Get a Singing Job

Whether you want to be the next big star or just get a simple singing job in your town, this article will help you out.


Preparing for Auditions and Building Your Skills

  1. Prepare your singing repertoire. It’s important to have range as a singer. Being able to perform lots of different songs, genres, and event types will help you to land more gigs.
    • Familiarize yourself with typical weddings, bar mitzvahs, or piano bar songs, for example. You should have at least 40 popular songs memorized and performance-ready for these types of events and venues.
    • Turn these songs into a typed list. It will be helpful to have a list ready of all the songs and genres you're comfortable with. Use genre or event types (jazz, rock, wedding, bar mitzvah, etc.) to categorize your list. Include your preferred key along with the name of each song.
  2. Take classes. While a formal education isn’t required for a successful singing career, taking some singing or music classes might help you build your skillset.[1]
    • If you are interested in pursuing a college degree, consider majoring or minoring in music, voice, or another performance discipline.
    • You can also pursue lessons outside of the schoolroom by getting private vocal coaches and teachers to help you learn the basics.
    • Learn to “Sight Sing.” Many auditions and even gigs will require you to perform new songs after only briefly looking at the music and words. This may seem like an impossible task, but this type of sight-reading can actually be learned and practiced. How to Sight Sing
  3. Volunteer with a local choir. If there is a choir in your school, church, or community contact them and let them know you're interested joining. This won't be a paid experience, but you will earn some valuable experience!
  4. Put together a singing portfolio. Having a polished portfolio of all your singing credentials will help you show prospective employers that you’ve got the chops for the gig.
    • In addition to your name and contact information, list your vocal range, singing styles, past gigs, previous training, and any extra qualifications (like if you can also play an instrument).[2]
    • Include a professional 8-by-10 headshot. This will help prospective employers remember your face and show some of your personality.
    • Make a quality demo tape. This is perhaps the most important part of a singer’s portfolio. You want to make sure your demo shows off your singing strengths and is produced at a high quality.[3] Make a Demo Tape
    • Include a list of recommendations. Not only does this show that you’ve completed successful gigs in the past, but that you’ve made a good impression on former employers.[4]
  5. Practice, practice, practice. Sing as much and as often as you can. Participate in open-mic nights, go to karaoke with friends, anything that gets you learning songs and comfortable at performing them in public.

Going on Auditions and Getting Jobs

  1. Keep an eye on the paper, magazines, radio or even the TV for opportunities to sing. When some come up apply for them as soon as possible.
  2. Audition for musical theater troupes. Even if you don’t think musical theater is the kind of singing you're ultimately interested in, it could be a great first foot-in-the-door experience and help prepare you for other singing gigs. How to Audition for a Musical
  3. Audition for a band. Sometimes bands have all the instruments covered, but are missing a lead or backup singer. Search the internet and bulletin boards at local music stores or performance spaces to see if any nearby bands are looking for a singer to join them. How to Join a Band
  4. If you’re old enough, see if nightclubs or catering halls are looking for singers. These venues are often looking for in-house musical talent to offer their guests. Get on the phone and give these local venues a call to see if they are hiring any singing talent.[5]
  5. Check out background singing opportunities. Background singers don’t just work with bands, but can also provide the voice tracks for movies, commercials, or live performances. Check out listings on commercial production companies websites, as well the back pages of trade magazines and journals. These are often where advertisements for vocal talent appear. [6]
  6. Try out for a reality singing competition. Many of today’s biggest singing stars got their start on reality singing competitions. Check out the websites of some of your favorite shows and see if they're holding auditions and casting for the next season. Get on The Voice

Promoting Yourself

  1. Create and hang fliers. Don’t be shy about letting people know you’re a singer looking for work!
    • Create eye-catching flyers that include the type of gigs your looking for and a way to contact you.
    • Ask permission from a store's manager or person in-charge to hang flyers. Good places to start are musical instrument and supply stores, coffee shops, musical schools, and community bulletin boards.
  2. Get business cards made. Whether you make your own cards on your computer, or get the help of a printing company, professional looking business cards can go a long way towards advancing your career. Make Free Business Cards
    • Include your name and contact information. If space permits, include a brief list of the type of songs or events that you can sing.
    • Be sure to get lots of cards printed and take them with you everywhere.
    • Place a couple out when you're performing so that people can take one with them.
  3. Use the internet. One website or social media account can be accessed by millions of people. Consider setting up a free or paid website or start a social media account and use it as a venue to post song demos, videos, and items from your portfolio.
  4. Try your hand at busking. Some cities allow for performers to play in the street for money (check your local ordinances to see if you need a permit). Not only will it earn you a bit of extra cash, it will get your voice heard to others. Who knows, a talent agent might be walking by![7]
  5. Network with others in the industry. Like most jobs, networking is a huge key to success and can help advance your career.
    • Make friends with other singers. Be courteous to other singers you meet and see if they’d be interested in joining forces with you to practice for auditions or start your own singing company.[5]
    • Visit recording studios to get to know those who are actively working in the business. You can also ask if producers or audio engineers can share tips or advice with you.[6]
  6. Consider getting an agent. Agents are drawn to up-and-coming talent that already have some good buzz or word of mouth. How to Get a Talent Agent
    • Keep a good performance record of professionalism and punctuality. Your impressions on other people in the industry could get back to talent scouts and help you catch the eye of an agent.
    • Research agents who work with vocal talent in your area. If you can access their client list, think about reaching out to some of them to get their opinions, tips, and advice.[5]

Enjoying the Spotlight

  1. Stay positive! Becoming a singer isn’t necessarily easy, but if it is something that you love doing stay positive and keep on doing it!
  2. Work hard! There are a lot of talent singers out there, but sometimes hard work, dedication, and determination can go even further than talent.[8]
  3. Most of all, have fun! It all pays of in the end if you love what you’re doing, and can keep a smile on your face while singing your heart out.


  • Even if your parents or other family members don't want you to become a singer (or think it's so ridiculous to want a job that fantastic) follow your heart and do what you think is right.
  • Don't give up hope. If you audition for something and don't make it, don't think it's the end of the world. Be positive.
  • Learn other things, such as dance and theatre to add to your skill repertoire.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Practice whenever you get the chance.
  • You could make a YouTube account and earn stardom online (like Justin Bieber).


  • A lot of places require you to get a busking permit to busk. Even though it costs money, it's better than not getting one at all and risking a'll be fine, just stay positive

Related Articles

Sources and Citations