QUICK TIPS

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AUDITIONING

First, understand what you're auditioning for. Not every musical, singing group, or choir is the same. You probably wouldn't want to show up to an audition for a choir and sing something by Metallica.

Practice your song or musical piece A LOT. Be extremely comfortable with it so you can be confident.

Learn all you can about what the auditioners are looking for. If you're still confused about a particular vocal aspect (timbre of voice, accents, chest or head voice) it's okay to ask for clarification at the audition.

Don't be overly energetic, hyper-active, or phony. They want to see the real you. Take a deep breath to relax and get the jitters out before you begin.

Support and congratulate the other people auditioning. Sometimes the auditioners are watching how you interact with others, and they'll be impressed with good sportsmanship.

Remember: They are on your side and want you to succeed!

REHEARSING

Effective rehearsal is more important than talent. 

Practice doesn’t make perfect... PERFECT practice makes perfect. Remember, you will perform the same way you practice.

Rehearse with a specific goal in mind, for example, "Today, we want to be able sing through without falling apart at the bridge."

Learn to avoid the "breakaway" mistake. You see this all the time: After you run through a piece of music with your group or choir, you'll be tempted to "breakaway" and lose focus, to start chatting with the other singers around you, and it takes the director a good minute to get everyone focused again. Instead, train yourself to stay focused even after the song is done.

This one applies to music and sports: Your performance will not just improve on its own. You won’t get better by merely showing up to rehearsal. Be proactive about applying the direction you get.

Remember to be encouraging to other performers and yourself. Give others that are struggling the benefit of the doubt, and cheer them on. It will create a happier rehearsal experience.

In rehearsal, it's okay to make mistakes, even big ones.
 

VOCAL HEALTH

 

Just like any muscle, the vocal cords need to be prepared before any strenuous workout. Before a performance or an extended rehearsal, make sure your voice is ready to go.

Yelling (singing incorrectly) and speaking loudly are the quickest ways to damage your voice. Be careful not to stress your voice when attending sporting events, loud parties, or even while greeting your audiences after shows.

The vocal cords are an extremely delicate and demanding part of your body. They require constant hydration and proper nutrition to function at their best. Certain foods can cause build-up and/or can restrict the vocal cords, affecting their performance. Dairy and cold water are the among the most common offenders.

Sleep is another very important factor in your vocal health. Not consistently getting enough sleep is just as bad for your vocal cords as poor nutrition.

If at anytime you feel like your voice is not performing the way it should, don’t be afraid to go on vocal rest and consult your vocal instructor.
 

SOLO SINGING

Remember:  “S.I.N.G.”

Strengths
Before you choose a song to perform, try and define your vocal strengths. Maybe you are a really powerful singer in your higher register. Maybe your falsetto is really awesome. Maybe you’re really soulful or can rock an R&B style. Whatever your strengths are, choose a song that showcases them.

Intent
Are you singing in a rock band or a choir? Are you auditioning for a musical or American Idol? It’s important to figure out the intent of what you’re singing for so you can choose a song and style that fits. Your voice and song will be magnified by matching the intent of the venue.

Nerves
Plan on them! Even after singing in hundreds of concerts, for thousands of people, you’ll still get nervous before a performance. Once you can acknowledge that the nerves will come, you can focus on your song. The key to making your voice shine through the nerves is practice.

Good song syndrome
Remember, liking a song doesn’t make it the best song for your voice. A good song for your voice utilizes your strengths. Your favorite singer might have different strengths than you. Always be broadening your vocal talents, but don’t forget about the strengths that make YOU unique. 
 

STAGE PRESENCE

In live performance settings, people hear not only with their ears, but with their eyes as well! Think about what gets YOU excited and try to do things that create those emotions in your audience (just standing there doesn't cut it).

Get rid of the fourth wall. Talk and interact with your crowd! You want your audience to feel like they are going on a journey with you, and not just watching you go on the journey.

FACE AND EYES! Your audience learns to trust you not just by what you say, but by your facial expressions and body language. Shifty eyes are a huge no-no. All of your movement and all of your facial expressions should exude confidence.

You are allowed to have fun when you perform! As you connect with your music, your audience will begin to do the same. If you're performing in a group, connect with each other as well. Audiences love to see that you are having fun together.

Practice in front of a mirror and video tape your performances. You will be able to tell when something is boring, awkward, or awesome! Studying your own performance is the fastest way to improve.
 

SHOW FLOW

 

People don’t go to a live show to just hear the music. They go to a live show to EXPERIENCE the music. Part of that experience are the lights and atmosphere, and being surrounded by people with a similar love of music. One of the most important and oftentimes most overlooked parts of the experience by musicians is Show Flow.

Show Flow is all about shifting energy. Shift it too quick or too slow and the audience loses the connection to the artist. Knowing when, where, and how to shift the energy are the keys to giving any audience that amazing experience they long for.

Show Flow is the easiest way for an artist to give their audience an amazing experience. It’s a mixture of many different elements; song order, transitions, banter, telling stories, etc. Everything an artist does on stage is part of Show Flow.

An artist shouldn’t be afraid to try things out, but needs to be aware of how it affects the audience, and adapt for the next gig.