I know many of you already serve on your local worship team (maybe you auditioned a long time ago and made it on, or maybe there wasn’t an audition process you had to go through!), BUT… I meet so many of you who WANT to be on your worship team, but the thought of auditioning sends you back under the covers!
Believe me… I know… auditioning can be a nerve-wracking experience! But, with some strategies in place, you’ll be able to harness those nerves and turn them into amazing energy that will help you breeze through your audition and get you on the team!
Here are a few tips to help the process go smoothly…
Choose the right songs for your voice.
Be soooooo intentional about song choice (if you get to choose!). Don’t just choose a song because it’s your favourite… make sure it suits your range, tone and ability. Get opinions from family and friends (the ones who you trust and who will really tell you what they think!) on your song choices.
Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Memorize the words so you can sing them with confidence and conviction! Practice line by line, working strategically on trouble spots instead of just breezing over them (learn how in my online courses!). Schedule in time to practice every day, starting as early as possible before the audition. It’s not enough to look at the songs the day of—or even the week of—your audition.
It’s more than just your voice.
Stage presence and personality are as important as your voice! Practice in front of a mirror, or even better—record a video of yourself singing and watch it back to critique yourself (it’s hard but SO enlightening!). Be aware of your facial expressions—it’s important to show emotion and conviction on your face as you sing… otherwise you look bored and dispassionate! Practice moving around as you sing, and use tasteful gestures to help communicate the song. Be aware of nervous habits you might have, like hands in your pockets or fiddling with clothing or hair (most of us have habits we aren’t aware of!). Be relaxed and intentional with your movement, and be yourself!
Warm up your voice.
A proper warm up is absolutely essential if you want to get the most out of your voice in your audition. At the very least, do some humming and lip rolls (buzzing your lips), moving up and down in your range for 5-10 minutes… but MUCH better is to systematically warm up your whole range and all your resonators (chest, head, and pharyngeal)—if you have a Worship Vocalist subscription, do this warmup on the day of your audition, and if you don’t have a subscription, you can use this free one!
Fuel yourself well.
Eat super healthy (lots of veggies and fruit!) and make sure to get a full night’s sleep (7-9 hours) before you audition. Sugar, dairy, processed foods and fatigue all have very negative effects on the voice.
Follow the expectations.
Believe me… this needs to be said! Be prepared with the expectations that are laid out for the audition (which songs to sing, how many songs, melody vs harmony, memorizing lyrics, etc.). If it comes down to someone who is prepared or someone with perhaps a better voice—but who shows up late or doesn’t have the song fully memorized—who do you think will be chosen?!
Wait ’til you’re ready… but don’t wait too long.
Do you need a certain vocal range? Do you need to know how to sing in a contemporary style? Do you need to know how to sing harmony? Do you need to have attended the church for a specific length of time? Do your homework and know what the expectations are for being on the worship team (if you don’t know, ask!). Be aware of your own abilities as much as you can, and get some feedback before you audition (from someone who knows what they’re talking about and who’ll be honest with you!). If you KNOW you’re not ready… think twice before going ahead with the audition! A lot of vocal progress can happen in a short amount of time (a few weeks to a few months), and if you commit yourself to diligently follow a vocal training plan (try my “Discover Your Voice”, “Master Your Voice”, and/or “Harmony Essentials for Worship” courses!), you WILL be ready… and you’ll set yourself up for so much more success in the audition!
But… don’t wait too long! Many vocalists set way too high a bar for themselves, and they end up NEVER joining their worship team because they’re stuck in the belief that they’re not good enough—and it’s not true! Your congregation needs you to get over your fears and insecurities, so that you can lead them confidently and passionately!
Don’t do it alone.
The Holy Spirit is your helper… so make sure to draw upon His peace and guidance!
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”Phil. 4:6-7 NLT
James 1:5 says that “if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”—God cares about all the details of your life, and He loves to pour out wisdom… and that includes wisdom for your audition process! Which songs to sing, how to sing them, how to prepare, when to audition… all the things! So don’t do it alone!
I hope these tips have been helpful for you! If you’re thinking about auditioning for your worship team (or maybe you already have an audition scheduled!), I declare blessing, peace and health over you as you prepare! And If you’d like to get my personalized feedback on your song, grab a Worship Vocalist subscription (if you don’t already have one!) and submit a recording of yourself here—I’ll be happy to give my honest feedback and help you improve your vocal delivery!
This Helps a lot, but I’m a young actor and I’m worried my voice is not good- or what they are looking for. I have tried recording myself and listening to it but no matter what I try, I still sound bad. Do you have any tips to help with singing?
Hey Addy! My best recommendation is to go through my Discover Your Voice and Master Your Voice courses to help improve your vocal tone, and also, perhaps take some private lessons — check out my trained coaches at http://www.worshipvocalist.com/lessons.
This was so helpful for me to help coach people in terms of what to expect for an audition, and also things for myself to watch for while listening to an audition! Recording and watching/listening back to yourself is always an eye opening exercise, and I like what you said about not setting the bar so high for yourself that you don’t even audition.
It has been years since I’ve had to audition for a team… but this article is also helpful as someone now in the seat of giving the audition. I love the point about not waiting or setting too high of a bar for yourself! We have a lot of people do this- they email me, sad that they’ve recorded their voice for the twelfth time that day and still don’t think it sounds good. I tell them they definitely won’t make the team if they never submit a video! If they don’t make the team, though, we always point them toward The Worship Vocalist resources and have them audition again later after going through Discover Your Voice or Harmony Essentials (depending on what they need). We have had some people come back and re-audition and make the team because of this! The Spirit really is our Helper and will gladly help if we’ll just ask!
Nice! That’s awesome!
Memorizing the words (and or chords) I think is one of the most important factors to auditioning with confidence. It’s so tough if you don’t have it memorized, you end up worrying about what line is coming next instead of following the song journey and really giving it all you’ve got!
I love these tips and look forward to sharing them with my students.
Awesome! Happy to help!