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How to choose audition songs

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MattB
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Hi all,

I've been taking voice lessons for a couple years now and am dying to put it to some use. I haven't been able to hook up with a band yet, and am thinking it will be fun to try to audition for one of these TV competition shows like The Voice or America's Got Talent or something. I don't have any illusions about actually making it lol, but I think it will be fun and excellent practice and experience.

I need to pick out a few songs to prepare. I know that song choice is very important, but having never done it before I'm not sure what to look for. What kinds of things should I look for when choosing an audition song?

Thanks!

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I'm no expert at this but from a general instinct and somewhat obvious standpoint I would say this.

First off change this attitude.

I don't have any illusions about actually making it

Go in with a winning attitude, always.

I would think that a song choices would be ones that showcase your strong points but hide the weak. Don'y try to impress if you can't or are unsure. I like songs that draw people in and make them want more but some of those songs don't show range (if that's your thing). Then you need to rely on emotion.

If you have more than one song I wouldn't do them all similar. That makes you seem like a one trick pony. On the flip side I would't think showing off is good either by singing all kinds of stuff that doesn't actually show what "you" are about. Pick songs that are you but (if more than one) show various abilities.

Bottom line, the first song has to wow them. What makes you stand out among the rest. A "style' usually helps. Something your own. Don't try to sound like...

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Actually Matt, I have to agree with Tommy.

Agreed, the chances are a long shot, but we still go into with a positive attitude. Remember is ever bit as much about the preparation, audition and learning experience on these TV auditions as it is about winning one. You'll come out the other side more pro.

ill send out some emails to some other folks... and post here.

r

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Thanks for the replies. Pay no attention to my seemingly non-winning attitude in that first post, that's just my self-deprecating sense of humor. I always give it my all, and am planning to work my ass off in preparation. I go in giving my best, I just also am aware of the odds. But I am not afraid of being an underdog. :)

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matt, i've tried the tv show auditions...standing in a mile long line on w. 34th st. in manhattan in the freezing cold at 4:30 in the morning for 3 hours along with thousands of other singers (and their friends).

then after all the wait, no chance to warmup or re-warming the voice. next thing you know you're in an acoustically dead room with 11 other hopefulls, one better than the other. you get 30 seconds, say your name, what you're doing, and zingo you're singing.

but it is an experience...lol!!!!

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Hi all,

I've been taking voice lessons for a couple years now and am dying to put it to some use. I haven't been able to hook up with a band yet, and am thinking it will be fun to try to audition for one of these TV competition shows like The Voice or America's Got Talent or something. I don't have any illusions about actually making it lol, but I think it will be fun and excellent practice and experience.

I need to pick out a few songs to prepare. I know that song choice is very important, but having never done it before I'm not sure what to look for. What kinds of things should I look for when choosing an audition song?

Thanks!

Resist the urge to over estimate your range, your versatility and your ability to assimilate new material. While it might be tempting to show off your 17 octave range and the new song you learned yesterday, you will do much better with material that fits into your comfort zone. You must appear to OWN your songs by knowing them inside and out.

People make the majority of their decisions by the end of the first line so make certain you pick material that starts at a point of high energy.

www.CyberVoiceStudio.com

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What CoCo said. Do songs you have been doing for half past forever. The ones you know sound good and that feel like you wrote them. This is not the place to show off your natural range, i.e., any sound possible that your body can make. This is where to show your artistic range, the region where you have the greatest control and expression. And choose music for which your voice is suited. If you sound more like James Hetfield, don't try a Michael Jackon song, either in range or style. And vice versa. If you sound more like Justin Hawkins, don't audition with "Enter Sandman."

And coco's right. You get the judge's attention in the first phrase or two. And rarely are they wrong. For a problematic voice usually cannot handle any part of a song, beginning, middle, or end. To borrow from baseball, let' say that you bat right-handed. Audition is not the time to try left-handed swings. Swing right handed and swing right in your striking zone.

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Hi MattB,

The best way to choose audition songs is to be very specific with what the audition is. Eg: auditioning for a pop band - sing a great pop tune that really shows off your voice. Soul band - a great soul tune. I know it's obvious but you'd be surprised what people choose sometimes which are completely inappropriate.

As for the talent shows well maybe try something that they won't have heard a million times that day and something that shows you are a bit unique but very modern.

Auditioning can be nerve wracking so choose something you know inside out and you can sing really well and it's comfortably within your range. If you have to sing accapella then make sure you practice finding the right pitch to begin on as you don't want to end up getting the chorus and it's way too high.

Try to relax, make sure you warm up and do some relaxation techniques before auditions so that you are vocally and physically prepared. Check out some techniques on my vocal advice website. There's 3 free lessons up so far. http://www.singersadvice.com

Good luck and enjoy it

Sarah

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Yup, exactly what Sarah, Ron, and Coco said. Not much I can add, other than one general rule, my coach gave me - leave yourself about a major 3rd of headroom from the top of your range to the highest note in an audition piece. Unless you are warming up to D5, don't try to sing a Bb4 in an audition.

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Go to karaoke bars and size up how an audience feels about your song selections and accompanying movement and gestures. It is important not to judge by the degree of applause-- you have to understand which songs the audience respects you and which ones they like you. Go with the ones they respect your singing.

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Also, don't go in with a "win-the-contest" approach. Go in with a winning attitude on how you'll do your best.

The problem with "win-the-contest" approach is that when you likely will lose, you'll truly be an emotional loser. John Wooden's books explain this very well.

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Lastly, the odds of your performing well on technique issues are very slim, unless you are truly gifted. Stay with what you can do well-- expressing your own emotions. That is, focus on making the audience feel rather than admire your techniques. In this way, I'm suggesting using the karaoke audience to test and refine your song selections and approaches.

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Im gonna say the oposite to everyone here, if youve got great range show it, comfortzone is à joke give it your all instead Then you wont regret yourself.

When i did an audition i stayed within My comfortzone to this day i regret not giving it My all, safecards can aswell bite you...

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