For the Newer Singer: Singing Gigs for People With Day Jobs 

By  Judy Fine

There are a million ways to be a singer...

Best singing gigs

...and most of them don't require mega stardom or winning a countrywide singing competition show. While the limelight may shine brightest on a select few, the beauty of singing lies in its diversity. 

You don't have to possess a chart-topping voice or a record deal to make your mark as a gigging singer.

From local pubs and intimate coffeehouses to weddings, parties, and community events, the stage is vast and open to those who simply love to sing. Whether you're belting out classic tunes or serenading a small audience with your original compositions, every performance is a chance to connect with others through the universal language of music.

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of success. 

You can find your own niche, touch hearts, and create memorable moments without the need for global stardom. The joy of singing is in the journey, and every note you share adds to the rich tapestry of musical expression in your local market.

So, forget whether or not you can sing like that 12-year-old you saw on America's Got Talent last night and cast your gaze on your local market. Here are some examples of local opportunities to pursue your love of singing and grow a following without quitting your day job.

AND, if you don't play an instrument (or know an instrumentalist who will play with you), I name a few options where you can potentially use audio backing tracks.

Best Beginner Singing Gigs for People with Day Jobs.

  •  Local Coffee Shops and Cafés: Performing at local coffee shops and cafés can provide an intimate and low-pressure setting to showcase your talent. It allows you to connect with a smaller, attentive audience and gain experience. The pay usually isn't great but if you develop a following, you can negotiate more money over time, or use that experience to get better paying gigs someplace else. This is an example of a venue where backing tracks could be a great option.
  • Open Mic Nights: Open mic nights at bars, clubs, or other venues are great for beginners. They offer a platform to test your skills, build confidence, and network with fellow musicians. Obviously, this is not a paying gig, but you can begin to create a following and get your name out there. Many open mics have musicians who will play with you if you ask, and/or have an ability to use a backing track that you bring.
  • Private Events: Consider singing at private events like holiday/birthday parties or corporate functions. You can market yourself as a versatile vocalist who can provide a unique touch to special occasions. Singing with backing tracks could be an option depending on the needs/desires of whoever is putting on the event and would make you incredibly versatile (assuming you're open to requests).
  • Online Platforms: In today's digital age, consider creating an online presence through platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, or social media. You can upload performances, engage with your audience, and potentially - over time - earn income through ads or sponsorships. *Be sure you have permission to use any backing tracks by purchasing them through something like Karaoke-Version.com so you don't experience copyright problems. Check the website out if you're not familiar with it already by clicking on the logo.
  • Music Collaboration: Collaborate with other musicians and bands in your local music scene. Open mic nights, Craigslist, and online musician platforms like Bandmix are great places to meet musicians (always use caution when meeting anyone new online). Jamming with other musicians or even working as a backup vocalist can provide valuable experience and exposure.
  • Community Events and Festivals: Participate in community events and music festivals in your area. Singing in these events would be great but also being a part of the organizing and/or setup crew could help expose you to a diverse range of music and performance styles to enhance your own singing and performance style.

There could very well be other local options I haven't mentioned here - feel free to share them in the comments - but the point is, don't discount the wealth of singing opportunities in your local market. And never forget, there are a million ways to be a singer, and therefore a million ways to go after your singing dreams! Explore them all to find your best fit. Enjoy!

Judy Fine

Judy Fine has been a vocal and performance coach since 2007, specializing in artist development coaching for aspiring singers and confidence coaching for everyone.

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