The Voice/American Idol or Any Singing Audition: Top 10 DO’s
- Plan ahead. If singing is what you want, don’t just react when there’s an audition. Be proactive and start working on your voice now, so when a show like The Voice or American Idol comes to town, you’ll be ready.
- Get a good coach. There are lots of people who give singing lessons. To sing professionally, you need to work with a professional voice coach. He or she can help you diagnose your strengths and weaknesses and explain to you what you need to do to help you sing your best.
- Pick songs you really believe in and make sure you can sing them well. If you say you can’t find them, then you aren’t looking hard enough. This process can take days to do right, so don’t procrastinate. I coach my students through the process, but you’ve got to be willing to do your homework.
- Be real. Singing a song is telling a story. That’s why it’s important to believe in the songs you sing. Don’t make hand gestures for the sake of making hand gestures, etc. Be in the moment. Forget about the audience and do what feels real to you.
- Confidence is Critical. Confidence is a self-fulfilling prophecy. No matter how good you are, if you get up and look nervous, no one will see your talent. You have to believe in yourself if you want your audience to believe in you.
- Take advantage of YouTube; it’s a tremendous resource. It has karaoke versions of most songs to help you practice if you don’t have karaoke tracks of your own. Even better, YouTube is an encyclopedia of performances for the songs you want to sing and the songs you don’t yet know. Study other artists’ interpretations and deliveries as you learn to develop your own individual style.
- Feedback is a gift. Don’t expect your voice teacher to rubberstamp your performance. Whether it’s with your voice teacher or with the likes of Simon Cowell, you need to listen and learn from your mistakes. If you are only looking for compliments, then the music business is not for you.
- Respect and care for your body. Your voice and your body are you instrument. The stress that we all feel before an audition, a show, or a recording makes many performers sick, including me. Rest up. (You can’t drink enough water). Eat well and exercise. No matter what, the show must go on, so do everything you can to support your immune system.
- Dress for success. Every music genre has a look. Don’t walk into an audition dressed in your Sunday sweats. Make an effort to look good. Think about your what you want your look to be. That includes hair and make-up. If you want to stand out, take a risk. It may backfire if you can’t believe in it and pull if off, but it can also be what makes you stand out from the crowd. After all, where would Marilyn Manson, Lady Gaga, Kiss or Madonna be without their unique looks?
- Keep your eye on the prize. People come to me for lessons because they have a dream. It’s not fair to lead people on, so I give each student an honest assessment of what I think he or she can realistically achieve. But dreams usually take time. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get there overnight, because you can’t lose focus. You have to have faith. Stay confident. With faith, confidence and consistent hard work, many of my students have made their musical dreams come true. If it’s really what you want, then go for it! Remember to enjoy the journey. I wish you all the best.
By Liz Bieler
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