How to Choose the Right Songs For Your Singing Career

(Last Updated On: June 28, 2023)

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If you are going to start a singing career, start it right. Since as they said-well planned is half done; similar to any other career, choose the right song to start your singing career. As an aspiring singer who wants to begin his/her career in the music industry, you will often find yourself with a wide array of songs and musical styles to choose from. You can try different songs, of course, from different genres to expand your vocal abilities and increase your singing opportunities. Yet, the process of figuring out the most suited styles and songs for you may sometimes be a bit confusing. 

For a successful singing career it is really critical that you start right. A right song will enable you to demonstrate your talent to the audience.  Mostly singers choose a song that’s already popular. Singing such song is okay but make sure it’s the right song and best suitable to launch a singing career.

Though it seems simple to choose the right song, there are many aspects one needs to consider. Before you choose a song understand your vocal range and capability.  Start a singing career with the right note. For that purpose, choose a right song that fits your vocal range.

Things You Must Know & Factors To Consider

Know the Current Trend of Music Industry

If you are about to start a singing career, it’s very important for you to know about the existing music trends and about what the record companies are look for.  Mostly they seek a combination of talent and uniqueness in a singer that they can sell to audience.  Many refer to it as the “X Factor”. But fact is that nobody is born with the “X Factor”.  Every great singer started from scratch.  So, just choose the right song and you will be on your way to success.

Be Yourself and Unique

Don’t lose confidence even if you are not able to sing in the range of some singer, say Bryan Adams or Al Green.  Don’t forget that every singer is different and unique. Everyone has varying talent to show on the stage.  Instead be proud of your voice, ability, and uniqueness and sing with the power you have.

Know the Possible Response From Public

When you choose a song, it’s very important that you are aware of public response.  If you choose a popular song to start your singing career, understand that the audiences will have more expectations form you. People will compare you with the original singer.

For instance, “(Everything I do) I do it for you” will always be Bryan Adams’ song.  But just because it is his song, it doesn’t mean that you can’t sing it as well.  If you choose a popular song, you’ll have two choices: sing it in the same manner and passion as the original one or you change it completely.  The matter of the fact is that, you never ever sing an inferior version of the original song.

Though imitating and singing the songs by other singers when you start a singing career may help to grow as a singer, after some time you will have to break away from it to become an established singer in your own.

Become a singing artist of your own through learning about the singing and music history.  Regardless of the genre of music you follow and sing it’s sure that you will become a great singer by learning about the singers who started it all.

Know Your Vocal Range

You will figure out the range of your voice if you study the notes that you can sing. There are notes that you can sing without straining your voice. But once the notes that you try to sing go off your vocal range, you could no longer sing them. 

If you are singing, for example, a song of Freddie Mercury, you may find it hard to hit some of that song’s notes. Why? Because those notes are beyond your vocal range. Intuitively, you will feel the limits of your vocal capability if you can no longer hit that note accurately.

However, if you want to know your exact vocal range, you can get the opinion of a music mentor. That mentor will let you sing a wide range of musical notes to figure out the limits of your vocal range. 

Take note that your vocal range is different from your tessitura. Your vocal range refers to the octaves that you can sing. Tessitura, on the other hand, refers to the range of pitches that are embedded in a vocal part or melody.

Song Selection Techniques & Guidelines You Can Use

You may find it hard to excel in your singing career if you dwell mainly on the wrong songs and musical style. Thus, you need to figure out beforehand the right songs that fit your vocal abilities. To zero in on the right songs, below are the most effective techniques that you use: 

1) Choose A Music Genre Wherein You Can Thrive!

As you grow as a person, you usually develop a particular affinity to a specific type of music or genre. You may try songs from other genres, but if you push yourself further into those genres, you may only end up frustrated even if you have the talent to boast of. However, if you choose a genre that is best suited for your talent and abilities, then your musical career will surely thrive.

There is a wide array of music genres at hand. There are devotional, romantic, Carnatic, rap, jazz, blues, folk, country, and many more. Thus, at the start, you should carefully and thoughtfully choose the genre you would like to excel in. You can start the choosing process by assessing the pros and cons of every option. Moreover, your choice should be in line with your vocal range and singing capability. Your choice of the genre will inevitably color your musical career. It will also let you express your musical talent in a way that is comfortable and easy for you.

2) Choose within your Comfort Zone and Style

Corollary to choosing a music genre, you should also choose songs within your comfort zone and style. You may try singing various songs from other music genres, but one thing you will immediately feel when you sing those songs is that you’re not comfortable singing those songs. You will immediately feel the groove of a song if it is within your singing style, and you’re comfortable with it. 

To figure out if a song is within your style and comfort zone, try to record your voice when you sing that song. Once you listen to your recording, you will notice that you would sound right with that song. Try to study that song. Look for similar songs too. Soon, you will find those songs that are best for your vocal endowment.

Additionally, when playing and singing a song, you should look for your tessitura. Figure out the appropriate key for your voice. In this way, you can comfortably sing songs without necessarily straining your vocal cords. Moreover, if you sing within your tessitura, you can easily add nuances to your rendition of a song.

4) Choose Songs that You Can Feel!

Songs are poetical works. Singing is also an expression of poetry. Moreover, singing is an expression of your mind and emotions. Thus, you should choose songs that you can feel. If you audition, for example, to a singing contest, those who conduct the audition will first assess whether you have the singing potential. But once you got accepted and eventually compete, the judges will primarily judge you on how you relate well with the song you sing. 

You will hear the judges often say to a contestant, for example, that he/she got a good voice. It is just that the song selection is off. Thus, you must choose songs that you can feel and relate to. Make good with your song selection, and you will surely get a good evaluation from the judges. 

5) Know Your Target Audience!

As a singer, you should carefully choose the songs that you would sing in a performance. If you are invited to sing in a symposium of highly intellectual people, you should choose songs that they can relate to. You should also consider the age bracket of your audience. If your audience are senior citizens who belong to the veteran generations, you should choose songs that are appropriate to their likes and preference. You can sing some Elvis songs or Frank Sinatra‘s songs.

If you are invited to a wedding reception, however, you should sing some love or romatic songs. You can’t those sad songs in this kind of event. I remember one time I was invited to sing to a group of funks. I sang a love song, and I was booed and ignored. The lesson here is pretty obvious—you should carefully choose the songs that are appropriate for the occasion and the audience. 

6) Brainstorm Your Song Selection Ideas

Prepare a blank sheet to write down good ideas about songs.  Whenever you hear a song that interests you, write its title immediately.  Start having a list of songs that you think will be suited to you.  You can start searching for songs that meet your needs, and consider composing your own songs.

You may not end up as a great composer at an early stage, but as you go on, you may be surprised to find that you’re now choosing the right song from your own composition.

Additional Tips

  • Try to determine if the song has the right length, which means that it’s not too long.
  • When you select songs that are very popular, you should be very careful because the audience might expect something that is precisely the same or similar to the way the original song is sung. You can only opt to sing these popular songs if you think you can do it very well, or you have something unique to show your audience.
  • In choosing the right song, ask yourself if you can show your greatest strength in doing it. Determine if you have the high and low notes, great power, good runs and a unique sounding voice that you can show off in singing that song.
  • If the song you have chosen is played very often on the radio, and it is greatly associated with a very famous singer, you might run the risk of being compared to that singer.
  • Try to analyze if the song can really do something to connect you with the audience.
  • Lastly, think if the song you have in mind has a magical touch. This refers to a long, final note that can bring your listeners to their feet, or something that can make your audience hold their breaths due to a dramatic moment that makes everyone quiet.
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1 thought on “How to Choose the Right Songs For Your Singing Career”

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