How to Become a Singer – Professional Singing Tips & Advice
You are being directed out of your rehearsal space by the stage manager. “On in 30 seconds” – he says. The makeup artists have you looking fantastic.
You have been training for weeks. Butterflies in your stomach, nervous with a huge amount of excitement rushing through your body.
You can do this, you are ready! – You have trained for this. As you walk towards the door you hear the raw of the crowd getting louder…
The crowd screams with excitement as you run out onto the stage and the show begins!
For the next 90 minutes, you sing your heart out to adoring fans and create a wonderful musical experience that will last a lifetime.
I’ve been there and done just that!
Now I don’t say that to brag, but instead, I want to say that I can help to get you to achieve the same dreams that I once had as an aspiring singer.
Having dreams of being on stage is something shared by many people. Hitting superb highs and delivering powerful, belting vocals while the audience cheers with excitement and admiration.
You want it so bad, but it just seems like a distant unachievable goal…
Especially as you sit there bored at work listening to all the amazing singers on the radio or on Spotify living YOUR dream.
Successful, wealthy, famous… That is what you want!
But how do you get there? Knowing how to become a singer is something that only experts can help with. Those who have been there already and know what it takes.
If you keep reading, I am going to share with you just what it will take to become a singer and even make some money while doing so.
How to become a singer: Start your singing career today travel the world as a pro vocalist
Everyone has doubts when it comes to their dreams. I’m sure you are no different, heck even I went through it when I was beginning my singing career.
The fear of never being good enough was a tough one to overcome.
How will you ever be good enough to be considered a professional singer? What about stage-fright? – Getting so nervous that you can’t bring yourself to even sing a note into the mic…
Fear of rejection – What happens if you make a mistake? Will you be laughed at or booed off stage? What will your friends and family think if they see you fail? How will you ever get over something like that?…
Well, unfortunately for me… I’ve also been through all of that too!
Trust me, none of that is easy to work through. But there is some good news, it can be done. It just takes a bit of work to overcome.
Sometimes going through difficult situations like that also help you to grow and become a better singer and also a better person.
Do you think that all of your favourite singers started out perfect?
Yes, ok some may be born amazing. But the majority of all singers you hear or know about went through rigorous amounts of training and developing their skills to really become great.
How I Can Help You Become a Singer
OK, by now you might be wondering who I am and how I can help you become a singer.
My name is Sasha Astley and I have been a professional singer and vocal coach for a good part of my life. I have travelled the world singing and performing with some of the greats, and also working with some amazing musicians and singers at all stages of their careers.
When I was at the start of my singing career, I had some very interesting, well… let’s just call them “learning experiences”…
Because my parents were also musicians, I had been brought up with it from an early age. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I had it easy. I still had to learn my own way.
I remember one of my first ever vocal performances. All too clearly…
My parents signed me up to a talent show when I was about 5-6 years old. My mom had made me the cutest white dress for me to wear on stage. We spent a good few months rehearsing and preparing for my performance. All was going perfectly well until I got to the event…
I had no idea just how many people I would be performing in front of!
Being so young I was really scared. I wanted out, but the show must go on.
When I walked out on stage, the hot lights were glaring against my face. Aside from the heat, I was extremely nervous. Shaking with fear as I saw all of these faces staring at me.
I looked over to my parents and saw my mom signalling for me to sing into the mic.
I tried, and as I opened my mouth all that came out was a very large amount of vomit!
All down my new white dress…
I was scared, embarrassed, sweaty, sick, and now balling my eyes out in front of a very large crowd of strangers. While also being covered in my own vomit.
Not a good way to start my singing career.
Thankfully I was able to overcome all of my fears and move on from that experience – and now even laugh about it as I write this!
Keep reading as I am going to share with you how I overcame my fears and learnt how to develop my skills to become a singer.
Is This Really For You?
If you are in any way at all interested in learning to become a singer, this is for you.
A large majority of people here reading this are at the stage where they can’t take it anymore and want to learn whatever it takes to get out and start singing in front of an adoring crowd while getting paid.
But even if you are just taking things casually, you can also benefit from reading this and taking on some of the advice shared here.
So if you want to be the next singing star, or if you want to have some fun singing along to your favourite singers in the car, if you want to join a band and sing at local bars and venues for fun while earning a bit of cash…
All of the above will learn something from this article.
A lot of people also may want to learn how to make a career out of your voice. I’ll also share some advice on how you can actually make money from singing and performing to people. Even if you haven’t made a single dollar from your voice or never believed that it was possible.
Read the rest of this article, I’m sure you will be surprised.
Learn Where To Get Started As A Singer
If you make it through this article, you will have a much better understanding of what is required when learning how to become a singer while also getting paid.
These tips will help you build a plan to start talking actionable steps towards developing your skills as a professional singer. It’s time to pick up the mic and get started working to make your dreams come true.
Is this the exact process that will make you famous? No! I’ll be straight with you right now in saying that if you hear anyone saying that if you follow these steps you are guaranteed success. It simply doesn’t work like that, no matter what you are learning or wanting to do.
It is very rare to come across any quick and easy methods to make you an overnight success. In fact so rare that most people with answers to those questions will keep them tightly guarded due to how valuable the information would be.
The number one thing to keep in mind is that being successful with your voice takes hard work, dedication, time, and loads of practice.
If you are not willing to commit to these, then you may need to re-evaluate if you are ready to become a successful singer.
If you are not looking to become famous, and are just wanting to have some fun, then great!
Take the advice below regardless of your goals and apply it to your current singing routine and you will see significant improvements to the quality of your voice and how it sounds.
The Process To Become A Singer
Now that you know what you are getting yourself into, it’s time to follow these steps to learn how to become a singer and what it will take. As mentioned before, anyone can learn to sing.
No, it is extremely unlikely that you are tone deaf and unable to learn to sing in tune. Only a very small percentage of the population physically can not pitch notes correctly with training.
It is very likely that you can and will be able to see some pretty quick improvements, however perfecting the art of singing will take a significant amount of time and effort.
The important thing is that you have to want to sing enough to be willing to put in the time and effort. With that also comes the first and what I believe is one of the most important parts of learning to sing.
1. Self Belief And Focusing On Your Dreams
There will be many people who will try to shut you down. Family and friends can be the absolute worst critics to some people. I typically say that if someone is not musically trained, you shouldn’t take their advice when it comes to anything music related. They simply don’t understand the processes or what is involved. You wouldn’t take your mechanic very seriously when it comes to medical advice right? – This is somewhat the same.
It can also work in reverse when you see on those singing shows like American Idol. Parents are so blind to their children’s voice that they encourage them all the way to the TV cameras even when they have had no vocal training whatsoever. No wonder why they get destroyed by the judges!
Don’t take non-musicians advice. Most often it doesn’t end well.
This leads to self-belief. You have to believe in yourself 100% that you can achieve your goals no matter what anyone else says. If you have doubt, it makes it that much harder to get results.
You are less focused and when things start to go wrong, it makes it that much easier to quit and give up the dreams of becoming a professional singer. It takes full commitment and belief in yourself that you can do it. Having that belief allows you to push through those tough nights of practice when nothing works, your voice sounds terrible, and you can’t get back that control. If you have full belief in yourself these problems don’t really seem so bad.
Of course, you will have bad days, terrible days, sometimes even bad weeks or months when everything just goes wrong. Everyone does and I have totally been through it all. You have to know that these things will happen and just be aware of it. Even realizing that you are just having “one of those moments” it makes it that much easier not to take it too seriously and let it affect your progress in the long run towards your singing goals.
You need to practice and learn to stay focused on the long-term goals and dreams that you have of being a singer. If you can do this, you will be far ahead of everyone else that is trying to make it as a singer. As I said before, it’s not easy, but you can do it!
2. Improve Your Voice Through Practice
Yes, I know…
Well, I had to include it because it’s kind of important. If you’re not practising then you’re not improving. You can’t expect to become a great singer if you don’t put in the hours of practice each week.
I used to practice three times a day while coaching students in between and also learning new songs for performing during the day – AND I was out at night on stage singing almost every other day of the week.
Now, I will say if you practice too much without working on developing the correct technique you will hurt yourself.
It is highly important that you take lessons or learn from someone who knows what they are doing and can help you learn how to practice the right things correctly. It would really suck to put in hours of practice only to develop bad habits and potentially harmful, long-lasting vocal damage due to bad technique.
I’m not trying to scare you, but it does happen and is something you should be aware of. Learn to practice, but also learn to practice correctly.
I recommend a vocal coach to get you started, or there are also some amazing online courses that can be much cheaper in the long run as opposed to the weekly expense of a vocal teacher. Both are great options but it partially comes down to your budget, preferences, and circumstances.
I was quite shy when I started getting vocal lessons from a teacher at a young age. It made me hold back quite a bit from correctly demonstrating what I had practised when in front of my teacher. It held up progress because I didn’t like the environment. One on one for me was much more daunting than performing in front of hundreds of people.
You may feel the same.
I recommend you try both and see what you like better.
Regardless of what you decide. It is highly important that you practice regularly and work on slightly pushing yourself to always be better. You need to be challenging yourself when practising and also be well aware of what you are doing to get the voice that you are singing with.
Even to this day, I am constantly challenging myself with new techniques and warmup exercises. Practice never ends and it is something that I have begun to love and rely on as part of my routine.
I also am constantly picking up new vocal courses and singing programs to see what I can learn from. I just can’t get enough and neither should you if you love singing so much.
3. Sing As Frequently As You Can
Although you should definitely learn the proper vocal techniques and learn how to practice correctly. As long as you are not straining or overworking your voice, you should be singing as often as possible. You should take any and all chances you get to make the most of your voice.
Singing in the shower, in the car on your way to work, take whatever gigs you can get, karaoke bars, at parties with friends… the list goes on! Sing sing sing!
Again, I can’t stress the importance of learning good technique while also striving to sing whenever and wherever possible.
Especially if you know you are going to be singing for a long amount of time for example on stage or at a performance. You should also perform vocal warmups anytime you know you are about to sing.
- The more frequently you sing, the more you are exercising your vocal cords and strengthening your voice
Think about anyone who plays sports. They don’t just show up to the game and play perfectly. It takes a load of hard work practising. Your voice is the same.
You don’t want to just expect to show up to a gig and go on stage with a stellar voice right from the get-go. You want to think of your vocal training just like you would a workout routine. The more you exercise your voice, the more reliable, versatile, and powerful it will become!
You also need to ensure that you keep your voice in top shape in order to always be at your best and peak performance. Looking after your voice and having good vocal health is also important but warming up and regular use is crucial.
- Practice singing on stage regularly
You can practice as much as you like, but nothing beats the experience of hours performing on a real stage in front of people. You just learn so much from it about what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
Having all of that experience from singing on stage is highly important for when you are ready to step things up to the big time and perform some serious shows.
Knowing how you present yourself on stage and getting used to things like working with the live sound engineer to help make you sound as good as you should. Developing correct microphone technique, singing in front of crowds, making mistakes and recovering from them… the list goes on and you can hopefully see why this is also just as important as practising at home or anywhere else you can.
It prepares you for most situations that you may run into and allows you to handle yourself much better when things go wrong or not as expected.
- Try singing out of your comfort zone
Preparing for the unexpected is a valuable skill for a singer to have. Trust me, anything can go wrong on stage!
As you are getting started out, there are many things that you can do to get out of your comfort zone to develop your voice.
Try performing at unfamiliar venues, using different microphones, maybe sing while also playing an instrument – if you can’t play one, try learning! Jump into a recording studio and do some vocal sessions if you have never done so before. A clean and pristine audio environment will really put you in your place and allow you to hear all of the nuances of your voice. Allowing you to hear areas that could be improved or worked on.
Sing music that is outside of the style that you usually sing, maybe try singing with a live band if you usually use backing tracks – there’s nothing rawer than singing with a band playing live instruments. Getting out of your comfort zone will help you fast track your learning and improve your skills as a vocalist.
4. Have A Standard Song You Know Very Well
These are often referred to by musicians as go-to songs. A song that you know how to sing very well and have essentially mastered to the point of near perfection. These types of songs represent where you are at with your skill level and vocal ability at the time. Now keep in mind that these songs may change over time as your tastes and musical style develops along with your skill as a vocalist. So if you ever find that you are just “going through the motions” with a song that you are performing that you consider to be your go-to song, it may be time to re-assess.
The last thing you want is to become comfortable with the skill level that you are currently at. This is a sure-fire way to become stagnant with your progress as a singer.
What makes a good go-to song for you? Only you can answer that really.
- You want to choose a song that suits your skill level while showing off your skills at the same time.
You want to always be challenging yourself and throwing yourself outside of your comfort zones while also having something like a go-to song to help to keep you on track and act as a representation of how you are doing and what skill level you are at.
Having a go-to song can also be a useful thing to help showcase your skills to anyone who might be judging you as a singer. It will make it much easier to perform in front of someone judging you if you have a song that you know you can sing well, while also having the confidence in knowing that it is a great example of your ability as a vocalist. It could potentially be what lands you that lucrative performance that you have been dreaming of for so long.
Don’t forget about them and don’t forget to always re-asses if they are a good representation of what level you are at currently in your career as a singer. You will always be developing your skills so keep upgrading your go-to songs but just don’t do it too frequently either.
Go-to songs can also help to give you that extra boost in confidence to kickstart a show into gear and deliver a spectacular performance. Or if your night hasn’t been going so well, you can rely on a song like this to help get you back on your feet and performing at your peak again.
5. Accept That Rejection And Criticism Will Be Part Of Your Career
Think about it.
There will always be people that are unhappy with what you are doing. It really sucks but unfortunately, it is that same in any industry. Singing is something that is very subjective to the majority of non-musicians. You will always be compared to someone who they know that they like and if you aren’t quite as good they will likely always compare you to them… but just not as good.
- You will find there is good and bad criticism.
Some people are just straight up evil. You will be criticised just for being a singer, no matter how good or bad you are there will be people that may call you all kinds of things in a negative context.
The thing to realize is that most people don’t understand what it is really like to put yourself out there like that and get in front of people and express yourself through singing. It seems so easy since everyone has a voice and everyone becomes a critic when someone unfamiliar gets on stage.
- A thick skin definitely helps in the music industry.
One thing to look for is those who criticise you but in a constructive way. And don’t get too upset with any criticism or take anything to heart. Take the positive and constructive criticism and learn from it. Maybe they don’t like the way you sing a particular section of a song and it is just that you are not belting it out quite right or using the right vibrato style. You may just learn something that you would have potentially missed that can significantly improve your performance with a few tweaks.
- Don’t rule out criticism entirely, but don’t take it overly seriously either.
Rejection is another negative part of becoming a singer. You will face it all through your career no matter how good you become. I just got rejected from doing a huge radio advertising vocal recording session because they didn’t like the tone of my voice.
- Even I have been rejected and faced a bunch of criticism over the years of my singing career.
Yeah, it was quite a big deal and a high paying job with some great recurring royalties that would have been amazing to have, but for whatever reason, they weren’t happy with my performance. I was not happy about it, but I quickly moved on and landed another gig not long after.
- You will be rejected for things that you really wanted to get. Don’t let it get to you and your singing dreams.
You will be rejected for all kinds of reasons sometimes for some really important things that you will want. The main thing is to embrace all of this rejection and criticism and just learn to become a better person and in turn, become a better singer from it too.
- Rejection and criticism are very difficult to deal with sometimes as a professional vocalist.
It can sometimes be difficult to deal with, I totally understand. But again if you know that everyone goes through it, it becomes that much easier to move on and focus on what is important – your dream of becoming a singer!
6. Be Around Singers That Are Better Than You
There is nothing better than to be put in your place by singers who are better than you. It is not about making yourself feel bad, but instead, it is about finding people you look up to and aspire to be like.
If you surround yourself with people you want to be like, then typically you start building habits and creating the environment that enables you to become like them.
It can also be quite easy to get used to your own scene and stuck in your own musical bubble. Having others around you who are always inspiring you with their skills will help to give you some perspective on your own skills and performances.
This will allow you to become a better singer in general and allow you to continue to grow and develop your skills.
Another great part about being around more experienced singers is that it opens up doors for you that otherwise, you would have never even had the opportunity to see.
Most great singers have great connections who help to get them gigs and many other things. Having a network of contacts is a huge advantage over any other vocalists that are trying to make it in the industry.
The hardest part is finding and getting in contact with these people. It takes hard work, but it is possible. You just need to be open and honest as well as being able to throw your ego out the window when you are around these people.
Most of the time if you can get in with experienced vocalists, they are happy to help you out along your way and maybe even throw you some gigs here and there that they may not necessarily want to do.
Who knows, maybe it could lead to you even collaborating with them on stage or in the studio on a project. These types of spontaneous opportunities happen all the time to more experienced vocalists.
Due to the nature of most artists schedules (or all too frequently their lack of organization!) they can’t take on everything and often if you are right at the top of their mind, guess who they may pass the offer off to… especially if they like you or respect your attitude and commitment to developing as an upcoming vocalist.
7. Set Realistic Goals
Dreams and big goals are always great to have. I am in no way saying give up on any big or challenging goals. But what I mean when I am talking about setting realistic goals is that you should take your dream or your main ultimate music career goal and break it up into realistic, smaller and achievable goals.
When you break up a big dream into smaller chunks it starts to make it that much more achievable to get there. The other benefit is that you will also start to see your very own roadmap to success.
I like to break my goals up into four sets of short term goals. Weekly, monthly, 90 day goals, & yearly goals. My goals won’t help you. It is important to be realistic with what you think you will be able to achieve when setting these goals.
A weekly goal for a beginner singer might be to develop a recurring practice routine to improve your voice. Then you hold yourself accountable for if you reached that goal each week or not. It also allows you to monitor how that is going to affect your long term goals in a positive way.
Hopefully, you can see the value and importance of setting goals for your singing career. Another great benefit is that it also lets you reflect overtime at all of the mini goals that you have achieved over time.
This can be a huge boost in confidence that you are creating a path to long-term success in your singing career.
What Now? It’s Time To Start Singing!
The last point above leads quite well into this. You can have all the dreams and goals in the world, but nothing will ever happen unless you actually get out and take action on those goals and dreams. Whatever your reasons for wanting to know how to become a singer, you need to act on the tips and advice that you get.
It’s time to strategise, set some goals and think really hard about what you are going to do in order to achieve your singing dreams. You need to be focused and dedicated.
You must practice correctly and use your voice as frequently as possible to develop a flawless technique and beautiful vocal tone. Get out of your comfort zone and try a broad range of singing-related activities.
Get out and build a network of singers who you want to be around and are at your level or at a higher level than you. Don’t take rejection and criticism too seriously, but listen to those who are trusted in the music industry for hints, tips, and actionable advice to develop your voice.
It is a long and hard road to be a successful singer, but I believe that you can do it and with a bit of help you will be singing successfully in no time at all.
I do know that this is not the be all and end all to learn to become a singer, but these points are all very important to follow and take in if you want to be successful.
I have put in thousands of hours into developing my voice and singing career to become quite successful. Hopefully, you find some value in it and learn something from the article. If you have any questions just let me know and I will get back to you as soon as I can.