Joining a Singing Contest? Here are Some Tips for You to Win that Prize

posted by Chris Valentine

If you’re here because you’re about to embark on a journey where you put your voice to the test against dozens of other voices, then you’ve come to the right place. There’s no doubt that you aim to win, but for that, you need to truly stand out. But, how do you do that? How do you guarantee that you’ll deliver a performance worthy of a standing ovation? That’s what you’re going to find out.

Know your voice

Your voice is your main asset and the key to winning any singing competition. You might think we’re stating the obvious, but a lot of people just depend on their choice of song to win votes, which is why most people often opt for singing a well-known song rather than something special or original. Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re not criticizing a certain genre or type of song.

The whole point of knowing your voice is to learn how to best use it. But, what do we mean by knowing your voice? We mean knowing your vocal range, the highest and lowest notes that you can comfortably hit without fail. This type of knowledge will help you a lot when choosing a song as it will present you with suitable song choices to showcase your talent.

If you’re still not clear on what we’re talking about, here’s an example. If you’re fully comfortable in the mezzo-soprano range, then picking a song by Adele or Amy Lee would be perfect when it comes to showing your abilities. On the other hand, if you’re not that good at hitting high notes, choosing a song that requires this ability will only show off your weaknesses.

Don’t skip your warm-ups

We’re all guilty of doing that; there’s no use in denying. Unfortunately, the mistake is not without consequences. Just like athletes stretch their limbs so they’d be more limber and malleable, so should we with our vocal cords. Doing so will not only give you more control over your voice, but it will also help you reach your maximum vocal range.

If you’re still in doubt, try a practice session without warming up, then on another session, warm up beforehand. Once you’re sold on how important warm-ups are, now is the time to try them out. Before we start off, keep in mind that when first learning to sing, you’ll find a lot of online resources that will help you out with a large variety of exercises. But, for the sake of covering more tips, we’re only going to let you in on our favorite three warm-up exercises.

First, there’s the lip buzz which you can do by putting your lips together and blowing; it should cause your lips to flap together, consequently warming them up. Second, the classic going through the scales. It’s timeless for a reason. Third, the two-octave pitch glide, choose a sound, “o” or “e” or “ah”, then do it while going through the notes between two octaves. By the time it’s your turn to perform, your voice will be armed and ready to melt some faces.

Dress to impress

Another thing you can use to your advantage is your wardrobe. Lady Gaga does and she captivates everyone with her each and every performance. Now, when we say dress to impress, we don’t particularly mean something as extreme as Gaga’s. We mean something simple that matches your song, your vibe, and persona, and most importantly, something you’re comfortable wearing.

While voice is usually the main concern of any professional judge, you must understand that they also look for presence and striking personalities, not to mention that your appearance is a part of the message you aim to give out to people. So, if you’re going to be singing a rock song, why not put on a leather jacket and maybe a couple of piercings? And for an opera song, why not wear an evening dress or a black suit?

One thing to remember, though, don’t make the mistake of sacrificing comfort for looks. If you’re uncomfortable in what you’re wearing, as good as you might look, you won’t be able to sing. And try not to put a lot of pressure on yourself when it comes to what you are going to wear, because if you’re good enough, your voice will shine regardless of what you look like.

Prepare for D-day

Anxiety, a performer’s worst enemy. We’re all prone to getting stage fright. For some singers, instant lyric wipeouts are what happens when they go out on stage. Needless to say, there’s nothing worse than forgetting the words to a song or, even worse, missing your cue. But, simply enough, the problem can be fixed just by decent preparation.

Under a lot of pressure, our minds either lose track of everything or shift to autopilot. However, the autopilot mode only kicks in if you’re comfortable enough with your routine such that it became an automatic task.

So, before going up on stage, it is best if you turn your focus to memorizing your lyrics and noting your cues. Because when you’re up on stage, you won’t be singing along to your favorite singer. All that you’re going to be hearing is music which will sound a little foreign to you if you’re not already used to it.

Plus, good preparation shows. You might think no one will notice, but if you’re well prepared, the judges will know, and they’ll take note of it. Moreover, if you already have a good grip on your lyrics and all, you’ll find it easier to focus on your voice, as well as your movements, stage presence, and audience interaction.

With these tips in mind, we guarantee you’ll have an edge over your competitors. But, before we let you go, we have one thing left to say. Surrounded by an overly competitive atmosphere, you might be at risk of losing sight of what’s truly important. Sure, you can be in it to win, but don’t forget to have fun in the process. After all, participating in a singing contest is no small feat. It’s an experience that’s worth living fully.

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