Choosing the Perfect Audition Song for Your Singing Audition
Singing auditions are undeniably daunting and stressful at the same time. When it comes to auditioning for a musical or even a singing contest, keep in mind that the anxiety you feel is pretty much normal. Even seasoned performers find it difficult to perform in front of strangers, so do know that it all boils down to managing your anxiety and being able to focus on the task on hand instead.
Perhaps the first challenging task to do when preparing for the singing audition is finding the right audition song. Even if you’re already comfortable in the spotlight, picking the best audition song can still be an arduous process. Let us help you decide by showing you the factors you should be considering when selecting the perfect audition song for your upcoming singing audition.
Picking the Best Audition Song for Your Upcoming Singing Audition
Is this a pop or rock audition? Musical theater? An operetta? Will the genre even suit your voice type? These are important questions you should be asking before you actually give the opportunity a go. If the genre or style is completely new to you, you might need time to prepare for this shift. If you were classically trained, auditioning for a rap musical or rock musical may prove to be challenging. We recommend that every singer maintain a book of the best audition songs they can readily use when the time comes.
If you’re no stranger to the audition type and musical genre, go choose the crowd pleaser from among the possible songs based on the audition’s requirement or suggested composer. For musical theater auditions, do your homework and find out what the vocal range of the role is and what style of music they sing. Pick the best song that shows that you can do what is needed for the character.
This is similar to selecting your audition song based on the required cuts, but also keep your audience in mind. Your audition panel has been listening to singers all day long and doesn’t really want to be forced to cut you off.
Some auditions only need 16 bars of a song or just a verse and a chorus. The casting directors have neither the time nor the energy to listen to everyone sing for 5 minutes, so edit your song into something short. A verse, a chorus, and a close will suffice.
The problem with picking a highly popular song is that the performance standard is already set very high. When you choose an extremely well-known song that has already been done by a widely acclaimed performer, you are creating expectations for yourself that weren’t there when you walked into the room. You don’t want to come in singing a song that’s really famous and associated with one particularly successful artist. You want to go in and showcase the very best of your talent, not set yourself up to be compared to a superstar.
Tessitura is a musical term that refers to a comfortable vocal range for a music instrument—and in your case, your vocal range. This is where you can assess your singing voice and prevent it from cracking. Do not strain your voice by pushing it too far. The only way to expand your vocal range is to undergo voice lessons, which is also a good way to find out what tones suit your voice best.
A crucial skill for every singer is being able to familiarize their own voice. This does not only mean assessing your capabilities when it comes to hitting high and low notes. Familiarizing your vocal style is being aware of your limits as well. Many singers make the mistake of idolizing and emulating performers in the industry. This is because they are often made to believe that sounding like their idols will take them to places, especially in winning singing auditions. But in reality, by doing so, you will just come off as a copycat performer and you wouldn’t be able to stand out in a crowd.
Aim to have a strong voice instead. Find the passion to sing by learning a song and performing it like it’s your own. Many singers work with vocal instructors to do this, and investing on singing lessons will really help your career. Keep in mind that another person’s ear, especially a well-trained one, can be more reliable than just your own.
Again, instead of becoming the next Ariana Grande, find ways to develop your own style.
What parts of your voice feel the strongest and most comfortable? Is it your chest voice? Mixed voice? Head voice? With that answer, look for an audition song that mostly showcases the vocal register you’re good at. Never choose an audition song just because you think that is what the audition panel wants to hear. When given a choice, always choose the best audition song your voice can offer. Choose an audition song that is within your comfortable singing range. This is not the time to stretch for a note as blowing a note will almost certainly also blow your chances. The audition panel will expect you to show off the very best your voice can sound like.
For tips on preparing for singing auditions, check this previous article out.