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How Do Singers Find Work

Feb 26, 2008
Now that you have a band organized and have rehearsed sufficiently or you are already very proficient in accompanying yourself with a guitar or a piano and already have a wide repertoire of songs, you know now is the time to start finding work as a professional singer. All the hard work is done and now is the time for fun and even fame! Isn't this the glorious day you have been looking forward to?

Finding work as a singer is not as difficult as many people make out to be because there will always be restaurants, clubs, pubs, private and public functions looking for competent professional singers like you. You can either hire agents or approach the venue of your interest directly after finding out who is the person in charge for conducting auditions, hiring bands and singers.

After talking to your potential employers, you can send them your demo CDs prior to a live audition. If you are selected, they will call you and your band for a live audition. This is the crucial point where you either succeed in getting yourself hired or not.

If you are applying for a singing job at bars and pubs, your potential employer will not be interested in listening to your original material. You are not a superstar and you have yet to establish an audience who will want to listen to your original composition no matter how good they are.

What they want will be what the venue's audience wants to listen to. Remember this, the club owners are in this for money and you will have to earn them money to justify your fee and job.

For example, if you sing with a jazz band, then obviously you cannot send your jazz demo CDs to rock clubs. It is therefore imperative that you understand the nature of the venue before sending your demo CDs.

Choose about 6-8 songs for your demo CDs for your pre-audition. This is because your potential employers will want to know that you have a wide repertoire and style. Do not attempt to showcase slow ballads unless you are very good and soulful or otherwise, you will bore your potential employers. Besides, slow songs are more difficult to sing well and mistakes are easier to spot.

If you are auditioning just for a singing job and do not have a band, then don't clutter your songs with some amateurish accompaniment. Sing with a karaoke minus one accompaniment instead. That will make you sound more like a proficient singer instead of a fumbling wannabe amateur.

Your first singing gig is probably one of the most important miles-stone of your singing career. Do learn quickly. If you are singing in a club and no one is paying attention to your performance, then you need to quickly know why. Perhaps you are not on stage and the audience cannot see you, or you may be performing too softly or too loudly until you sound irritating. There will be plenty of tweaking to do until you get your performance just right.

If you are a solo singer and are accompanying yourself, make sure the guitar or piano accompaniment arrangements are not too complex. Your voice must come through, not the sound of the musical instrument. Your audience are there to listen to you singing and do not want to listen to the clang clang bang bang of your guitar or piano. The musical instrument supports the song, not the other way round.

For instance, listen to Dina Krall when she accompanies herself on the piano. When singing, she just plays the chords so that her voice and lyrics come across with clarity and powerful emotions. It is during the instrumental part of the song that her piano playing is more fanciful and more crescendo applied.

Finding work as a singer is easy, but the road to being a successful professional singer or to fame is another matter.
About the Author
Chris Chew writes regularly about music and singing. More articles at his websites How to sing vibrato and How to sing with powerful voice
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