How to Become a Singer: 8 Steps to Singing Pro (How To Be A Singer)
How to become a singer: The 8 step method to kickstarting your singing career and getting paid to sing.
You dream of being on stage. When you hit the perfect high note, the massive crowd roars in appreciation.
This is your stage, and you want to be on it now. But it seems so far away. Sitting at your computer, or on the bus looking at your smartphone.
How are you ever going to make this dream a reality?
How to become a singer
and make real money so you don’t have to do the crappy day job any more?
You fear people not thinking you are good enough. Being booed off stage. What if you enter a competition but freeze up during your big song? Going home humiliated. You see it on TV all the time.
Well, the truth is, every singer you admire started somewhere. They weren’t always perfect, certainly not as good as they became.
Sometimes, it’s the toughest experiences that teach us the most…
Why I Can Help You Become a Singer
Learn what this article on how to become a singer is about by quickly watching the 1 minute video, then keep reading.
One of my first gigs ever was at my high school prom. I decided to sing all original songs, no covers. A bad choice for a room of teenagers who just wanted to dance to songs from the charts.
I didn’t make it to the end of the show before being booed off stage. That’s a tough experience for a 16 year old, new to performing. Humiliated in front of the 200 people I’d spent the last 5 years at school with.
I became a Pro Singer!
But, here I am now and I’m pretty sure I’m the only person from my school year who became a professional singer.
I’ve made a full time living from singing since 2006. I’ve been paid to sing all over the world from Alaska to Dubai. From France to Cambodia. From the UK to Australia.
It wasn’t easy. But I’ve learned a lot over the years, including how to read a room and sing the right songs to make them happy. I learned that the hard way, didn’t I.
I made this career for myself. Along the way I’ve helped lots of other singers and musicians get their start too. Now I can help you too.
Can anyone learn to sing
? Yes, almost anyone can.
Is This Article For You?
Perhaps you just want to improve your singing voice so you can sing in the shower…
But, I’m willing to bet 95% of you reading this would rather be on stage showing off your singing. And, if you had the choice of singing for free, or getting paid to sing, most of you will be happy to take the money.
This article is for anyone getting started singing professionally.
If you have earned less than $500 from singing in the last 6 months. Keep Reading.
If you have earned more than that, you perform live for money every month but want to know how to turn that casual income into a full time job you need to move to the advanced class and read “
How to Become A Singer: Turn Full Time Professional
” where I’ll help you figure out how to turn your passion into a paycheck.
Get Your Start As a Singer
If you are sticking with me for the 101 class, by the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer idea of
how to become a singer
and get paid to sing. You’ll be able to form an action plan for your next steps to getting ahead as a singer and earning money.
What you won’t be getting is the formula for fame… why not? Anyone giving that away for free on the internet doesn’t know the real formula. Seriously, a formula for fame? That’s worth millions of dollars. It’s not going to be available free.
So, this is not a get rich and famous quick pile of BS. This is a proven method that worked for me and many others and will help you get moving. Ways to build your confidence, talents and start to find recognition for your singing.
Remember, you don’t have to be famous to earn a living from singing. I’m not. But also, you don’t have to sacrifice your dreams of fame to make a living from singing. You can work at both simultaneously.
There are so many career options that pay. I’ve done a full list:
How to become a singer: The Ultimate guide to Singing Careers & Jobs
So, why not earn money singing, quit your day job and focus on your passion – one day it may be more than just the job you love, it may be what takes you into a world of fame and fortune. But, right now, you have to start somewhere.
You need a plan. I’m going to help you figure one out.
8 Steps to becoming a singer
Firstly, you are already a singer. Only 1% of the population is genuinely tone deaf, the other 99% can learn to sing. Some people have more natural talent but almost everybody can succeed at singing if they want to enough.
This brings me to the most important 1st step…
1. Believe in yourself and your dream
You must focus on this from the get go. There will be people who support you, there will be people who question your choices. These choices are yours to make, think about ways to respond to people who question your decisions.
One of the proudest moments of my life was being able to quit my desk job and never go back. Focus on that future success story, the thing you want more than anything else. Imagine yourself having it, and how it will feel.
Whenever you have doubts, remember that feeling.
2. Improve your singing
You don’t have to be the best singer in the world to get paid or get famous… but it helps!
Actually, for some singers, it could be the make or break. Why take the chance when there is an advantage these days that didn’t even exist 10 years ago…
Get high quality
singing lessons online
They are much cheaper than getting a personal singing teacher. There are some great ones on the market.
Once you’ve learned proper technique and know you have the commitment to become a singer, you can progress to get private lessons or an online personal tutor through Skype.
Getting lessons is by far the most important thing I ever did for my singing.
This is why, after years of singing pro, I still went ahead and joined yet another singing course in 2012. Apart from learning new techniques, there are loads of advanced classes out there, as well as those for beginners.
Sign up to my email list and I’ll send you a whole bunch of recommendations as well as advice to start improving your vocal range today and how to get paid to sing.
3. Sing as much as possible
Don’t wait until you have had a bunch of lessons to get singing! Sing anywhere you can. In the shower. At karaoke. Go to jam nights. Sing along to backing tracks at home. Learn guitar and sing along with that.
Learn to play some chords on the guitar and sing along. Or find a friend who plays guitar and sing with them. Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/5540641309/
Even experienced singers often misunderstand how the voice works.
are essential. But simply doing a warm up before singing for 2 hours, is generally not enough.
Singing regularly exercises your voice
If you sing every day, you keep your voice “in shape” just like you would for other muscles in your body. The more you work it, the stronger it’ll be and the longer it will last when you power it out on stage or in the studio.
Warm ups, regular use and good technique are the three most important factors for healthy singing. There are loads of lesser factors like staying hydrated, I cover a most of them in my free email series and free e-book.
Note: If you sing a lot and your voice seems worn out or strained – stop! Rest your voice. Although you should sing everyday, don’t injure your voice by over singing.
Get on stage and sing as much as possible
It’s not just about vocal training. You should also be getting on stage and singing as much as possible too. At first you may not be sure how to do this. Certainly not how to get paid for it. So, Karaoke is a starting point many turn to.
Sing outside of your comfort zone
Keep doing it. But, be aware, that you need to get into other performance situations. Ones without the words on a screen. Perhaps with a live band or in an unfamiliar venue. These early experiences will shape how adaptable you are in the future. Sometimes you’ll have to perform and won’t be able to hear your voice clearly. Sometimes, you’ll have loads of space, others you will be crammed in the corner of a room.
The more of these experiences you have, the better you’ll be at performing under pressure and handling anything the world can throw at you.
This will build your confidence and stage presence! You’ll also be getting exposure, building your resume and improving as a singer.
Get 18 in-depth
singing tips on how to sing better
with my detailed article.
4. Have a “go to” song.
Have a song, that you will nail every time, as your “go to” song. No matter how you feel at that moment, when the spotlight shines on you, you will get that one perfect.
Choose the perfect song for you
It needs to be something that everyone in the audience knows and likes, so they will be with you from the first line.
It needs to be something that fits perfectly in your vocal range so you never have to strain for any notes, even if you forgot to warm up. You need to know that you will not struggle with any part of the song. That you know the words perfectly.
If you only get to sing one song for a showcase, it’s this one. If you are halfway through a set and something knocks your confidence, sing this song next to get back on track. If you are nervous about opening a show, open with this one.
As time goes on, you’ll figure out a list of “Super” songs so you have plenty to fall back on.
But, please don’t choose Mustang Sally, its been done to death! 🙂 And most agents are not going to be impressed by the song
else does – be unique and stand out.
5. Learn To Embrace Rejection & Criticism.
Before you step on stage, be ready for some people not to like your singing.
I’ve had people shout insults at the stage, even recently, and I do this for a job!
is hated by millions, yet has plenty of fans too.
As with most things in life, it’s pretty hard to please everyone. Half the time when you get put-downs, it’s because the person is jealous or insecure. Do what you do. Keep Improving and ignore rudeness.
Learn which criticisms to ignore and which to accept.
Because honest and constructive criticism is an essential tool to help you improve. Don’t get this advice from random audience members. Get it from other singers and people who actually have a clue. But, make sure you ask them to be brutal.
Friends and family are always supportive. Sometimes, being too supportive is not helpful. The best advice comes from experienced people who have no reason to sugar coat their suggestions.
When it comes to rejection, you have to grow a thick skin.
Singing is a competitive industry. Rejection is a learning experience. If someone turns you down, you shouldn’t take it personally.
It’s easy to think “It must be because I suck”. But, most the time it could be “We needed someone blonde for this role” or, “the other applicant has worked for us before”.
Ask why you didn’t get a job or audition
There are often some really simple reasons you don’t pass auditions or get work. It’s often good to ask why. If it is something you couldn’t have done anything about, you’ll feel a whole lot better. If it’s something you were doing wrong, you’ll have the opportunity to fix it for next time.
Rejection & criticism are essential learning experiences
It may be hard to be told you are singing out of tune or that your tone is bad – but these are things you can fix: Vocal training will fix both – you can actually
I can promise you one thing. If you don’t take on criticisms and work on them, you will NEVER be successful. Only people who try to improve, end up succeeding. You are going to make mistakes. Everyone does. You will learn from them. If you bury your head and avoid learning from them, you will not improve and will never reach your full potential.
No matter what criticism comes your way, the worst thing you can do is let it get you down.
6. Network with people that are doing better than you
If you want to know
how to become a singer
, you need help from others who are more experienced.
It’s too easy to become the karaoke king at your local bar and start believing that you are going to be “huge” one day. Maybe it could happen… It’s more likely to happen if you broaden your horizons.
Go beyond your current network to find other contacts
The bigger your network, the more chance you have. The more successful the people in your network, the better access you have to opportunities. Good opportunities.
It’s who you know, not what you know. This old saying is even more relevant in singing. You could be the best singer in the world but, barring a few youtube sensations, you need to make contacts to get ahead.
The scariest part of this as a novice is approaching experienced people and expecting them to help you. If you are just starting out, you may also have no idea how to start making contacts.
Get people who don’t know you to want to help you
The best way to get accepted is to forget your own ego, and flatter the person you are wanting to learn from. Say, “You are such a great singer and you are obviously doing really well, what’s your secret?”
As long as you are sincere in your comment, most singer won’t be too suspicious of your flattery and will be more than happy to talk to you about their career. Once you form a bond and prove you are a good singer, you’ll find other singers will help you.
7. Set achievable Goals
This is the most important thing you can do.
They need to be small, specific goals though:
“I want to sing to an audience of more than 100 people within 3 months”, then go out of your way to figure out a way to do it and apply yourself to making it reality.
“I want to be a famous singer” This can be your dream, or end goal, but it is not a useful step on the road to success.
Set lots of small goals. Take it step by step. If your initial goal is too big, it’s overwhelming and it’s hard to know what to do to get there. Build on each small goal towards your big goal. Its the prize at the end, not the stepping stone on the way.
8. Get your first paid work
Whether this is getting paid to sing live, to host karaoke or from selling your own music online, it’ll give you confidence. Getting paid
will validate that you have the potential to do this.
As your career progresses you’ll find it easier to get work. Once you figure out exactly how to become a professional singer, you’ll have the right state of mind and business savvy to get paid to sing all the time.
But, if you are just starting out, you might need to take whatever work you can, just to get hired and get experience.
Get started finding paid work by singing for free
A good place to start is offering to sing for free with local bands or local theatre. Live experience looks great on your CV, helps you grow your confidence and you’ll likely make connections with other people who may be able to help you in the future.
Doing a first gig for free for any client where repeat work is possible, is ok. Make it clear that any follow ups should be paid gigs. If they like you, they pay.
Know the value of your voice
Once you prove yourself and are singing at a level where people enjoy your shows, you should be getting paid. That payment may be through selling copies of your album, or the venue paying you the door takings or a flat fee.
If you continue to play for free once you are a skilled performer and singer, you are doing a disservice to other pro singers and to yourself. If venues think they should get high quality entertainment for free, they stop paying anyone. Thats bad for all singers.
One important step to get paid singing work is to record a demo – although this may be a rough video recording of a live performance on your phone… You should also consider recording your voice with a higher quality sound.
Check out my list of
affordable home studio microphones
. All you need to record at home, at the most simple level, is a computer, a backing track to sing to and a good microphone.
What’s Next? Take Action
Once you start singing for money, you really have become a singer. It’s no longer a hobby or a dream. Your next step will be to increase your singing income, get paid regularly and shoot for the stars! There are so many ways to do this. And the internet makes it easier than ever to make money from singing.
Set a goal right now
. Everyone wanting to become a singer is at a different stage. So whether your goal is to:
Sing on stage for the first time
Get a paying gig
Enter a singing competition
Record yourself singing and put it on youtube
Set a date to reach your goal. Choose something to achieve within one month and something to achieve within 6 months.
Put a note in your calendar and actively make sure you act on it.
Becoming a singer takes commitment but it’s a rewarding career
It’s easier to get there if you know what you are doing, if you have a mentor. I would like to help you improve your singing and learn how to earn more money as a singer.
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