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Jingles, Commercials & Singing On The Money!

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Author: Tom Gauger

As a writer and former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency, as well as a veteran jingle singer, my ears are always piqued when I hear an extraordinarily good spot. My interest is augmented further when I hear an incredible lead vocal and backup singer on that same commercial as well. I've always been fascinated with jingle singing and commercial singing in general, when I look at both the incredible talent and the money being made in the industry as a whole. As I talk to people wanting to engage the jingle industry and make a career of it as a jingle singer, there are a number of areas that I point out as crucial and, with the few minutes remaining in this article, I will share.

I am well aware that many of you reading this article would love to be singing on the next McDonalds commercial. I am also aware that most won't get the chance, not so much because of their singing abilities or inabilities, but because they don't know how to go about breaking into the market. There are a number of reasons that jingle singers get paid the big bucks and there's a reason that jingle singers tend to be around for awhile with long term longevity in the industry. Let's me share with you and uncover some of the mysteries surrounding the jingle singing market and how you might obtain session work.

First let's take a look at your singing abilities and then we'll transform that into an image of what your jingle singing demo ought to look and sound like and then we'll look at the pr and marketing side to your jingle singing campaign. What are the qualities of your voice? Do you have a smooth voice?, or is it husky or gritty sounding? Are you a blender or are you a lead vocalist? There's no right or wrong answer here, just the basics to start conceptualizing what your demo is going to sound like. It's important to know right up front, that most of you simply can't put together your own jingle singing demo. You won't know the ins and outs to what piques the ears of the jingle houses, nor know what styles and lastly what order to execute your demo in. The "My friend has a computer, keyboard and mic," approach won't get it. As I've stated in a number of writings to date, that your jingle demo has to sound like you've already arrived and have been singing commercials for years. Your demo has to come off like you are a veteran and seasoned singer. Don't hesitate to contact for further info on jingle singing demos and get an informed and honest look at a real jingle singing demo campaign.

As you begin to look at and focus your energies on your jingle demo, you will want to begin looking at jingle concepts that are going to emphasize your areas of expertise and minimize your weaknesses. If you have a gritty voice, then by all means, focus your energies on jingles that enhance your edgy vocal. You will most likely include a lot of lead vocal jingles and a few group sings. These group sings will most likely be up in your face type sings with lots of energy. If you are a blender then you will most likely look at including group sings, showcasing your blending qualities and some targeted lead spots that sound like you command the stage. You have to be careful and pick your spots so that you truly sound like you command that spot and not just a forced or pushed jingle to include on your reel. Again, that's why you should visit ReelMusician for ideas and let the pros that know this market, create a jingle reel designed specifically for you and your particular vocal qualities.

Once you have established and recorded your jingle reel, you will want to begin the pr and marketing phase. You must know in advance, that jingle houses tend to stay with the same singers for a number of reasons, but none that you can't overcome, but ought to know up front. Jingle houses, like most individuals, go with what they know and are comfortable with. They know, that "so and so" sounds like this and so they use "so and so." Keep in mind that commercial turn around time is usually pretty fast. Sometimes a commercial comes in from the advertising agency and the turn around is 24 hours. As a writer at a jingle house, you don't have much time to experiment on new singers or take a chance on a new singer unless, their jingle demo sounds so good and sounds like they've been at it for years, that they venture out on an incredible sounding unique talent - That's how you break into the market. Let's look at some precursor ideas to what we just described.

Once you have your new jingle singer demo in hand and are comfortable with the quality, make sure to have included on the front cover your name with picture, contact number and the year and season - ie. John Doe 555-5555 Spring 2006. This is how the front cover of a jingle demo is produced. Now on the inside sleeve include again your name, contact number, year and season along with the names of the jingles in order. You will want to start calling on the jingle houses and submitting your new reel, but before you do, make sure that every element is correct. As you contact the jingle houses, make sure that you have your speaking delivery down and answers to possible questions if any. Also make sure and get an email address to correspond with and to submit further demos by way of emailing mp3's. You will want to start in your local market, but eventually you will want to broaden your horizons and venture out in to the major markets that surround you like Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles and other major markets.

Don't be afraid to produce sequel demos to cross the paths of the jingle producers another time to keep your name rolling across their desk. And lastly keep good records of your conversations taking in any criticism and being polite, yet confident with a go get it attitude. Don't be afraid to tell the producer, "I want to sing one of your spots and I want to be included on the next workable session." Don't be too pushy, but let them be aware of your commitment, drive and passion.

About the author:

Mr Gauger is a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency and is the founder of He has sung on FOX TV, UPN Station ID's, O'Charley's and many others. You may contact the author at or 615-300-5030. In addition, Free e-books "The Jingle Singer's Guide," and "Secrets To Great Song Demos," may be downloaded at

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