Awesome comments for singing can have a big impact on self-confidence going forward, so it’s important to know how to compliment a singer’s performance appropriately. It’s all about being constructive, honest and helpful rather than being critical and unkind.
Are you curious about the kind of feedback you can expect for your performance? Or are you wondering how to say something nice about a fellow singer? In this article, we’ll take a look at the ways you can spread positivity and kindness, as well as revealing the sort of comments that judges are likely to make during a competition.
It’s nice to be nice. A compliment costs nothing and in a competitive world like singing, showing support to your fellow musicians is really important. They will probably return the compliments to you in future and before you know it you have a great support network. But neither is it about saying kind things for the sake of it. Comments and compliments are an important part of growth and improvement.
The singer Birdy – who made her name by winning Open Mic UK as a young teen – has spoken about how valuable the support of her peers was when she began.
“I was also really lucky in that all the kids from my school were so supportive. When things happened – like chart hits or awards – it was like it was a celebration for all of us. No one was mean or jealous.”
Rather than just saying ‘that was good’, or ‘you sounded great’, see if you can be more specific. What makes them unique? Is their voice naturally beautiful sounding? If so, it’s because they have a nice tone. It’s a lovely compliment as it can’t be trained as easily as technique or performance. Add to your compliment by identifying what it is about their tone that’s lovely. Is it husky, soft, smooth or a cool raspy sound?
Control over the voice is really important too. Good singers can achieve amazing vocal acrobatics because of their solid technique – so if they have fantastic vocal control and the ability to do lots of tricks in their songs, comment on how much hard work they’ve clearly invested in what they’re doing and how it shows in their performance.
And the options for comments certainly don’t stop there. Some singers can really belt out their notes. This can impress judges, as long as it isn’t constant yelling. Using contrasting quiet dynamics and demonstrating control is the best way to show off your power as a vocalist.
Delivery is crucial to good performance. This is how you express the story of the song along with a combination of singing techniques. The way you hit the notes, the amount of power and the tone you use all help deliver the song. Using emotion is good too, but it needs to be appropriate for the context of the song.
Are you surprised by the number of singers who make it big and have successful careers in the music industry, but aren’t actually fantastic singers? This is actually quite common and is down to them knowing how to perform and work an audience. If you don’t rate their vocals, but love their overall vibe and enjoy watching them, tell them what a good performer they are. And if they dance as part of the act, you can throw in some observations about that too.
You should try and give compliments but don’t neglect to include tips for improvement. It’s important to be constructive. If you just focus on the negatives it can be hugely off-putting and hurtful – and the singer may just assume you’re being mean and not take it in. Instead, comment on their strengths and how they can turn their weaknesses into strengths. A popular format is to give a ‘feedback sandwich’, where you say a positive, followed by an area for improvement, followed by another strong positive.
It’s important, especially when you’re aspiring and young, that you receive accurate constructive feedback from judges. These are some of the big names we’ve had on the panels at our contests:
A&R for Sony Music Layla Manoochehri
CeCe Sammy TV personality and celebrity vocal coach who has worked with the likes of Diana Ross, Will Young, Simon Cowell and Leona Lewis
Andy Baker a music manager from Rocket Fuel
Jayne Collins an A&R consultant for major record companies who put together and managed The Saturdays and The Wanted
Laurence Hobbs from Charthouse Music, a producer who has previously worked with Pixie Lott, Sam Smith and One Direction
James Ellet from Global Entertainment
Barney Addison from Syco Music and Thames TV
Head of Future Music Chris Grayston
It can be nerve-wracking stepping on stage and wondering what these successful, accomplished people will say to you afterwards. Don’t worry, they will never tear you down or pick apart your performance. It is hard to describe a talented singer but judges seem to know how to get it right. These are some examples of the kinds of things they say to acts:
What do you wish people would say to you by way of compliments? Have a think about your friends who are singers. What can you say to encourage them – what about their voices and performances do you love? Let them know today.
How do you compliment a music video?
Much the same way as you would compliment a singer. Perhaps your friend has recorded a cover to the camera? Dropping them a message to say you enjoyed it and adding some personalised comments is a nice way to show support.
How do you describe someone’s singing voice?
Time to dig out your thesaurus! Avoid overused words like ‘good’, ‘great’ ‘nice’ etc. Instead focus on the quality of sound, pitch, tone and tuning. It can help to read some reviews of famous singers or watch TV talent shows.
What do you say before singing a song?
If you’ve been asked to give an intro at a competition, or are performing on stage, you should let the audience/panel know your name and the song you are singing. If you’ve written the song, you may want to say a little bit about its meaning or inspiration.
Which of these comments would you like to hear? What are the best singing performance compliments you have ever received? Let us know in the comments below!