Whether you’re auditioning for a TV show or entering a local talent show, these tips can save your audition’s life.
1. Song Choice, Song Choice, Song Choice
This has got to be the first tip because song choice is probably the most crucial part of any singing audition. Even if you could sing like Whitney Houston, if you don’t pick the right song that really shows off the quality, control (see tip #2), tone, and beautiful-ness of your voice, you won’t be successful. I’ve auditioned for countless singing auditions including NBC’s The Voice, X Factor USA, and three times on American Idol before I actually made it to Hollywood on Season 12. Even if you don’t exactly sing like Whitney, pick a song that shows off who you are as an artist. The song needs to be appealing to the judge(s) ears and stand out as soon as you belt your first notes. You don’t have to sing crazy R&B runs or Mariah Carey whistle notes, but just make sure your audition song truly shows the best of you as an artist and what you bring to the table. Judges tend to like songs that you can make your own and sound good while doing it. I’ve been seeing this a lot on The Voice, where aspiring artists have continued on in further rounds because of their renditions. Also, make sure you have at least 3 backup songs, usually slow and fast and not the same artist back to back (judges want to see versatility in an artist).
Keep note: if your audition song is something that a million other people might audition with, like Etta James ‘At Last’ or more recently Adele’s ‘Hello’ , make sure you do it in the most irresistible way that is better than the original and something that the judges can’t say no to.
2. Practice Control
Song choice and control pretty much go hand in hand for a singing audition. I cannot stress this enough through every audition I’ve been with. It’s because of these 2 tips that I didn’t make it. When you pick a song, make sure you have complete control of that song. You’re at an audition overall, and if you’re like me, you get super nervous! I always feel like it is so much harder to sing while being judged or in front of a small group of people (same thing, right?) than in front of a bunch of people who I don’t really know or care what they think because singing is fun. We all can get nervous at times and that nervousness can really show during your audition. Shaky voice, shaky hands, stuttering, blinking a lot, moving awkwardly. All that good stuff. The worse moment you could have is when you’re singing and your voice cracks or you don’t hit that note the way you wanted or you forget the words! Those are all important things to keep in mind when practicing control. Make sure you are confident with your song (see tip #3). Practice enough that you can sing that song backwards and forwards (even if you’re nervous) with ease.
3. Your Look is Everything
I know they say the voice is the more important thing in NBC’s The Voice, but your look is always something they keep in mind but don’t say anything to you about. It’s a TV show after all. Even if it’s not on TV, it’s still part of your image reflecting their competition. My only point here is to BE YOU and be who you are as an artist and what you want to convey to your listeners. Just don’t be something you’re not because you think it’s how people would want you to look. .
4. Practice in The Mirror/Record Yourself.
- So you can hear what you sound like to your judges. You can figure if judges will like your audition or if you need to improve your rendition or change your song totally. What you are hearing is what they are hearing and recording yourself is crucial on mastering that your audition will be like.
- So you can see what you will look like to judges (clothes, posture, body and had movements and facial expressions), which is also crucial, especially if you’re auditioning for a TV show. Producers would want to see what you look like on TV or online. It’s not personal, just business. Sad but true: I remember when producers and staff would watch you on monitors to see how you’re looking on the camera. A study shows that attractive people are simply more successful. I hated reading this too, but it’s an unsaid sad truth about the entertainment industry.
5. Exude Kind Confidence
When you show that you’re confident (even if you’re really trembling inside), that confidence rubs off well on your audition. Judges will be able to see that you can stand your ground and can handle the pressure of being in the spotlight. Not trying to say that you need to be cocky and go all diva on me here, but just being kindly confident.
& Be respectful, smile, and be humble.
6. Watch Audition Videos AND Judge Critiques
Watching videos of other people auditioning your audition song helps because you can see 1) how that person sang it and how it compares to yours 2) What the judges said about their performance and what critiques were made. If judges hate that song you were thinking of auditioning to, then you need to rethink if you doing this song will be a definite yes in the judges eyes. If you can’t find a video of your audition song, you can still watch other videos to get feedback, pointers, and ideas on improving your audition. This also applies to singing in general. Hearing feedback from professionals can help you improve as a singer overall.
Here’s a great video of all The Voice’s winners from season 1 – 10 to help you get ideas:
7. Keep Your Mind, Body, and Voice Healthy
- Mind – Don’t get stressed out and over think everything. Just do your best and have a good time! At the end of the day, it’s a memory and a lesson.
- Body – You should have rest before your audition. Sorry, no crazy night outs and bad eating and drinking. Sleep early, eat well, and drink plenty of water. Try to avoid sodas and caffeine before you audition. Also avoid foods that will dry out your throat or make it groggy.
- Voice – Rest your voice. Avoid oversinging and screaming. Plenty of water is important for audition day. Throat Coat Tea and honey does the voice well and Ricola’s Lozenges are heaven sent. I’ve got some great tips for singing better here on my blog that can help you with singing better.