Broadway belting is something audiences have loved to hear since the 1940s, when the Queen-of-All-Belters, Ethel Merman, was a main attraction.
Belting is a style of singing in which we bring the chest voice higher than we normally would, to convey extra power or emotion. While some people (and teachers) shy away from it, it’s an exciting style of singing that, when done correctly, can be very impressive!
Many musicals have killer belting songs. So if you’re looking for some great picks for singing auditions, I’ve pulled together the list below, representing a wide variety of time periods, styles, and personalities!
1. “Johnny One Note” – Babes in Arms
Made popular by the great Judy Garland, this number will have you belting several big B flats… with gusto!
This 1937 show tune is a solid classic to choose if you’re auditioning for an older show. It’s also a great choice for teen belters with a good middle voice; it provides enough of a challenge without too much of a chance to strain the voice, as it doesn’t sit too high. Consider this a nice intro to belting!
2. “Wherever He Ain’t” – Mack and Mabel
What a showstopper! Although Jerry Herman’s “Mack and Mabel” was not a hit, critics agree the music is sublime, and this is no exception! This sassy number requires you to sing some high notes, so it’s best for an advanced adult belter with more secure technique.
3. “City Lights” – The Act
Kander and Ebb wrote “The Act” for another legendary belter: Ms. Liza Minnelli! But don’t worry: you can make this one your own — and you should.
This song sits lower, so range-wise it’s not difficult. But it runs for six minutes, so if you’re singing it for an audition, make sure you perform the cut that shows you off best!
It’s also ideal for a dancer who belts. After all, these ARE the composers of “Chicago”! Not only will you be showing off your belting chops, but you’re expected to bring it as far as showmanship, too!
Related Video: How to Choose the Best Broadway Songs for Your Voice
4. “All Falls Down” – Chaplin
Ooh, this is a GREAT new one — yes, from another flop musical. What makes this Broadway song so great? It’s completely sassy and has a memorable “cakewalk” style. You get to belt this one full out; it’s probably the most challenging number on this list, as you need to belt pretty high… again and again. So this one is for the advanced belters only!
5. “I’m The Greatest Star” – Funny Girl
It’s been said “People” should be off-limits, as it belongs to Barbra (and I’ll have to agree with that!), but as far as I’m concerned, singers should feel free to use the REST of the great songs in “Funny Girl”!
The big belting doesn’t really come until the end of this song, so I’d say this is more for the intermediate belter. The bulk of the song lies in mid-voice and is meant to be sung with TONS of conviction… and serious comedic chops!
6. “Live Out Loud” – A Little Princess
This is for younger belters! It’s a wonderful, uplifting tune that is sure to wow. It’s also very good for those who have more of a soprano-ish quality to their voice. (Soprano/belt is definitely a voice type! Lucky ladies like the fabulous Sierra Boggess in the video below are proof they exist.) The melody is gorgeous and quick-moving, and it’s just under three minutes.
Choosing Belting Songs for Auditions
Before you choose one of these songs, remember that belting is a specific vocal skill that doesn’t come easily to most of us. It’s super easy to hurt yourself if you do it incorrectly. The last thing you want is to strain your voice!
Some voice teachers specialize in the technique, so make sure you’re working with someone who can help you achieve the sound you’re after! TakeLessons has many talented instructors who can help you achieve your belting goals. Good luck at your audition!