You might ask, if there is a way to succeed in vocals these days. Being a vocalist equates to being a star, voice is the most important instrument in the band and in the song (not to offend guitarist , bassist and drummers but vocalist is what people needs to hear playing live) . It is why American Idol is popular. I have seen auditions in American Idol, you can easily spot a big potential versus a crap singer. Frankly I am not a singer either but I produced songs seriously both in live and in studio. I can determine clearly the best way to sing in major types of genre such as pop, rock and country.
Actually in my experience these days you need:
a. A good voice quality
b. You sound like those successful artist today
c. You need confidence
d. You need an incredible stage performance
e. Emotions (yes it is!)
If you have a and b only, and you feel you lack the confidence to sing. You need a vocal coach. If you cannot afford there are a lot of materials in the internet that offer vocal coaching to help you become a singer nowadays. Keep following that blog, I am sure it will help a lot. It is my wife new vocal training blog, do not worry she sings professionally and lots of experience to share.
Also one of the things that prevent someone to become successful in singing is the LACK OF LIVE PERFORMANCE. Performing well on live makes you a legend. It is because fans can see you, feel your emotions and hear your voice and connect you personally. It is why Bono of U2 is tremendously successful in singing. He sings very well on stage.
My advice is to start early practice, if you have web cam try to sing in front of it acapella. And try to criticize yourself against standards If you are confused of what are the standards, then:
a. Try to cover your song for which you feel very confident to perform, video tape it and upload that one to YouTube.
Tips: To do this, you should have a web cam, a background minus one of your song to be captured by the web cam microphone and a video recording software. Most of the high quality web cams already include a video capturing software that will be used for recording. Make a rough balance of the mix, make sure the volume levels of the microphone and your vocal is balance. Adjust or lower than the background vocals if you think it is drowning your voice.
b. There are a lot of ways you can get exposure and to know if you are meeting vocal standards or not, try to reply the video to a minus one version.
c. Enable commenting of the song so that anyone watching your video will be able to comment.
d. Whoa! When there are comments, respond professionally when there are someone criticizing your performance. It is essential for you to improve.
e. If there are positive comments, thank them and you can ask them why they like it. But most of the time, they will mention it in their comments.
f. If there are negative comments, thank them also and learn from it. Discuss using comments feature in You tube, there will be many viewers that will learn from the discussion and will appreciate your video and contribution to the Youtube Community.
Professional advice: Start a band with you on vocals or Join a Singing Contest !
Yes you can! This will gives you opportunity to apply what you have learned in practice. Also this gives you confidence to perform in front of people and starting to build that fan base. If your genre does not give too much opportunity for finding suitable band members, you can join a singing contest. They are everywhere in your locality.
Who knows many months from now, you will be the next Idol.