When you prepare for singing auditions or performances, choosing the right song is a bit of an art-form. Here are a few pointers:
• Make sure you can comfortably sing within the range. If you struggle during rehearsal, add some extra nerves on performance day and it’ll be harder. At the same time, you don’t want to play it too safe. This song needs to show people the quality and the range and diversity of your voice. So pick a song that goes low and high, and highlights the strengths within your own voice.
• Make the song your own. You want to learn from the original artists, but in the end, you don’t want to sound like you are trying to sing like someone. The listener needs to forget the original artist, and just hear you. So find your own interpretation. Don’t be afraid to play around with the song and explore its possibilities.
• I would say, try and avoid songs from people like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, unless you are absolutely sure you will NAIL the song, or if you are doing something completely different with it stylistically. Reason being is these singers are so strong, that it is hard to compete with them. People have such a strong sense of what the song should sound like that anyone doing a cover is up for a good challenge.
• Take plenty of time to practice a song before the singing auditions or performances, until what you sing becomes second nature to you. The reason for this is when you perform, the nerves can often get the better of you and all the stuff that you ‘should do’, the stuff you need to think about but isn’t ingrained yet, can go out the window. Anything ingrained and second nature will not.
• You want to work on the technical side of the song, but also on the performance. If you connect emotionally with the song, so will your audience. If you don’t, the audience will struggle as well. They need to be able to feel the song.
• Learn the lyrics back to front, front to back until you can quote them in your sleep! Forgetting words happens to all of us, but it communicates a lack of preparation to your audience.
I hope that helps! All the best with your performance, and remember to have fun with it! Feel free to drop me a line anytime on firstname.lastname@example.org