Missed The Voice Auditions? Start Preparing for Next Year’s Auditions Right Now – Part 2 of 2

Photography by Tammy Ayala. Shared under Creative Commons.

Photography by Tammy Ayala. Shared under Creative Commons.

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

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!

Missed The Voice Auditions? Start Preparing for Next Year’s Auditions Right Now – Part 1 of 2

Photography by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepanamerican/5788397598/in/photolist-9Pv3WA-5KtmHa-8Sm7US-Fep1h-5L9Xsp----69mEyx-69qSqS-69qRso-69mFcp-69qRg3-69qScw-nMqaSG-J2owj-5LedBQ-71Fq74-hqXfK3-bXcHpR-J2pkb-FequH-9PscAp-9sHKbx-9PscC6-3XHDMs-KuhqM-7ymJfd-3rSMPp-8BXHWx-tG11R-8C1Y6u-9vbbvL-8T6ULK-dfykeP-hqVHWU-hqXv9c-hqXEEg-hqWvft-hqWXQ2-hqVDMk-hqXThv-hqWcCA-hqXK9r-hqWJbN-hqYbsH-hqXAec-hqXHxS-hqW9Ew-hqVUXk" target="_blank">Tammy Ayala</a>. Shared under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a>.

Photography by Tammy Ayala. Shared under Creative Commons.

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.

Your Attitude

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.

Your Presentation

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.