Zen Zone: SingSnap Contests – 5 Ways To Find Harmony In The Mayhem

SingSnap contests can be a source of great fun and entertainment. They can also be a source of great stress and disappointment. Below are 5 tips for Contestants to finding a zen way to enjoy these contests and reap the benefits no matter who wins.

Tip #1: Know Yourself

Neon music sign

Neon music sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This step is the most important of all. Knowing yourself, your talent and your capability for handling winning or losing will be key in finding enjoyment in just participating. Understand your vocal abilities and limits.

SingSnap is a site like no other. The community that has developed is positive and supportive for the most part when it comes to each other’s singing. You have most likely received glowing comments and praise from friends and strangers alike. This is part of what makes SingSnap amazing and unlike sites like YouTube where any troll with a mean streak can leave scathing remarks (warranted or not) with little repercussion. This has it’s tremendous positive aspects, but can also be a negative when someone takes those comments as gospel.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses with a critical eye. Try to watch and listen as impartially as you can to pick up on any pitch issues or timing problems. Confidence is a wonderful thing, but over-confidence can lead to potentially devastating realizations when you continually fail to win or even place in the singing competitions.

Without a serious evaluation of your own talents with honesty and even brutality, you may live in a world of delusion that makes you look foolish or worse; a poor loser.  If you can’t be honest with yourself, seek out the advice of a professional.  If that isn’t within your reach, there is a forum on SingSnap geared around getting honest critiques for your singing.  Submit a song to one of the threads and listen to what they have to say.  Vocal Help, Tips & Critique

Tip #2: Do Your Research

Most contests run on SingSnap have pretty specific criteria on what types of recordings are eligible for the grand prize. Read the rules and the specifics and understand what they are looking for. Perhaps what they are looking for really isn’t your strength, and it would be best to sit this one out.

Take some time, if you haven’t already, to read the Contest Guidelines – Contestants thread. It has some good tips for preparing for and participating in contests.

Tip #3: Go Above and Beyond

If you really want to win, and you truly have the singing ability to do so, be sure to stand out. If the contest calls for video, then take the time to do the best video you possibly can. Some of the best videos I’ve seen didn’t have any special effects, but did use proper lighting, backdrops, costuming, props and emotion to make it very compelling.  You would be surprised how many vocal hiccups can be overlooked when presented with a beautifully done video.

If video isn’t a factor, be sure that your singing is spot on and that your sound is as clear as it can be. Fill your song with emotion through pronunciation, phrasing, and shifts in inflection. Even if your song is completely in tune, with no emotional ups and downs or interesting moments, it is just a flat, boring sing, and you will likely not advance even if other sings go off key a time or two.  Emotion counts for a LOT!

Tip #4: Know Your Host

Now, I do not mean get friendly with your host in an effort to butter them up to advance you.  If they are a good host, that won’t work anyway.  Rather, check out other contests they’ve hosted. Read through their contest threads to determine if their style of hosting and judging is right for you.

99% of the contest hosts and judges take their tasks very seriously and do their utmost best to be fair and unbiased. However, there is the occasional host who is only in it for the glory of themselves and/or their friends. These types of hosts are quickly rooted out though, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a stellar contest to enter.

A host or judge’s singing ability should not be a consideration. Simon Cowell is a self-admitted horrible singer, and love him or hate him, it can’t be denied that he has an ear for what sounds good in others. There is a reason producers produce and don’t sing themselves.

Tip #5: Don’t Be A Sourpuss

SingSnap Contest Sour Lemon

Sourpuss (photo credit: me)

The image says it all…not an attractive look for anyone! You will not win every contest. You may not even place in every contest. Don’t assume that it is because of favoritism and “who you know”. Re-read Tips #1-3 if you have trouble with this concept.

When you rant and rave about not winning, you accomplish two things. 1) You make yourself look like an arrogant ass. 2) Even if you don’t directly say it, you are conveying to everyone that the people who did win are not worthy of the honor.

Take losing as an experience. If you truly are confused about why you did not place or win, send a PM (NOT a post in the open forum) to the host politely asking what you could have done better. A good host/judge will be honest and tell you the flaws in your song.

DON’T take this as an insult. Take the critique graciously, and with a way to improve for next time. Most of all, don’t give into your immediate disappointment and anger by writing a scathing attack on your hosts or worse yet on the performers who DID make it through. Sit on it and take a breather and revisit it a day or so later when you have had a chance to review and think about it.

That’s It

One final word of advice. Don’t stake your happiness and value on placing in or winning contests.  If your happiness is contingent on awards and banners, there might be other things in your life that need to be addressed. SingSnap should be your getaway, but you should never rely on the praise and attention of others for your happiness and joy. Sing for joy and revel in your own singing whether it is through-the-roof unbelievable or plain jane ordinary.  It should be about how the music makes you feel, not how much others admire you.

Have a zenful day!

2 thoughts on “Zen Zone: SingSnap Contests – 5 Ways To Find Harmony In The Mayhem

  1. Also an honest statement about some contests being more for a group of friends and knowing which to avoid would be helpful. I am sure there is some discouragement that goes on due to those unknown factors for a newbie. ;) So, look for a reliable contest, ask around to friends which to avoid and then enter at will. :D Very well written blog and I am sure helpful to many. So true! No one likes a spoil sport! Even if you feel you were slighted, contests and judging in many areas of life are subjective. It is only the opinion of one judge or one group of them, right? :) So sing on and have fun! thank you for writing this!

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