Jump to content

Getting started performing

Rate this topic


hollywood15
 Share

Recommended Posts

I wasn't sure where to post this, so I apologize if it's in the wrong place!

 

I'm a fairly new singer. I've been working on making my voice as good as I can for a couple of months, and I feel like the next step toward making this into a career is playing live, and I think I'm ready to make that jump.  So this is a 2-part question.

 

1) What kind of gig do you guys recommend as the "first" live show, especially for someone who doesn't really write their own yet?

 

2) What are some other ways you recommend of getting into singing for a career?  

 

I've read about singing demos for songwriters, for example.

 

I appreciate your help, and thank you in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of people seem to be getting famous off of having singing channels on YouTube.

I'd check craigslist for singing gigs. I often see those. Even bands looking for lead singers a lot of times.

Just another tip, never stop practicing. I see a lot of singing "talent shows" on tv with this whole mindset where it's like either you make it now or don't make it at all. That's not how it is. Your voice will continue to improve if you keep practicing. If you don't get something now, 6 months down the line, the same person who rejected you might want you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

    I guess it depends on what area you are in and what type of songs you are singing. Do you play an instrument also?

   If you are going to be playing live at some kind of show "bar room" "coffee House" "Wedding singer" "graduation Parties"

   You need to have at least 40 songs ready to go.

   You need some type of music to sing to, even if it is prerecorded. You will need to provide that music and a way for it to be heard.

   If you do not play an instrument you can advertise as a singer looking for a band. You should have an idea of what type of songs you want to sing.

  There is more to performing than  having 2 or 3 songs that you sing well.  Even if you have a fantastic voice you need to have any number of songs you can perform whenever and where ever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have not heard about singers having to demo for songwriters. Usually, it is the other way around. The songwriter trying to sell his or her song.

 

Anyway, you just start singing in front of people who don't run you off.

You could be a busker, on the street corner. Just start singing and people will pay you pocket change to either keep singing or please stop singing.

 

I agree with G, don't worry about these talent shows. In fact, most of the celebrity judges did not get where they are by getting into talent shows. They achieved success by singing whereever and whenever they could. Steven Tyler, for example. Aerosmith was rejected from every label at least once, sometimes, twice. He and the guys just didn't know how to quit. So, you need that, some "I don't know how to quit" - ish feeling going on.

 

The sooner you get into gigs where you get paid to sing, the better. Not just so you can be labeled a pro. Money is spiritual. Money is how we sustain ourselves and I will get a lot of grief for that. If someone, somewhere, doesn't get paid a dollar for some reason, you will go hungry and die from starvation. How did someone pay for that food? Money. Ergo, the root of all evil is the very nature of our existence. Embrace the evil, the dark side. "Luke, I am your father's cousin on your uncle's side, twice removed."

 

And be prepared to have lean times, even if you "make" it. Steven Tyler has been broke a few times.

 

When he was in Black Flag, Henry Rollins rode and slept in the back of a Ryder rental truck with the band's gear. Off the road, he lived in a tool shed.

 

The members of Guns and Roses have lived, not just slept, lived in the storage unit where they kept equipment.

 

When Tina Turner left Ike, she had a few dollars in the pocket and no record deal.

 

You sing because you cannot contemplate anything else. But, in the meantime, it is okay to have a day job that  pays money so that you don't starve.

 

David Byrne of the Talking Heads was an insurance underwriter.

 

That guy from the Georgia Satellites "I got a little change in my pocket going jing-a-ling-a-ling ..." was mowing lawns.

 

Michael Sweet, after the first big run of Stryper, went to work at his first wife's family's cranberry farm and campgrounds. That's right, the guy that could sing some of the highest and sweetest notes is showing you where the restrooms are and please, pick up your litter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all of your replies so far, I appreciate it!

 

Ronws, I mean that some songwriters will hire singers to sing their demos, and that sometimes you can work out a deal where you'll sing them in exchange for being able to use it to promote yourself, or something along those lines.  It was mentioned in the "Songwriters Market" book I'm reading.

 

I do play guitar, but I'm not sure if I'm quite comfortable enough to start out playing and singing. 

 

40 songs?  I saw a picture the other day that said "My brain is at least 70% song lyrics."  That's pretty true, I think.  :D Guitar-wise, I can play 40 songs if I have the chords in front of me.  If not, I know maybe 10-15? Hm...

 

Coffee houses and wedding receptions might be cool.  In fact, my parents are going to a friend of my dad's wedding next month.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 40 songs, given that a typical gig is 4 hours, 45 min on 15 min break. running straight through back to back songs that is 13-15 songs per hour but you can take off a few to make room for joking and talking to the audience.

   anyway....get at least 20 songs from different categories under your belt so you don't stand there trying to think of a song you can sing. Make set lists.....the songs you are going to sing per hour.

    Gigging is work. Once you are a performer, you are providing a service, getting paid to deliver.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ill tell youj easiest way to start and you can make some money.

 

Open Youtube account and do covers (thats optional but also a decent way to promote yourself)

 

1. If u dont play Acc Guitar get a buddy that does and ask every coffe shop or a bar with terrace to sing there. Learn 30-40 songs and start playing for low amount fo money just to kickstart yourself :P

 

Im doing that this summer ;P already found a place near a beach with terrace :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ill tell youj easiest way to start and you can make some money.

 

Open Youtube account and do covers (thats optional but also a decent way to promote yourself)

 

1. If u dont play Acc Guitar get a buddy that does and ask every coffe shop or a bar with terrace to sing there. Learn 30-40 songs and start playing for low amount fo money just to kickstart yourself :P

 

Im doing that this summer ;P already found a place near a beach with terrace :)

Way to go Elvis! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Youtube is great to try out to kind of see and listen to yourself. However, if you really want to be a singer, you need to get in front of people, not a camera. Also, when you're watching yourself, just like when you're listening to yourself, I don't think that's the best way to judge yourself. Personally, I ABSOLUTELY CAN'T STAND watching myself... doing anything. hate it and am super critical of it. A lot of players that I know feel similarly. As far as listening to myself, that's easier for me, however, if I THINK I'm singing a note on pitch, but I'm really not, I could miss that on playback-after all, I sang it that way and thought it was correct.

 

My advice (as a gigging person) is to hit open mics and karaoke places in your area. Check out the crowd reaction to your performance. Keep doing this. This will help you to gain confidence in front of people. Take someone with you that you trust. Listen to what they say. Have them record you on their phone. A video in front of a live audience is different than that in front of a PC (it'd still induce naseau if it was me watching me, but you may not have that issue ;) ). If you don't have a band or play an instrument, get some backing tracks (they're everywhere). Work with those.  For myself, singing for a small group of friends is impossible. I'm too hung up on myself. However, get me to a gig and a full audience and I relax and can do the job.

 

Singing is cool as something to do for yourself. However, if you want to be a SINGER, my advice is to get out in front of people. You learn A LOT doing that. You learn how to relate to an audience, how to hold yourself, etc. Sorry, didn't mean it to sound like a lecture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My advice (as a gigging person) is to hit open mics and karaoke places in your area. Check out the crowd reaction to your performance. Keep doing this. This will help you to gain confidence in front of people. Take someone with you that you trust. Listen to what they say. Have them record you on their phone. A video in front of a live audience is different than that in front of a PC (it'd still induce naseau if it was me watching me, but you may not have that issue ;) ). If you don't have a band or play an instrument, get some backing tracks (they're everywhere). Work with those.  For myself, singing for a small group of friends is impossible. I'm too hung up on myself. However, get me to a gig and a full audience and I relax and can do the job.

 

Singing is cool as something to do for yourself. However, if you want to be a SINGER, my advice is to get out in front of people. You learn A LOT doing that. You learn how to relate to an audience, how to hold yourself, etc. Sorry, didn't mean it to sound like a lecture.

No worries - I appreciate all of your advice!  :) How do you recommend finding good open mics?  The couple I've been able to find near me are not in very safe areas, especially at night when the open mics are. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No worries - I appreciate all of your advice!  :) How do you recommend finding good open mics?  The couple I've been able to find near me are not in very safe areas, especially at night when the open mics are. 

Then you need a friend like me. I scare myself, looking in the mirror. In addition, I have some chop-sockey skills. I could use the exercise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then you need a friend like me. I scare myself, looking in the mirror. In addition, I have some chop-sockey skills. I could use the exercise.

 

I think Ronws just found a niche. The backup-singing bodyguard :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No worries - I appreciate all of your advice!  :) How do you recommend finding good open mics?  The couple I've been able to find near me are not in very safe areas, especially at night when the open mics are. 

    Having your own bouncer is a good idea. Just remember to hire one who stops fights not one who starts them.  Been there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Ronws just found a niche. The backup-singing bodyguard :P

With real world experience. You may not believe this but in my 20's, I also worked security, gun and everything. Shot a 145 out of 150. 5 holes in the target. 2 in the head, 2 in the chest. I kept going through the same holes. And one of my assignments was to bodyguard Natalie Cole for a club performance she was doing in Dallas. I am proud to say that she stepped on my left boot by accident.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With real world experience. You may not believe this but in my 20's, I also worked security, gun and everything. Shot a 145 out of 150. 5 holes in the target. 2 in the head, 2 in the chest. I kept going through the same holes. And one of my assignments was to bodyguard Natalie Cole for a club performance she was doing in Dallas. I am proud to say that she stepped on my left boot by accident.

Oh, I completely believe you. You've got that look, like, "Do something."

And of course you can shoot. Didn't you grow up in Texas?

You're probably tall if you were a bodyguard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I completely believe you. You've got that look, like, "Do something."

And of course you can shoot. Didn't you grow up in Texas?

You're probably tall if you were a bodyguard.

Mostly. Moved from California to Texas when I was 10. Learned assorted hand-to-hand combat skills and some firearms training, starting with my scoutmaster, a 5th degree black belt in Kenpo (he taught us scouts for free.) Our assistant scoutmaster was an Army Ranger LRRP and brought in his instructor to teach us how to eat things that would make a billy goat puke. Taught us how to ignore the discomforts of the elements. Sitting by the lake on a cold morning and learning to ignore the cold. Concentrate. How to defend against sticks and knives, how to disarm a weapon, when possible. The best solution is to not be in a situation that calls for that.

 

Funny enough, my size and scary look does not always protect me. Someone high on stuff and drunk does not exercise the best judgement. So, I have hurt a few people while on the job. (No, nothing as drastic as the movie "Taken.") Mostly, just dancing around with drunks until the cops arrive. More like "Roadhouse." Though Patrick Swayze was prettier. I would be more like the Sam Elliot character.

:lol:

 

In fact, Kenpo Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Aiki-jujutsu were the styles I had formal instruction in. Tai Chi short form, kung fu, Jeet Kune Do, I picked up here and there. Then, some stuff I learned from my friend, Lee, the SEAL who did three active combat tours in the Big Asian Vacation, Viet Nam.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mostly. Moved from California to Texas when I was 10. Learned assorted hand-to-hand combat skills and some firearms training, starting with my scoutmaster, a 5th degree black belt in Kenpo (he taught us scouts for free.) Our assistant scoutmaster was an Army Ranger LRRP and brought in his instructor to teach us how to eat things that would make a billy goat puke. Taught us how to ignore the discomforts of the elements. Sitting by the lake on a cold morning and learning to ignore the cold. Concentrate. How to defend against sticks and knives, how to disarm a weapon, when possible. The best solution is to not be in a situation that calls for that.

 

Funny enough, my size and scary look does not always protect me. Someone high on stuff and drunk does not exercise the best judgement. So, I have hurt a few people while on the job. (No, nothing as drastic as the movie "Taken.") Mostly, just dancing around with drunks until the cops arrive. More like "Roadhouse." Though Patrick Swayze was prettier. I would be more like the Sam Elliot character.

:lol:

 

In fact, Kenpo Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Aiki-jujutsu were the styles I had formal instruction in. Tai Chi short form, kung fu, Jeet Kune Do, I picked up here and there. Then, some stuff I learned from my friend, Lee, the SEAL who did three active combat tours in the Big Asian Vacation, Viet Nam.

 

Wow, very cool. I've done Tae Kwon Do, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Wing Chun, Judo, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Filipino blade training. Bruce Lee was the guy who trained the guy who trained the guy that trained me in a couple of those. I trained with his god-daughter for a day once.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, as an aside, Natalie Cole is a tall woman. Heels and hair, she was up to my nose in height and I am 6' 6".

 

 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure, in Kindergarten, when they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up,  I said 6 '6.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only Nat Cole I know is Nat King Cole. Nothing against the Transgender movement, but I'd like to keep my nuts, thanks :lol:

God, you make me feel old. Natalie Cole is the daughter of Nat King Cole. She was named after him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiya Hollywood,

 

The last thing I want to do is discourage you, but you said you've only been singing a couple of months? What tells you inside that you're ready?

 

Have you let others hear you?  Would you like us to listen to you?  

 

As Billy said, Karaoke is excellent to do.....for practise too.

 

You get to learn a lot of songs, get crowd reaction, hear yourself and how you sound with different sound systems.

 

I sing karaoke a lot and over time you start to realize that you know at least a few hundred different songs!, not just from you singing, but hearing and being exposed to others and what they sing.

 

Also there are some karaoke bars out there where one singer is better than the other. I make sure I go to these to get exposure to great

singers, and it instills you to do even better.  

 

I'm on Craig's list now looking again. But you need to have a least two solid demos or covers recorded and ready to submit

 

because that's the first thing anyone looking for a singer is going to want first.

 

It's can take some time to find the right band to sing in.

 

One more thing, always make a point to audition.  That experience alone will benefit you.

 

I recently went on one, and they told me they were looking for someone more suited to sing folk songs. I'm definitely not a folk singer, but

 

you make contacts, and the next thing you know you have more contacts. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...