So you missed The Voice auditions last year because you hadn’t heard of the show yet, and then you were kicking yourself when you discovered that you’d missed The Voice auditions this year as well. 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 2 of 2 that set out the key things you need to address in preparation for your audition. Part 1 dealt with your attitude, your presentation, and your song choice. Part 2 will now address your performance skills and your voice.
Once again, remember that the sooner you start working towards your audition, the better your chances of turning a judge’s chair.
Your Performance Skills
There’s much more to delivering a successful singing audition than having a good voice. Your performance includes:
- The way that you walk onto the stage;
- What you do in the seconds before you start singing;
- What you do with your body while you sing;
- How you form a connection with your audience;
- What you do if you make a mistake, and;
- How you behave when the song is over.
Just like singing, the art of performing needs to be practiced, and this can only be done by getting experience. Seek out local opportunities to sing in front of an audience – either more formal situations such as festivals and eisteddfods, or less formal karaoke nights in bars or at parties. All are great places to hone your performing skills. The most important thing is just to get exposure to performing, with the added bonus of how great you will feel when someone comes up to you afterwards and tells you how much they enjoyed what you did.
Becoming familiar with the inevitable nerves that strike all performers is also an important part of your journey as a performer. Unchecked, they can cripple your ability to breathe correctly for singing, but if you learn to accept and channel them, they can become a force of energy that boosts your performance. Conquering nerves cannot be taught in lessons; it’s only by getting up on stages time and time again that you’ll learn how to deal with them. The key is to get stage experience wherever and whenever you can prior to your audition. Sing in front of anyone who will listen, and be grateful for the feedback they provide.
Your voice is the crowning glory of all your preparation, and the one thing that absolutely must be addressed long before you audition. Look after your vocal cords by drinking plenty of water (room temperature or warmer, not refrigerated), warming up with vocal exercises, avoiding alcohol, smoking and smoky rooms, taking extra care of yourself in cold and ‘flu season, and not straining your voice by screaming at football matches (or children!).
You must be singing daily, practicing for an absolute minimum of an hour every day. If you are not already taking singing lessons, you should consider embarking on a high quality course of vocal instruction (as a music teacher, this is the program that I would recommend). Lessons are essential if you want to start developing your voice to its fullest potential. In previous television singing competitions (think back to the early seasons of Idol), it was often enough for the judges to hear a decent voice with the potential to become something special. Shows like The Voice are far too competitive for that now. If you don’t have a great voice when you walk in the door, you won’t get on the show in the first place, and you certainly won’t get through the blind auditions.
Many singers brag that they’ve never had a lesson and sing just great. It’s true that some people are blessed with natural talent, but natural talent combined with sound vocal instruction can only produce an even more astonishing voice, which is exactly what shows like The Voice are seeking. If you choose to audition, you will literally be competing with some of the best voices in the country, so anything you can do to improve your singing voice will likewise improve your chances of being successful on the show.
Good luck in all your endeavours, and I hope to see you on The Voice next season!