how to choose the right song for your voice

How to Choose a Song That Suits Your Voice So You Can Sing It Well

One of the most common mistakes that beginner singers make is choosing songs that are not suitable for their voice. 

The songs may not be suitable because they are:

  • Too high
  • Too low
  • Too fast
  • Too easy
  • Too difficult 

Choosing the right songs for your voice is important so that you can:

  1. Avoid vocal damage
  2. Enjoy singing more because the songs are challenging but achievable
  3. Avoid developing bad vocal habits
  4. Improve quickly because you are able to apply the vocal techniques that you learn (without having to worry about that super high note in the chorus)

Before you can fill your repertoire with the right songs, you need to find out your voice type.

How to Find Your Voice Type/Vocal Range

Your vocal range is how high or how low you can sing.

Female

To find your range using a keyboard/piano, do the following: 

  1. Find middle C (C4) on the piano
  2. Play middle C and sing “hah” to the note
  3. Play the white note to the right of middle C, breathe and sing this note to “hah”
  4. Play the next white note up and repeat until you start to feel strained to sing the note. That’s the upper end of your range. Write this note name down
  5. Go back to middle C. Sing this note to “hah”
  6. Play the white note to the left of middle C, breathe and sing this note to “hah”
  7. Play the next white note down and repeat until you start to feel strained to sing the note. That’s the lower end of your range. Write this note name down

Male

To find your range using a keyboard/piano, do the following: 

  1. Find C below middle (C3) on the piano
  2. Play C3 and sing “hah” to the note
  3. Play the white note to the right of C3, breathe and sing this note to “hah”
  4. Play the next white note up and repeat until you start to feel strained to sing the note. That’s the upper end of your range. Write this note name down
  5. Go back to C3. Sing this note to “hah”
  6. Play the white note to the left of C3, breathe and sing this note to “hah”
  7. Play the next white note down and repeat until you start to feel strained to sing the note. That’s the lower end of your range. Write this note name down

If you don’t have a piano/keyboard, Google “virtual keyboard” and use that. You can also use any keyboard app you have on your phone. 

If you don’t know the piano key/note names, Google “piano note names”. The middle C is usually at the middle of the piano (where the logo is).

There are 3 voice types for female and 3 voice types for male.

Female

Soprano – high voice – G3 to A5

Mezzo Soprano – middle voice – F3 to F5

Alto – low voice – D3 to E5

Male

Tenor – high voice – A2 to A4

Baritone – middle voice – G2 to E4

Bass – low voice – C2 to D4

These are approximations only. There are students with range that go beyond these definitions. 

Choose the Right Songs For Your Voice

In your repertoire, you want to have songs at three levels of difficulty: Easy, Medium, Advanced.

Easy

These songs are good as warm up songs. You still need to do your warm-up exercises. Before you start singing songs, you can sing these songs to warm up your voice even more. Eventually, you will become very familiar with these songs. 

The melody/tune is easy to sing. The notes are mostly low-middle pitch. There are occasional high notes but they are not too high. The tempo/speed of the song is slow-medium. The rhythm of the melody is predictable. The structure of the song is predictable.

Medium

These songs will challenge you a little as you start to apply to the vocal techniques that you learn whilst singing them. These songs should form the majority of your repertoire.

The melody is slightly more challenging to sing. There are more high notes and the notes are higher in your range. The tempo/speed of the song can be fast/slower than the typical pop songs. The rhythm of the melody is slightly unpredictable/unconventional. The structure of the song is slightly unpredictable.

Advanced

These are the songs that will challenge you in one or more aspects of your vocal technique: range, resonance, articulation, breathing etc. These songs are the ones that will eventually become ‘Medium’ songs once you get better as a singer. Practice these songs using the chunking method. 

The melody is difficult to sing. There are many high notes and the notes approach the top end of your range. There can be many melodic leaps (big jumps in melody). The tempo/speed of the song can be even faster than the typical pop songs. The rhythm of the melody can be unpredictable/unconventional. The structure of the song can be unpredictable.

Repertoire/Song Suggestions

Easy

  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley) – for male and female
  • A Thousand Years (Christina Perri) – for male and female
  • Safe and Sound (Taylor Swift) – for male and female
  • Yesterday Once More (The Carpenters) – for female 
  • Roar (Katy Perry) – for female

Medium

  • Always Remember Us This Way (Lady Gaga) – for female
  • Here With Me (Marshmello) – for female
  • Follow You into the Dark (Death Cab For Cutie) – for male
  • Patience (Guns and Roses) – for male
  • Sorry (Halsey) – for female

Advanced

  • It’s All Coming Back to Me Now (Celine Dion) – for female
  • Under the Bridge (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) – for male
  • Memories (Maroon 5) – for male
  • Titanium (Sia) – for female

About the Author

Hi, I’m Benny Ng. I’ve been teaching singing lessons since 2011. Singing didn’t come easily to me. I want to help you avoid the mistakes that I made. That way, you can become a confident singer quicker. Download your free e-book: Closet Singer to Confident Singer TopSingingSecrets.com

Author: Benny Ng