How to find singing gigs
If you are part of a band you can always try local bars
and private clubs. In some states such places will pay you a fair wage,
and in other places you will only receive a small percentage of the
earnings made that night—so it is not always worth your time.
However, small, low paying gigs are still jobs you can add to your resume.
A woman I know spent many years singing and songwriting—it was
her one and only passion. Local crowds loved her, but despite that,
she did not get enough work to live off of and did not have enough money
to get studio time to make a record or high-quality demo. Well, she
worked and played whatever singing gigs she could get on the side until
she had saved up enough money to record an album. In the midst of a
discouraging divorce—she was uplifted only by her singing and
songwriting. This emotional time, however, made her album all the more
rewarding—the songs were her life and her feelings and she sang
them with the deepest passion and enthusiasm because they were the embodiment
of the changes she was currently undergoing and the challenges she was
facing as a human being.
Shortly after she had recorded her album, she worked a few more random
singing gigs until she was offered part-time jobs at two high-class
clubs. Finally, she was able to “quit her day job” and work
full-time as a singer. She was making just enough money to get by at
this time, (not including album sales, which were a little extra pocket
money) but she had realized her dream. I do not know where she is now,
but knowing her passion and persistence I am sure her situation is better
now than it was even then.
There are three keys to success as a singer: persistence, passion and,
of course, talent.
A couple of tips on how to succeed as a singer are to get a voice instructor.
Many people discover that they have a lot more talent than they realized
once they learn breathing techniques, stylistic versatility and get
some good coaching. Another way to find success as a singer is to participate
in vocal competitions. This will help you find singing gigs, simply
because it looks very good on a resume to have been so involved in singing.
If you want to move beyond simple singing gigs, and you believe that
you are ready, aspire for the most professional gigs in the business
and audition for a professional choir. My mother sang with the Saint
Louis Bach Society for five years, this is the choir most often accompanied
instrumentally by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. It took her years
of studying and performing music (mostly in recitals) to get to this
place. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in voice, and later,
received her Masters degree in vocal pedagogy. Now she performs solo
in her own recitals, judges vocal competitions, works in a clinic for
voice therapy patients, and has many successful students.
As in all fine arts, it is hard to achieve an independent life as a
singer. However, every popular, or well-known singer has had to face
the same challenges you will, finding singing gigs, or even going further
by creating albums and finding record labels, or becoming a professional
in voice and voice-related fields.