I have made my living from being an online session singer for the past 2 years. It’s a fantastic, flexible job that means you can work with many interesting people around the world, all from the comfort of your own home!
Needles to say, You’ll need some previous experience singing. This may seem obvious but everyone who applies for X-factor seems to think it’s an easy profession! I had a music degree and almost 10 years of performing as a vocalist live and recording in studios before I decided to set up an online session singing business.
5 Tips On Becoming An Online Session Singer
1. Have a good website. This is obviously a necessity for this field of work but make sure your website is clear and professional. Some decent photos, videos and professional audio is key for an online session singer website.
2. Have good equipment and know how to use it. It can cost a bit to set up an online session singer service. You have to be able to record top quality vocals. I use an Apple iMac (£1000) for recording (nothing else comes close in my opinion) with Logic software on (£150). Logic can be difficult to master at first but there are loads of good blogs and info out there. You’ll need an audio interface with a good pre amp in order to record. I would stay away from USB microphones which don’t require an audio interface, the quality isn’t good enough for the service you will need to provide. I use an apogee one (£250) but you can get cheaper. You’ll also need a good condenser microphone, I use the Behringer B2 pro which will cost around £150. Any microphone under £100 probably isn’t going to be good enough for the job. I’m currently saving for a Neumann U87, a worthwhile upgrade but very expensive (£1,500). Do your research before purchasing any equipment. There are some great product reviews on sound on sound magazine website. You can also make yourself a homemade vocal booth using foam or duvets / pillows. I turned a wardrobe into one, Nice and cheap but does exactly the same job. Although I am just about to purchase one of these SE reflexion filters.
3. Be reliable. Once you start to get enquiries in about using your vocals, aim to reply within a couple of hours. Always keep your client updated and always deliver songs on time and to schedule. This is how you’re going to get people returning to use your service.
4. Be Versatile. Start with things you know you are good at but always be up for a challenge and say yes to new things. What’s the worst that can happen?! I started off with pop and soul but now I’ve done many styles of singing, from folk and rock to jingles, christmas songs and even a James bond style theme tune. The more you give different styles a go, the more avenues of work you open and of course the more money you earn.
5. Learn to take criticism. Us artistic types can be bad at taking critique of our work, I know I can. Learn to take every piece of negative comment on the chin and just see the process as making you a more versatile, open minded musician. No one wants to work with a pre-madonna and there are too many about. In my experience a lot seem to be female singers. Break the bad name we have for ourselves among musicians by being able to take criticism and being as humble as you can.
Hopefully this has been useful and may persuade some of you out there to start making some extra money with online session singing or indeed just session singing. Thanks for reading and happy singing!