Tailoring Your Singing Audition for the Club Environment

If you’re a jazz, country, pop-rock, or R&B singer, you may want to audition for gigs in clubs. If you have a chance to audition for a local bar or nightclub (or a similar venue), your audition works much differently than an audition for opera or theater.

In those genres, the show usually is already written; you’re auditioning for a specific part. When you audition to play in a club, you make up the show!

You may write the music or perform groups of songs that have a particular theme to keep an audience clapping and singing along. Skills that you have to show off include great storytelling while singing and showmanship.

You need a spark in your performance so that people want to watch you. For this kind of audition, you want to have a group of songs ready to show that you can hold the audience’s attention for at least a half-hour set. You may sing only one song at the audition, but you want to have more options ready.

During an audition for a band, the singer sings some songs along with the band members so they can get a sense of how the singer’s voice sounds and how well that singer blends with the group.

You need a good ear to hold your melody and blend with the instruments, and you need to be confident when you sing so the band follows you. Vocally, you need to purposely make varied sounds, from clear tones to breathy and wispy tones, to portray the text of the song.

Club singers often perform in dark, smoky clubs and need to keep their body and voice healthy.

If you’re not auditioning with a band, find songs that work well with piano and don’t require a back-up band to sound good. Or bring your own tracks.

When you perform pop-rock or R&B, you may have to dance and sing at the same time. Showmanship counts a great deal in this business, but the showmanship should enhance great singing technique.

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