Are you one of the lucky women who considers herself a contralto? You’re a rare and special voice type for sure, but also in great company! Some famous contralto singers include Cher, Toni Braxton, Sade, and Annie Lennox in popular music.
A contralto’s voice is known for being low (the contralto range is typically around F below middle C to second F above middle C) and having a rich, warm sound. Picking repertoire for your voice is NOT always easy — but below are some of the best songs for contralto voices! All of these songs are available as digital downloads on musicnotes.com.
“Sweet Love” – Anita Baker
This ’80s song is a marvelous one! Anita is great for the ladies who love both jazz and pop. This one will really show off your whole range, so get ready to be challenged.
“Why” – Annie Lennox
This song is great for beginners, as the range is fairly small. It’s a solid choice for strengthening your sense of phrasing in a classic pop ballad.
“Unbreak My Heart”- Toni Braxton
This song does sit VERY low! But if you’ve got the chops, this very dramatic ballad written by the great Diane Warren is for you.
“Strange” – Patsy Cline
If you’re a contralto singer who favors old school, you must learn the music of Patsy Cline! You can’t go wrong with any of her songs, but if you want to do something other than the popular “Crazy”, try this lesser-known number of hers with a rhumba feel.
“Give Me One Reason” – Tracy Chapman
Tracy’s work is criminally underrated — and talk about a true contralto voice! This bluesy number is a blast to sing, and even more fun if you can add guitar.
Exploring new repertoire is one of the most enjoyable aspects of being a vocal student. Your voice teacher is likely to have some other suggestions, based on your age, ability, and of course your musical tastes. Do consider the above songs as starting points and together with your teacher you’ll be building a repertoire that will knock everyone’s socks off!
Molly R. teaches online and in-person singing lessons in Hayward, CA. Her specialties include teaching beginner vocalists, shy singers, children, teens, lapsed singers, and older beginners. She joined TakeLessons in November 2013. Learn more about Molly here!
Photo by Dontae Rockymore