I’ll tell you right now, I’m not sure jingle singing* is a fulltime job anymore. Back in the day, it sure was, but that was then, and this is not – and that’s okay!
(*Jingle singing, for newbies, is the phrase we use to denote singing for TV and radio commercials, video games, etc. It’s a subset of studio session singing.)
However, when combined with other creative vocal endeavors, jingle singing can certainly put some coin in that bank account. And, who knows? I never say ‘never’ about anything – you might find your niche with some clients who keep you verrrrry busy!
So…what do you do?
1. You amass mad, versatile jingle singing skills
…like reading music, learning solfege for sight reading, training with a voice teacher, mastering harmony singing and finding parts, taking care of your voice – you get the idea.
If you’re not that versatile, that’s okay. You can work toward that goal. Perhaps you have a unique voice; if so, capitalize on THAT. Whatever you have, make sure you have lots of it!
2. You create a phenomenal jingle demo
…which can reside online and/or as a physical CD (Ninety seconds, 2 minutes long at most, with 10 second snippets of each jingle showing your mad, versatile singing skills.
Get an engineer with a nice studio to help.
Using library music? Sure, but make sure it sounds great; cheesy music will give your potential employers ideas about you: bad ideas, like “Why does this singer think cheesy music is okay?” Aaand your CD/link to your jingle demo goes in the trash.
3. You network like the champ you are
Put a profile up on all the singer sites like Voices123, Gigsalad, et al. You take every opportunity to talk to every advertising music producer/person you meet, and meet them you will because you will track them down on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
You make fun, unique business cards and hand them out like candy. Put the business cards inside boxes of candy. Make edible candy business cards. Whatever you need to do to get your name out there.
4.You take acting classes because I’m telling you to
Acting and singing go hand in hand and you will free up your body and psyche in ways that will greatly assist you both in the studio and onstage, should you like to perform live as well.
Acting requires you getting in touch with your feelings and learn how to expertly and immediately convey those feelings. Imagine being able to impart “yummy” with your voice. Yes, you can do it!
5. You get your home studio set up reaaal niiiice
Since there are lots of potential clients around the globe, being able to complete jingles remotely is the only way to go.
Research DAWs: Audacity, ProTools or Presonus, which is a one-stop-shop for hardware and software with Studio One Artist; this is also nice on the wallet since you may be a beginner. Research microphones (too many to list but Sennheiser, TC Helicon, Audio-Technica and Shure have some great, affordable choices).
Get comfortable recording yourself. Sitting, standing, either way: set up a foot pedal that records you with the tap of the toes. Waaay better than bending and twisting to reach the mouse or space bar.
Now, go forth and jingle! Let me know how it goes!
Jaime was a Musical Director, coaching voice and performance for Disney and wrote “Working With Your Voice: The Career Guide to Becoming a Professional Singer” (Alfred Publishing). As a session singer, she ‘jingled’ for Coke, Pillsbury, Folgers, Chevrolet, and hundreds more. She’s sung on thousands of live gigs (covers and original music) and toured for years with Leon Russell and Sam Moore. Jaime sang BGVs live and digitally with George Strait, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Webb, Miley & Billy Ray Cyrus, Johnny Mathis, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Willie Nelson and others. She performed off-Broadway in “Search: Paul Clayton”, toured nationally with “Old Jews Telling Jokes” and presently coaches students in voice, performance, beginner guitar/piano, studio singing, songwriting and auditioning in NY, CT, LA, Nashville and virtually. For bookings: www.workingwithyourvoice.com