Advice for ‘The Voice’ Auditions

My client, Loren Allred, from NBC’s The Voice

By Lis Lewis

I was the vocal coach for two singers who were on a recent season of The Voice and several others from prior seasons. After watching them go through the audition process I have some thoughts about how to survive and endure.
Pick songs that reflect your personality. Just because you like a song doesn’t mean it shows who you are. Also prepare a lot of songs; they might throw something at you at the last minute.

As a contestant on the show, you aren’t just a singer. You are a character and a story. Try to shape that story yourself so you have some control of it. Rather than being the guy whose wife left him, try making it positive – the guy who turned his life around. Adversity in life makes good television but don’t be a victim. Phillip Phillips, who won last season on American Idol, had multiple surgeries while on the show, but that was never part of his story.

The audition process is high stress. Get enough sleep, eat at regular intervals (bring snacks), dress in layers (you might be waiting in line outside) and most of all prepare. Know your songs, practice being interviewed, warm up your voice and then let go and show them who you are.

It’s hard not to take it personally if they don’t pick you. Your goal should be to do your personal best whether you’re chosen or not. You don’t know what they’re looking for – they may already have picked their ‘rocker Mom’, or their ‘soulful country’ voice. All you can do is be the most authentic ‘you’ you can be.


Ready to take your singing to the next level? Take private voice lessons in Los Angeles or online with Lis Lewis!
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Why Do Singers Take Out Their Earpieces?

Beyonce Earpiece

Beyonce after she pulled her ear piece out at the Presidential Inauguration

By Lis Lewis

If you saw the inauguration you watched as Beyoncé pulled out her earpiece while singing the Star Spangled Banner. That earpiece is called an in-ear monitor. It allows her to hear exactly what she wants. For example if you are a singer singing with a live band, there is a lot of noise onstage with you, especially from the drummer. It can be very hard to hear yourself which can make you sing louder and even shout. Your voice can get tired and you might feel like you’re straining. If you use in-ears, you can have the sound engineer put only your voice and, let’s say, the keyboard in your ears. You won’t hear the drummer at all! You can choose how much or little of each instrument you hear.

There are some drawbacks to in-ear monitors though. A rehearsal in an empty room sounds entirely different than in a room full of bodies so you can’t be sure how it’s going to sound at the show. Also you don’t get any ‘ambient’ sound in your ears so there’s no room noise. If you aren’t used to the way that sounds, it can feel ‘dead’. I don’t know exactly what happened in the case of Beyoncé but I imagine it’s hard to predict what you want to hear in your ears when you’re singing outdoors in front of hundreds of thousands of people. She probably had too much of the Marine Corps Band in her ears and took one earpiece out to try to hear her voice coming out of her mouth.


Ready to take your singing to the next level? Take private voice lessons in Los Angeles or online with Lis Lewis!
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