How to Judge Singers

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Singers need to be judged in a very specific way during a competition in order to be fair to all involved. Judge singers properly with help from a professional singer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Music Tips
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Video Transcript

Hello there! I'm Kendall McGuire, professional vocalist, and today I'm going to be instructing you in how to judge singers. How to judge vocalists. I myself have been a judge at a variety of competitions, which include awards for the winners, so. But in addition, if you're teaching someone, like I have a music studio and I teach boys, so my students coming in, I'm going to then actually be judging them. Not in a harsh or critical way, but I'm judging them to see where they're at. What level they are. So that I can begin to instruct them in the proper way. So, how to judge a singer. Well there's a variety of things you can judge them on. One is pitch. Are they singing on pitch? Let's say the note is here, are they a little bit sharp of it here? Twinkle twinkle little... whoa, whoa, you're not on pitch. This is twinkle twinkle little star. Twinkle, twinkle little... okay. You've got to get them on pitch. Another thing you can judge singers on is the tone quality. How does their voice sound? Does it have a richness of character? Is it easy on the ear? Another thing you can judge singers on is their vibrato. Vibrato is that sort of wobbliness within a tone. Now this is beautiful and adds character and variety and beauty to art or music, but it should be natural. It should come from a correct support of breathing, it should come from the diaphragm muscle being used correctly, and it should be nice and tight. A lot of times, you know, old church choir members, people that are older have a harder time supporting. Gets really wide, really wobbly vibrato. So, judge their vibrato. Is it too tight? Is it like this? Like, too intense. So anyway, vibrato quality, and overall just how do they sound. Another important thing about singers when you're judging them is are they believable? Let's say there's a person singing about a lost loved one. You're never here with me. I'll never see you again. Do you see it in their eyes, that they miss that person? Do you see it in their body, in their expression that they're just longing for that person, while they're singing. I'll never see you again. Woo. So you really want to communicate. As a singer, you're really an actor as well. You want to communicate. You want to stir emotions. You want to create a scene, and these are all ways to judge a singer. I'm Kendall McGuire.


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