Topic: How to Start Singing

If I am a solo artist, and believe me I would love to be in a band, but I don't think that will work right now, ...how do I perform live?  I play no instruments, so I cannot imagine how to start singing.  I would look and feel too stupid with just myself and a microphone trying to win fans in a nightclub or bar.  What equipment should I have just for show?  Also, I have original produced songs but only about six.  I could play a rythm shaker or some kind of instrument but I do not read music at all nor will I ever understand notes, but also, I am a dancer, so I can definately wow a crowd and even have choreographed routines with dancers.  I want to travel other places and I have a very good look.  Please be serious when you answer me.  I am female.

Re: How to Start Singing

I am a singing teacher and performer myself. 

It can be a very difficult thing to get started in live performance but there are a few things I can tell you which may help.

Firstly, you have to be very prepared with your act, know what material you are doing and present that very well.

You sound like a creative person, so you need to be creative in the way you think about getting yourself started. 

Have you thought about starting  your own project.  It would be a good idea to find someone to work with instead of going it alone too.

When I first started, I loved singing jazz, so I got a project together with another singer and we found ourselves a pianist, worked out the songs and started gigging anywhere we could.  Our first experience was in retirement homes but we soon found ourselves in bars and clubs.

If you do want to sing, I would advise getting yourself some lessons.

Find a teacher you feel comfortable and relaxed with.  There are all sorts of singing teachers out there but what I can say is, singing has a lot to do with the way you feel about yourself, so find someone you feel comfortable to talk to. 

As I said before, you need to know what you are doing before you go out there in front of an audience and I also think its important that your initial experiences with performance is a positive one and you do need some guidance for that.

Equipment you should have as a singer would be a microphone and an amplifier but this isn't always necessary as often venues will supply you with a sound system.

If you do want to sing and really wow a crowd, you are going to have to work on it.  As a dancer you may be great and that's another option for you.  Singing may look easy but there's a lot to it.

You may find this interview (http://blog.music-made-easy.com/intervi … -london-uk) of interest as well as other articles on this site.

Good luck with it all.

Lisa

Last edited by Lisa Brown (2011-07-06 21:07:07)

Re: How to Start Singing

What kind of music are you doing? A one woman act can often be exciting or rather awkward all depending on how it's presented. If you're shy and coy at the microphone with minimal movement and come off as non-confident, it's going to be a rough ride during shows. But if you're animated, and do the right things at the right time, have a clean set-up and good look, I think it could work.

If you can't play instruments, I'd recommend this;

During shows, make sure you introduce yourself as a SOLO singer / song writer. It's more impressive to let people know that you're all on your own.

I'd recommend running instrumental back tracks off a laptop that you can sing to and make at home. Prepare them in one large arrangement with calculated space in between each song so you don't have to keep moving back and forth from the laptop to the microphone. That can be awkward. Before each track starts, have a metronome click lead in for one bar to let you know the track is starting and so you can mentally set your tempo.

Make sure you're animated for each song with dancing and audience interaction. At points you can take the microphone off that stand and come closer to the crowd, or for 'intimate' songs you can pull up a chair backwards and sit in it like that while singing. Popular cover songs also work well but certainly mix some of your originals in there too.

Now to make it more interesting (This is why it's important to know what kind of music you're playing / making) I'd say for certain songs definitely bring out that shaker or something like it (Tambourine, maraca, whatever works for the song!)Even if your simply keeping the beat with it, it adds great visual appeal. I'd only use that on the more upbeat songs though. Use slower dramatic movements for slower songs.

Depending on budget, if you really want to up the show, invest in a DJing pad that allows you some control of the backtrack coming off the laptop. A Korg Koass pad would be my personal recommendation, but anything similar should suffice. A monkey can use one of these and it will sound good; it also impresses easily, especially in a party/club setting. At instrumental breaks you can move to the laptop and the pad and tweak the music and add effects. Also, having 'complex' looking hardware set up can often just visually convince a crowd that a lot more is happening within the show.

And of course, lights. The best thing to enhance a solo act or show that is lacking in live instrumentation is lights. Buy a simple rig that is easily moveable with a few lights that can auto-trace a beat so you don't need to control them. If you really want to go all out, you can connect your laptop to your lights and have them controlled from there. You'd have to write out a program though and sync it with your back tracks.

And lastly, a vocal stomp box would be a great addition for a solo act. Believe it or not... TC helicon makes them! You can have an entire backing choir at the control of your feet with one. You can control your harmony and effects with your feet, and again an arcane looking piece of equipment in front of the crowd enhances the show.

Again, what will you need and what do I recommend?

A laptop with your instrumental back tracks made
A vocal effects / harmony generator
Lights
DJ pad
Shakers
A good voice
Good presentation skills / crowd engagement skills

Almost all venues have their own microphones and pa systems, but buying your own with a set of speakers is a wise idea for home practice uses. Hearing yourself, and singing in general through a microphone is much different than singing in the raw.

So I hope this helps.I've seen local solo acts just like this, some people pull it off really well.

Last edited by thelatenight (2013-05-12 04:45:24)