prepare for a singing competition

8 Absolutely Important Steps To Prepare for A Singing Competition

T

o prepare for a singing competition is to raise the chance of winning it. You do not want to waste your time joining a singing contest without even knowing what to do. Right? Perfect! I got the best tips for singing contests just for you.

Are you preparing for a singing competition in your locality? Even more significant, is a national or international singing competition. What are you doing to prepare for such an event?

A lot of singers jump right into finding what songs to sing and whatnot. This is not the way to arm your self for a battle of the voices.

Tips For Singing Contests

Here are 8 important steps that you should consider when joining competition. Let’s say they are your tips for singing auditions.

Learn what the theme of the singing competition is.

Many contestants overlook this part of the preparation process. They skip into searching songs, preparing for attires and many more. It is your job to know the details of what you are getting yourself in.

Some singing competitions have a more specific theme — for example, a singing competition for peace or nature. Maybe a theme about culture and ethnicity. Then you have those well-known open genre singing competitions such as The Voice, and X-Factor.

Informing yourself of such distinct details is essential.

Identify at least three (3) genres where you excel.

If you think this is now the time to start looking for a song to sing, then you just made another and failed to prepare for a singing competition. Ask yourself first: what genres am I good at singing?

You definitely need to identify the genres of music that you are good at singing.

Doing so narrows and minimizes the effort of choosing songs that you need to sing. Oh, so that you know, most competitions are searching for a versatile singer these days.

That is why you need to know what genres you can sing well. Just in case you need a power ballad after doing a crazy disco song, well you have to prepare a list.

Popular songs are not always the answer.

Another common mistake that contestants make is singing songs listed in the radio top hits.

Oh, come one, who wouldn’t want to sing some current hit songs?

That may work for some but remember not all songs matches your voice. Most probably you also have judges who are out of touch of the top hits and they don’t even know what song you are singing.

So what I’m suggesting is, look for songs that match the character of your voice. They most likely are not in the current hit list.

Remember we already narrowed the genres you want to choose your songs from so stick to that plan. Popular songs are not always the answer to your question.

Remember this as part of your steps to prepare for a singing competition.

Sing in a key that is right for you.

After finding the songs for your competition, don’t go practicing just yet.

Know the limits of your voice. How high or low can you sing?

If you are a baritone, then avoid singing Michael Bolton songs.

If you badly want to sing his songs, then change the key to match your voice. Don’t sing like you are screaming at your audience because you are not comfortable with the song’s key.

Get Your Music Arranged or Edited in High Quality

The truth is, most singers are not producers. There aren’t that many singers who can edit music tracks for their performances. So what usually happens is singers download their accompaniment track.

Here are the advantages of having your music arranged or edited for a specific singing competition.

First, you get to have the song tailored for you. You can set it at a musical key that matches your voice.

Second, you can shorten a song and go directly to the highlights. At the elimination stage of the competition, it’s best if you shorten your performance.

Sing the parts of the song that gets the attention of your audience and the judges right away. You don’t need to sing the entire song unless they require you.

Third, high-quality music gets more attention. Many singers use downloaded low-quality music. Judges would more likely be distracted by your music and end up ignoring you.

Lastly, if you can't find an arranger or can't pay one - sing a cappella.

Get yourself an excellent vocal coach to prepare for a singing competition

Even the best singers in Hollywood can’t do away with voice coaches. We need them. Winning a competition without a voice coach is a great feat, but professionals do not recommend it. You need someone to teach you what to do to prepare for a singing competition.

Excellent vocal coaches show you what to do on stage.

They correct your singing habits and ultimately contribute to your overall performance. Not to mention, coaches are great morale boosters.

“Well, I have my parents as my vocal coach.”

I really wouldn’t want you to do that. Only if your parents happened to be outstanding voice coaches, you should be hiring someone legit. The statistics of successful singing careers are associated mostly with vocal coaches, not your relatives.

Even big recording studios have vocal coaches involved in the process of recording. So don’t ignore the importance of hiring vocal coaches.

Dress Appropriately

Remind yourself that you are joining a singing competition, not a fashion show. Although your appearance may help you to some extent, you should do things in moderation.

You would not want to wear sexy lingerie and sing an inspirational song in a competition. That is preposterous! 

I have seen contestants commit this mistake. Please don’t. Seriously consider this as part of the tips for singing audition.

Your appearance should match your performance – remember that. We call it consistency.

Sing Healthy – Never Practice Too Much

Ever heard of the term “warm down?” When competition date approaches, you should tone down on your rehearsal routine. Practicing too much may tire your voice and damage your performance.

Always find a way to take care of your voice all the time.

Eat the right food, sleep on time, especially before a competition. All of your preparations are nothing if you don’t have your voice on the day of the competition.

Preparing For A Singing Contest Is Halfway Winning Already

It pays to prepare for anything that you will be going through. A test in school, board exams, and competitions. It takes away the pressure of not knowing what to do when the moment comes.

Once you have practiced everything properly many times over, the actual performance becomes much easier and less daunting for you as the performer.

If you find these 8 essentials steps to prepare for a singing competition, please leave a comment below.

excuses for being late

6 Cringeworthy Excuses For Being Late

When People Are Late For Rehearsals

There is nothing more hilarious and irritating than the made-up excuses for being late for rehearsals. Everyone has that friend or two who always have a story to tell when they come late. So I made a list of extremely common excuses for people who are late for rehearsals.

6 Cringeworthy Excuses for Being Late

I am on my way

When it comes to excuses for being late, this phrase has got to be at the top when people are late for an appointment. This phrase has fooled many. You text or call someone where they at and then the most natural response they always have is “I am on my way.”

The truth of the matter is that you were the reason they just woke up. Thanks to you they remembered your appointment. It’s as if you owe them the wake-up calls.

Honestly, the phrase “I am on my way” can mean many things. Your friend might be going to the bathroom, to a bus stop or wherever that may mean. One thing’s for sure; they are not on their way to your meeting place just yet.

They are blaming the driver.

Yep! The list of excuses won’t be complete without hearing your friend blame the driver. Not everyone owns a car, so I am pretty sure you also had your fair share of “blaming the driver story.

This approach would include your late friend as the victim and how oppressive the driver was. The story would tell you how the driver drove around the city to drop other passengers (if it was a tricycle). Another version would be that the driver didn’t know the place your friend was getting at.

The story may have different details, but the format is all the same. The driver is the culprit, and your friend is the victim.

Accidents and Traffic

For those who are residing in urban areas where traffic is a normal thing, hearing stories involving traffic is pretty standard. The story would most likely tell how bad the traffic was, and they have no control over the situation.

Occasionally, you would hear the inclusion of accidents that caused traffic. Hence, your friend is late.

Another variant of this story is how they had to avoid traffic enforcers. Your friend has no necessary documents to drive and how they needed to avoid apprehension.

I had to do an errand or a chore for my parents.

Another pretty standard story of why your friend is late is because they had to help someone. We all have that helping hand in our group. So helpful that they would prioritize helping others than being on time for rehearsals.

This classic excuse would involve their mother asking them to do a chore or an errand. Variants of this story are also available. They couldn’t say no to their parents because they are such obedient children. They’d rather have you wait and be late than break their parent’s hearts.

Not feeling well, but I have to attend practice.

I don’t know about you, but I do have members in my vocal group who would blame you for making them come to rehearsals. They would put it in a way that you owe them an apology.

The story goes something like this; they were supposed to be recovering, but they couldn’t miss the rehearsal. These late members are practically heroes for showing up to rehearsals — quite a good excuse for why they are late.

Technically, you can also consider this as “it’s your fault for making them come to rehearsal.”

The rain is heavy. I can’t leave the house.

The list won’t be complete if you can’t hear someone blame the weather for being late for rehearsals. The most common culprit would be rain. They can’t get out of the house because it rains. Getting a cab or a tricycle is not easy because it rains.

They can’t seem to get to rehearsal on time because of the rain.

Excuses for being late for rehearsals never ran out.

How about you? Will you agree that these ate the extremely common excuses of people who are always late for rehearsals? Tell me your thoughts in the comment below.

Luha Funny Viral Singer Wows Everyone With His New Video

Remember that viral video of a guy singing a ridiculous version of Luha? Well, the luha funny viral singer wows everyone with his new video.

The song “Luha” was released by the band Aegis way back in 2002, and it topped the charts during those days. Local groups and solo singers were covering it in many gigs and festivals. It was a big hit before YouTube became a thing.

Luha Funny Viral Singer

Lately, in the advent of social media and the internet, a funny version of the song went viral. A guy named Jryl Efos Maliza sang it in an amusing way which took the internet by storm. It seemed that he didn’t know what he was doing. He was way out of tune, and the syllabication and pronunciation of the song was ridiculous

It would seem that he is not a singer because everything is not how it should sound. It turns out that they were filming this on purpose. His seemingly out of tune, hilarious way of singing is not his real voice.

This funny viral rendition became an expression for many. Odd as it seemed, many Filipinos imitate such singing style because the average non-English speaking Filipino would somehow sing it this way.

Luha Funny Viral Singer Wows Everyone With His New Video

A video posted on Jr. Cuyam’s YouTube channel is showing a different version of Jril Efos Maliza.

Contrary to his first viral video of Luha, he is singing well in this video. You can see him here doing the solo in the opening part of the video. He is then joined in at the chorus with his friends doing back up vocals. The video is a cover song of Hunter Hayes’s Invisible.

The new video showing the excellent singing skill of Jril Efos Maliza is over two hundred thousand views and is still rising.

Are you one of those who thought this guy couldn’t sing? Well, share this article so you can also surprise your friends.

Best Tips On How To Organize Local Choral Competition

8 Best Tips On How To Organize Local Choral Competition

Best Tips On How To Organize Local Choral Competition

Here are some of the best tips on how to organize local choral competition. Organizing a local choral competition is no easy task. Like every other competition, you will most probably have participants who might have more experience than you do.

A pretty common scenario for much local choral competition is when participants are displeased with the outcome of the event. Many things can cause your participants to turn sour and for your competition to collapse.

Here are a few tips for organizers doing choral competitions.

Have A Plan

Yes, it might be cliche, but cliches work. That is why people repeat doing it because they work. Know the ins and outs of your event. Many things are crucial for the success of organizing choral competitions.

Length of preparation

No matter how good you are, cramming things is not the right way to operate. Do not prepare when the event is already at hand. Give yourself enough time to deal with the needs of your competition.

Organizing choral competitions need long preparations. Choral competitions require many things, and all of these also require time. Renting a venue for your competition needs time.

Organizers have to send letters to venue owners, and the process may take days, weeks, or months to have an agreement for both parties.

Your contestants must also have time enough to practice for their pieces, unlike solo competitions where the contestant can have a week or two to prepare. Choral competitions take months and hundreds of hours to finish learning songs.

Many school-based competitions abruptly scheduled. Everyone is in a panic because there are only weeks into the preparation. A very unhealthy way of organizing stuff. It stresses everyone out. Contestants may not have enough rehearsal time, which may lead to no entry submissions.

Remember, time is of the essence, never rush things

Decent to hefty prizes

Like any other event, having a reasonable budget is one of the best tips on how to organize local choral competitions is of utmost importance. You need to have an excellent figure to give for your prizes. Choir contestants practice hundred of hours to perform for like 10 minutes during the competition.

As a gesture of respect for their efforts, you can start by raising the number of your prizes.

I have witnessed a choral competition where the grand prize was only 5,000 pesos (100 USD). It was sacrilegious! Imagine a group of 20 or more people sharing 5,000 pesos.

They rehearsed for weeks or months and spent on their costumes. The prize was not even enough for a proper meal. Avoid being an organizer who never values the effort. Start by giving good prizes.

Contestants would not want to waste their time for a competition that can’t even compensate for their efforts.

Venue and room acoustics

Organizing choral competitions require an excellent venue to house your event. It also requires a venue with proper room acoustics. I have seen many chorale competitions set in an open space inside the mall. Well, doing so actually can be useful for the mall’s business, but it requires an excellent sound system.

If you want to know more about room acoustics you can visit this link. You can save money from sound system rental if you have an excellent sounding room.

Try to use no microphones

Having an excellent sounding room is very good for choral competitions. You can do away with using microphones for the competition.

Using microphones poses many problems for your choral competition.

First, if the mixing engineer is not well trained to produce a good sound, then your choirs have problems during the performance.

Second, judges need to score on the mixing of the audio rather than the real vocal quality of the choir. It may not always be the case, but this is an excellent approach to making sure the credibility of your competition is intact.

Deciding to put your competition inside the open space of a mall, then obviously you need to use a good sound system for your contestants. The bottom line is, choral competitions are all about raw vocal quality, not how good the sound system is.

Judges should be more than capable

Another one of the best tips on how to organize local choral competition is getting outstanding judges.

For places where there are no music schools, good music teachers are hard to come by.

What happens usually is that organizers tend to hire the wrong people. Credibility, experience, and excellent portfolio matters!

  1. Don’t hire judges who don’t know a thing about choral competitions. Some competitions introduce, accountants, engineers, as judges. I have nothing against them except if they wrongfully judge the event. I know lots of conductors who are not music majors and still are very good at choral competitions.
  2. Get the best judges possible in your locality. Know someone who has recently won competitions or is actively involved in any choral activities. Checking the background of a person before having them judge your competition is essential. Recommendations must still undergo heavy scrutiny because it affects the credibility of your competition.
  3. Get judges who stand for their verdict. Even with the best judges on board, it is still possible to have unsatisfied participants. Good judges can stand their ground and even explain it directly to contestants why the judging results were so.

Hire high profile judges

Part of protecting your name as an organizer of your local choral competition is linking your event with well-known identities in the choir industry.

Yes, they are expensive, but the money you spend to hire them is worth it.

Participants have more respect for the event because of the roster of judges involved. The more you give value to your judging panel, the higher people think of your event.

Quality photo and Videos

Of course, you don’t want people to remember your event by memory alone.

Having good quality photos and videos can further advertise your event even after it culminated.

Sharing it online is beneficial for your event.

Participants would love to see pictures and videos they could share online.

Why Organizing Local Choral Competitions matter?

Being an organizer for your local choral competition is a sacred obligation. Events such as this educate the public. That is why you need to know the best tips on how to organize a local choral competition.

If you have a good competition, it teaches participants more about how they could improve their performances and musical education in the field of choral singing.

If you don’t mind the details of your event, it affects the learning process of the participants, especially for areas that do not have music schools.

Di you find these 8 best tips on how to organize local competition useful? Let me know by leaving a comment.

microphone test

5 Insane Microphone Test Mistakes (You’re Guilty Of)

Microphone Etiquettes

Base on my own experience, I’d say 9 out of 10 people fail the microphone test. I am referring to the vast majority of singers, performers, and the daily microphone users who don’t have a clue on how to use a microphone properly.

Microphones are expensive. You should take good care of whatever microphones you have. For PA System owners, taking good care of their microphones is part of their business – until someone uses them carelessly.

Most of the time, singers or speakers do not know how to use a microphone properly. Yes, sure, you hold it and say something. How hard can it be?

Here are some of the stuff people do that qualifies as a microphone test failure.

1. Knocking On A Microphone – please don’t

It’s not a door so don’t knock!

“Hello, soundcheck, microphone test one, two, three tests. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK can you raise the volume please?”

The number 1 thing most people do when they see a microphone in front of them is knock on them. Ridiculous but I too have been there.

For some reason, it has become a public habit to knock on microphones for sound checking. Don’t do it!

Microphones have an internal mechanism that is so sensitive. Knocking on a mic head is equivalent to dropping it on the floor.

You talk to the mic; you talk at a loud speaking voice so you and the mixing engineer can set the levels correctly.

You can also whistle or blow some air on to the microphone. This way you can check the microphone if it’s on or not.

2. Singing and speaking too close or too far to a microphone

Some people just don’t get it. Speaking and singing too close to a microphone is never a good thing.

Microphones have specific pickup patterns and distances that they can cover to amplify a sound source – in most cases, the human voice.

Speaking too close to a microphone causes the audio to distort. Distortion makes the audio unpleasant to your audience.

Just image a singer belting a high note and stuffing the microphone close to his or her mouth. You just made your audience very uncomfortable.

If you are a singer, by the way, you might find these tips for a singing competition helpful.

Also, if you speak and sing too far from a microphone, it introduces a different kind of issue for the audience and mixing engineer.

Your audience won’t hear you well, and the sound engineer gets blamed for why the microphone is not working. I have seen it happen countless times.

3. Please do not choke or cup the microphone

As funny as it may seem, some singers or speakers hold their mic right on the capsule. The capsule is the net-like covering on top.

Some people think it’s pretty cool because it looks unique. Keep your uniqueness because for the sound engineer you are the worst nightmare!

If you hold the mic in a manner like you are choking it, you are blocking some audio to enter into the microphone correctly.

So if audio can’t enter accurately, these presents many challenging issues for the sound engineer.

One microphone test that engineers do before an event is gain staging. They are expecting you to speak to the mic properly, not choke or cup it.

4. Never step on the wires.

If you are not using a wireless microphone, then you should know how to deal with a microphone wire.

Frequently, in church services, parties, and other gatherings, microphone wires are all over the place. People step on microphone wires a lot. Even chairs or heavy materials are placed on top of the wires causing damage to it.

Microphone wires are in charge of sending the signal from the mic to the entire sound system. A faulty wire due to a lot of abused and being stepped on can’t deliver audio signals accurately.

5. No Microphone Test when not in use – turn it off.

There were occasions during a live show that performers backstage were speaking to the microphone, and the audience could hear them. Horror filled the director’s face who was running the show.

When not in use, turn off the microphone for several apparent reasons.

One, you don’t capture sound sources that aren’t meant to be heard.

Two, you help save resources. If it were a wireless microphone, turning it off could extend battery life.

Good habits lead to good results

group microphone test
how you should use a microphone

We can help educate people on how to use microphones. These are beneficial for the audience, the owner of the microphones, and ultimately for the user.

Do you know of other things that need to be on this list? If so, please comment below.

why it's hard to play the violin

7 Intense Reasons Why It’s Hard To Play The Violin

I may know a bit why it’s hard to play the violin

I can always hear people ask why it’s hard to play the violin. I too think it’s hard to play. I do not have any scientific proof or research data to back my claim. I have the experience, and I happen to play a few other instruments.

By far, the violin is the hardest to learn. So why am I even teaching it in the first place? Because I love it. Here are the reasons why I think the violin is the hardest instrument to learn.

Awkward Instrument Handling

The first few lessons when you enroll in a violin class is not about music-making. It is all about proper handling.

For some students, it may take two to three sessions to get it right. Unlike the piano or the guitar, you need to hold the violin concerning your physique.

Not all my students have the same finger sizes and lengths. So you need to adjust and adapt for each student and every scenario.

Holding the violin is also very relative to your student’s body structure. Some students have long necks and thin while others are short and round.

You need to consider these differences, so you have the instrument adjusted for your students. Wrong handling causes discomfort and even injury.

When left unchecked, it may become a habit leading to poor techniques.

No fret boards require high accuracy for intonation.

The frets on a guitar can guide your students on where to place their fingers. Not the violin. Playing without frets is one technical hurdle that all students must overcome.

Beginners may find it frustrating to tune their playing.

It takes a hundred thousand proper repetitions to master something

When you press the keys on a piano, there is an internal mechanism that strikes the strings, and you have a sound – a precise sound.

The violin is not like that. You need to be accurate all the time. That is why it’s hard to play the violin.

Left Hand Vs. Right Hand

Another thing you need to keep a close watch is the coordination of your left hand with the right hand.

It is a problem enough to get your pitch right with the left hand; you also then need to mind your right hand.

The right-hand holds the bow, which is in charge of producing the sound. Beginners find it hard to control the bow at first. Hence, their shaky tonality.

When doing hard, fast passages, a violinist needs to have his hands working together or else the performance is a mess. One hand cannot be faster than the other; it should be both at the same time when required.

You are playing against gravity.

When you sit on a piano stool, you use gravity at your advantage to relax. Your fingers are placed nicely on top of the keys.

Gravity is a friend. The violin must be held parallel with the floor. Hence, the constant struggle to hold it in place.

Now, your fingers press the fingerboard pushing the violin down. Your job is to play on the fingerboard while keeping the violin from falling.

The horizontal motion of the fingers is against the downward pull of gravity. That horizontal finger movement must be kept precise and in tune at all times.

Vibrato

If keeping the violin parallel and in place is hard, then vibrato is something else. The most common approach for teaching vibrato is leaning your violin scroll on a wall.

Leaning keeps your instrument from shaking with your struggling finger. Vibrato for starters tends to make them play out of tune.

It also shakes their instrument out of place. Generally, vibrato takes time, and I mean years. That’s why it’s hard to play the violin.

It is a gradual growth with the music. You need to commit yourself to practice.

We sounded terrible at the beginning of it all.

Beginners do not sound good at first.

Beginners always do not sound good at first.

As I said, a beginner piano student can make a good sound right off the bat because the instrument does it for them.

Meanwhile, you can get unwanted attention, and unsolicited door knocks from irritated people if you play the violin.

Why?

It sounds more like a scratch than music when beginners practice. If you hear your parents tell you that you are great when you only had a week’s lesson, then honey – you aren’t.

It takes patience and commitment to change a scratch to a soothing melody. Yes, your neighbors do not love hearing you practice when you are a beginner.

That is why there is an accessory for muting your instrument when practicing.

Regarding practice, you might want to read the 6 cringeworthy excuses of people late for rehearsals.

It needs to be tuned CONSTANTLY

In addition to the many things that makes the violin hard to learn, you also need to tune it. How often?

Every time you hold a violin, it always starts by tuning it. Temperature affects the wood that even if you don’t use it, I guarantee you it goes out of tune.

The slight drop or rise of the temperature puts your strings out of tune in addition to the requirement of tonal precision.

You need to learn how to tune your instrument yourself. For most, it does not come easy. You break many strings in the process. Additional reason why it’s hard to play the violin.

So why pick the hardest instrument to learn?

I may need to write another article for this, but here are a few reasons why we still want to learn the hardest instrument.

  • First, it is the closest sound to a human voice.
  • The dynamic interpretation that you can do with it is phenomenal.
  • You can play it without a band to accompany you.
  • Once mastered, it is one of the loveliest instruments to hear.

Most importantly, it is an instrument that doesn’t tire the ears fast. Once you have mastered it, audiences can tolerate hours of listening to the tune of a violin.