ith so many options to choose from, how can you make sure you select just the right song for your audition? In short, your selection needs to showcase you. This means it has to be tailored to your personality and singing voice and make you feel confident and empowered. If you love your song choice, chances are others will, too.
If you have a song in mind, make sure it’s in the right key for your style. The original composer selected the key, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be tweaked. If it’s just the right fit, great. Otherwise, consider transposition. Sometimes just a half-step in either direction will set your audition apart. Remember, though, if you choose an iconic song or are asked to perform one, the original key is expected because you’ll be assessed on how well you handle certain aspects.
The same goes for the song’s tempo. Musical theater songs should be close to the original feel, but sometimes speeding up or slowing down the tempo a notch, if needed, is acceptable. If you opt to change the speed, make sure you give the accompanist a heads up so they can prepare in advance.
Also, make sure you give some thought to how you will begin. Will you use a brief piano introduction? Or should you consider using a bell-tone? You’ll want to have some control over when to begin singing, so you’ll have to come up with some sort of intro. This should be roughly five seconds or less. You don’t want the intro to take over the actual song or take away from your performance.
You will be given a range at which the song should be cut – likely between 16 to 32 bars. Rather than counting each bar as you’re moving through the song, consider the timing. Note that 16 bars should be roughly 30-45 seconds and 32 bars should be around one and a half minutes. The most important thing is that you’ve offered what feels like 16 to 32 bars and are able to keep an eye out for timing, which is the easiest way to accomplish this.
Remember that your singing should be the last thing heard when the song ends. This means you’ll have to practice playing out the final note to the right length. Each of these points may seem a bit overwhelming when you’re first getting your start but will get easier with time. The more you audition, the more you’ll understand how auditions flow, and this will help you perfect your craft.