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How to Choose the Right Song For Your Voice So That You Can Sing It Well

Importance of Choosing the Right Songs

Your song choice can make or break your performance/enjoyment of the song.

You need to choose the right song for your voice so that:

  • You won’t hurt your voice while singing
  • You’ll enjoy singing the songs more because they’re achievable
  • You’ll avoid building bad habits from trying to sing notes that are out of your vocal range

To choose the right song for your voice, first, you need to find out what voice type you are and what your vocal range is.

How to Find Your 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.
  5. Write this note name down
  6. Go back to middle C. Sing this note to “hah”
  7. Play the white note to the left of middle C, breathe and sing this note to “hah”
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  5. note. That’s the upper end of your range.
  6. Write this note name down
  7. Go back to C3. Sing this note to “hah”
  8. Play the white note to the left of C3, breathe and sing this note to “hah”
  9. 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.
  10. 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).

What is Your Voice Type?

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

Your Voice Characteristics

Soprano/Tenor
Your voice is light and thin. You prefer to sing high notes. Your speaking voice tends to be high as well.

Mezzo Soprano/Baritone
Your voice is somewhere between soprano and alto. You can sing high notes but not as high as a soprano. You can sing low notes but not as low as an alto. You prefer singing in your middle register.

Alto/Bass
Your voice is big and resonant. You can get loud quickly and easily. You prefer singing notes in your lower/middle registers. For notes in your upper register/high notes, you tend to approach them in one of these ways: you either don’t sing high notes or you yell those notes when singing them.

Choosing the Right Song

Choosing the right song to sing is like trying on a t-shirt/dress - sometimes it’s obvious but other times you need to put it on before you’ll know if it’s the right fit.

Some songs are obvious from the first listen that they are too high or too low for you to sing. Other songs take a bit of “test singing” before you’ll know if they suit your voice.

Choose songs that are within your range. Listen to the original track. Sing along to it. How does it feel? Are you straining to sing the high/low notes?

You want the melody to have notes that are slightly lower than your upper end note and slightly higher than your lower end note.

Easy Songs
The melody sits in your lower/middle registers. There are occasional high notes but they are not too high. The tempo/speed of the song is manageable. The rhythm of the melody is predictable. The structure of the song is predictable.

Examples:
Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley) - for male and female
A Thousand Years (Christina Perri) - for male and female
We Will Rock You (Queen) - for male and female

Intermediate Songs
The melody sits in your middle register. There are more high notes and the notes are higher in your range. The tempo/speed of the song can be faster. The rhythm of the melody is slightly unpredictable/unconventional. The structure of the song is slightly unpredictable.

Examples:
My Immortal (Evanescence) - for male and female
Shallow (Lady Gaga) - for female
Innocence (Avril Lavigne) - for male and female
Man on the Moon (REM) - for male

Advanced Songs
The melody sits in your middle/upper register. There are many high notes and the notes are approach the top end of your range. The tempo/speed of the song can be even faster. The rhythm of the melody can be unpredictable/unconventional. The structure of the song can be unpredictable.

Examples:
It’s All Coming Back to Me Now (Celine Dion) - for female
I Knew I Loved You (Savage Garden) - for male
Wake Me Up When September Ends (Green Day) - for male

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