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singing guide

Audition Advice

Audition Advice

Whether you wish to be the next superstar, or just want a place in a band, choir or musical production, having a successful singing audition will help you achieve your dream.   So many people turn up for auditions totally unprepared and are just setting themselves up for failure, yet with a little bit of homework, you could greatly increase your chances of being selected.

 Know what you are committing to

Some groups/shows/competitions require more than others.  For example a local choir probably meets one evening a week, and if you could put in some extra practice now and again, that’s great.  A TV talent show on the other hand could tie you up for several months.  Eg. Lets say you get through all the selection process and you get to appear on the live shows,  you will spend lots of time away from home/work in rehearsals as well as the shows.  Can you commit yourself to that?

You will greatly improve your chances if you are available, as a director is going to want someone reliable, as often the rehearsal couldn’t go ahead without all the team being available.

Select the right song

Choosing an audition song is difficult.  It needs to show off your voice and your singing abilities, suit the genre of what you are auditioning for, and possibly it needs to stand out from the crowd.

Your song shouldn’t be too easy, but also don’t pick something so difficult, that you struggle to sing it.

Also have a back up song, just incase you are asked to sing something else as well.

Something else to mention here about choosing audition songs.  If there are several rounds to your audition, then reserve one of your better songs for later in the selection process.  It will help pace yourself, and you know you can pull an Ace out of the bag when you need it most.

Make sure you know your song (s) off by heart, inside out and back-to-front.  Auditions are nerve-racking situations, don’t make it worse for yourself by forgetting your place or your lyrics

Be Prepared

An audition is not just about choosing the right song.  Do yourself a few favours and research what you are auditioning for.  Use the internet, to research about the group/competition, listen to the songs, watch video clips and possibly buy the sheet music to learn if it’s available.

Practice looking confident.  It will help you when your nerves kick in during the audition.  Walk tall and with purpose. Practice a few smiles and poses in front of a mirror. Learn to make eye contact, it will make you look sincere. If you practice enough, it will become second nature to you.

If you are using sheet music or backing tracks for your audition. Make sure they have your name on it, and that they are clearly labeled.  If you are using a musical score, make sure the accompanist can clearly see where you want to come in, and where you want to end (usually 16 bars).

If there is a dance element to your audition, make sure you have your dance kit packed ready, and don’t forget your shoes.  Also don’t forget a hairbrush and makeup if you wear it, etc to do some touch ups before your audition.

Auditions can be long days.  Make sure you take something to eat and drink.  There’s not always facilities to buy something when you get there.

Try to have a good night’s sleep the night before your audition, so that you are feeling your best, rather than having a night on the tiles.

Plan your journey so that you arrive in plenty of time for your audition.  There’s nothing worse than being late and completely missing your slot.

Make sure you have some warm-up scales on your mp3 player, to that you can warm-up your voice before you go in for your audition.  Some auditions have a place available for this, otherwise opt for the next best thing – the toilets seem to be a good a place as any, as many TV auditions seem to show.  By warming up your voice, it will help prevent your voice from cracking and croaking, it will also help calm your nerves and give you something to focus on.

Be presentable

Your appearance does make a difference and how you present yourself will show the auditioner(s) how seriously you want to be taken. Make sure what you are wearing is comfortable and allows you to move (and breathe in some cases!) to give your best performance.  Don’t wear killer heels unless you can walk or perform in them confidently.  You don’t want to be the one remembered for falling over.

Make an effort to look nice, but don’t go overboard.  Unless there is a dress code, smart casual usually works, a bit of makeup if you wear it, clean shoes, neat hair, and cover up too much flesh.  The auditioner want to see you, and what you can do, not how expensive your revealing dress is.  Also don’t use gimmicks like fancy dress costumes.  They will just make you stick out, and look like you’re not taking the audition seriously.  Also – you not going to get the part just because you own part of the wardrobe.

Be personable

Your audition can possibly start from the time you arrive at the venue, especially so in the case of TV talent shows.  You are being assessed by researchers, who are out looking for who/what they want long before you even get to sing.  You should always be pleasant, friendly and eager to be there.  Try to be approachable at all times.

When you are eventually called in for your audition, smile, look at them and say hello.  You will be guided as to where you need to stand and when to start.   Sing to your auditioner, make a little eye contact, but don’t stare them out so they feel threatened or uncomfortable.

The auditioner may well interrupt you before you have finished.   It is usually because they’ve heard what they need to hear.  They may or may not ask you for a second song if they’re not quite sure about you.  This will show them how much you’ve prepared for this audition.

When you have finished, they may give you some feedback there and then as to how you done, or what you could do to increase your chance for next time.  Listen to what they have to say and take it on board.  Don’t be rude or defensive.  They are only trying to help. Also don’t forget to thank them for their time.  It’s a long day for them too.

Aim high and work harder

Be prepared to work harder and longer at what you want to achieve.

Get some vocal coaching to help you with your singing and your audition technique.

Spend time in front of a mirror practicing moves and facial expressions.  The more you practice, the easier and more natural it becomes.

Listen to any comments or feedback about your audition, and take them onboard, if you made a mistake, learn from it.

Don’t make any excuses for your lack of preparation when being auditioned eg, I’m sorry I don’t know how this bit goes, or sorry I haven’t had time to practice.  It is only going to show you up as someone who couldn’t be bothered, and if you can’t be bothered, then why should the auditioner.

If you are genuinely ill, don’t make excuses for it. The auditioner will see you are suffering and is more likely to view you in a more positive way for not moaning about it.

Remember you may only have one chance to make that impression. From the moment you walk onto the stage you are being assessed.  If you come across as a positive, fun and friendly person, who has done their homework, you will greatly improve your chances of being selected as a team member.  However, if you fail to get selected this time, it doesn’t always mean you didn’t sing well. Often it is down to you are not what the auditioner was looking for this time.  Please don’t give up. Keep at it. Try, try again and one day you will succeed.

© Successful Singing

Singing in a choir

Successful Singing Choir

Singing In A Choir

Have you ever wanted to be part of some kind of entertainment but were too embarrassed to be on a stage by yourself? Well a choir might be just the thing for you. This guide will help you get started singing in a choir.

Consider the type of choir you want to join.
Whether you like traditional choral music, barber shop, gospel or show music, there will almost definitely be a choir out there which suits you.

 Find a local choir.
Ask around and search the internet to help find some local choirs you could join. Also, pay attention to advertisements in local meeting places, as it may be possible there is something going on there.

Contact the person who runs the choir to ask about the possibility of joining.
Depending on the choir you have chosen, you may have to audition, but many choirs are happy to let anyone join. It also may be a good idea to check at this point whether or not you will need to pay for membership, uniforms, or music.

Go to rehearsals.
Being in a choir is a commitment – only going to half of the rehearsals will let down the other choir members. If you don’t have the time, don’t join.

Make friends – Choirs aren’t just about singing.
The friends you make at choir can be friends for life, so don’t forget to socialize.

Learn to read the music.
You should try to pick this up as you go along, so don’t worry about it too much. If you’re having difficulty, ask somebody who sits near you to point you in the right direction; they will probably be more than happy to help.

Listen to the people around you.
Unlike solo singing, the point of singing in a choir isn’t to stand out, but to blend in. If you’re singing too loud or out of tune it will be obvious. Listen to the people around you and try to match your singing to theirs.

Enjoy yourself.
Choirs can give you some of the most amazing experiences of your life and help you achieve things you could not have done alone. Music is intended to be enjoyed by both listener and performer, so if you’re not enjoying it then it probably isn’t right for you. Don’t feel you have to stay if you don’t like it.

Remember,
You don’t have to be good at singing to sing in a good choir

Practice makes perfect, so don’t worry if you don’t start out brilliantly.

When auditioning or performing for vocal placement select a song that works for your voice and perform it naturally. The choir director needs to know if you are Soprano, Alto, Bass or Tenor so they can place you accordingly they do not need to know how great a falsetto you have.

If you are a religious person church choirs often allow any member of the congregation to join without any strict auditions.

Younger individuals should consider children’s choirs or choirs with a children’s section as the unchanged voice of a child will often not fit with the harmonics of an all adult choir.

© Successful Singing