To Become A Professional Singer
the transition from amateur to professional in any field
can be a daunting task, but even more so in a performing
art like singing.
doesn't have to be like that if you have prepared yourself
properly and learned the art of performing.
To learn to sing for fun whether it be to perform at
a karaoke bar, in a local choir or just for friends
is a far distance from performing on stage and getting
paid for it. There are so many other things to consider
other than just singing well, it can almost be thought
of more like acting. Let's take a look at the requirements
to be a good professional singer. No matter what type
of singer you wish to make as your profession, the basics
are the same and the singing tips below will help you
give a better performance..
It would be pointless to try and make it as a professional
singer if you can't sing well. This may seem an obvious
statement but I've been amazed at the amount of "professional"
singers I have come across over the years who can't
sing very well. Needless to say their careers don't
last very long.
The problem seems to be that "they" think
they sing well however they have never actually found
out how to sing properly. So before you embark on your
new career as a professional singer, it may be a good
idea to find out if your voice is good enough for people
to pay money to hear you.
DON'T make the mistake of asking family and friends
to give you an honest appraisal of your singing because
they won't want to hurt your feelings by giving any
negative comments. Instead ask people who you don't
know well to give you honest feedback and be prepared
to take on board what they say as they represent the
type of comments you will get when you're working professionally.
The way you present yourself to the listening public
is crucial to how you will be perceived by the audience.
Like any job if you don't look presentable you will
not be taken seriously. If you sing in a rock band where
jeans and T-shirt are appropriate, then make sure they
are clean, fit well and make you look as though you're
serious about what you're doing. The same can be said
if you are a cabaret act, your dress/suit, (make up)
and hair should be immaculate.
If you are using sheet music i.e. working with live
musicians, make sure you have professional arrangements
for all the musicians.
Make sure you know the arrangements so that there will
be no error. It's a good idea to keep the originals
safe and make copies to use on stage as it is common
for drinks to be spilled or music accidentally torn
or lost. If you are using backing tracks, make sure
they all play at the same volume, are professionally
produced and you know the arrangements. Read the article
in my blog here.
This may seem obvious but there is no use singing the
wrong material to the wrong audience. You wouldn't be
able to sing opera to a bunch of bikers in a hard rock
cafe. Nor would it be appropriate to sing heavy metal
to musical society audience. It is important to recognize
your style of singing and target the correct audience.
Just as important is to work on your 'set' (the songs
you should sing and the order you should sing them).
As a professional singer you must be able to represent
yourself to an audience. This means you have to speak
to them and show your personality. I know many good
singers who can get up and sing to an audience without
any problems but when asked to talk, lose all confidence
and don't know what to say.
Singing is only 40% of your performance with 30% on
presentation and 30% on personality and therefore your
whole act should be well rehearsed, including introducing
yourself as well as the songs you are about to sing.
As a professional you must be in control of the music
and the audience.
Set out an area in a room 15ft or more and use this
as an imaginary stage. Don't just stand in the middle
for your whole set but use up the whole stage, engage
the audience (don't be afraid to talk to them individually
if necessary) and remember, If you're afraid of an audience
they will sense it.
It is advisable to start out as a semiprofessional,
doing your full time job by day and working as a singer
at night until the singing alone can support your lifestyle.
A good way to break yourself in gently to becoming a
professional entertainer is to do a few shows for charity.
Find out about any local charity events and offer your
services free. This way you get to practice in front
of a live audience and the audience will be more tolerant
if any part of your act goes wrong.
Getting your first paid gig depends on what type of
music you want to perform.
If you want to be lead singer in a band, a good place
to start is your local music shop. Most have adverts
on the walls looking for singers and musicians.
If musical theatre is more your style then perhaps audition
for an amateur musical society and then progress to
professional companies. To perform cabaret you will
need an agent and your local telephone book will have
a list of entertainment agencies.
More information on this topic and how to get the best
from your voice can be found in The
Singing Tutor E-Book
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