Make sure fellow singers that you work out what note you should start your song on, especially when you are singing a cappella. You could find yourself in some bad singing if you don’t.
We’ve heard it millions of times in restaurants. All the waiters start the Happy Birthday around the table really high and by the time they get to the last part, people are stretching their limits to hit the notes (if they even hit them). You can’t just start the song where it feels good to start it. You need to consider the range of the whole piece and pick the appropriate starting note from there.
Another great example is The Star Spangled Banner. You must start the beginning at the bottom of your range because it goes so high at the end. Often times, people drop an octave at the end just to finish the song.
Consider using a pitch pipe to play your starting note if you do not have musical accompaniment. Also, make sure that the starting note you select represents your voice the best throughout the whole song. You may sound fine if you start on a middle C, but if you try it on a D it may hit that sweet spot in your voice.
When you are nervous in an audition situation your judgement for a starting note might be really off. You have so much adrenaline pumping that often you may tend to pick a higher starting place then you would have liked. Ask for the first note on the piano or use your pitch pipe to be sure. I often find it necessary to humm back the note I play on the pitch pipe to make sure the note is in my body before I start.
So work out the best Key for your piece before the performance or audition. Figure out what the starting note is for that. And then make sure you have a way of getting that note for the real thing.
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