Angela Michael Music

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Part Five

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Part Five: "Promotion Must-Haves" - You want to make it really easy for people to remember you, find you, refer to you, etc.. The best way to do this is to have your own website.

Pick a short web address that is easy to remember, such as your name. Do not spell things funny (LuvMusik.com) because it's not easy to remember or find you that way. Always try to be clear and concise. Take as much guess work out as you possibly can so that every experience people have with you or your material is positive.

Wix.com is a very easy website builder, I'd recommend checking it out if you don't have anyone in your life that can help you with a website. You want to post high quality pictures of yourself, a bio that sounds professional, mp3's of your recordings and any credits that you might have. Always put your best foot forward, do not put something on your website that sounds or looks mediocre.

You can use facebook and myspace in addition to your website if you like, but not to replace it.

Get business cards made up, again looking as professional as possible, clear and concise, easy to read. Your business card should include the following: Your name, what you do such as: singer, phone number, website address, email contact and a picture of yourself. Stuckupprints.com, Vistaprint.com and also UPrinting.com have inexpensive rates.

Always keep business cards with you! Put them in your wallet, in your glove box, in your purse, in your pocket, anywhere you can so that you're never caught without one.

Check back for Part Six: So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing! "Figure Out What You Want To Target For Your Singing Career" -  Commercials, Records/Albums, Movies/ TV, Radio. Believe it or not, each one of these is its own category. For each category, there is a specific job title you need to look for to find the person who can potentially hire you to sing on their next project... Check back for Part Six: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

 If you are interested in taking voice lessons, manipulating your voice, finessing your sound or learning how to harmonize and tune your ear, I have a studio in West Los Angeles where I teach from. I am also available on skype. For more information: www.angelamichael.com

 

I also have a team of industry professionals that teach dance/choreography, songwriting and home studio set up. You can find more information under "Other Services" on www.angelamichael.com

 

Written by Angela Michael — July 15, 2013

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Part Four

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Part Four: "Sight Reading vs Relying On Your Ear"

Many people ask me if you need to be able to sight read (notated music) to get hired to sing on sessions. There are basically two camps in the session world and depending on which one you are apart of will determine whether it's necessary for your career or not. I actually recommend sharpening your sight reading skills regardless of what camp you're in because you just never know who will call you and you always want to be prepared and able to say YES!

Camp #1: Commercials, TV Themes, Radio ID's, Promos, Songwriting Demos, some Albums, Some Live Gigs on Camera, Touring Background Vocals - these are jobs where you rely heavily on your ear training skills. You are not given any kind of sheet music, you are given a lyric sheet and it's up to you to remember how the melody of the song goes. Feel free to ask for a pen and make some notes for yourself on the lyric sheet. Often times the composer or producer that you are working with will ask you to add harmonies as well. Sometimes they will have a very specific thing in mind but generally they expect the singer to come up with harmonies. This is why it's SO IMPORTANT to train your ear!!!!! In the case of touring as a background singer, they give you mp3's of the songs you need to learn. They expect you to pick out your part, learn it, memorize it and look good on stage; be able to take direction from a choreographer. All of this usually comes together rather quickly so sharpen those skills so you can knock it out of the park when your moment comes!

Camp #2: Movie Scores, Some Albums, Some Live Gigs on Camera, Most Choirs, Some TV Shows - these are jobs where you must be able to read music and you must be savvy at it! They generally do not send you anything ahead of time. You must be on your A - Game because they hand you the sheet music and expect you to sing it right off the page. The first time is a run through (missing a few notes here and there), the second time should be nearly spot on and by the third time it  needs to be perfect. On this kind of gig, you are not asked to come up with harmonies or improvise, everything they will ask of you has already been notated on the music they hand to you. These kind of gigs generally do not require any kind of choreography or memorization.

If you'd like to learn how to sight read music, joining a local choir is a great place to start. There is also a great website that charges a small monthly fee and you can learn how to read completely online. For more information: www.lasightsinger.com

I am available for ear training, harmony, voice lessons and career advising both in my West LA studio and also online through Skype. If you'd like to schedule a lesson or find out more, please visit my website: www.angelamichael.com/pages/vocal-coaching

I also have teachers available for choreography, songwriting and studio set up. If you need to learn how to take direction from a choreographer and learn some basic moves, I'd recommend scheduling an appointment. My choreographer, Mykell, is also available to choreograph specific songs if you are prepping for your own show. For more information: www.angelamichael.com/pages/other-services

Check back for Part Five: So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing! "Promotion Must-Haves" - The people who hire you are going to base your talent off of hearing what you can do. You really need your own website to feature your songs, show pictures of yourself, list your credits and give your contact information, all in one easy place. You wanna appear to be professional and because of this, I recommend not using a Facebook or myspace page. You should really be...

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Part Three

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Part Three: "Study Someone Who IS Getting Paid To Sing"

If you wanna get paid to sing, study someone who IS getting paid to sing. Start studying what it is about the artist that gives them such a great fan base. There are many factors to be aware of. Is it their sound, song choice, look, attitude, interaction with fans or are they a great overall entertainer? These are the things you need to study about them.

The Sound: It could be that they have a very unique style in which they sing; maybe they have a raspy strong sound; a warm ethereal sound; they can hit high notes with strength; maybe they sound a little lazy in enunciation or extremely laid back or they have a small thin sound. There are so many ways that a voice can take shape. Start noticing what it is that you like about different artists. This will help you with your own sound.

Song Choice: You ever wonder why there are some artists that you only ever hear one song from and that one song was a major radio hit? This has everything to do with the song itself. A well crafted song is priceless, it can take you straight to the top if you are working with a great producer! If it's a really great song, it will have a catchy melody or lyric hook or it will be thought provoking or the subject matter will be so universal that it reaches the masses. It is so important to sing really great songs and have a great team of producers and musicians to work with. If you are a songwriter, start collaborating with other writers to sharpen your skills.

The Look: Image is also a very important piece to the puzzle of success. The artists who are doing well have a distinctive look. Think about how the artists you like present themselves. It could be grungy, sexy, over the top, casual/messy, classy, dark. A lot of time and effort goes into their look. You should start thinking about your look and how you want the world to see you as an artist and be consistent with your look.

Attitude: Attitude can be one of those things that people are drawn to in an artist. Most successful artists have a high regard for themselves and their talents. Confidence is a very attractive thing when it's presented right. For some artists, they can get away with being cocky, for others, they show more of a humble yet confident approach. What's your approach? Is it working for you? Do you need to try something different?

Interaction With Fans: These days most famous people have twitter accounts because they want the fans to get an inside look at their lives. They want to communicate and relate with the fans. Artists that really appreciate fans are the ones who stay late after their concerts to meet and greet and sign autographs. They give shout outs to the fans when they receive their awards. All of this really means that they recognize the importance of their fan base and that their success RELIES ON THE FANS!

Entertainer: There are some artists around that have the total package. They have the look, the sound, the attitude, the songs and they know how to move on stage and captivate the audience. This is the total package! Movement on stage means that you are comfortable and able to dance or do light choreography. Anyone who wants to have a serious career as a singer should aim to achieve all these aspects.

Check back for Part Four: So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

If you are interested in taking voice lessons, manipulating your voice, finessing your sound or learning how to harmonize and tune your ear, I have a studio in West Los Angeles where I teach from. I am also available on skype. For more information: www.angelamichael.com

I also have a team of industry professionals that teach dance/choreography, songwriting and home studio set up. You can find more information under "Other Services" on www.angelamichael.com

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Part Two

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Part Two: "Meet other singers & musicians"

Meet Other Singers & Musicians - Networking is the key to anything worth pursuing. These days, there are many ways to meet people through social media as well as the old fashioned way... face to face. As a singer looking to get paid to sing, it's important that you are ready when your opportunity arises.

One way to meet other singers & musicians is to join a local community choir or Church choir. This way you can kill two birds with one stone. You can continue to sharpen your singing skills with good pitch, ear training, blending and learn how to sight read music while you network with the other choir members. I've been in choirs that other studio singers, composers and even one of Katy Perry's manager's were all a part of. You want networking, you got it! There are usually musicians that join choirs as well, so if you're looking for a pianist or guitar player, you just might meet them in choir. Choirs typically have a few performances a year that require a few soloists. You want as many opportunities to get on stage as you can and in front of a big audience is even better!

Another way to meet other singers and musicians is to lend your talents at your local Church. You'd be surprised at the level of talent and professionalism that is in most large Churches. While lending my voice to different Churches around LA, some of the Church band members were: Colbie Caillat's piano player, Kenny Loggins bass player, John Tesh's solo singer, background vocalist for Glady's Knight, Alanis Morissette's guitar player and composers for film/tv/commercials.

Meet singers and musicians at your local coffee shop, bar or restaurant that feature live music. Wait for a break or after the show to compliment the musician and ask if it'd be ok to connect with them on facebook. You can then message them on facebook and create another way for them to remember you. If you have any big accomplishments as a singer, don't be afraid to mention that in the message. ALWAYS compliment the person you are contacting before you continue writing. While you are at the local venue, you may want to ask the hostess how you can submit your material so that you can play there too. To submit for a gig, you definitely need to have something recorded to send to them.

You can also network with other singers and musicians through the internet. These days, you can pretty much get in touch with anyone! Use linkedin, facebook, myspace and twitter to meet other musicians. Send them a message and always compliment them first, then go into why you are contacting them. Ask them when their next show is and that you'd like to come see them perform.

There you have it, now go get 'em Tiger!

Check back for Part Three: So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

If you are interested in taking voice lessons, manipulating your voice, finessing your sound or learning how to harmonize and tune your ear, I have a studio in West Los Angeles where I teach from. I am also available on skype. For more information: www.angelamichael.com

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing! Part One

So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Part One: "Develop Your Craft"

Many have been told "you sound amazing, you should get a record deal" "you should go on American Idol", etc.. If this is you, and you think you have what it takes to break into the music industry, your first step should be spending some serious & dedicated time to developing your craft as a singer. There are multiple ways of doing this.

I grew up singing in Church and Talent Shows and many people encouraged me over the years to pursue music. Later on, I went to college as a music major, I quickly realized that every other singer there was told the same thing in their hometown. Our stories really weren't that different but our talents turned out to be much different.

There were a wide range of singers who really weren't that good all the way up to amazing singers that I admired. So why am I mentioning this to you... You ever watch American Idol and listen to singers that were told back home that they had real talent but then you sit back as a listener and wonder why anyone encouraged them in the first place? Being told you can sing doesn't mean you can. Sure, it's nice to get noticed and complimented but beware, be honest & be realistic!

A good singer will develop their craft by taking voice lessons. I couldn't figure out why the same person that thought I should get a record deal, when I was 14, was also mentioning that I should take voice lessons. I remember thinking that I didn't need lessons, I was already good. Well the truth be told.. I did end up taking voice lessons for years, actually. They were the best investment I ever made in my career! This led me to believe that natural God given talent will get you to a point but from there, there is much work to be done on perfecting your craft.

I wanted to be amazing, I wanted to get paid to sing! I ended up studying voice lessons with a few teachers over the span of 20 years. Each teacher taught me valuable things that I learned about my own voice. I got to know my voice so well that I started figuring out how to manipulate my voice to sound like different singers. I remember getting a call in early 2000's asking if I could sound like Britney Spears. I wanted that job so bad that I said yes but I quickly had to figure out how I was gonna do that! I listened and listened and studied her voice and ended up doing a great job of sounding like her. (GOOD THING!!)

To develop your craft means more than taking voice lessons though, it means listening to different artists that are popular and figuring out what about them makes their sound different from the rest. It means having fun listening to music in a way that you never have before, it's like disecting the singer to understand why they make the musical choices they make.

Developing your craft also means developing your ear to have great pitch and the innate ability to harmonize on the spot and take direction well. You can have a killer voice but if you don't have a really great ear, you will end up taking much longer in the studio and you know what they say... time is money. So tune up your ears! Match piano pitches perfectly, sing to the radio on key, understand what is involved in harmonizing.

Developing your craft also means being a person that people enjoy being around. It's so important to have great talent, great ears and be an easy hang with other musicians. Have fun singing & love what you do!

Check back for Part Two: So You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

If you are interested in taking voice lessons, manipulating your voice or learning how to harmonize and tune your ear, I have a studio in West Los Angeles where I teach from. I am also available on skype. For more information: www.angelamichael.com

So, You Wanna Get Paid To Sing? Here's How You Can Do It - A Complete Blog Series

Hey Everyone! I have made a successful career out of studio singing and live performance. I want to share some insight for those who are curious about how to get started with a singing career. I will give you detailed information throughout a series of blogs. This blog entry marks the introduction of a series on how to make money as a singer. Make sure to check in regularly for updates as the topics become available.

You Wanna Get Paid To Sing - Series Topics:

  1. Develop Your Craft - Many have been told "you sing amazing, you should get a record deal" "you should go on American Idol", etc.. If this is you, and you think you have what it takes to break into the music industry, your first step should be spending some serious & dedicated time to developing your craft as a singer. There are multiple ways of doing this... Check back for Part One: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

  2. Meet Other Singers & Musicians - Networking is the key to anything worth pursuing. These days, there are many ways to meet people through social media as well as the old fashioned way... face to face. As a singer looking to get paid to sing, it's important that... Check back for Part Two: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

  3. Research Artists You Love Listening To - If you wanna get paid to sing, study someone who IS getting paid to sing. Start studying what it is about the artist that gives them such a great fan base. There are many factors to be aware of... Check back for Part Three: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

  4. Sight Reading vs Relying On Your Ear - Many people ask me if you need to be able to sight read (notated music) to get hired to sing on sessions. There are basically two camps in the session world and depending on which one you are apart of will determine whether it's necessary for your career or not..... Check back for Part Four: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

  5. Promotion Must-Haves - The people who hire you are going to base your talent off of hearing what you can do. You really need your own website to feature your songs, show pictures of yourself, list your credits and give your contact information, all in one easy place. You wanna appear to be professional and because of this, I recommend not using a Facebook or myspace page. You should really be... Check back for Part Five: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

  6. Figure Out What You Want To Target For Your Singing Career -  Commercials, Records/Albums, Movies/ TV, Radio. Believe it or not, each one of these is its own category. For each category, there is a specific job title you need to look for to find the person who can potentially hire you to sing on their next project... Check back for Part Six: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

  7. More Tools In The Toolbox - To have a successful career as a studio singer, it is very beneficial to know how to manipulate your voice so that when asked if you can sound like an 8 year old girl, your answer is YES... Check back for Part Seven: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

  8. Harmony - Having a really great ear for harmony is such a fantastic way to accentuate your beautiful singing voice. People who hire singers for major projects often times rely on the singer having a great ear. The sharper you are in this area, the more impressive you become... Check back for Part Eight: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

  9. I'm Ready, Where's The Person To Hire Me - As I mentioned earlier, there is a specific job title you need to look for to find the person who can potentially hire you to sing on their next project. Early in my career, this was a very difficult task because I didn't have the advantage of internet searches like we have now. I was still mailing CDs and Demos, now we have the capability of having our own websites. You must be willing to... Check back for Part Nine: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

  10. Your Best or Improve To Be The Best - Be reliable, on time, professional, be the best, always have a positive attitude and don't spend your working hours at a session focusing on if the cute guy over there is single or not. You have no idea how important these key ingredients are if you truly want to have a successful singing career as a studio singer and possibly more... Check back for Part Ten: You Wanna Get Paid To Sing!

If you are interested in taking your career further, I'm available for voice lessons, voice manipulation and consulting at my studio in West Los Angeles and also through Skype lessons for those of you that are in different areas. Contact: www.angelamichael.com