Why you need to sing a song as YOU and not someone who has sung it before
Please watch the video at the end of this article to see some Broadway singers ‘unplugged’
The habit at the moment is for young singers to come to audition attempting to sound like a recording of the song which they have practised and try to emulate. This is a common reason for them to not get through the audition stage but also for them to do damage to their voices.
Young, inexperienced and untrained singers need to realise that studio recordings are processed, and very often ‘live’ performances are amplified and processed too.
Listening to a recording is never the same as hearing it sung acoustically
Popular culture is a place where pity is called compassion, flattery is called love, propaganda is called knowledge, tension is called peace, gossip is called news, and auto-tune is called singing
A skilled sound engineer uses compression, reverb, delay, equalisation, levelling and occasionally auto-tune. This is a necessary evil nowadays. We, the listener, very rarely hear the ‘true’ voice of a performer, unless you are lucky enough to hear an intimate acoustic session.
Modern microphones and the lucidity of digital technology cause every minuscule imperfection of a NATURAL voice jump right out at you, the listener. So to help smooth things out, sound engineers use the tools that modern technology have given us. Therefore what you listen to on a recording isn’t what the singers really sound like. Nearly all of the time, they will actually be singing a great deal quieter than the volume level which we listen at when listening to a song through a stereo system and especially when we listen to that recording through earphones.
Listening to the original cast recording is not good audition practise
iPods and MP3 players can easily achieve 110 decibels. Most studies show that 90-100 dB is the ordinary volume level of singers in the middle part of their range. Every 3 decibels equals doubling the sound, when you listen at 110db you’re hearing these vocalists at about 3-7 times the intensity they are in reality performing at. In real-life we do not naturally perform with reverb, compression, equalization, and delay coming directly out of our mouths. Without equipment there is no way you can duplicate the recorded sound at an audition.
This does not mean that the singers on the recordings are not talented. Quite the opposite. Each of these artists are unbelievably talented. When they sing these singers tell a story. Their singing comes from the heart. They allow themselves to be raw, real, and truthful – and because of that, they get hired!
Singing loudly isn’t singing better
There is only one you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
There is a ‘plague’ spreading like wild fire amongst students and recent graduates – the epidemic of “being a belter is better!” In the words of public enemy – Don’t believe the hype!
A whole generation seems to consider being louder as being more expert because that’s what they are listening to through their earphones. When they sing, if they do not hear themselves in their own heads in the same way that they are hearing via the recordings, they become defeated. When I speak to vocal coaches I am told that one of the main lessons they are constantly teaching is to convince young singers to not push. These teachers also tell me that when the student goes home after the lesson to practice they will often sing loud again. A whole generation has been conditioned by the modern technology used in recordings and playback to perform in an amplified way without amplification.
Do the audition panel a favour and stop the unnecessary ‘screaming’.Nikki BlonskyDo what you are capable of doing and most of all focus on being who you are. Do not try and emulate the recording, a panel want you to sing from their own special place, in your own unique voice, just as actors do when approaching a monologue.
You are who you are. You should just be yourself at all times. The only way you’re going to get through life, happily, is being yourself.
There is nothing more moving than seeing an actual human being standing on a stage or in a casting room and allowing their soul to speak through their acoustic voice. Casting directors and musical directors LOVE that sort of singing.
Sing in YOUR true voice and you will never let YOU down
If you naturally have a loud belt voice, then that’s wonderful, that’s your voice, your unique tone so use it. If you don’t have a natural loud belting voice then you can still work professionally, sound engineers and technicians will be able to amplify and help you, as long as you just do what you do naturally.
Don’t push, just be you.
Broadway Singers acoustic vs engineered
Watch the following video, infact watch it a few times. It shows you the difference that sound engineers can do to a vocal performance in a studio.
Remember that casting directors are not expecting to hear a fully polished finished recording quality version, they are after you acting and singing with heart and uniqueness and you can only do this by being true to both yourself and your voice.
Broadwayworld Video and Exclusives
Andy Karl may have only just begun his Broadway journey as Phil Connors in Groundhog Day, but his road to Punxsutawney was a long one. Below, watch as the 2017 Tony nominee joins SAG-AFTRA Foundation and BroadwayWorld to chat about ...
On last night’s TONIGHT SHOW, music guest Barry Manilow performed the title song from his new album ‘This Is My Town’ with a little help from The Roots. And in a special web performance, the Tony winner performs the classic ...
Ashley Tisdale surprised her fans with a very special guest on her latest edition of Music Sessions yesterdays.
Today, we are excited to bring you the Season Two premiere, featuring special guest from NATASHA, PIERRE AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1812- Nicholas Belton.
R. Evolucion Latina continues to celebrate and inspire with the motto ‘Dare to go Beyond.’ In this second episode of ‘Faces of Broadway’ they explore the question of being valuable. See what Broadway Artists had to say as they explored ...
In this special episode, watch as the gang holds a dance call for Broadway dancers Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Neil Haskell, Eloise Kropp, Chris Rice, Samantha Sturm, Clay Thomson and Cody Williams!
Florida is hot. Right? It’s hot sand, hot sun…hot musical theatre talent? YOU BET!. We welcomed the FSU “‘Noles” to Broadway Sessions recently to celebrate their tremendous theatre program. ’17 grads took the stage alongside Broadway vets Heather Parcells, Harris ...
Following the phenomenal success of their double platinum selling #1 UK album Together (released in the US by Decca Records), and a major sold out UK tour, musical legends Michael Ball and Alfie Boe will perform their first-and-only U.S. performance tonight, May 23. at ...
The cast of Broadway’s COME FROM AWAY performed the show’s opening number, ‘Welcome to the Rock’ on last night’s LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS. Check out the appearance below!
On last night’s LATE SHOW, Tony nominee Ben Platt spoke with host Stephen Colbert about his hit Broadway musical DEAR EVAN HANSEN and performed the emotional number ‘For Forever’ from the show.