How Pop Singing Lessons Could Help You Prepare For Singing Contests (Part 1 of 2)

Reality singing contests shows dominate prime TV these days. It not only becomes an avenue for aspiring singers to show-off their singing talents or validate the skills learned from years of pop singing lessons. It has become a ticket to stardom, and not to mention, win cash and valuable prizes too.

Stage fright, nerves, and butterflies in your stomach — even the pros get that. No matter how talented you are, these may get the better of you during the competition.

Here are some best pre-competition practices on how to prepare for the big day:

Find a competition that is appropriate for you. Competitions are usually categorized according to age, music genre or singing style. On TV, American Idol is looking for ‘the total package’. While The Voice, focuses mainly on ‘the voice’, especially during the blind auditions. Before you compete, it is good to check the battleground if it matches your skill and style.

Study contest rules. In any competition, you have to abide by the rules. No matter how good you are, a violation could ruin your chance to succeed. Understand and pay attention to contest mechanics details.

Pick the right song. Judges often say that song choice could make or break your performance.

• Pick a song within your range. During your pop singing lessons, you may have been determined your vocal tone and pitch. The song should be within your comfortable range.

• You can go out of your comfort zone when it comes to style, but make smart choices. Take calculated risks.

• Do not sing an ‘over sung’ song. But if you do, do not sing it exactly how others do it, or mimic the original artist. You have to put your personal imprint in the song. The judges need to hear ‘your voice’.

• Make sure that your song choices highlight the best in your vocal ability.

Memorize song lyrics. Forgetting and fumbling through the lyrics of the song doesn’t only make you look bad. It could throw off your entire performance. It also shows lack of preparation on your part.

Integrate moves and gestures into your performance. Dance moves and gestures add life and flavour to your rendition. It could also emphasize and add sincerity to your emotions. But don’t go overboard. Too much dancing could zap out your energy or leave you out of breath. Unnecessary gestures could make you look cheesy.

Prepare spiels. Judges or hosts will not only ask you to sing, but to answer some questions about yourself or your song. Be prepared for this. Think of an honest answer or a funny or heart-warming anecdote that could make them remember you.

Evaluate and critique yourself by way of the following:

• Practice in front of a mirror

• Record your song. Play it back and listen so you could identify areas you need to improve on.

• Video tape yourself. From there you could see how you move, bad habits or distracting mannerisms.

Your pop singing lessons could give you a head start on how to prep-up for competitions. The key is to prepare. Win or lose, you would always gain something from the experience.