Let’s talk about how to choose the right song for you to practice – for now. A song you love and can actually sing.
But why choose a song that you can already sing? What the point in that? Shouldn’t you take a difficult song and improve yourself?
That would be a big mistake though, albeit one many people have committed, including myself at auditions no less… Why is it a mistake? I’ll answer that with a story:
I remember a piano teacher once told me I should go back to basic exercises and pieces which I played years before.
I felt like a failure. If only she had explained why she did it: I needed to FOCUS ON TECHNIQUE. There were some important things I had to learn and it would be too distracting to work on hard pieces and improve technique at the same time.
Now, of course it’s more fun to play actual high level pieces or really cool songs and not exercises. That teacher could have easily chosen some more motivating rep for me. But she chose to do it it in this disciplinary way.
We won’t do that 🙂 We will find songs you like, but which will allow you to focus. There will come a time to work on more difficult songs!
Criteria of an easy song
- A short range
- Few or no big jumps
- Not too slow nor too fast
- Catchy! If the song is catchy enough it might be easy enough to sing even if it doesn’t meet the other criteria.
- Not chromatic: so songs with notes that ‘make sense’ in the major or minor scale of the song. No ‘odd’ notes.
- No growling or screaming
Find your range
So to first find your range, I recommend Dr. Dan’s video to find your COMFORTABLE vocal range. Look only at that part of the video, it starts right where my link points to.
Is the outcome for example from A3 to E3? To know by approximation what that range is, count: ABCDE. That’s five out of 8 notes (octave) so a little over half an octave.
What songs to look for if that’s your range? No bigger than half an octave.
Important tip: unless you know the original key of a song suits you – try to sing without the original recording. Rather start singing where it’s comfortable for you.
Another important tip: you know it’s an easy song if you can sing if you feel little to no strain in your throat. If strain is something you struggle with constantly, my above easy songs video is your place to start. Choose the song that bothers you the least.
When you have mastered your easy song, you can move on to other, more challenging ones.
Whichever song you choose, I recommend you stick with it for a while. At least a week or two, even longer if you’re not bored. You can have a couple of easy songs and switch between them.
Now you have all the guidelines on how to find a singable song – go do it. And post it here in the comments – maybe you’ll give us some new ideas!
Five songs with a short range
I chose five songs with a short range: less than an octave. So if you’re a beginner, or if you have vocal issues like a cold – which I had when I recorded below Youtube video – you don’t have to worry about high or low notes. You can simply focus on the technique you want to practice.
The songs are:
- Wind of change by The Scorpions: 7 note range
- Hotel California by The Eagles: 7 notes
- Michel by Anouk: 6 notes
- Take my breath away by Berlin: 6 notes
- I want love by Elton John: 5 notes
Another good way to practice technique: with my basic vocal warm-up.