Angela Michael Music

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

Written by Angela Michael — May 21, 2013

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