Tonight I spent about two hours carefully considering songs for my American Idol audition in Omaha on August 10.
The song has to be perfect, you know. It’s a tough venue.
The song should be familiar, or at least catchy, because you only have 15 seconds or less before the producers or judges or whoever cuts you off. But the song shouldn’t be too familiar. If it’s been so overdone, they won’t want to hear it, so they won’t even give you a chance.
The song needs to be solid enough so that it can stand on its own when sung a cappella; instrumentation is not allowed in the auditions. Most of the songs I normally sing are too bare once the piano accompaniment has been removed. Either the breaths between lines are too long so that the song loses momentum or the melody doesn’t move around enough to provide variety and dynamics.
I researched on Wikipedia, comparing the songs that former contestants sang in their auditions. I searched my iTunes library for songs that I love that also happen to be well known mainstream pop songs. Each time I found a possible song I asked myself if it fit alongside thee songs former contestants sang in their auditions, and then I sang the song, first with the piano and then without, to see how it stood up.
I’ve settled on a song, at least for tonight. Can you guess what it is?
I’ll need to practice it every day in the coming weeks. I’ll sing it in different styles such as jazz, country, rap, and gospel so that I learn the song’s intricacies and feel the range of my voice. I’ll sing it in the shower and in the backyard and while lying on the living room floor (which I’ve heard helps teach projection). I’ll sing it so loud that the neighbors can hear and so quiet that it’s nearly a whisper. I’ll sing in my British accent and the language of the whales.
By the time August 8 arrives and registration begins at the Qwest center, I’ll be ready. My song will be solid, and I will be confident, and the faint buzz currently growing from my bald head at the pace of a snail will have thickened nicely.