Whenever I go to see a live performance of a band, or perforce group, one of the first things I note is how many vocal microphones are on the stage. I do this because I want to know if the players are accomplished enough to add harmonies to their performance. One Mic means you have a garage band that has about 4 rehearsals under their belt, but somehow got this gig through a friend. Two pics and you know they have probably got a single harmony, probably a third above the melody, but hard to hear over the overly load mix of bass to din out the melody that is shaky at best. With three pics you might actually have a group that has 2 decent singers throwing in harmonies with one another regularly, and if lucky an additional harmony thrown in by another here or there. But Four Microphones…. four voices… now you can see the magic starting to begin. Eagles, queen, abba, Fleetwood Mac, all of these, and many others of course, employed their many voices in unison. They layered their songs throughout, as a quality chef does with their creation. No pre-made muffins from a box here.
The voice really is the principle instrument of the human musical experience. It will almost always be the lead when ever several instruments are playing at a time. Entire concerts can be played on just the collective voices of a handful of people. The classical style barbershop quartet is a perfect example of this. Acapella groups have found huge success over the decades. Now with the ability to record an overlay musical tracks in ones own home, we can find a singer who has recorded their voice to replicate several different instruments. To put it in context try thinking of a guitar group of four players that never sing…. can’t think of one I’ll bet.
That said, the best way to coax a shy singer out of their shell is to break out a guitar and strum a few familiar chords.