So you missed The Voice auditions last year because you hadn’t heard of the show, and then you were kicking yourself when you discovered that you’d missed The Voice auditions this year too. Before you know it, next year’s auditions will be here, so if you already know that you want to try out for the next season, now is the time to start your preparation. This article is Part 1 of 2 that will set out the key things you need to address in preparation for your audition. Part 1 deals with your attitude, your presentation, and your song choice. Part 2 will address your performance skills and your voice.
Remember that the sooner you start working towards your audition, the better your chances of turning a judge’s chair.
It all starts here. A positive, enthusiastic, motivated attitude will help you accomplish more as a singer, and certainly more in life generally, than you might believe is possible. Like an athlete training for the Olympics, or a candidate going for their dream job interview, using exercises such as visualisations and positive thoughts is the first step towards making your aspirations a reality.
Picture yourself singing on The Voice stage and completely blowing away the judges with your performance. Wake up every morning and tell yourself that today you are one step closer to achieving your coveted career as a music artist. Mentally, do whatever you need to do to stay focused on your goal of singing for a living, because having a strong belief in yourself is one of the most powerful audition preparation tools you can possess.
You might not think this one is important, but it is crucial. While the initial blind audition round of The Voice allows judges to select contestants on the strength of their vocal performance alone, once you’re through that gate your looks becomes almost as important as your voice. The coaches are seeking talent that is marketable, and marketability relies very much on visuals. This doesn’t mean you need to look like Brad or Angelina (though admittedly, it won’t hurt your chances), but you do need to think about how you want to be seen; by the judges, by your audience, and by potential record labels.
Consider how your appearance, your voice, and the genres of songs you are drawn to might lend themselves to stereotypical images – crooners with slicked back hair wearing suits, indie artists with long hair dressed like hippies, hard rockers in torn jeans with tattoos on display, ethereal sopranos in evening dresses. You don’t need to conform to any of these archetypes – in fact a classical singer with tattoos and torn jeans could well be a marketer’s dream – but make sure you’re aware of how what you wear affects the way you are seen. Like it or not, you will be judged on your presentation as well as your voice, so it pays to start thinking early about the kind of image you wish to project. Throwing on a t-shirt, jeans and trainers is fine, but it says something about you. Make sure it’s what you want to say.
Your Song Choice
Preparing for an audition is not about learning one song. It’s about learning hundreds of them, and then being savvy enough to know which one showcases the aspects of your voice that you want the judges to hear. Do you want to expose a voice with a wide range, some killer high notes, and great agility when it comes to fast melody? Not every song will demonstrate this, so learn and practice as many as you can, and then choose your best one much closer to the audition. Building up your song list – doing ‘rep’ work (short for repertoire) – involves years of work, but every new song you learn is another string to your bow.
Learning melodies and committing lyrics to memory comes easily to some, and harder to others, but it’s not just about listening to a recording of a song and memorising it. True artists take a melody and craft or embellish it in a unique way that demonstrates their interpretation of the song. If you learn one artist’s interpretation and sing the song just the way they do, then you’re essentially copying their style and not delivering your own spin on the song. It’s always best to find the original sheet music and learn the melody from there. Then listen to lots of recordings of the song (if available) so you can hear how different people have tackled it. Only after going back to basics can you take any song to a place that’s truly your own, which is what The Voice judges really want: singers who are individuals; singers who know who they are, and are prepared to put their own unique stamp on whatever they sing.
Now that we’ve covered attitude, presentation and song choice, keep in touch for Part 2 to learn more about how to prepare for The Voice auditions in terms of two of the most crucial elements – performance skills and your voice.