Tips For New Cabaret Singers

The Ever Important – Material! Material! Material! By material I mean the specially selected songs and content that will maintain the pace of your show and please your audience. These days it doesn’t really matter if you use pre-recorded orchestrations (as in Karaoke) to format the program, have the finest of musicians behind you or just a soloist giving you the accompaniment. What matters is what you use to entertain the people in front of you. The Material!

The prime objective should be to entertain the audience. Therefore material, pace, dynamics,and finale (the end of the show) are key variables in pleasing a crowd and establishing your reputation.(eg. return gigs, references,more bookings etc.) I will briefly address these important topics as we go and give you some tips on how to perform a successful 30 minute act.

Why 30 minutes? If you can develop a 30 minute fundamental show, practice it until you are totally familiar with every aspect of it including your music arrangements, memorising your patter (speech between songs), and make use of the following suggestions, the 30 minute tight base will succeed. If you need more showtime you can always add enough songs to make up the time.

The following information is a suggested format for a novice Cabaret Singer based on the many hundreds of professional cabaret artistes that I have had the pleasure of watching, booking and working with.

1. Start with a bright opening song and follow with a medium paced song (perhaps a golden oldie). Preferably without a break between the two (Seque). Even two bright songs is ok. What is important is the Seque.

2. Unless you are an established singer its wise to do songs that people know or an opening song that may be applicable to the event. TIP: Using original, revamped, redesigned arrangements of well known songs will give audiences a fresh chance to appreciate an older song and still recognise it. For example a Christmas song with a latin, disco or jazz feel. Speak to your musical arranger.

3.After the second song speak to your audience. TIP: Until you are confident, rehearse what you say, be brief, perhaps a humorous line ( this breaks the ice a little) then introduce a song that you really want to sing. Even if it is a slow song or one that you wrote then tell the audience why you wrote it or why it means so much to you. If applicable tell the story of the song while the music introduction is quietly playing behind you.(till ready) This helps the pace of the show.

4.Now it’s time for audience participation. Brighten the pace again with a “hand clapping” or “audience singalong in the chorus” type song.

5. At this point a medley (grouped together segments) of songs dedicated to a Super Star making sure that the selected songs are suitable for cabaret. Here are some some suggestions (depending on age of audiences, for example: children, seniors, middle aged, 20 – 30 years old, etc.) Roy Orbison, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Dean Martin, The Wiggles,The Bee Gees, The Supremes, Deline Cion, Aretha Franklin or any artist of today that has a string of well known super hits.

6. The finale should leave your audience acknowledging your talent – finish with a big song one that has a big note at the end, one that uses the dynamics of the orchestra.

7. Arrange to have the orchestra play a chaser (exit music) based on the theme of your last song and last bars of the orchestration. This allows the audience to relive the dynamics of the ending once again while you take your bows.

Remember that these are suggestions for a show format. A format that I have seen win for successful and well known Cabaret Stars.You may wish to add material that is unique to you, such as performing a song or two in the act playing an instrument. Versatility is yet another tool used to keep an audience interested. All that has been written above can also be presented using backing tracks (pre recorded orchestrations) this widens the scope for work possibilities when venues may not want to be burdened with the cost of large or small orchestras. Any further questions email me at

Article Source Link by Norman Faber