Choosing the perfect audition song

Choosing the perfect audition song

Choosing your perfect audition song can be pretty overwhelming. Not only do you have one chance to prove your talent, but you probably have less than 5 minutes in which to perform it.   You need to choose a song which will showcase your vocals and make you stand out from the crowd.  Choose your song wisely as the wrong audition song can really affect your confidence and your goal.

Some ideas on choosing the perfect audition song:

  • Go through the list of songs you sing or listen on Spotify or Youtube for song ideas
  • Find a song that suits your vocal style and range.
  • Ask yourself is it a song that showcases your voice.
  • Is the song suitable for the genre or the role you are auditioning for.
  • Check the audition guidelines. They may already provide a list of pre-approved songs, only want ballads or ask you to prepare multiple song choices.
  • Avoid choosing a song you think the people holding the audition want to hear if you struggle to sound good singing it.
  • Your song shouldn’t be too easy, but also don’t pick something so difficult, that you struggle to sing it.

Try to avoid really well-known songs and completely unknown songs unless the audition asks for it.  If you pick a really well-known song eg Angels by Robbie Williams.  The people running the audition would have heard that song so many times before or they may compare how you sing against Robbie Williams, unless you know you can really ace it or put your own twist on the song.

Equally, choosing an unknown song may leave the people running the audition with nothing to compare it to, or spend time wondering who the song is by, or asking colleagues, when then should be listening to you.  Choose something in between these two extremes.  Something known, but not too obsure.

Think about a song with a big climax or big ending.  Go out with a bang rather than fade away.

Beware of current audition song trends.  There are so many times at auditions where people tend to sing the same song.  Avoid the latest big ballad or popular musical number. You want to stand out and make the people holding the audition to take notice of you, not groan and switch off at having to hear the same song again – no matter how well you sing it.

Once you have found a few possible songs. Try them out.  Sing along to them. Get your friends to listen to you, or record yourself singing them and listen to the recordings.  Ask for feedback on your sing and your performance.  What is good? What can be improved on?  Is it good enough to make you stand out in your audition?

Practice, Practice, Practice. Then practice some more.

Check how long you have for your audition slot.  Some auditions only want 16 bars or a verse, chorus and close.   If the song you have selected only shows your voice off towards the end of the song, consider coming in from the second verse.   Are you using dots (sheet music)?  Then clearly mark where you want to come in from. If you are using tracks, then it’s more difficult, but maybe get a friend to edit it for you, or there are many companies out there who will edit tracks to suit professionally.   Keep your song as short as possible.  The last thing you want is to be cut off before the climax of your song because you’ve run out of time.

It’s also a good idea to make multiple versions of your song—one very short, one medium length, and one longer in length—in case your preferred length is too long for a particular audition’s request and you need to use the shortened version. That way you’ll already be prepared if the people holding the audition asks you to sing more for them.

It’s always better to be over prepared. Have a back-up song prepared just in case you are asked to sing something else.  Have a different styled song if possible.  This may be because the people running the audition like what they hear, or they want to see what else you can do, or they may think your voice may lend itself to a different style.

It’s completely normal to feel nervous when performing your audition piece for real.  Make sure you are well rehearsed and that you know your song and lyrics inside out. Be well prepared on the day, that you have your music, routines, drinks and snacks all ready and that you arrive in plenty of time for your slot.  Warm up and practice at the venue before your slot, so that you walk into your audition with confidence and deliver a knock-out performance.

For more audition advice and what to expects at an audition click here.

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