Reading this article right now, you probably think about wanting a career in singing.You might say, that singing is your biggest passion and you’ve always dreamed about making a living out of it.
Stop dreaming and start acting!
We never know, what the future really holds for us. There are no guarantees in life and all the people promising money, fame or fortune are simply bullshitting.
But I believe that we can do our very best, to commit our self to the goals we set and follow them, no matter what. By doing so, we increase the chances to force destiny to follow our dreams.
In this article, I’ll walk you through 5 important steps how to start a singing career.
Step 1 – Define Your Goals
Before you even sing your first note, do this: Sit down, grab a pen, a piece of paper and write down your music goals.This will lay the basis for all endeavours you will undertake from now on.
There are certain rules about goal setting and after having studied some books about it and having set my own goals over the last years, I would focus on these key elements:
1. What do you want to be, achieve or have?
Write it down in present tense, e.g. “I am a professional pop singer, touring around the world and having a fan base of 500.000 people.”
Go in detail as much as possible and ask yourself such questions: Do you want to do-it professionally or semi-professionally? Do you want to play live or are you more a studio singer type? Do you want to tour, or keep it more home-based?
2. By When Do You Want It?
Stay realistic. It doesn’t make any sense to say “I rock the sold out Wembley stadium in 2019”, when you even haven’t played in front of an audience yet. To have a broader perspective, set 1-year, 5-years and 10-years goals.
Step 2 – Get A Coach
Unless you are blessed with a perfectly shaped, professional singing voice, I advise to hook up with a vocal coach.You will save yourself precious time and will benefit from much more than just learning how to sing.
Ideally, your coach will also guide you as a mentor to achieve your goals. He will only be entitled to fulfill this role, when he has or has had a music career on his own.
If that’s not the case, but he’s a brilliant teacher – go find a mentor additionally.
Step 3 – Expose Yourself
If you are really striving for a music career, you have to go out and expose yourself to the world.
Don’t make the mistake to wait for your art to be perfect, before enter open-mic-night. That will never happen, because there simply is no perfection in the world.
As soon as you are able to sing through a song confidentially, go and perform it to others. Start with your family and friends. Take every opportunity you can get to play in public: Your mothers birthday party, open mic nights, karaoke.
Look for a band and play even more gigs on a regular basis. The more you perform in front of an audience, the more you will get used to it until, one day, it’s second nature to you
Step 4 – Continuous Improvement
Congratulations, you’re already on a good way. You have set your goals, got a coach and mentor and you share your music with the world.
Now it’s time to learn about continuous improvement. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking to know it all. Unless you have reached all of your superior goals, there’s work to do.
The only way to really reach for the top long-term is to never stop improving.
Constantly ask yourself, what can be done better next time. Your songwriting, your lyrics, your live performance, your communication with the audience, your band website, your vocal range?
I want to share a wonderful perspective with you, I once learned on a business seminar.
What would you say, if I ask you to sustain a note twice as long as you already do? You’d probably reply something like: “Are you crazy? I already run out of air at the end. It’s impossible to double that time.”
Okay, what would you then say, if I ask you to sustain it only 1% longer (lets define that’s about one second)? “To stretch it for just one more second is piece of cake.”, I hear you say.
One percent seems like nothing and is easy to accomplish. Applying this to multiple areas of your music will make a big difference and sums up to maybe 30 or 40% overall improvement.
When you repeat this technique constantly, you will skyrocket your level in just one year.
Step 5 – Persist
Napoleon Hill has written a memorable chapter about persistence in his world-famous and best-selling book “Think and grow rich!”. I couldn’t describe it better, so I just want to recite some highlighted statements:
“Willpower and desire, when properly combined,
make an irresistible pair.”
“With persistence, you will win.”
“Persistence creates faith, and faith is the only known antidote
I must have read this chapter already 10 times and still find something new in it. You can have all qualities you want, lacking persistence will never bring you close to your goals.
One of the hardest learning throughout a musical journey is to accept, that not everyone will like your music or your voice.
It takes time and work to get attention, it takes time and work to get a fan base. And it takes even more time and work to turn your passion into a sustainable career.
If you are dead-serious about pursuing a singing career, start by taking 5 actions.
(1) Define your goals, (2) get a coach, (3) expose yourself to the public, (4) continuously improve and (5) persist.
Make your first steps in the right direction. Know your aim and enjoy the path.
Love to hear about your musical journey!
Expose and share with the world (or at last me).
8 thoughts on “How To Start A Singing Career – 5 Useful Steps To Get Going”
Love this post. There are alot of people out there who aspire to use their talents such as singing. Don’t forget using social media platforms like youtube or facebook to further your exposure!
Thanks for your input Ash! I totally agree, that social media and personal brand building is of massive importance.
Due to the dimension of this topic, I will write about this in a separate post.
“Stop dreaming start acting!” I really like the way you stated this in your introduction paragraph. Like anything else in life, it begins with goals. Although I’m not aiming for a future in singing(I’m. It all that great), i think it’s important to understand that it is a long term process. By writing things down on paper as you perceive things, this is a good reference tool to aid you in the path, and making sure you don’t fall short. Realistic expectations are the key. I think sometimes we right one thing down and expect it to be realistic, but until we experience it or not, we truly know. Step #5 is huge, being persistent makes sure you really hone in on your skills, and drive. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for contributing Michael.
Since I started with singing training and everything that followed, I learned so much that is universal, as life is.
If you want to succeed in life, regardless what field you choose (sports, music, business, manager), there are some basic rules to obey.
Above all, execution on a consistent level is most crucial.
Hi Felix, this is an inspiring post! You know, I have always wanted to be a singer. I took a few music courses in community college and have been told I have a great voice. My mother however, told me it isn’t “practical” and “realistic” and that it won’t “pay the bills” – so it sorta crushed my dreams of being a singer. I would watch American Idol and get these pangs of envy… 🙁 So , I shut that dream away and forced myself to forget it. Now reading this, I feel a glimmer of renewed hope that I can make this work… with BABY steps. I need to write my goals down. You are right! Write them down and even put them on flash cards and tape them too my bathroom mirror. People will love to hear my voice! And now with YouTube being a platform where people can be seen, I think I might take advantage of that and expose myself there more. What do you think about YouTube or SoundCloud? Also, you said to find a coach, where is a good place to find a coach?
Hi Sophia. Great to hear from you. You absolutely should go for it, if you still feel a desire to do it. If we’d only follow, what seems practical and realistic, there would be no progress in the world. Anyways, AI probably doesn’t reflect a singers career path properly. For me it is interesting, that a lot of “Idols” can’t make a lasting career, although the have a strong support backing them up. It’s a little bit like people, who inherit millions of dollars, but can’t keep them, because the never learned how to make the money in the first place. Just want to say, you have many opportunities through the internet, but don’t forget to get out and perform as often as you can.
Watch out for a coach in your local ads, music schools, music stores, ask other singers (if you know some). Meet him in person (no Skype coaching) and search until you found someone, you are really comfortable with and who can do amazing vocal stuff 🙂 Good luck!
Excellent info on how to pursue a singing career.It takes setting is almost the same process as one trying to become recruited as an athlete.It takes setting your goals ,getting a scout or coach to notice you exposure hard work and persistence.Because in sports it is all about competing against bigger fish in a bigger pond .Thanks for the share
Thanks Erick. You said it, rules to become successful are universal.
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