You have to prepare and rehearse to look like a natural at an audition– says Jai Ramage.
Jai auditions for talent for The Voice UK so knows exactly what makes a perfect audition and auditionee.
I have been privileged to witness thousands of auditions over the last six years. Some have been incredible and will be etched in my memory forever.
Contrary to the show’s title a good audition is delivered with so much more than a capable voice. It requires a certain mindset and considered application.
We love the notion that someone starts to sing for the first time and is just brilliant
We live in an age where we respect ‘natural’ musicians. We love the notion that someone starts to sing for the first time and is just brilliant, yet only very occasionally, does this actually happen.
Successful artists give the impression that they are spontaneous, free, and that their musicality just emerged and drops out of every pore. What the aspiring singer doesn’t see is the time artists have dedicated to practice and preparation in getting themselves to the point of mastery.
My advice to any contestant would be to THINK about what and how they wish to perform, BELIEVE in themselves and their artistic choices, and PREPARE:
I would advise singers to think about what sort of artist they wish to be. This demands thought on what type of songs suit their voices and these might not be what they themselves listen to.
Musical and technical aspects should be considered such as the structure of the song, the dynamic journey, the range they are showing and how they are accessing it.
Analysis of the lyrics and how to connect with them is of huge importance which in turn leads to thinking how to convey the emotion and feel of the song.
Leaving these details to just ‘see what happens in the moment’ is a big risk.
Once the points above have been considered I would urge contestants to believe in their artistic choices; no one else will believe in them if they don’t. They should believe in their chosen genre, mainstream or obscure, and understand it.
It is a pleasure to watch artists who believe in themselves and are committed to performing a version that is authentic to them.
If they have a strong belief that we will like their choices it puts us at ease watching and listening to them.
Contestants should never underestimate the benefits of preparation; it may sound obvious but it pays to put the practice in.
The irony is that if contestants think, believe and prepare they may be described by the panel as a ‘natural’.
Often the statements ‘music is my dream’ or ‘I live for music’ are declared prior to discovering the backing track is in the wrong key and clearly hasn’t been listened to, let alone practiced with.
This type of person usually has not prepared enough to have alternative songs, other tracks stored, back up resources and other options for digging themselves out of the hole and supporting their earlier statement.
Gigging is a great way to practice as it widens repertoire, replicates a pressured situation, gives an indication of what the audience like or don’t like, and builds up experience.
People are better able to cope with anything that is requested of them if they practice as they have more experiences on which to draw.
The saying ‘There is no such thing as luck, it is merely preparation meeting opportunity’ is very relevant.
The irony is that if contestants think, believe and prepare they may be described by the panel as a ‘natural’. The more prepared they are the more ‘off the cuff’ they can sound.
The general public will marvel at the thought that they were born singing like that and so the cycle goes on!
Jai Ramage is a Certified Master Teacher in Estill Voice Training. She works as a freelance vocal coach in theatre, pop and TV and acts as voice consultant to several top theatrical agencies and pop management companies. Current clients include The Vamps who recently won ‘Best British Group’ in the Radio One Teen Awards and Lucy O’Byrne who is playing Fantine in Les Miserables. Jai continues to coach on The Voice since its transfer from the BBC. She has been involved in the casting process on Series 1-6 and has coached contestants for the Blind Auditions on Series 1, 2 & 6. Jai is vocal coach on the first Voice Kids show for ITV that will air in Summer 2017. www.jairamagevoice.com