When it comes to working with bands, singers get a bad rap. You hear countless stories from musicians about vocalists with “good chops” who just don’t know how to act in a band. Don’t be that singer. Learn the professional and social habits for a long, fruitful, and well-respected singing career. I’m with the band, and I’m here to help! In Episode #1 of the Pandemic-Proof Singer Series, you’ll get some real-deal voice lessons from two professional singers.
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Artist of the Year 🏆
Meet Rebecca Jade, an award-winning singer/songwriter. She’s been touring with the Queen of Percussion, Sheila E. since 2017, and most recently appeared in “The GRAMMY Salute to Prince” that aired on CBS in April. She also sang background vocals for Sir Elton John at the 2020 Academy Awards. With over 27 years of recording studio experience, she’s sung background vocals, demos, and jingles on many different projects and has been featured in a variety of works. She was awarded “Artist of the Year” for this San Diego Music Awards for 2020.
To Be a Successful Singer 🎙
Most of all, she’s a great human being. And, to put it in the simplest of terms, that’s what it takes to be a successful singer. Being a singer is incredible. It’s almost a crime that we are allowed to sing for a living. But like crime, singing doesn’t always pay. To get the gigs that pay, and keep getting them, you need to exude a high level of professionalism that is often a lot less glamorous than the sexy life of a rock star you might have imagined. While these qualities might seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how many singers out there don’t get it.
Voice Lessons from a Lead Singer
In our chat, Rebecca and I break down some voice lessons, pro-singer style. R-E-S-P-E-C-T – find out what these habits and qualities will mean for your success.
R is for Reputation & Relationships
In the singing world, building an excellent reputation is the foundation of success. You will gain lifelong friends and build genuine rapport with networks of musicians that might hire you. It takes a lot of time to develop this so, be patient. It can take no time at all to tear it all down so, be careful.
E is for Etiquette On Stage
Who are you when you step on stage? Is your performance exclusively for your self-satisfaction and ego or, are you creating a collective experience? Are you a collaborator, or are you on your own planet? Do you think your audience can read the answer to these questions with your performance? When it’s your time to shine as a featured soloist or front-person – shine bright like a diamond! All other times, be a fantastic supporting cast. Insisting on taking the spotlight at inappropriate times is called upstaging.
S is for Sense & Sensibility
Throughout your singing journey, you will need to practice good judgment, wisdom, and self-control balanced with sensitivity, compassion, and emotion. Sometimes, it can feel like a rollercoaster. One crucial thing that highly successful singers have in common is a growth mindset, and keeping a positive attitude. These two things lend themselves to building resiliency and grit. In this line of work, these two things are critical to achieving your goals and dreams. Gaining this kind of control over yourself will pave the way for longevity in this business.
P is for Professional
I once heard someone say, “treat it like a business, and it will pay you like a business, treat it like a hobby, and it will pay you like a hobby.” You are the CEO, the Visionary, of You. We’re in a new time of art and business where the two don’t have to be at odds. What if you made business decisions and schedules and contacts on a feeling, emotional, vibrational level, and not just using logic? Would that feel good? Would it inspire you? See how you can bring your artist to the technical, business-y side of things. As a professional, you’ll want to constantly work on your craft. Line yourself up with regular voice lessons and instrumental lessons.
E is for Etiquette Offstage
There is an undeniable link between your likeability and how successful you are. This could not be truer in the music business. Be relatable and build genuine relationships in the music community, and it will pay in spades.
A surefire way to do this is to master the art of “The Hang.” I’m referring to all the times you spend with your fellow musicians off-stage. The hour-long soundcheck, the half-hour break in the green room, or downtime during a rehearsal can be the most precious and enjoyable time spent together. These are the moments when you share your life, swap stories, catch-up, and get to know the people with whom you make music. Many agree that your personality off-stage is crucial to your network-ability. Remember, there are dozens, hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of other musicians that are gunning for the same gigs as you. What makes you different from every other singer in the world? Most musicians and music directors would instead work with an individual that exhibits like social behaviors than a diva with a bad attitude or some form of a social handicap.
C is for Communication
Do you want to know THE top secret to getting gigs?
Return the call.
There are typically many people involved in a musical project. That’s a great deal of work on the part of a DM or Manager. Organizing 3-5-10 people and their schedules can be like herding feral cats. Sometimes a band needs input from everyone. Collective decision-making depends on timely communication.
T is for Team
In this business, you will be working and collaborating with many different people in different roles, such as other singers, writers, instrumentalists, producers, and technicians. No matter who you are dealing with, you must always be a team player.
Always do your best. You’ll become a singer with power, vision, and a fantastic product to put out into the world. Show others you care about their work and your own. They’ll love you for this and hire you again and again.
Your Next Step 👣 Voice Lessons
Establish yourself as a pro by stepping back and evaluate these qualities. Music is a highly competitive field, and mastering your instrument is simply the first step to becoming a working singer. For those that want to take this thing to the next level, the thing that sets professionals apart from the rest is what they can do beyond using their instrument.
We’re in a new day and age that will challenge us to be innovative and use all of our experience and know-how to be successful at what we do. If you know you’ve got what it takes but don’t know where to start, I’d love to help. In my voice lessons practice, we work on both your strategy and your craft. Contact me here if you’d like to work with me.
My most immediate piece of advice is to begin building your at-home vocal recording studio. If you want to work-from-home as a singer, record your songs, make YouTube, Instagram, or Tik Tok videos, you’ll need to learn to do this.
Your opportunity is coming. Be ready for it. Pandemic-proof your singing career.
For more Pandemic-Proof Singer Series, click here.
Hi! I’m Danielle Tucker – singer, vocal coach, and creator of cool things.
Throughout my 20-year career, I’ve equally enjoyed singing country, rock, pop, gospel, and jazz. Today, I’m a professional singer/songwriter available for solo performances, studio recording, and lead vocalist of San Diego-based band The Mighty Untouchables. I also offer vocal coaching to both solo artists and groups through my own studio. I’ve crafted a rewarding vocal career, and it’s my great pleasure to bring music to others through private bookings, performing with my band, or helping others to grow more confident in their own vocal gifts. Thanks for visiting my site I’m honored that you’d like to get to know me!