Video Audition Tips for Singers & Musicians

Are you thinking of submitting a video audition for Open Mic UK 2020? Here are some helpful audition tips with all the info you need to nail your video.

After you submit your application, your video audition will be watched by our music industry judges, who’ll be looking for talent, originality and a polished overall performance.

Here are our suggestions for everything you need for the perfect audition video, from lighting and backdrops, to the importance of eye contact and body language, plus how to make sure you stand out from the crown with an original song or creative cover.

What do I need to record an audition video?

UK music audition 2020

To record your audition, you’ll just need a mobile phone or video camera and an internet connection. We also suggest you use a tripod or stand so the camera is steady and filming is consistent.

Be careful to angle your camera so that those watching can see your face.

Should I film in portrait or landscape?

We recommend to film in Landscape. This allows for a wider frame which looks better when playing back on a laptop or tablet.

Video audition tips: recording

#1 Think about your lighting

A good place to start when filming is to think about your lighting. You’ll want the judges and the audience to be able to see you clearly. You can choose to take advantage of any natural light or make use of an LED ring light for a more polished look.

These are inexpensive to purchase and, if you’re going to be regularly recording your performances and uploading them online, this will add a professional quality to your videos.

#2 Make sure your camera frames you well

Make sure the camera is not too close and also not too far away, thus making the performance feel cramped or distant. Angle your camera so that those watching can see your face and if you are playing an instrument try to also include this in the shot.

#3 Use a good backdrop

Your choice of backdrop is completely up to you, but it’s a good idea to think of this as another way to market yourself as a performer and express your personality; you may want to have some music-related objects behind you or a string of fairy lights on the wall to make it seem like more of an event.

You could also add some personal branding for those watching.

#4 Dress to impress

First impressions matter, so wear something that’s smart, comfortable and that shows you’ve put thought into your image as an artist.

We’ve got some suggestions here.

Can I sing a cover song?

You can sing a cover song,  but avoid popular ones and ensure your choice is appropriate to who you are as a singer and your age. But most importantly, be sure you make it your own. Think about how you can add originality so that your song stands out.

Performing a creative cover song

How To Make a Creative Cover Song Stand Out 

Singing a cover song can be a great way to grow your audience and engage with your fans when you’re first starting out, helping them understand the kind of artist you want to be. It gives you the chance to show off your skills as a singer and you can be creative and make the... Read more »

Video audition tips: performance 

How do I engage with an audience when I’m not performing in person?

#5 Make eye contact

Eye contact is so important, remember to reach out with your eyes to the audience.. This is essential when you are performing to an audience, even when you’re not on stage. Not only does eye contact help you convey the emotion of the song, but it also helps the audience connect to you as a performer.

Practice so you don’t have to look at any lyrics during your performance. otherwise you will lose the opportunity to engage and connect the message to the audience.

Singers sometimes close their eyes during a performance as well, to create a sense of emotion and drama. This can be very effective when contrasted with regular eye contact, but it shouldn’t be a way to avoid your audience if you’re feeling nervous.

eye contact performance

Why is Eye Contact Important for Singers and Performers?

Eye contact is very important when you are performing to an audience. Not only does eye contact help you convey the emotion of the song to the audience, but it also helps the audience connect to you as a performer. Here’s our short answer as to why eye contact is important, followed by some tips... Read more »

#6 Move around

Moving around your space is another great way to engage you audience and your energy will be contagious. Singers can also pick up some amazing tips from watching famous singers, as well as dancers. perform.

Get the balance right. Make sure every movement is conveying a message to back up the performance, but don’t be overly dramatic or overdo the performance. Again, this comes with practice and filming yourself until you are completely happy with your performance.

Should I sit or stand?

This depends on your performance. If you’re playing the keyboard or guitar, you may want to be seated however standing has two distinct advantages:

  1. Standing doesn’t restrict your lungs and breathing.
  2. It gives you the opportunity for more movement in the performance.

Always remember that your instrument should not come between you and the viewer. Angle your camera so that they can see your face clearly.

#7 Don’t forget body language

Body language is just as important as your ability to sing. Imagine watching a singer perform while they stare at their feet without moving once. Body language is a tool which you can use to convey the song to the audience.

It can be as small as tilting your head or moving your hands expressively as you perform. If you have a microphone, try swapping it between hands or if you have a mic stand, try moving it.

Do I need to use a microphone?

The mic in your mobile phone should be able to record your vocals clearly enough, but the quality will definitely be improved by using a microphone. Make sure you consider how your microphone will look on camera and don’t let it obstruct too much of your face.

Can I sing accapella?

You can sing accapella, however, it’s not recommended. Singing accapella is a brave choice, and if done correctly, it can also be a great way to showcase your vocal, but you will have to pay particular attention to the following;

  • Your timing: ensure you practice to get this on point.
  • Background noise, including your breathing: a backing track or music will help mask this.

There are plenty of apps you can use to develop your skills and enhance your performance below.

Video audition tips: confidence

How do you look and feel confident performing for your audition video?

#8 Learn your lyrics

The best way to deal with nerves and appear confident is to be as prepared as possible. Learn your lyrics so well that you can’t forget them. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a singer with a lyric sheet or can’t remember their own song.

Tips for learning song lyrics

9 Simple Tricks to Learn Song Lyrics With Ease

Learning song lyrics might sound like a challenge, but songs lyrics are actually one of the easiest things for our brains to recall. Some people are born with naturally great memories, it’s true, but it’s also possible to train yourself to have a more effective memory. The following collection of tips will make learning song... Read more »

#9 Practice

Practising your songs is essential, get them drilled in again and again so that performing becomes second nature. Have a goal for every practice session and record yourself every time so you can watch the performance back and note any improvements you can make.

#10 Enjoy yourself

Remember to have fun! The best part about recording your performance is that you’re in your own home and you can take your time and make sure you’re ready. So relax, take your time and enjoy your performance.

If you have any additional questions, please leave them in the comments below and we’ll reply as soon as possible, or check our FAQ page for more information.

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1 year ago

How long should my audition video be?

1 year ago
Reply to  Mark

Hi Mark, audition videos can be up to 2 minutes long. 🙂

Emily Sings
Emily Sings
1 year ago

When do this year’s auditions start?

1 year ago
Reply to  Emily Sings

Hi Emily, we haven’t announced the audition dates yet, but you can still enter now. 🙂

A&F Kyle
A&F Kyle
6 months ago
Reply to  Laura

Still accepting entries?

6 months ago
Reply to  A&F Kyle

Hi Kyle, auditions are open until March 🙂

1 year ago

am i aloud to send in a 2 minutes fully mastered video/track.

1 year ago
Reply to  ABZ

Hi ABZ, it’s hard to say without seeing your video however; for the competition whilst we encourage the best sound quality, we don’t allow a lot of post-production editing, i.e. multiple effects, camera angles, etc.

Try to keep the performance as natural and as live as possible.

You can find examples of videos and judges comments on our TeenStar website –

1 year ago

Hello! When is the deadline for when the videos should be sent in by? Thank you!

1 year ago
Reply to  Aglaia

Hi Aglaia, when we release the show, we’ll let everyone know the deadline for entries, but you can apply to audition now. 🙂

9 months ago

Hiya, would it be an issue if my audition video is over two minutes by 30 seconds?

9 months ago
Reply to  Myla

Hi Myla, it’s not an issue, but the video will be edited down if used in the auditions shows. 🙂