Practice and experience are obviously two of the greatest teachers. Program offerings such as Mastering Mix and Singing Success, along with sessions with a certified Brett Manning Associate, will certainly get you on the right track for strengthening and developing the full potential of your voice.
But without practical performance experience you will likely stagnate emotionally or creatively. You need a practical place for testing, showcasing, and just plain showing-off your talent on a regular basis. Once you commit to seeking performance exposure, the experience you gain will season you as a performer as you become more comfortable and confident. Opportunities to gain experience include musical theatre auditions, house concerts, or joining a community, church, or school choir. And, of course, you can form your own band.
Your instincts will become more heightened as you discover what works and what doesn’t. You’ll learn how to adapt to different venues, settings, and audiences. The experience you gain through your pursuit of being seen, heard, and booked will also serve to sharpen your business savvy, you will learn about things like booking a gig to onstage rapport with accompanists and technicians.
Band Aids Communication
One of the best training grounds is having a band. The group setting is a great classroom for you in the sense that ideas are shared with fellow band members. Your preparation for a gig can be very much like cramming for finals, with each performance determining whether or not you move on to the next class or grade level.
Your communication skills are also taken to task through finding and developing material that showcases your vocal chops while bringing out the best in the musicians that accompany you. You learn how to adapt and be spontaneous in a live setting where Murphy’s Law is often the rule. By working through these challenges, you will become more thick-skinned while also deepening your sensitivity to what material works best for you. By learning how to emotionally commit to what you’re singing, your interpretive skills will mature as you become a better communicator and story teller.
Find Your Band Mates
Once you have a clear sense of the style and genre of music that best fits your voice, then consider what your band will look like. Ask yourself some obvious questions such as: what instruments are absolutely needed to give you the core of the group sound and look? What should the age range of the musicians be? Should they be adept at doing vocals for backup? What kind of experience is needed?
Team Is Family
Remember that even though the driving force of your primary goal is probably to showcase you as a singer, that band you form is a collaborative effort. It becomes a team or family that is committed to learning, growing, and working together. Again, it becomes a classroom for learning key people skills that will help you mature as an artist, performer, friend, and business associate.
You’ll hammer out differences in choices of material and in interpretive approaches to a song. So you need to be able to compromise and also to say no without throwing a fit. Sometimes you’ll sing a song that may showcase your voice, but you may not agree with its message. Still you might choose to sing the song because it showcases your singing in a positive light.