You know you’re a professional when…..

In no particular order………..
1. You are able to sing when you are not in perfect condition…such as having a viral cold.
2. You are good without having to work very hard at it.
3. You can express yourself with good pitch, diction, volume control and phrasing.
4. You can speak with other singers and musicians about “the lingo”. You can refer to keys, passages, beat, rhythm, tempo, and more.
5. You can perform at your best in any venue regardless of size, location, audience or conditions.
6. You know how to practise and rehearse to be ready.
7. You can roll with the punches. In other words, you are able to adapt to less-than-perfect conditions such as a guitar being out of tune, or a monitor feeding back.
8. You know how to work with, and respect other musicians. You are prompt, well-rehearsed, and ready to go. You know how to dress appropriately, provide your own equipment and have music details ready for accompanying musicians.
9. You do not waste other people’s/musicians/singers time.
10. You get asked back.

That’s just the top ten that came to mind in the last 10 minutes…………I’m sure there are more….just write them in the comment box if you think of any.

So you want to be a singer?

It doesn’t matter what your age is right now. If you want to be a professional singer, then you need to get out there and sing! Every performance you do will give you insight and experience that cannot be learned anywhere else. Singing in your basement is not going to cut it. Now is the time to reach out and decide you are going to sing in public. But, how?

One option is forming a band. You need to be clear on your style and genre. If you want to be lead singer in a band then you need a dummer, bass player,¬†and typically a guitar player and/or a keyboard player. Find out where you can play for free. Lots of events would love free music! Rehearse enough material to do one or two sets and go out and just do it……over and over and over. There is no better teacher.

If a band is not your cup of tea then consider backing tracks. There are lots of sites online that sell great tracks. One site I like is Karaoke Version. Put together 8 to 12 songs and go out and do it! You will need a small PA system. Any reputable music store can set you up with a quality microphone and a small speaker system that will provide a great professional sound. Again, I suggest finding a small bar setting (such as in a restaurant) that would love free entertainment! This is a great way to practise your act, and not be in your basement!

So what is holding you back? Now is the time to pick that line-up of songs and get to work. Sure you may need your “cheat sheets” when you first start your “gig”. But, trust me, after weeks of singing the same songs, you can throw away those lyrics and truly be a professional singer! Good luck!