You step into an unfamiliar and uncomfortable room and come face to face with a group of people at a table. All eyes are on you. To make things more stressful, you are now expected to perform a song and monologue like you are the most confident and comfortable person in this situation. Why does it matter? because succeeding could mean your next gig. Auditioning is an intimidating step in the process of acting. When you are auditioning for a musical, it could be even moreso especially if you have not figured out how to find your singing voice yet.
One thing to remember right from the start is that those scary people behind that table are not rooting for your failure. They want to see you do well. After all, it would make their job a lot easier. So build your voice and you will build confidence. This article gives you some helpful musical auditioning tips and advice on to how to find your singing voice.
9 Tips on Learning How to Find Your Singing Voice
Tip 1: Be Prepared
All auditions and casting calls have their own requirements and it is essential that you know what these are to make the process go smoothly. Just like a project syllabus for school, a musical audition will have specific instructions that are expected to be followed and fulfilled. The requirements will give you information about your audition length, material, genre requirements, and if there is a specific song or play you are to draw from. Other information can give you an idea of what to expect when you get to the audition, for whom you will be auditioning for, and what you should wear. Knowing these ahead of time allows the casting directors to get through the day in an organized manner. It also gives you a sense of comfort knowing what to be ready for allowing you to focus more on how to find your singing voice.
Tip 2: How to Find Your Singing Voice – Range
Everyone has a different ability, experience, and vocal capabilities. When learning how to find your singing voice, you must remember that in order to succeed you must find your own voice and not try to emulate someone else. If you do you could find plenty of discouragement. One key aspect to learn is what your comfortable vocal range is. Vocal range refers to the octave range you are able to sing correctly and comfortably from lowest to highest. You can figure out where your range is by singing scales. Start by finding the lowest note you can sing clearly and scale up until you reach the highest note you can sing. By finding which notes become difficult to sing you can place yourself within one of seven ranges including: soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, countertenor, tenor, baritone, and bass.
Tip 3: How to Find Your Singing Voice – Tessitura
Once you have found your vocal range, the next part is to find your sweet spot or your tessitura. Most times your range exceeds your tessitura. The tessitura is the range within your full range that you have the most power and accuracy with the notes. Here is where you will find your best singing voice- the one you should present to your casting directors. You can find your tessitura by recording yourself and listening or performing for others to see where they hear it.
Think of songs you really like to sing and feel confident singing. More than likely if those songs are the ones you belt out, it is because you feel like those are the ones you think you sound good singing and more than likely, your tessitura can be found within them. Later you can work on expanding that range, but for now refine it and work within it to give yourself the best chances.
Tip 4: Have Songs Already Prepared
When you get more familiar and comfortable with your personal range and voice, have a handful of songs under your belt that are polished and ready to have on hand if you need it at an audition. Think of it the same way you would have several monologues ready in the rafters for traditional auditions. Some auditions will give you specific requirements while others will let you choose a song. It is better to a have a few songs well performed than tons that are mediocre. Thus, choose a variety of types within your range and practice them every so often to keep them well refined. You will find confidence in them and have them prepared and ready should the need for them come up.
Tip 5: What to Sing
Once you have learned how to find your singing voice, you will have a better idea of which songs to choose so that you sound pleasant in your range. Try to find something that you do not think the casting directors will have heard a thousand times over the course of the day. That is one sure-fire way to blend in with the crowd when you want to stand out. Also, look for something you connect with or feel a connection too. This will also help you learn how to find your singing voice because your emotion will just naturally saturate the piece giving it more life and making your performance that much greater and more impressive.
Tip 6: Have Your Piece Ready
If the audition requires a specific piece of music- learn it and learn it well. Sometimes you get to choose a song, so make sure to use one that is appropriate to the requirements and within your comfort level. If you have on ready in your book of songs- use it. With a pre-prepared song you will have an advantage since you already know the lyrics and tune. All you will need to do beyond that is to get it polished. Getting that part of your audition to the point you feel ready will give you more confidence that will shine through when you step out on stage. Then you can focus more on cues and your monologue or other parts of the audition because your song will come to you like second nature.
Tip 7: Take Care of Yourself
Sometimes you get so wrapped up in refining your performance that the time slips by you and you forget to take care of the most important part of your audition- you. You and your voice are the tools of your trade and you will want them in tip top condition for the audition. Remember to take core of them with these tips:
- Get rest before the audition to have your voice ready and so you wont look drained and tired for your casting director.
- Kick bad habits that could destroy the quality of your voice
- Have a light and healthy breakfast to feel your best
- Do not neglect your vocal warm ups
Tip 8: A Balanced Performance
Once you step up in front of your audience, remember to keep your performance balanced. Do not overdo you gestures as it can be distracting and take away from your performance. Make sure you do not have gum or a throat drop in your mouth. Add expressions to your song to make it more interesting to watch. Do not fidget with your hair or clothes because it too is distracting and makes you look nervous. Remember, you want to look confident. Lightly stage the monologue keeping your movements natural and simple- again do not be too over-dramatic. The casting directors want to see how you interpret and present the material.
Tip 9: Professional Help
Singing comes naturally for some while others, no matter how hard they try on their own, cannot get it right. There is no shame in seeking out professional help. A voice coach can be invaluable and save you time and discouragement. They can quickly direct you to your tessitura and range and give you advice on how to improve them. You may find your range is much wider than you thought and your instructor can help you expand it even more. They can even help you find your unique style that will help you stand out at an audition. You can also look into joining a local choir or chorus to get in some extra practice and direction. Not only can you gain more knowledge through the group, but you can make friends to practice with you outside of the class.
Auditioning can be nerve-wracking. Add singing to it because the audition is for a musical and you may feel like you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown. However, if you learn to find your singing voice, are prepared, and refine your range you will find the confidence to put your best face forward for the casting directors.
What tips can you add for those who are looking for their voices to get to a musical audition? Leave any helpful comments below.