below the best tips to become a Professional Singer. let’s try – sing and get paid to sing.
1. Believe in yourself and your dream
You must focus on this from the get go. There will be people who support you, there will be people who question your choices. These choices are yours to make, think about ways to respond to people who question your decisions.
One of the proudest moments of my life was being able to quit my desk job and never go back. Focus on that future success story, the thing you want more than anything else. Imagine yourself having it, and how it will feel.
Whenever you have doubts, remember that feeling.
2. Find something unique about yourself and develop your own style.
Find something unique about yourself and develop your own style. The goal here is to discover what makes you stand out from everyone else. You may have to experiment to find your own voice and what sets you apart from everyone else.
- If you have the ability to alternate between alto and soprano, use that skill to show off how your talent spans a wide vocal range.
- Maybe you have a raspy voice and a gritty vocal style that works great for soul music.
- Playing an instrument like the guitar or piano can also set you apart and help you stand out.
To become a great singer, practice is the first step. And the second step. And the third, and on and on. Whether your singing career is confined to your showerhead or you’re a world-renowned vocalist, you will need to continue to strengthen, maintain, and be familiar with your instrument. After all, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice—in your home, at karaoke night, or out on the street for anyone who will listen!
4. Take care of your voice.
Because that instrument is also a muscle (or more precisely, “folds of membranous tissue that project inward from the sides of the larynx to form a slit across the glottis in the throat, and whose edges vibrate in the airstream to produce the voice”), it requires regular, consistent exercise. Your voice, like any part of your body, is also prone to injury. As you familiarize yourself with what your instrument needs, try out the potions and remedies favored by some of the best singers: light teas, honey, lemon, ginger, and the like.
Whatever you do, don’t overexert yourself! Yelling, screeching, or singing without proper breath support will jeopardize your ability to sing or even speak. Your voice is your money maker. Don’t go for broke.
5. Work with a coach.
Speaking of breath support, every successful singer you’ve ever heard has worked with a vocal coach or teacher. Such a professional knows the intricacies of how voices and faces and lungs work, and they can also specifically help you and your singing style over time. Many professional vocalists say their coach knows their voice even better than they do. A teacher’s expertise comes in handy when your instrument is fatigued, or when you’re prepping for an upcoming singing gig or audition. Find one you trust and who believes in your talent!
6. Browse Backstage for advice—and auditions.
You’re clearly already using Backstage.com as a resource…good job! A subscription to Backstage is one of the greatest tools at the working artist’s disposal. Browse our singing advice and other useful tags for tips, check out our YouTube channel for advice from industry professionals, check out Call Sheet for listings of agents and managers, and especially keep your eyes on our casting calls for singing gigs and musical theater auditions.
7. Take singing lessons online or in private to improve your vocal skills.
Finding a good vocal coach is probably one of the most important things you can do to further your music career. Even people who naturally have an amazing singing voice can benefit from professional lessons. Singing lessons teach you more than just how to sound good, they also help you to:
- Use proper breathing techniques
- Stay in key while under pressure
- Clearly enunciate and articulate your words
- Access a wider vocal range without straining
- Build your confidence
8. Perform in places that take you out of your comfort zone.
After you’ve nailed stage performances, branch out and try something new. Try being a guest singer with a local band or singing on the patio at a restaurant. Singing at any sort of venue that is new or different for you will help.
- You may not get paid when you are first starting out, but you will probably be able to set out a tip jar. If you do get paid for performing, consider it a bonus!
- No 2 venues, performances, or even songs will be exactly alike. Give yourself opportunities to experience as many different factors as you can. All of these experiences will work to prepare you to be able to give a successful performance no matter what the circumstances.
- You can’t be shy. Put yourself out there and introduce yourself to the people you want to work with. If there’s a particular band you want to play with, ask if you can come to one of the practices. Using mutual acquaintances can also be helpful in finding venues to perform at and/or people to sing with.
- These experiences can also help give you a sense of what kind of performances you want to do. You may discover that you would rather sing with a group or a band instead of solo.
9. Practice singing a variety of cover songs.
A lot of singers don’t write their own songs, and that’s OK. Particularly when you’re first starting out, you want people to pay more attention to the quality of your voice than the quality of your songwriting. Build up a “set list” of 10 to 15 cover songs you know you can really knock out of the park, and practice getting better at them.
- Choose a good mix of current and classic songs.
- A good way to get a cover noticed is to drastically alter the tone, tempo, or instrumentation of a popular song. Compare the several different versions of “Hallelujah,” or listen to the Civil Wars’ cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” for ideas.
- Don’t worry about royalties for performing cover songs live. Copyright and licensing issues only come into play if you are recording and distributing those songs.
10. Start working on your own music to increase your credibility.
Writing your own songs would be a huge boost to your credibility. But don’t feel bad if writing isn’t your thing—a lot of singers rely on others to write their songs for them. The goal here is to put out some fresh new music instead of relying solely on cover songs.If you opt to have someone write your songs for you, you then have to decide whether to give them credit or contract them as a ghost writer. In general, fans appreciate the honesty.
11. Get involved in the local music scene.
Spend as much time as you can hanging out in places where successful musicians/producers meet. Go to clubs and dance halls and act like you’re part of the industry, even if they don’t know who you are.When planning a vacation, try to go to a city known for music. Travel to places like Nashville, Memphis, NYC, LA, New Orleans, Austin or Las Vegas and mix it up with the local musicians.
12. Get yourself a manager if you need help handling the workload.
As you get more into your music career—especially if you are balancing other responsibilities like work, school, or family—you may find it difficult to keep up with everything. A manager can help you stay organized and will help with promoting you and advancing your career.
- Use your manager to help find gigs, plan events, handle money, and make long-term plans.
- The standard pay for managers is a 15% commission. However, you may be able to save some money in the early stages of your career by enlisting the help of a supportive and business-minded friend or family member.
- The most important thing about finding a manager, is finding one that fits you. Make sure they are trustworthy, personable, and have the skills needed to help you succeed.
13. Make your own YouTube channel and post to it regularly.
With over 1 billion site visits per month, having your own YouTube channel is an easy way to get yourself more exposure by reaching a global audience.Once you create your channel, share it with your family and friends and on your social media accounts. Ask everyone you know to support you by sharing your link as well.
14. Make a demo to promote yourself locally.
Visit a professional recording studio or make your own home studio to record a few of your best songs. You can put your demo on CDs, flash drives, or an online playlist.Give your demo to club DJs, local radio stations, and recording studios and labels.
15. Share your music on an online music distribution platform.
Sharing your music digitally will give people across the world access to stream, download, and purchase your music. You can even get paid royalties for it!
- LANDR, CD Baby, Ditto Music, Record Union, Reverbnation, and iMusician are a few distributors you can look into.
- Each company has different terms of service and fees, so it’s important that you educate yourself about which service will be the best for you.
We’re living in the digital age: Everyone can share anything at any time on the internet. On the one hand, this means it’s easier than ever to launch a new endeavor and connect with other like-minded artists. On the other hand, it means the internet is a meritocracy, rewarding the best work. As you hone your technical singing skills, find an outlet to share and promote your brand as a singer: Do you write your own rock songs, or are you a pop cover artist? YouTube and Soundcloud are common sites for singer-songwriters to put their ideas out into the world (some artists are even launching careers on Instagram or Vine!) Use social media to spread your work far and wide. Look at the flourishing careers of hardworking talents like Todrick Hall, Karmin, and even Justin Bieber, who backed up their artistic vision with relentless digital promotion of their work—and perseverance. Most such success stories began with a camera, a singular talent, and access to the web.
16. Keep moving forward if you get rejected.
Being rejected is probably one of the most difficult obstacles you will face on your journey. The music industry is extremely competitive and as such, some artists have to get rejected—it’s the nature of the business. Do not let it get you down. Continue to practice patience and perseverance.If you are rejected for a show or during an audition, ask for the reason why. It’s possible that it may not have anything to do with your talent or ability, but rather the look they are aiming for in their show, etc.
17. Implement the feedback you receive to help improve yourself.
Understanding why you were turned down is only one part of the process. The next thing you need to do is reflect on the feedback and then take steps to implement it. This will only make you better.If you were told that you weren’t loud enough—sing louder during your practices and training sessions to help strengthen your voice. If you were told that you don’t have a good stage presence—work on your facial expressions and think about incorporating some more movement or adding an instrument while you sing.