A vocalist is an individual who sings. This person usually has an appealing singing voice and an appreciation for performing. He or she may sing in a band, music group, play, musical, film, and for recorded musical pieces. While anyone may sing as a hobby, the vocalist title is typically reserved for those who make singing a career.
Some vocalists sing by themselves, performing solos, while others sing along with other professionals. In many cases, a singer’s performances are accompanied by instruments, though some people sing unaccompanied. When a person sings without the accompaniment of instruments or recorded music, he is said to sing a cappella.
Many people think of a vocalist as the lead singer in a band or group; others think of soloists when they hear the term. The fact is, any type of professional singer may fit this title. Lead singers can include main singers in a group or performance, and some professionals sing backup, accompanying the lead singer. A lead singer sings the melody of a song and the backup singers sing harmony.
There are also session vocalists who work on contract, lending their voices to performances or temporary musical projects. Understudies substitute for singers who are unable to perform, such as in cases when a main singer becomes ill or loses his voice.
College isn’t required for those who want to become professional singers. Instead, an aspiring performer is often advised to get professional singing lessons. He or she may also improve his or her chances of success by learning to read music. It is also helpful to develop an appreciation for different styles of music and to gain practice singing in these varied styles. Learning to sing different styles of music may help a singer secure more opportunities to perform.
Besides having a good singing voice and taking voice lessons, there are other qualities that may help a vocalist succeed. A successful singer typically has a love of performing and a good stage presence. He or she is normally confident on stage and while working on singing projects. This doesn’t mean a successful singer is never nervous, but that he or she has enough confidence to do a good job, even when nervous.
Successful vocalists also have the ability to sing along with music, with precise timing. They can usually speak with proper diction yet vary their pronunciation when necessary. They often inject their songs with emotion, helping their audiences to feel the emotions the song is intended to convey. They also have good memories, as they have to memorize many songs and perform them without reading the lyrics off a piece of paper.