A major part of mastering the art of singing involves figuring out your voice range and singing songs that best suit that range. While you can probably sing a variety of types of music just fine, finding your vocal range and voice type will help you find your sweet spot.
To discover the perfect range for you, warm-up and then start experimenting by finding the lowest and highest note that you can comfortably hit without straining your voice. Once you have pinpointed your range, you can see what category of voice types that it falls into. Contralto voices, for example, refer to the lowest female voice type. 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.
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. You’ll have no trouble discovering songs that are perfect for contralto singers.
Once you’ve determined your voice type, it’s time to find songs that best suit it. Picking repertoire for your voice is NOT always easy, but the more you experiment with different songs, the easier it will become to find songs that showcase your range. For all you contralto singers out there, we’ve provided a handy guide to get you started. Give these famous contralto songs a whirl. You just might surprise yourself!
All of these contralto songs are available as digital downloads on musicnotes.com.
“Sweet Love” – Anita Baker
It doesn’t get much better than Antia Baker’s “Sweet Love.” This ’80s song is a marvelous one! Anita Baker is a great choice 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
Annie Lennox is a legend for good reason. Explore her songs and place this one at the top of your list. 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 is the kind of song that every singer dreams of nailing. Powerful and deep, 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. It might be a challenge, but don’t let that discourage you!
“Strange” – Patsy Cline
If you’re a contralto singer who favors old school, you must learn the music of Patsy Cline! This iconic singer is known for her pop country tunes that are deep, powerful, and filled with emotion. 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. Once you start singing this hit, you won’t be able to get this catchy earworm out of your head.
Exploring new repertoire is one of the most enjoyable aspects of being a vocal student. Your private voice teacher is likely to have some other suggestions, based on your age, ability, and of course, your musical tastes. Because you have access to your own private teacher, you will receive customized lessons tailored to suit all your singing needs and preferences. You can even sign up for online voice lessons, which let you practice your singing skills via a convenient virtual classroom. As long as you have internet access, you can connect with your instructor using your smartphone, laptop, or computer and webcam.
Do consider the above contralto songs as starting points and together with your teacher, but don’t stop there! Experiment with other famous contralto songs so you can begin 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