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#004: Picking the Right Songs to Sing: A Beginner's Guide to Song Selection

Picking the Right Songs to Sing: A Beginner's Guide to Song Selection - Rebecca Reid Vocal Studio

Song selection is an important aspect of singing for both beginners and experienced singers.

The right song choice can highlight a singer’s strengths, showcase their unique style, and help them connect with their audience.

Choosing the wrong song, on the other hand, can make a singer feel uncomfortable, out of their element, and can negatively impact their performance.

In this blog post I’ll provide beginners with an understanding of song selection, including how to determine your vocal range, identify your preferred style, and build a diverse repertoire.

Additionally, this blog post will also provide tips and strategies for finding inspiration, practicing and performing songs, and organising and managing your repertoire.

By following the information and advice in this blog post, you will be better equipped to choose the right songs to sing and take your singing to the next level.


Understanding Your Voice

Vocal range is determined by the lowest and highest notes that a singer can sing comfortably and with control.

A singer’s vocal range can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, and physical condition.

To determine your vocal range, you can start by singing a comfortable scale, starting with a low pitch and gradually raising the pitch until you reach the highest note you can comfortably sing.

You can also try singing along with a piano or guitar to help you find the lowest and highest notes.

Alternatively, you can use an online vocal range detector or consult with a singing teacher for a more accurate assessment.

Selecting songs that are within your vocal range is crucial for singing comfortably and avoiding strain on your voice.

Singing songs that are too high or too low for your range can cause strain, tension, and fatigue.

By singing songs that are in your range, you’ll be able to sing with ease, control, and confidence.

Furthermore, singing within your range will help you better showcase your voice and your style.


Identifying Your Style

There are many different singing styles, from classical to pop, rock to jazz, and everything in between.

Each style has its own unique characteristics, such as singing technique, phrasing, and interpretation.

Some popular singing styles include:

  • Classical: characterised by a focus on technique, control, and expression.

  • Pop: characterised by a focus on melody, rhythm, and catchiness.

  • Rock: characterised by a focus on power, attitude, and emotion.

  • Jazz: characterised by a focus on improvisation, swing and phrasing.

  • R&B: characterised by a focus on soulfulness, groove and expressiveness

To identify your preferred singing style, you should listen to and sing a variety of different styles and pay attention to which styles make you feel most comfortable and confident.

You can also take singing lessons and get feedback from a singing teacher.

Choosing songs that match your styles is important because it allows you to fully express yourself and connect with your audience.

Singing a song that doesn’t match your style can make you feel uncomfortable and disconnected from the music.

By selecting songs that match your style, you’ll be able to sing with more confidence and emotion, which will ultimately help you to become a more expressive and effective singer.


Building a Repertoire

Building a diverse repertoire is important because it helps singers to develop their skills, showcase their versatility, and expand their opportunities.

A diverse repertoire allows singers to explore different styles, emotions, and themes, which in turn helps them to become more expressive and dynamic performers.

Additionally, having a diverse repertoire can also help singers to impress their audience and open up opportunities for gigs and performance.

To select a variety of songs, you can explore different genres, eras, cultures.

You can also seek inspiration from other singers, songwriters, and musicians.

It is also helpful to select songs that challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone.

This can help you to improve your skills and develop your versatility as a singer.

To organise and manage your repertoire, you can create a list or a spreadsheet that includes the title of the song, the artist/show/opera, the key, and any notes or performance tips.

You can also use performance management software.

This will help you to keep track of the songs you know, the songs you’re working on, and the songs you’re interested in learning.

Additionally, you can also use this list as a reference when choosing songs for gigs, performances, or auditions.


Finding Inspiration

Finding inspiration is important for singers because it helps to keep their passion for singing alive and motivates them to continue learning and growing as a singer.

Inspiration can come from many different sources, including other singers, songwriters, musicians, and even everyday life experiences.

To find inspiration, you can listen to a wide variety of music and pay attention to what resonates with you.

You can also attend live performances, watch music videos, watch YouTube, read lyrics, and check out online resources such as music blogs and social media groups.

Additionally, you can also find inspiration in your own life experiences, emotions, and personal stories.

Once you find inspiration, you can use it to help you select songs that you connect with emotionally and personally.

When you sing a song that you feel inspired by, you are more likely to put your heart and soul into it, and that connection will be reflected in your performance.

You can also use the inspiration to help you personalise the song and make it your own.

Additionally, you can also use the inspiration to help you write your own songs.


Practice and Performance

Practice and performance are essential for singers because they provide the opportunity to develop their skills, refine their singing technique, and gain experience on stage.

Regular practice and performance also help singers to build confidence, and learn how to connect with an audience.

To practice and perform songs effectively, you should break the song down into smaller parts and focus on mastering each section.

You should also work on your posture, breathing, and diction.

Additionally, you can also practice with a metronome or a backing track, and record yourself to listen to your progress.

When it comes to performing, you should always try to engage with the audience, and use your body language to communicate the story and emotions behind the song.

Practicing and performing songs can help you to select songs that are appropriate for your skill level, and also help you to develop your style as a singer.

When you perform a song, you get to experience how it feels to sing it in front of an audience, and this can help you to determine whether it is a good fit for you.

Additionally, when you practice a song, you can identify any areas that need improvement, and use this information to make the necessary adjustments and select songs that challenge you.


In this blog post, we discussed the importance of song selection for singers and provided tips and strategies for choosing the right songs to sing.

We covered understanding your vocal range, identifying your singing style, building a diverse repertoire, finding inspiration, and practicing and performing songs.

Choosing the right songs to sing is an ongoing process that requires experimentation, practice, and patience.

As a singer, you should continue to explore different genres, eras, and cultures, and seek inspiration from a variety of sources.

Found this blog post helpful? Give it a like, share it with your friends, and leave a comment below to let me know how it benefited you!

* Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional or medical advice. Singers and professional voice users should always consult with qualified professionals, such as singing teachers or medical practitioners before making any decisions or taking any actions related to their vocal health and wellbeing.


Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading this post, here are some other blog posts you might find interesting:

Are you a beginner singer looking for guidance on choosing the right songs to sing? Look no further! This blog post, "Picking the Right Songs to Sing: A Beginner's Guide to Song Selection," provides tips and strategies on determining your vocal range, identifying your singing style, building a diverse repertoire, finding inspiration, and practicing and performing effectively. Start singing the songs that truly showcase your talents today!

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