How to Find Good Songs for Your Voice
Most of us who have watched American Idol have witnessed the situation where one of the judges has told the singer that s/he chose a very bad song to sing.
Never mind the unfairness of this comment, (those young singers have likely had very little experience in choosing songs), the point is that it takes a lot of research, and trial and error to find the right songs to sing at any given time in our singing lives. The process cannot be rushed.
You have to listen to a lot of songs to find the ones that are right for you.
If you are someone who wants to be a performing singer, you should always be on the lookout for a good song to sing.
Try to avoid the mistake of thinking that a good song, one that is good for you to sing, will likely be found among the most current or most famous songs. Your voice may or may not be right for the style, range, and expression required for the songs we hear on commercial radio.
Also, singing the most popular songs of the day makes it easy for others to compare you to famous singers. It is best to avoid those kinds of comparisons until you can bring your own unique talent to a well-known song.
Instead, look for songs that really suit your talent:
- Your voice type
- Your musical style
- Your range
- The state of your technique (Keep in mind that you do not have to sing high or loudly to be appreciated. Sing songs that you are able to easily sing at this point in your career. Sing them well – with style.)
- Your performance needs (will you sing in a stadium or in your own home? Each place has different needs.)
- Your audience (What can you sing well now, that will please them?)
How to Find Good Songs for an Audition
I am looking for songs for my new show, “PASSIONATE HEART.” It is the first time in many years that I will sing songs that I have not written. My chosen songs will most likely be very different from yours, but the process of finding them is very similar.
Here are a few things that I have been doing:
- Looking through lists of songs sung by singers whose range and song style and voice are similar to mine. (I go to iTunes and YouTube to listen to clips of songs or watch video. I can tell pretty quickly if a song is going to suit me.)
- Asking people who know my voice which songs they would “like” to hear me sing. I may not sing any of the songs that are suggested to me. But friends can sometimes come up with interesting ideas that help me to stretch my abilities.
- Looking through “best song lists” such as best songs of 2007.
There are loads of these lists. Choose one that lists songs in your musical style. Listening to songs that others have chosen as their favorites gives me some musical food-for-thought. I may not like many of the songs on the list. But often, there will be one or two that I put onto my ¨maybe” list.
I also listen to songs from new and relatively unknown singer/songwriters. Sometimes you can find a winning song that very few people have heard. (The singer may welcome you bringing his/her song some more attention.)
When I have a list of 20 or so songs, I learn them reasonably well, enough to start singing them. I sing them, a few at a time, for people whose opinions I respect. I then begin the long process of elimination.