial credibility as a young DIY band from Wales have managed to survive) have been through their scales at least a couple of times before going on stage.
First off write some inspired songs that come from your experiences or use emotions that you’ve actually felt not what you think your favourite band has felt – that just wreaks of plagiarism. People will be more likely to believe you if you tell them something that is… well TRUE! And if you are true to your fans they will remain true to you – FACT.
So when is the right time I hear you ask? Well first thing individual practice outside of normal rehearsal and gig routine is an absolute must. Even if you begin by just doing 20minutes a day, it’s far better than doing a three hour session every once in a while; as you’re muscles are getting regular use and therefore becoming stronger all the time. Yes you can have Sundays off everyone needs some downtime to recharge. BUT… if you REALLY want to do this as a career then devote your life to it as it is the only chance you have of scoring.
If you are going in to the studio to record then spend your time rehearsing the songs you are going to be singing, not jamming over a new cover. Make sure you can pitch every single last note as you will save yourself heaps of time, money and come out with a more polished performance and final product!
And that is the TRUE sound of progress… practice! It’s as simple as that.