What do you need to be a professional singer? Here’s my top three…

Do you remember how you got into music?  Did you fall in love with a performer, a band, or a song? 

For me, it was Julie Andrews (yep, that’s how old I am!).  I watched her on TV at Christmas in the Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.  I loved the way she drew you in with her voice. I felt she had it all; a beautiful clear voice that connected instantly and an understated beauty.

Talent and Good Looks?

So that’s what you need to be a star; talent and good looks?  

Sure, technical ability is definitely essential, you can’t be a singer if you can’t sing, but maybe you’re a rapper?  

Good looks? Yep, looking good won’t hurt, however, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don’t want to name names here, but there are plenty of singers I’d consider to have missed out on some beauty genes who are just awesome performers, musicians and creatives.  

Just think about it though, we probably all know someone who is a super talented person and who still isn’t a superstar.  Perhaps it’s Charisma?  Absolutely, that helps, but perhaps it’s a little more nuanced than that.  I’d call it the ability to communicate with an audience (and that’s a subject for another blog). 

Let’s assume you’re here because you have talent and some degree of ability to communicate with an audience.  I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s not all you need, not by a long shot.

Off Stage Skills

Once you’ve got your inner onstage animal performing with abandon, then you’ve got all that needs to be done off stage.  Everything from how you prepare your music and yourself for your gigs, to all the business machinery that goes along with it: marketing, branding, networking, managing and getting yourself out there.  

Now, with any luck, you’ll eventually reach a stage where there’s a team of people doing all this stuff for you.  However, you still have to represent ‘you’ in an authentic way to the world off stage and this is a whole other ‘performance’.

So you’ve got talent, you’ve got the ‘off stage’ skills, what’s left?  

Well, this is probably the most important area to work on, because without it, you won’t get the rest done.  It’s the one that rarely gets a mention, because it was assumed you either had ‘it’ or you didn’t.  

Sink or swim, it’s your mental game that is a strong predictor of success. 

Performance Science – getting your superpowers

We’re much more like athletes than we might think.  They use all sorts of techniques to keep themselves playing at their best and through performance science we can harness these super powers too.  

We all need to be mindful of the inner messages we give ourselves, as these inner voices can completely derail our performances, careers and self confidence.  The self messages to look out for are ones where you question what you’re doing, like: 

“Am I really good enough?”  

“No one’s going to like this.”  

“There are so many people out there so much better than me, why bother?”

You can bet that these messages create holes in your confidence that are going to show up in the way you are both onstage and off. 

“Being a musician and being in the music industry there’s a lot of that self-reflection and inner voice is a huge part of my job. Before you walk out on stage… The way you talk to yourself — the self-talk that you do — is so important and so crucial.”  Canadian Country singer Lindsay Ell

CBC ‘Next Chapter’

Thankfully research into performance science has become such a huge area of study, resulting in some interesting information on how our brains are working and how to train them to do what we want beyond the technical.

We use and promote these techniques at the studio and in our courses.  Contact Us to find out more.