Tag Archives: beginner singing tips

Taking Your Bow and Leaving the Stage like a Singing Professional

The manner in which you take your bow after completing your singing performance depends on the concert. If you’re a famous diva, you may curtsy, but it’s better to wait on that until you arrive at one of the big opera houses. Until then, use the tried-and-true standard bow: Bend from the waist and bow your head to the audience.

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  • After you find your spot on the stage, stop in place (with your feet close together) and lean forward from the waist. You want your head down, looking at the floor momentarily. Otherwise, it looks like you’re looking up to make sure that everyone is clapping.

    Remember that you have to lean forward in your performance attire. If that’s a gown or tuxedo, make sure that it isn’t so tight that you can’t bend over at all or without revealing too much cleavage when you bow.

  • Your hands can be along the sides of your legs or clasped in front. Allow your hands to slide down your leg as you bend over. Remember not to put your hands in front of your zipper if you choose to clasp them.
  • Slowly count to two and raise your torso again. After you bow, acknowledge your accompanist. If the piece was a huge ensemble number, you may bow with your accompanist. You want to make that decision in advance and plan who bows when and after whom.

    Some people like to turn and extend their arm to acknowledge the accompanist. If the pianist isn’t leaving the stage with you, that’s appropriate. But if you’re a team, plan bows separately and then together.

Exiting the stage is also an art. When you finish singing and take your bow, head toward the exit. Look at your audience again and smile as you exit the stage. If the audience just loved what they heard, they may continue clapping, so you can take another bow.

Wait for the peak of the applause and then go back onto the stage. If you had an accompanist playing for you, ask the accompanist to bow with you again or bow with you at the next curtain call.

Depending on the situation, you may want to prepare an encore. How will you know when to sing the encore? Finish your last number, hear the applause, and exit the stage; return to the stage for your bow and exit the stage again; and return to the stage and sing the encore, or return for another bow and then come back out to sing the encore.

An encore is appropriate for a recital where you are the main attraction or for a performance with a group such as a band or symphony. When you do more performing, you’ll figure out when an encore is appropriate and what to prepare for the encore.

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Tailoring Your Singing Audition for Television

Auditioning for television is thrilling, but it may feel like a different world if you’ve performed only in small theaters or the church choir. Here are some basic guidelines for auditioning your song for a televised performance:

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  • Self-confidence is a must. Being confident means letting go of your shyness but not being cocky. You want to be mentally prepared so you can handle the stress of a high-pressure audition.

    Self-confidence makes your audience feel at ease because they don’t have to worry about you — they can enjoy your performance. Being cocky may turn them off because it may look like you’re too good for them. You want to show a spark of star power without being arrogant.

  • Choose material that highlights your strength and is appropriate for the audition. You have to determine your strength and which song will show off your assets. If you aren’t sure about the material, hire a reputable coach to give you feedback.
  • The camera is your friend. If someone asks you to slate, he wants you to announce your name and your song to the camera. The camera picks up every little detail, so practice in front of a camera prior to the audition. A small hand-held camcorder is fine. Record yourself practicing your audition.

    Pay attention to your body language; do you appear confident? Ask someone who has done television auditions to give you feedback.

  • Your outfit really matters. Wearing something that shows your body at its best is key for a television audition. The outfit should show your style and represent your personality.

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Improving Your Singing: Sustaining Tone

Sustaining tone is a singing must. Have you ever run out of air before the end of the phrase in your song and then had to sneak in a breath? Sneaking in a breath is legal when you sing, but you should sneak a breath because you choose to, not because you have to.

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Among the times you ran out of air, you may even have had to take a breath in the middle of a word. Yikes! It’s not a federal crime, but you came to the right place for some tips on applying your breathing skills to sustain tones.

Connecting the dots with legato

Those gorgeous tones that professionals sing so effortlessly happen because they know how to connect the pitches of a song. Singers sometimes sing a melody one pitch at a time, not thinking of a continuous line or phrase.

To make the phrases legato (smooth and connected), think of the pitches as having no empty space in between. The sound needs to flow from one pitch to the other, and the feeling in the throat must be a continuous sound even while you change pitches. Singing a long line of tone is possible because of breath control.

While singing the pattern in the following illustration, focus on making the sound legato and concentrate on the connection between pitches. Find your alignment, practice the breath a few times, open the back space, and begin. Allow your body to open as you inhale and steadily move back in as you sing.


Trilling the lips or tongue

Really let those lips trill on a long, slow musical pattern. The purpose of the lip trill is to monitor the flow of air — you can’t continue the lip trill without the air flowing. By making the pattern longer, you get an opportunity to sustain the tone longer. If that lip trill is just too much for you, feel free to use a tongue trill.

The principle is the same: trilling the tongue but maintaining a consistent flow of air. For this pattern, you want to monitor how your body moves as you trill — gradually moving.

Focus on creating a legato line as you sing the pattern in the following illustration. Find your alignment, prepare your breath, and begin.


Working your breath control

The pattern in the following illustration gives you the chance to sing and put all your eggs in the basket. Instead of playing the exercise faster, slow it down to make it harder, so you really have to work the breath.

Think through all the skills that you can apply (using great posture, opening the space in your throat and mouth, and getting breath in your body) so you’re ready to put it all together when you sing this pattern.

The pattern in the following illustration is played slowly to allow you to lengthen your breath and sing long legato lines. You have time between each repetition to get your breath. Remember to find your alignment, open the back space, allow the breath to drop in your body each time, and keep your chest steady throughout the pattern.




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