If a singing career is your goal, while you make a commitment to pursue a professional singing career, you should also make a commitment to become a multi-instrument player. A good voice and the ability to execute a well turned phrase are simply not enough anymore. If you want to have a career in singing it’s important that you become a well-rounded musician.
Learn to play an instrument. In fact, learn to play several: guitar, piano and drums at the very least.
I highly recommend studying the guitar first — it’s easy to learn to strum a few chords and you can get started playing music right away. The guitar will teach you about the relationship between the keys and how repeating patterns form and transfer.
I also recommend learning to play the piano because it will teach you the language of music. It’s all laid out for you (quite literally!) right there in black and white on the keyboard.
The wise student will learn to develop two piano skills, playing by ear without written music or from chord charts, and by learning to read music by sight. If you cannot find a teacher who can teach both systems, find yourself two teachers.
If you want to develop your rhythmic integrity, it’s also a good idea to take a few drum lessons. You will be expected to know the difference between a shuffle, a disco beat and a waltz, and how to accurately indicate the tempos you prefer. An error in setting the tempo could lead to a nightmare as the song progresses.
Get as much onstage experience as possible, this is imperative for those who want to have a career in singing. Join a band or put a band together; you need to experience how to run a band and entertain an audience under every kind of condition.
Touring drives record sales and creates a fan base. When you are ready to approach record executives they need to see that you have honed your craft through extensive onstage experience and that you can command the attention of a crowd and build a following. Without it, you have no proven history and you will find it difficult to convince anyone to make a high-dollar investment gamble on your singing career.
Nashville producer Paul Worley, (Lady Antebellum, Dixie Chicks. Martina McBride, The Band Perry. . .) has a program that he makes his unseasoned young singing clients go through. They must schedule, book and play 90 gigs in 99 days. Now if that sounds difficult, think ahead to when you could be playing 99 shows in 99 days. If you’re not tough enough, there are plenty of others who are ready and willing to jump in.
In order for a career in singing to be hassle-limited (notice I didn’t say “hassle-free) you have to give yourself every advantage when you communicate with your band, your producer, your audience. You have to know what you want before you can get it. Everything you learn about the mysterious inner workings of the music you make will make you a better singer and a stronger leader.
I spend a lot of my time to bring you information that can actually help to remove the obstacles that keep you from singing your best at every level (beginner, intermediate and advanced singers) as well as lots of tips to help if you are trying to pursue a career in the music business. In return I would appreciate any questions or comments that you may have by clicking on “comments” and responding after reading my emails! Thanks so much, Renee
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