How to Prepare for a Singing Audition | 15 Audition Tips for Singers

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You need to prepare if you want to impress judges at a singing audition. With some helpful guidance, practice and dedication you can wow the audition judges, showcasing your talents with ease and opening the door to a host of amazing performance opportunities. 

Auditioning is about so much more than just your voice. Preparing for your audition and making sure you’re in the right mindset is also important. With some helpful audition tips under your belt, you’ll be beaming with confidence for your singing audition.

Even if it’s a last-minute audition, there are plenty of ways to get your voice in top shape, from eating and drinking correctly, to vocal warm-ups and exercises. Here are our helpful tips to get you prepared for the best singing audition you’ve ever had.

Audition Tips for Singers

How do I prepare my voice for a singing audition

how to prepare voice for singing performance

#1 Practice

It’s easy to become comfortable with a practice routine. But when you have an upcoming singing audition, this is the time to push yourself as a singer and rehearse whenever possible.

Obviously, this is within reason as the throat can become exhausted and you don’t need the struggle of an overly-raspy vocal just as you let out your first audition note.

The more you understand the melody of your audition song, the stylistic sound, the structure, the breathing points and the climactic section, the more at ease you can feel in the audition space.

What should you do before an audition?

#2 Breathing exercises

One of the easiest ways to prepare your voice for an audition is by practising some simple breathing exercises.

Deep breathing is one of the easiest ways to lower stress in the body and allows your body to properly support your voice whilst singing.

Below we take a look at the most effective breathing exercises for singers to help transform your voice:

#3 Schedule rehearsals

There is nothing better than feeling confident and prepared. One way you can feel organised is by establishing a practice schedule that works for you.

It really is down to what suits you as a singer, but we recommend that you find a small quiet area where you can spend 5-20 minutes rehearsing without any distractions.

It might be helpful to assist this regular routine with a written schedule so that you can give each practice a big tick once you’ve achieved another productive rehearsal for the audition.

It will help to know your audition song like the back of your hand. You may feel nervous in the audition room, so the song needs to come naturally to you.

Prepare for the audition

Ever heard the famous saying, preparation is key? Well, it really is. And there are many ways in which you can prepare you vocals for a singing audition.

Firstly, keeping your vocal cords hydrated vital. Grab yourself a bottle that you can refill, perhaps even pop a slice of lemon in, and make sure you’re sipping away to keep your throat from being dry. Remember this is in moderation like anything we do.

How do I prepare my voice for singing?  

Do vocal warm-ups

#4 Do vocal warm-ups

Vocal warm-ups are essential for your singing to hit the trickiest notes of the beloved song you want to show off at the audition.

Make sure daily, short warm-ups are part of your preparation process. From releasing the jaw to scales, you can shake the warm-up routine around to push your audition potential to the max, knowing you’ve tried your best.

#5 Eat and drink correctly

In general, preparing your voice for singing involves covering all bases, including diet and hydration. Nurture everything your voice needs, and like how a plant blossoms and grows when it has enough water, so will your vocals.

This is a really important aspect of your singing audition prep process. A few of the liquids that are helpful to drink prior to a singing audition are:

  • Warm water
  • Herbal teas
  • Lemon water
  • Ginger-infused water
  • Manuka honey

What is the best thing to drink before singing?  

drinking water for singers

You’ll need the right drink for the big day and we recommend that you drink warm or room temperature water.

To ensure you are at your best before your singing audition, you should also understand which liquids should be avoided in the lead up to your exciting performance.   

As Soundfly highlights, milk, caffeine and ice water are huge no’s. 

What should you eat before a singing audition  

What you eat before your singing audition is just as important as what you drink. As the weeks roll by quicker and quicker, it will help your vocals to shine if you have a good idea of what you need to be munching on.  

Some good foods to eat before your singing auditions are:

  • Watermelon
  • Salads
  • Fresh fruit
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Kidney beans

Foods to avoid before your singing audition includes:

And interestingly enough, there are also good times to eat too.   

It’s helpful to not have a full tum just before the audition as this can lead to wind and difficulty taking those deep breaths. Make sure you eat healthily and often around your audition schedule, but it helps not to be too full.

#6 Choose the right song

Choose the right song

Depending on the audition, first, research what the competition is looking for. 

Whatever the audition be sure to connect to the message in the song. You want to get your story across and the feel of the song, so you can bring the audition judges on a journey with you.

What songs to sing for a singing audition?  

Maybe play with the arrangement or musical style to suit your own style. Singing a carbon copy won’t show the judges anything about you and you need to think outside the box.

It’s an opportunity-filled audition, not a karaoke session, so if you’re singing a cover, put your own stamp on it! 

#7 Dress the part

Figuring out what to wear for an audition can be exciting.  

It is important you get it right as it’s not only about your performer image, but you also want to ensure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing. For example, no floor-length tassels tripping you up or the thickest of all woolly jumpers causing you to sweat under the spotlights.  There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable when singing and especially when it’s a singing audition. 

What to wear for a singing audition?  

Dress the part for an audition

Wear something comfortable that can still represent your style and image. You need to be able to perform in comfort. A belt is a perfect example of an item of clothing that could be worn too tightly having a negative effect on your breathing. This could result in not being able to sing at your best.  

Avoid any garments that might gape and hang off places we don’t want them to as it’ll be a worry for you throughout the entire audition. Essentially, dress like you would for the stage. Make sure your image matches your style. At the end of the day, if you sing like Freddie Mercury you would not dress like Marilyn Manson.

At the end of the day, you have to impress both visually and vocally, so having the right outfit can affect the audition. Your outfit needs to reflect who you are as a person and what you’re singing; so select outfits that stand out, you feel comfortable in, reflect your personality and the music you are performing. Many acts have carved a reputation for what they wear over and above their music at times.

#8 Make an impression

Remember the singing audition starts the moment you walk through the door. 

The judges will gauge you on your attitude the moment you step on stage. Give them a smile, look confident and you will be remembered. 

How do you get selected for singing auditions?

Get into the character of the mindset of the song, hold your head high and remember your best singing posture. It can be an easy habit to slouch or lean towards one hip.  

But this is your time to shine which means shoulders back, back straight and head up. The best vocal projection you can achieve is from having a brilliant posture. 

How to judge a singing audition 

performing in front of audition judges

#9 Engage your audience

Avoid looking at the ground and give the judges a reason to keep their eyes on you. Engage with your audience, which could just be the judge’s panel, and make eye contact. The audition isn’t just about your image and vocal, so avoid being rooted to the spot, treat the area as a stage and use it. 

If you want to use the space around you to help deliver the message from your performance, ensure that if you have a microphone, the lead is long enough.  

Understand what you’re singing, know what the message is behind the song and let us know through your performance. Eye contact is a strong way to communicate with your audience during the audition and make sure the expression shows through

#10 Be polite

Be polite and courteous at all times. The audition isn’t over until you leave the room, and even then you must make sure you are positive and warm whilst in the audition venue.  

You never know who might be just behind you.

After all the hard work placed into your audition, you don’t want to trip at the last hurdle.   

#11 Listen to feedback

Auditions are a great way to receive feedback and it is likely to take many auditions before you start to have success. So try where possible to get feedback from the audition: it might be the constructive criticism you need to make that next step. Make sure you look at your feedback, as you might not be aware of the one thing holding you back.

Singing feedback from a panel of professionals maybe be hard to listen to at first but treasure it, as it is gold dust. Singers all have their areas to improve on and this feedback is a great and helpful place to start.  Use it constructively and implement it into your performance for future auditions. Don’t let it bring you down; if you believe in your ability you will bounce back.  

More doors close before one opens, you just have to be ready 

#12 Check your equipment 

If using a backing track on a CD make sure it works correctly on a number of formats and also take a backup on a different format like a memory stick to the audition. Avoid having a backup on your phone as it will have to rely on the connection. Double-check the track is the right song, and ideally the only song to minimise the risk of errors.

If you’re playing an instrument, have it tuned already and have spare parts with you; such as fully charged batteries, spare strings and a strap, all of which you will need at some point for the audition if they decide to break or stop functioning. Also, a tuner is handy even if you normally tune by ear, just to double-check the tuning.

#13 Be original 

If you’re auditioning for a record or management deal they are most likely to want to find something new that they don’t already have, so make sure the audition is original and memorable. If you’ve got an original song, then play it: it shows courage.

#14 Try to relax

Easier said than done but if you’ve built the confidence you must learn to live with the nerves and don’t let them control you. Always remember those judging you will the audition to go well! So you’ve obviously potentially got something they want. Keep composed and take a few breaths so you don’t rush the song.

#15 Perform 

It’s not just about singing, you’ve got to be able to take that song and make it a performance. You have to own the stage at the audition, make the audience believe it’s yours. The most successful artists can make the whole crowd believe in their performance.

Music is a beautiful thing and as singers, you all have a common passion for music. Make sure your audience know how much you’re enjoying the audition and that this is all you want to do.

Further considerations and preparation for an audition 

How to judge a singing audition 

If you have any demo recordings, place them on the judge’s table when you enter 

They will see your professionalism as being one step ahead of the rest and they may just take a little more interest when you are performing. 

Time will be tight, so start your performance with the strongest part of the song. Songs that take too long to get to the chorus aren’t the best idea for an audition, and on a busy day, they will frustrate the judges. 

Thank the judges as you leave the room and, whether or not you are successful, consider it a valuable experience. 

Related Questions 

Singing audition tips

What is a good routine to have before a singing audition?  

As Stage Agent suggests, the first key element is vocal warm-ups. Tie small vocal warm-ups into your daily routine during the lead up to your excitingly awaited-for audition.  

Whether it’s in the morning before your day kicks off, or in the late afternoon when you’ve completed all tasks, just ensure the warm-ups regular and consistent. This routine will benefit you greatly for all future auditions.  

It’s also important to make sure you are having enough sleep. Tiredness can affect singing, for example, if you are super worn out, you can be more vulnerable to sore throats and colds. 

It’s suggested that getting to sleep before midnight makes your sleep more restful. Moreover, it’s advised that 7-9 hours is a good length for sleep so make sure you aren’t depriving yourself of your head hitting the pillow. You need to rest.   

Eating and drinking habits will need to settle into a healthy routine. Stay away from dairy, choc and spicy foods and keep your throat as hydrated as possible. Get into the routine of not demolishing your dinner just before singing practice.  

Your diaphragm is sensitive and with a full belly, it’ll be harder to take those deep breaths down to where they need to go.  

How can you take part in a singing audition?  

It’s all exciting when you finally have your first singing audition popped into the diary. But how did you apply for it? Or discover the singing audition in the first place?  

To be honest, it’s a super simple process. Firstly, you can draw on what your singing peers or teacher know. They may have taken part in a local or regional audition before and will be happy to pass on all the information.  

Another route to explore is to do some audition research. Google what contests are local to you and even stretch to ones that are national.

The audition may require an initial application. This could range from having to do a small write-up about yourself as a singer, or sending in a recorded video clip of the specified length.  

On the other hand, the audition could be open. This means you just have to review the criteria given online and turn up prepared and audition ready.    

What do you do on the day of the audition?  

When the big day comes around, if you’ve made sure you’ve followed all the guidance and practised more than ever before, you’ll feel excited, perhaps nervous and ready to go.  

On the day, don’t overwhelm yourself with tasks prior to the singing audition. Wake up bright and early, have a nutritious breakfast, but try hard to avoid caffeine and citrus fruit.  

It might help to have laid out your outfit the night before so all you have to do is enjoy getting ready without the forever-stressful question, “what do I wear?”.   

Leave to get to the venue in good time. If the journey is an hour, give yourself an hour on top of that. It’s always better to be early to an audition. This way you’ll have ample time to slip in a warm-up and take a breather to let your nerves settle.  

Once you’ve arrived at the venue, you may see other singers like yourself. Try to keep all your focus on solely you. It’s hard to not compare what you’re doing to what they’re up to. But this won’t help.

You are an individual singer with your own unique sound and style.  

Have pride in knowing that and just work on you.  

Afterwards, you can relish in all the excitement post singing audition. You can take ten minutes to reflect on what went amazing and what you’d like to continue working on for your next audition.  

Now you’ve got the singing audition process off to a flying start, it’s a journey of self-improvement and motivation from here onwards. 

We hope that these last-minute singing audition tips have helped you feel prepared for the big performance. Let us know if you’ve got any additional advice in the comments below!