You may also find our page on 'How to become a songwriter' helpful.
A singer uses their voice and vocal skills, much like a musician, as an instrument to entertain and perform to an audience. Singers must be able to interpret a piece of music, many can also write their own songs and play instruments.
Other songs they perform may have been written especially for them or they might cover someone else’s song – in which case many singers will try and change it to make it their own.
A singer may perform live to an audience or produce their music in a studio, if they’re making an album etc. They also tend to specialise in a certain genre of music, such as: pop, classical, soul, R’n’B, rock or country.
The types of jobs that a singer will typically do are: being part of a group/band, solo singer, backing singer, singing on adverts, television or films and musical theatre.
To be a singer you will need to have certain skills and attributes such as:
- Knowledge and a good sense of timing, rhythm, melody and harmony.
- Ability to work as a team – this is particularly important if you are a part of a group, if you have a band playing the instruments to your song or when working in the theatre.
- Self-discipline and patience – rehearsing is vital as practicing will help you to improve. Also, if it is more than one person performing, rehearsals will be needed to help with timings etc.
- Passion and determination – as it is such a competitive industry to get into, you must have the determination to succeed and to not give up at the first hurdle!
- Able to take criticism well – you must be able to accept criticism, take it on board and use it as a positive, as it will only help you to better yourself.
- Confidence and being able to work under pressure – sometimes you may find yourself performing live to a big audience so will need to control any nerves!
- Adapting to different situations and types of music – this is really important for developing your career and making the most of your talent; also some acting and dancing may be required if you want to get into musical theatre.
- Being healthy – keeping yourself healthy with fruits, vegetables and plenty of water will help to keep your strength and immunity up. You may have to be singing and performing for hours at a time, a few days a week!
- Willing to travel – this type of job will certainly involve plenty of traveling.
Training as a Singer
Every singer will need to train themselves to sing ‘properly’ – as in learning certain vocal techniques etc. Having the raw talent is an obvious essential skill, but by attending singing lessons or going down the education route, you will be taught vital tips and advice that you will need to improve yourself.
Examples of the guidance you will be given are: vocal techniques, health tips for looking after your voice, pitch and tone, breathing exercises and how to gain confidence.
Benefits of freelancing
There are many advantages in becoming a freelance singer, some of which include:
- Flexibility and time management – you can decide when and where you want to work.
- Job satisfaction.
- The opportunity to make more money as well as having greater tax benefits.
By using our Freelancer Calculator you can work out exactly how much you could potentially take home.
Finding work as a Singer
This is a very competitive industry to get into, so to be successful you will need to have a lot of determination and make sure you market yourself efficiently, as well as constantly looking out for work in all the right places!
Here are some useful suggestions on how to find work and promote you talent:
- Look on Singers Pro. This is an online directory of professional singers, singing teachers and vocalists. By signing up you can see the very latest singing auditions, jobs, agents and opportunities.
- The Stage. A brilliant online marketplace for jobs in the entertainment industry.
- Create you own professional website / You Tube clips. As you have a talent where people will need to hear to appreciate you, using the internet to demonstrate your voice is ideal. Try setting up links between your website, social net-working profile and online video clips.
- Star Now. This is a website that provides links to all the latest jobs and auditions in the creative/entertainment industry.
- Sign up to Music Jobs Ltd. This is an interactive database-driven recruitment website for the music industry.
- Make business cards. This could be useful if you’re starting out and are thinking of performing at events such as weddings, parties etc. Give some out to your friends and family to pass on.
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