Putting these steps into practice will yield the results you want –says Simone Niles
You’ve just found out that a band you like is looking for a vocalist – they’ve asked you to attend the rehearsal.
Here are my top 5 tips for preparing yourself for a vocal audition.
Warm up. I advise warming up your voice appropriately to suit the repertoire you will be singing. Doing a general warm up is always advised, but it important that when you are working with specific material that you are prepared to get the best out it. Always warm up below the lowest and above the highest notes that you will sing in a song. Also, if you will be sustaining long notes, you can incorporate this into your warm up to get your body ready.
Steaming. This is one of my favorite ways of hydrating the vocal folds, cleansing them at the same time. Good hydration thins the mucus that covers the vocal folds, so that they move against each other easily and vibrates smoothly. Try doing this at least once a day for a few minutes at a time, and definitely on audition day.
Eat appropriately. Stay away from the foods that can irritate your voice. Some foods affect more singers more that others so learn quickly which ones are your culprits. Common ones are: milk, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol. You want to give your voice the best platform to serve you.
Research. The more you know about the project you are auditioning for the better. So, research as much as you can about the band/show/project you are auditioning for. Even if your vocal performance is satisfactory, you may disappoint yourself if you cannot answer questions that are ‘obvious’ if you prep accordingly.
Focus on a positive outcome. Point your state of mind in the right direction. Be confident about what you want to achieve and show this to those auditioning you. Imagine that you got a ‘call back’ or a message asking you take part. How great will you feel about this? Focus on this and you will have a head start to achieving it!
Start putting these steps in to practice and you’ll see results.
My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids
Andrea Kaden – “Got Dynamite” (Cover)
Nice one Andrea! You tone is versatile and you’ve done a good cover of this song. You were quite dynamic and this is always great for the listener. When you did the softer, higher vocals in the bridge, some of your lyrics got lost. When in that part of your range and at that volume you will find that if you shape your mouth more around the words, slightly highlighting the consonants the words will cut through. Post throat infection tip – steaming is a great to help clean and hydrate the vocal folds.
Erin C – “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together” (Cover)
Hi Erin, good song choice for your tone. You have good timing and managed to get in all those lyrics in well in the verse. Well done for accompanying yourself on guitar; make sure to keep an upright posture to allow room for maximum breath support. When singing those higher notes, place your tone forward in your mouth and mask (cheeks, nasal passage) to create a more resonant sound. It would be good to see more facial expression and connection to the song. Well done.
Simone Niles is a leading vocal and performance coach and an author on performance enhancement. She has a busy private teaching practice in London and teaches at The Institute of Contemporary Music, where she is MD of the college’s vocal ensemble. Her book “Coaching for Performance Excellence”, gives artists innovative ways to achieve performance excellence; it is available from her website.