5 Essential Singing Techniques That Will Enhance Your Sound

Singing Techniques

Professional singers often find themselves performing in more than just one style of music, so if you’re a beginner it’s to your advantage that you study a variety of singing techniques! Take some time to explore the different genres of singing as well.

Today’s musical world includes everything from opera to heavy metal to gospel, and there are even several sub genres! To get you started, here are five different singing techniques that can enhance your sound – when done properly.

5 Singing Techniques to Enhance Your Sound

Belting


One of the most common vocal techniques in musical theatre and pop music is belting. Other styles that include belting are gospel, R&B, and modern country music.

The best way to describe belting is that a singer is taking the chest voice (where you speak) into a higher register than usual, creating an exciting and very powerful sound!

Without the guidance of a voice teacher however, many beginning belters can end up hurting themselves when they strain to make the desired sound. Think of belting as a “controlled yell” or an “extended, belly laugh.”

A well known belter is Idina Menzel. In the video above, she demonstrates this singing technique beautifully – especially at the end!

Falsetto

Falsetto is a vocal technique where one sings outside of the “normal” range. This can often result in a “breathy” sound when coming from an untrained voice. However, there are many singers who have made careers out of it – just look at the Bee Gees, for one!

Falsetto is common in pop, R&B, rock, and classical music when considering the countertenor voice. This is another one of those singing techniques where a beginning singer can run into trouble if they are not light enough in their approach.

It is best to be patient when studying falsetto and to work with a skilled voice teacher to help you, starting with simple exercises like sirens and slides so you can explore your range. The video above features the king of falsetto, Frankie Valli, demonstrating how falsetto sounds when it’s very strong!

Riffing

Riffs and runs are also known as vocal melismas, and to do them requires some serious musicianship! This is a form of vocal improvisation, which takes a lot of practice. The best way to master riffing is to start small at first.  

Start embellishing a simple song – even as simple as a nursery rhyme! Add just one additional note (thirds or fifths are usually best) to one word. Once you build confidence, add another note, and then add another simple pattern to an additional word.

Vocal runs are especially popular in R&B and gospel styles, but melismas actually have their roots in classical music. Singing with excellent articulation and support is key to mastering this vocal technique.

From a stylist standpoint, you want to avoid overdoing it to the point where the melody of the song is unrecognizable. Watch the great Whitney Houston above demonstrating the right way to add vocal runs to a song.

Rock Yells

This is one of the more controversial singing techniques. Many students ask their teachers if it’s possible to yell or scream in a healthy way for hard rock and heavy metal. The answer is yes, but you must work with a good voice teacher to master this singing technique!

Although you will give the impression of yelling, a healthy yell is quite different. Real yelling can cause phonotrauma (where the cords bang together at a fast rate and can wreck your voice). The trained rock yell is more like belting, where you rely on using serious lower body support more than anything else.

By putting focus on the lower body, you will protect your cords and have a much stronger sound. Paired with the technique of “vocal fry” (also known as the “creaky door” sound), rockers can get that desired, rough yell while being safe at the same time.

One man known for lots of good rock yells and screams is the late Ronnie James Dio. He was a trained singer who admitted in interviews that his experience as a trumpet player helped his breath control immensely! Check him out in the video above.

Country Yodeling


Don’t be fooled – this fun singing technique goes way beyond corny Swiss folk songs! Country and bluegrass singers can benefit greatly from mastering this skill.

Yodeling is a type of singing where there are very fast and repeated changes of pitch between two vocal registers: the chest voice and the head voice.

A good voice teacher can help a singer improve their yodeling skills by starting with simple interval drills to get this big sound out in a healthy way! Watch Dolly Parton demonstrating how vocal techniques like yodeling can spice up any classic country song.

Before Getting Started

These are just five of the most common singing techniques that vocal students seek to learn. No matter what style of music you’re into, good vocal technique is paramount. But before you delve into special singing techniques, it’s always best to get a handle on the basics.

This means learning to sing with reliable breath support, as well as having a confident ear. Singing with support eliminates the chances that you’ll sing with a breathy or weak sound. Having confidence in your ability to match pitch and sing rhythmically makes it a lot easier for you to make progress!

Ready to start learning new vocal techniques? You’ve come to the right place: TakeLessons has a tremendous variety of voice teachers specializing in many different genres of music. You can also try online singing classes for free to learn the basics in a fun, group setting!

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5 Keys to Mastering Opera Singing Technique

Opera singing technique

Opera singers are known as the true “vocal athletes” in the music world. They must rely entirely on their body to be heard: no microphones allowed. (Unless they’re performing in a stadium, of course)! Operatic singing requires voices that can easily be heard over a full orchestra in very large houses.

Although pop music dominates today’s televised talent shows and the radio, opera is still a celebrated art form that is more accessible than ever. Every year, many young singers begin their studies of opera singing technique in the hopes that they will have a successful career singing the music of composers like Mozart, Puccini, and Verdi.

Have you always wondered what it takes to become an opera singer? Let’s take a look at the five keys to mastering opera singing technique so you can find out how to get started!

How to Master Opera Singing Technique 

1. Find the Right Teacher

An opera voice teacher must have a strong knowledge of the “bel canto” technique, which means “beautiful singing” in Italian. Renowned opera singers such as Maria Callas and Jussi Bjorling knew the importance of bel canto and made it a point to study with such teachers often.

When looking for an opera instructor on TakeLessons, you can easily find someone with experience who specializes in bel canto. See if the instructor lists who their teachers were, and what master classes or other programs they have attended. If you’re really serious about opera, you should study with someone who has learned from the experts.

2. Practice Opera Singing Technique Daily

Yes, daily. Opera singing requires more than other genres, and to succeed you must have stamina. There are several helpful resources you can purchase that opera singers use, including the vocal exercise books by Vaccai, Concone, and Sieber. These books are inexpensive and can be used daily to improve your opera singing technique!

It’s important that you spend time perfecting your arias. However, keep in mind that there is such a thing as practicing too much! While there isn’t a magic number of minutes that every singer should practice, listen to your body. If you feel any sort of fatigue, it’s best to stop for the day so you don’t strain or damage your voice.

3. Study the Greats

The best opera singers were considered great because there was consistency in their voices, and they knew how to treat them! Watch them closely and you’ll start to notice things, like how they never “push” or put forth way too much effort when they sing.

They also knew what roles were appropriate for them, as they were fully aware of what their voices could and couldn’t do. Dame Joan Sutherland was often approached to sing heavy Wagner repertoire, but she declined knowing it would ruin her voice. She instead stuck with the bel canto repertoire, which showcased her incomparable coloratura skills.

There is a reason why people still talk about artists such as Sutherland and tenor Luciano Pavarotti to this day. Both were absolutely committed to the art of bel canto.  They both enjoyed long careers on the opera stage because of their reliable technique.

Here is a YouTube video of them describing some of the basics of bel canto, along with revered mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne.

4. Take Care of Your Instrument

You are the instrument! Unlike a pianist or guitarist, you can’t put your instrument away – it is with you at all times and you must care for it almost obsessively. Opera singers should be sure to have an exercise regimen and a healthy diet.  

Many famous opera singers practice yoga as it helps them breathe more effectively. It’s also critical that opera singers get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated at all times. As for your diet, it’s best that singers avoid caffeine and too much dairy, as it can cause acid reflux and excess mucus.

Operas are not known for being short performances. As mentioned previously, you will need lots of physical and mental stamina to sing your role well! Keeping your body and voice in tip top shape is necessary to improve your opera singing technique.

5. Study a Few New Languages

Americanized vowels, such as the diphthongs you hear in country music, are frowned upon when singing opera. This can be one of the biggest challenges singers face when learning opera singing technique, but a good voice teacher will help you master “pretty vowels” (which bel canto is all about)!

The main languages to focus on for opera singing are Italian, French, and German. The more you gain basic knowledge of each language, the more beautiful your vocal lines will be in your arias.

Beginning singers should consider taking classes in as many of these languages as possible. Depending on what happens with your opera career, you might be visiting these European countries and you’ll need to know how to communicate with the locals, too!

So there you have it. If you can master opera singing technique, you can sing anything! Are you ready to get serious? The best place to start is TakeLessons. Find the right classically trained vocal coach for you today!

mollyrPost Author: Molly M.
Molly M. teaches online and in-person singing lessons in Schaumburg, IL. Her specialties include teaching Opera and Classical Voice to beginners, shy singers, children, and older beginners. Molly started teaching in 2002. Learn more about Molly here!

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Singing Affirmations and Quotes To Remember When You're Struggling

9 Confidence-Boosting Singing Quotes & Affirmations

Quotes about singing are an excellent way to motivate yourself and encourage others to keep at it.

No matter how much you love singing, it isn’t always easy to perform in front of an audience. Instead of doubting your talents or fearing failure, learn from the inspiring artists and thinkers who came before you!

Check out the following singing quotes to keep your vocal goals in focus and your musical passion flowing.

Top 9 Singing Quotes & Affirmations

“If I cannot fly, let me sing.” – Stephen Sondheim

"if i cannot fly let me sing" singing quote

If you’re nervous about a performance or frustrated by slow progress, remember that singing should be freeing. Embrace the sensation of flying with your voice.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

"Without music, life would be a mistake." singing quote

Great philosophers understood that music is essential to human happiness. If singing is your passion, pursue that happiness without hesitation!

“Imagination creates reality.” – Richard Wagner

"Imagination creates reality" Singing Quote

Even world-class compositions started as dreams and ideas. If you can imagine yourself hitting every note, that’s the first step toward actually doing it.

SEE ALSO: How to Sing Better Almost Instantly

“Keep your face to the sunshine, and you can’t see the shadows. That’s what the sunflowers do.” – Helen Keller

"Keep your face to the sunshine, and you can't see the shadows. That's what the sunflowers do" Singing quote

Some of these sayings aren’t necessarily quotes about singing, but they still apply to performers: Never give into your doubts and fears, because nothing good can blossom from wallowing in negativity.

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.” – Ella Fitzgerald

"The only thing better than singing is more singing" Quote

This is one of our favorite singing quotes from Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a good reminder to enjoy every second of your performance!

“The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life.” – Pablo Casals

"the greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life" singing quote

Think of your performance as a tribute to music itself. Remember: gifts don’t have to be perfect.

“Without ambition, one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it." Singing quote

Practice is the only way to achieve your singing goals. Use these quotes about singing when you’re stuck in a slump!

RELATED: Get Better at Singing High Notes

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

"it's never too late to be what you might have been" singing quote

Every audition, practice session, and performance is another opportunity to achieve your greatest goals.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. – Pablo Picasso

"learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist" singing quote

Fully commit to your vocal training, so that eventually you’ll know your instrument well enough to lose the rules.

Performing and auditioning are nerve-wracking for almost everyone. But if you stay focused on fine-tuning your instrument and learning from your mistakes, you can combat that anxiety with the knowledge that you already have what it takes.

We hope you enjoyed this encouraging collection of singing quotes. Now you’re ready to start singing along to your favorite songs!

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Photo by Allison Janzen

Choir Songs for Every Genre

50+ Inspiring Choir Songs From Every Genre

Choir songs for every genre

There’s no better opportunity to practice all you’ve learned in singing lessons than in a choir. You can use choir rehearsals to work on proper vocal production and technique, while also learning to harmonize and sing with others.

Plus, sometimes choruses provide solo opportunities which will help you gain audition experience, overcome performance anxiety, and showcase your hard work!

Need some choral inspiration? Check out this list of over 50 choir songs in every genre!

50+ Choir Songs From Every Genre

Large Choral Works

  • “Messiah” by George Frideric Handel    

  • “Requiem in D Minor” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • “The Creation” by Joseph Haydn
  • “Magnificat in D Major” by Johann Sebastian Bach
  • “Stabat Mater” by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
  • “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff
  • “Annelies” by James Whitbourn
  • “Missa Solemnis” by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • “Requiem” by Giuseppe Verdi
  • “Symphony No. 8” by Gustav Mahler

Early Music Choir Songs

  • “Hear My Prayer, O Lord” by Henry Purcell 

  • “Come Sweet Death” by Johann Sebastian Bach
  • “Ave Maris Stella” by Guillaume Dufay
  • “Ave Maria” by Josquin des Prez
  • “Ave Verum Corpus” by William Byrd
  • “Et in terra pax hominibus” by Antonio Vivaldi

Contemporary Choir Songs

  • “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre       

  • “Carmina mei cordis (Songs of my heart)” by Abbie Betinis
  • “Evening Prayer” by Ola Gjeilo
  • “O Nata Lux” by Morten Lauridsen
  • “Ingrian Evenings” by Veljo Tormis
  • “The Bridegroom” by John Tavener
  • “Ubi Caritas” by Maurice Durufle

Gospel & Spiritual Choir Songs

  • “Battle of Jericho” arranged by Moses Hogan     

  • “Deep River” arranged by Andre Thomas
  • “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” arranged by Mark Hayes
  • “Give Me Jesus” arranged by Mark Patterson
  • “My Lord, What a Mornin'” arranged Harry T. Burleigh
  • “Ride on King Jesus” arranged by Stacey V. Gibbs

SEE ALSO: 4 Must-Read Choir Audition Tips

Barbershop Choir Songs

  • “Ain’t Misbehavin'” arranged by Marge Bailey      

  • “Smile” arranged by Carolyn Schmidt
  • “Mister Sandman” arranged by Bertha Bradley
  • “Georgia, On My Mind” arranged by Mary K. Coffman
  • “My Romance” arranged by Joey Minshall
  • “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” arranged by June Berg
  • “Come Fly With Me” arranged by Kevin Keller

Sacred Hymn Choir Songs

  • “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty” arranged by Patti Drennan 

  • “How Great Thou Art” arranged by Stuart K. Hine
  • “It Is Well With My Soul” arranged by Rene Clausen
  • “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” arranged by Mark Hayes
  • “Simple Gifts” arranged by Lloyd Larson
  • “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” arranged by David Schwoebel
  • “Amazing Grace” arranged by Craig Courtney

Popular A Cappella Choir Songs

  • “Royals” arranged by Deke Sharon   

  • “Here Comes the Sun” arranged by Kirby Shaw
  • “Hallelujah” arranged by Deke Sharon
  • “Fix You” arranged by ACappella-Songs.com
  • “Landslide” arranged by Deke Sharon
  • “Titanium” arranged by Deke Sharon
  • “Somebody to Love” arranged by Deke Sharon

Broadway Musical Choir Songs

  • “Seasons of Love” arranged by Roger Emerson   

  • “Hello Dolly” arranged by Kirby Shaw
  • “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” arranged by Ed Lojeski
  • “For Good” arranged by Mac Huff
  • “Memory” arranged by John Leavitt

Singing in a choir is an excellent way to develop your voice to its fullest potential. Studies have even shown that singing in a choir helps relieve stress and decrease anxiety!

Need help finding a choir to join? Thanks to the internet, finding a choir near you is easy. Simply search online for “choirs” or “choruses” in your town or state. Other resources include local American Choral Directors Association chapters, Choralnet.org, or a local choral consortia.

 

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Guest post by Tori Cook from Chorus Connection. Tori directs the Harborlight Show Chorus and acts as Section Leader in Chorus pro Musica in the Boston area.

 

Top karaoke songs

100+ Best Karaoke Songs for Girls, Guys, Groups & More

Best karaoke songs to sing for men, women, duets, groups, and more.

Karaoke night! Some people make it a weekly ritual. Some do it for fun, and others take it very seriously, even competing in karaoke contests!

No matter how you view karaoke, it’s a wonderful way to practice performing – especially if you’re a beginner singer. This guide will help you make the most of the night, including tips to prepare beforehand, how to choose the best karaoke songs, and how to shine on stage!

How to Pick the Best Karaoke Songs For You

Before you hit the stage, I recommend having a few songs in mind. Thinking ahead can be especially helpful for beginner karaoke singers, since it will take the stress away from choosing a song the night of. But there’s a lot more to it than just picking your favorite song!

Let’s say you love the Beatles. That doesn’t mean you can sing any Beatles’ song in the original key without straining your voice. John and Paul had very high singing voices, and most males are baritones. So ask yourself this: “When I sing along to my favorite songs, who am I most comfortable singing with?”

Maybe it’s Taylor Swift, a middle voice. Or perhaps a higher one, like Dolly Parton. Either way, use this guide for help picking your best karaoke song.

Oh, and since karaoke is about fun, don’t forget to pick a song that you truly enjoy singing! It’s usually a better idea to choose something more up-tempo as it will make it less likely for nerves to show. If you’re nervous and singing a ballad, your voice can get shaky.

5 Tips for Singing Karaoke

Here are some other things to keep in mind about how to have a successful karaoke night:

  • Look confident! Start with a smile and with your feet planted shoulder width apart. Make no apologies for being on that stage!
  • Pick a song you really know so you’re not always having to look at the lyrics on the screen. Don’t forget you have an audience that wants you to sing to them!
  • Use good vocal technique. Breathe low, and keep your sound placed in your mask rather than shouting into the microphone.
  • Practice at home! YouTube has many excellent channels, such as KaraFun, that can help you practice.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you pick a song you love, it will show in your performance. That’s when you can expect the compliments to pour in!

100+ Best Karaoke Songs of All Time

Are you ready to find out the top karaoke songs? Here are some of the most popular karaoke songs, broken down by genre, category, and more! You can also jump to specific song recommendations using these links:

female karaoke songs

Best Female Karaoke Songs

Ladies, you’ve got so many great choices when it comes to top karaoke songs! From powerhouse pop to girl-power classics, all of these songs are really fun to sing! Here are our picks for the best female karaoke songs.

  1. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
  2. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
  3. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  4. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
  5. Single Ladies – Beyoncé
  6. Like a Virgin – Madonna
  7. Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
  8. Emotions – Mariah Carey
  9. Rehab – Amy Winehouse
  10. Black Velvet – Alannah Myles
  11. Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
  12. Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover – Sophie B. Hawkins

karaoke songs for men

Best Karaoke Songs for Men

Guys, start warming up your voices for these top picks in all vocal genres – rock, pop, punk, and even lounge-style. Here are some of the best karaoke songs for men.

  1. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
  2. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  4. Wonderwall – Oasis
  5. My Way – Frank Sinatra
  6. I Wanna Be Sedated – the Ramones
  7. Losing My Religion – R.E.M.
  8. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
  9. 867-5309/Jenny – Tommy Tutone
  10. Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin
  11. If I Was Your Girlfriend – Prince
  12. When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars

easy karaoke songs to sing

Top Easy Karaoke Songs

Need something a bit easier to sing? If your vocal skills aren’t quite where you want them to be yet, don’t worry. There are plenty of easy karaoke songs that you can still rock out to.

  1. 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
  2. These Boots Are Made for Walking – Nancy Sinatra
  3. Crazy – Patsy Cline
  4. Happy – Pharrell Williams
  5. Copacabana – Barry Manilow
  6. That’s the Way (I Like It) – KC and the Sunshine Band
  7. Celebration – Kool and the Gang
  8. Funkytown – Lipps, Inc
  9. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
  10. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

karaoke duets

Duet Karaoke Songs

Grab a friend for twice the fun! Duet songs let both singers shine. Check out the list below for our top picks.

  1. The Boy is Mine – Brandy and Monica
  2. Cruisin’ – Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow
  3. Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
  4. Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
  5. All I Have – Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J
  6. Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
  7. Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
  8. Ebony and Ivory – Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
  9. Dream a Little Dream of Me – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
  10. Hunger Strike – Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell

group karaoke songs

Best Group Karaoke Songs

For those of you that hit the bar with a bunch of friends, these group karaoke songs will let you all join in on the fun!

  1. We Are Family – Sister Sledge
  2. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
  3. ABC – Jackson 5
  4. Wannabe – Spice Girls
  5. Push It – Salt ‘n Pepa
  6. No Scrubs – TLC
  7. Lean On Me – Club Nouveau
  8. Rapper’s Delight – Sugar Hill Gang
  9. YMCA – Village People
  10. Supersonic – JJ Fad

funny karaoke songs

Funny Karaoke Songs

Want to just have fun, without worrying about your vocal skills? Pick one of the funny karaoke songs below, add in a splash of confidence and stage presence, and the crowd will love you.

  1. Rock Lobster – B-52s
  2. Just a Friend – Biz Markie
  3. Tubthumping – Chumbawamba
  4. MMMBop – Hanson
  5. Mickey – Toni Basil
  6. Party All the Time – Eddie Murphy
  7. The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades – Timbuk 3
  8. Whip It – Devo
  9. If You Like Piña Coladas – Jimmy Buffet
  10. Rico Suave – Gerardo

90s karaoke songs

’90s Karaoke Songs

’90s kids: listen up! Whether you grew up with rock or pop princesses, these crowd-pleasers will get everyone singing along with you.

  1. Closing Time – Semisonic
  2. Time of Your Life – Green Day
  3. You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
  4. Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
  5. I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders
  6. Genie in a Bottle – Christina Aguilera
  7. Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It – Will Smith
  8. Who Am I? (What’s My Name) – Snoop Dogg
  9. Santeria – Sublime
  10. Don’t Speak – No Doubt

80s karaoke songs

’80s Karaoke Songs

More a fan of ’80s music? Here are our favorite jams to sign up for.

  1. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  2. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
  3. I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany
  4. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Wham!
  5. Don’t You Want Me – Human League
  6. Tainted Love – Soft Cell
  7. I Can’t Wait – Nu Shooz
  8. All Night Long – Lionel Richie
  9. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
  10. Part-Time Lover – Stevie Wonder

60s and 70s karaoke songs

’60s and ’70s Karaoke Songs

Break out the bellbottoms and get your best John Travolta impression ready for these disco tunes.

  1. Dancing Queen – ABBA
  2. Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
  3. I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan
  4. Rapture – Blondie
  5. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy – Rod Stewart
  6. Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
  7. Brick House – Commodores
  8. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
  9. You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
  10. Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye

love karaoke songs

Best Karaoke Love Songs

Can you feel the love tonight? If you want to impress your sweetie in the crowd, pick one of these top karaoke songs about love.

  1. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
  2. Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
  3. Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding
  4. Come to My Window – Melissa Etheridge
  5. The Sweetest Thing – U2
  6. I Melt With You – Modern English
  7. That’s the Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson
  8. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
  9. She Loves You – the Beatles
  10. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor

rock karaoke songs

Best Rock Karaoke Songs

Love singing rock music? Here are some of the best rock karaoke songs to consider.

  1. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
  2. Creep – Radiohead
  3. Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen
  4. Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  5. We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister
  6. Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  7. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  8. Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin
  9. Zombie – The Cranberries
  10. Enter Sandman – Metallica

pop karaoke songs

Best Pop Karaoke Songs

Pop songs are super fun to sing at karaoke nights! Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Royals – Lorde
  2. Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
  3. Push – Matchbox Twenty
  4. Treasure – Bruno Mars
  5. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
  6. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  7. Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
  8. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
  9. Timber – Ke$ha and Pitbull
  10. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

R&B karaoke songs

Best R&B Karaoke Songs

Feeling that rhythm and blues? Put your heart and soul into these top R&B karaoke songs.

  1. This is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
  2. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  3. Poison – Bel Biv Devoe
  4. End of the Road – Boyz II Men
  5. No Diggity – Blackstreet
  6. Doo Wop (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill
  7. Un-break My Heart – Toni Braxton
  8. Not Gon’ Cry – Mary J. Blige
  9. He’s So Fine – The Chiffons
  10. Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin

country karaoke songs

Best Country Karaoke Songs

More of the honky-tonk type? Whether you prefer classic country songs or modern-day hits, here are the best country karaoke songs.

  1. Man! I Feel Like a Woman! – Shania Twain
  2. Something to Talk About – Bonnie Raitt
  3. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
  4. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
  5. Stand By Your Man – Tammy Wynette
  6. Friends In Low Places – Garth Brooks
  7. Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
  8. Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood
  9. Celebrity – Brad Paisley
  10. All My Ex’s Live in Texas – George Strait

worst country karaoke songs

Worst Karaoke Songs

And whatever you do, avoid these WORST karaoke songs!

  1. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
  2. I’ve Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher
  3. Picture – Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock
  4. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
  5. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
  6. Barbie Girl – Aqua
  7. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
  8. Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffet
  9. Boyfriend – Justin Bieber
  10. Friday – Rebecca Black

How Karaoke Can Make You a Better Singer

It goes without saying that performing, in general, becomes easier the more you do it. Karaoke night is a great way to get over stage fright if you attend regularly. You’ll always have an audience, and they are usually very supportive and encouraging (especially if you go with friends and family)!

Doing karaoke is also a great idea if you’re pursuing music. Think of it this way: you’re not being judged as you would be at an audition or vocal contest, so it’s certainly less stressful. Try out any of these songs risk-free before you take it to the “big time”!

Readers, which top karaoke songs did we leave out? Add a comment below with your personal favorites.

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MollyRPost Author: Molly R.
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 Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York

Video: Learn to sing online

Video: What’s it Like to Take an Online Singing Class?

Is it possible to learn to sing online? With TakeLessons Live, you can attend online group classes to improve your skills, improve your confidence, and get a taste of working with a private voice teacher!

But we get it: the idea can be pretty daunting if you’re a total beginner. What’s it like to take an online singing class, anyway? How should you prepare? We know you might have questions, so we asked singing teacher Reina M. to address some of the most common questions and concerns. Watch the video here, and read the transcription below!

Hi, my name’s Reina and I’m a TakeLessons teacher. I offer a customized, holistic approach to learning the voice during my one-on-one sessions. In addition, I have the privilege of teaching some pretty awesome group classes online using TakeLessons Live.

Online teaching is still relatively new and I get questions every day about how it works. I’d like to run through a few of the more common questions I get, and show you what to expect when you sign up for a class.

So let’s get started with the number one question…

What are the pros and cons to online classes versus in-person?

The pros are that there’s a lot of personal space, so sometimes if you’re a new singer, it can be kind of intimidating to sing in front of your teachers. Having that technological barrier can be super helpful, just making it more comfortable.

Secondly, you’re more likely to show up because you can be in your jammies, it could be raining outside, and all you have to do is turn on your device.

And lastly, you can take lessons anywhere; as long as you have an internet connection and an up-to-date device, you’re good to go.

The cons would be that the teacher can’t give you a hug at the end of class and tell you what a good job you did. You can get an online high five, but it’s not the same. Sometimes there can be technical difficulties so it’s really important to test your internet strength and to use the most up-to-date device that you have.

What are the pros and cons to group classes versus private?

The pros are that you’re not alone. It’s really nice to know that other people can be on this journey with you, and it’s way cheaper [than private lessons].

The cons are that the classes are not customized, so if you’re a level that’s higher or lower than the class is designed for, you may find yourself either wandering off because you get a little bit bored, or you could get frustrated because it’s just a lot of information at one time.

Secondly, you can’t cover as much information just because it is geared towards the general populace of the class and it’s not one-on-one.

What types of students attend online classes?

All types! I get young students, old students, beginner students, advanced students, hobby singers, and professionals. The classes are all-inclusive, they’re open to anyone that wants to learn, and every class is different.

What types of students excel in online group classes?

This answer is really easy: it’s the type of student that practices. Group classes, and all music lessons for that matter, are intended to help you practice on your own. You’re not going to get good in one hour, a week,  or two 30-minute lessons a week. The type of student that excels in group classes is the type of student that can take notes, asks questions, and practices the information and techniques that they’ve learned.

What will I learn by taking online group classes?

Each group class has a different focus. Some of the classes are geared towards beginners and they might focus on basic techniques. Other classes might be more intermediate or advanced, and they’re going to focus on more difficult techniques. So be sure to read the descriptions for each class that’s offered and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Can I actually get better by taking online group classes?

Yes, absolutely! I have noticed no difference in growth or technique retention between my online students versus my in-studio students. If you continue to show up and you practice, you’re going to see growth; easy as that!

Do I need to have anything prepared?

Most of the time, you’re not going to need anything beyond a pen and paper for taking notes, and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated, but be sure to read the descriptions carefully. There are a few classes that may have special requirements.

Will I need to sing in front of the class?

Well, this depends. The teacher is never going to force you to sing if you’re not comfortable, but there are classes, like the audition prep class, where it’s just not going to be as helpful to you if the teacher can’t hear where you’re at and what you’re doing as you’re singing your song.

Some of the more intro classes are more information-based and singing live isn’t even a part of the class. If you have a specific question or concern you can always log onto the class early and speak with the teacher in the little chat box, and just let them know a little bit about yourself.

If I could offer one piece of advice what would it be?

This is the easiest question by far and the answer is it’s that you can sing. Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise, not even yourself!

The voice instrument takes practice and patience, just like any other instrument, and if you apply yourself and work diligently, you can master your voice.

Group classes are a great way to learn. They awaken your excitement for a new skill, and they can deepen your  appreciation for singing. I definitely recommend signing up for an online group class today through TakeLessons Live. Cheers and congrats on your new journey!

Ready to learn to sing online? Check out our online group classes and sign up today — new students get a 30-day trial for free!

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christina-aguilera

Why Taking Voice Lessons from Christina Aguilera is a Bad Idea

christina-aguilera

Can you learn to sing through videos, like the ones advertised with Christina Aguilera? Read on for voice teacher Elaina R.‘s thoughts… 

 

Have you seen the online ads offering a voice lesson course taught by Christina Aguilera? Promos for the course have inundated many Facebook feeds, and since I know many professional singers and voice teachers, I’ve been able to watch them react to the ads. Most voice teachers have been amused, terrified, or both by the prospect of people learning how to sing from Ms. Aguilera.

Why are the degree-holding vocalists of the world not on board with Christina Aguilera teaching voice? She is, after all, a six-time Grammy Award winner with an estimated net worth of $130 million. Are we just jealous? The short answer is no! We are truly concerned for voice students who turn to Christina Aguilera for advice, and here’s why.

Talent Does Not a Teacher Make

You are likely an expert chewer. You chew food many times a day, and you have done so for your entire life. One could argue that you are a talented chewer, even. But what if someone who didn’t know how to chew asked you to teach them to chew? You would likely have to think long and hard about your process. In the end, the best answer many people would be able to come up with is, “You just do it.”

Christina Aguilera is a gifted singer. She has a good voice and natural musicality, and her performances often reflect that. However, her innate ability to sing and the fact that she was born with a good singing voice do not mean she knows how to teach singing. As any teacher will tell you, teaching is in and of itself a skill, and it isn’t one that Christina, with her flourishing artistic and television career on top of parental duties, has had any time to curate.

Modern Pop Technique

In addition, Christina Aguilera is a pop singer who specializes in belting (high chest voice). Belting is an extremely taxing form of singing that, when done wrong, can produce disastrous results. Not only does bad belting sound horrible, but it can rapidly destroy your voice.

The vast majority of voice teachers are university trained, which almost always means they have a foundation in classical vocal technique. While classical singing sounds very different than belting, the same rules (breath support, throat relaxation, resonance) apply.

Learning proper vocal technique through classical pieces — or at least less taxing pop pieces — greatly reduces the chance of vocal injury. If learning to sing with low-impact music is like light strength training, trying to skip to belting is like immediately attempting a 300-pound deadlift. It’s just plain unhealthy.

Knowledge is Power

Frankly, the most famous pop singers in the world today usually have no idea what they are doing. Christina Aguilera was blessed with a fair amount of natural ability, but as many of her performances exhibit, she falls prey to many of the same issues that beginning voice students have.

She often suffers from jaw, neck, and tongue tension, resulting in a pressed, flat, raspy sound (and sometimes cracking). Even pop singers who do not have these issues are just vastly talented people who can’t teach anyone how they do what they do.

Professional voice teachers, on the other hand, are a different breed. We may be talented, but we also dedicated ourselves to learning how singing works. We have studied anatomy and vocal technique in an academic setting and can describe exactly why specific faults, such as cracking and straining, occur. A good voice teacher is not just a good singer; she knows the specific details of what she is doing to sing well, and she can describe those details to her students. That’s something that even the most talented singer in the world can’t do.

Can I Learn to Sing With Other Online Videos?

Too busy for lessons, and want to just teach yourself to sing using YouTube videos or other programs? Here’s the thing — absolutely nothing can substitute the help that a private teacher can provide you.

While you can learn to sing songs and basic music theory with online resources, if you want to sing well, working with a vocal teacher is extremely important. Your teacher will be able to notice and correct bad habits that can lead to injuries or those that may be affecting your sound. Plus, the motivation and inspiration you can get from this type of guidance can make a huge difference!

Ready to find a teacher? Browse our teacher profiles here. Want to ease into learning? Check out our online group singing classes — free with your 30-day trial!

Post Author: Elaina R.
Elaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ypsilanti, MI, as well as through online lessons. She received her Master of Music from the University of Michigan, and she has a B.M. from the University of Southern California. Learn more about Elaina here!

Photo by D.S.B

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Singing Too Much? Pro Tips To Stay Vocally Healthy

singing-too-much-vocal-health

Is there such a thing as singing too much? If you’re working on a rigorous singing schedule, check out these tips to stay vocally healthy from voice teacher Elaina R

Anyone who’s ever eaten too much at Thanksgiving dinner knows that there is definitely too much of a good thing. This applies to singing as well!

Singing, in my opinion, is one of the most enjoyable activities in the world. But just like eating too much makes you feel sick, singing too much has very real physical repercussions that can prevent you from singing more — sometimes even permanently.

As a full-time professional singer, I sing a lot. I recently had a day where I had to sing for six hours. Even so, I haven’t had any vocal health problems since I was an undergraduate. Here’s why I have to be careful and what I do to keep my cords healthy.

The Dangers of Singing Too Much

Since your vocal cords are a part of your body, singing too much has many of the same effects as overusing any other body part.

Imagine that you’ve been clapping for hours. What would happen to your hands? They would likely be red and swollen. If you kept clapping despite the swelling, your hands would eventually become very painful and develop calluses and blisters. They might even start to bleed (ouch).

This same thing can happen to your vocal cords. The first step is vocal cord swelling. If you continue to sing with swollen or strained vocal cords, you can develop nodules (calluses), polyps (blisters), or hemorrhaging (bloody cords). Treatment for these issues includes vocal rest, vocal therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery. Any of these issues, if not treated, can permanently damage your singing and speaking voice.

Vocal Health as a Singer

Strained vocal cords (and damaging your voice) may sound scary, but it can be avoided. I’m able to sing all day, every day without injury because I am constantly thinking about my vocal health. Staying healthy as a singer is much like staying healthy as an athlete, and following these rules can be the difference between a happy voice and an incapacitated one.

  • Stay Hydrated

I chug a glass of water as soon as I get up in the morning, and I carry a water bottle around with me everywhere. Hydrated vocal cords are nice and plump (and thus less prone to injury).

  • Get Enough Sleep

You don’t need me to tell you that your body functions better when you get enough sleep. Fatigue affects your vocal cords just like it affects the rest of you.

  • Exercise

Good singers have to be very in touch with their bodies, and physical exercise helps you develop kinesthetic awareness. Exercise also helps alleviate tension, especially tension associated with sitting at a desk for long periods of time. This modern tension often centers around the throat, and throat tension is terrible for singing. Shaking your body out of this rigid mode can work wonders for your singing.

  • Address Allergies and Acid Reflux

I have seasonal allergies, so I take medication and use nasal sprays to alleviate post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip is when mucus drips onto your vocal cords, irritating them and sometimes causing vocal issues. If you have allergies, you need to be aware of this and take appropriate precautions.

I’m lucky enough not to suffer from acid reflux, but many singers do. Acid reflux bathes the vocal cords in stomach acid, which is as horrible for the voice as you would expect. Please see a doctor immediately if you think you have acid reflux.

  • Warm Up

Just like athletes stretch before vigorous exercise, singers must warm up before diving into difficult music. I warm up every morning while puttering around the house — it’s second nature now, and it means my voice is always ready to go.

The Most Important Rule for Singers

I saved the best for last here. If an athlete has poor technique (an improper gait for a runner, a bad swing for a batter), they end up injuring themselves. Same goes for singing.

If you don’t learn good vocal technique, you will probably end up in vocal therapy at some point. But if you work with your voice teacher to improve your technique, you will learn how to sing better overall. Your stamina will build and you will be less likely to hurt yourself. Now doesn’t that sound good?

Photo by Eva Rinaldi

Post Author: Elaina R.
Elaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ypsilanti, MI, as well as through online lessons. She received her Master of Music from the University of Michigan, and she has a B.M. from the University of Southern California. Learn more about Elaina here!

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singing in the summer

Summer Bummer: 6 Warm-Weather Dangers for Singers

singing in the summer

Are you paying attention to your vocal health? The summer season presents some unique challenges when it comes to caring for your voice. Learn a few summer tips for singers in this guest post by vocal teacher Elaina R

 

Summer is in full-swing! The season of green grass, hot sun, pool parties, and BBQs is my favorite time of year. But as a singer, I also have to watch out for the special hazards that warmer weather brings.

While winter is definitely a singer’s roughest season (zero humidity and the flu are no fun), summer holds some unexpected dangers for your vocal cords. Check out my summer tips for singers below, and have a fantastic and vocally healthy summer!

1. Dehydration

Hotter weather often means sweat and more time outside, so you have to be extra careful to stay hydrated. Vocal cords are made out of the same soft, moist stuff as the inside of your cheek, and when they don’t get enough water, they become more brittle and susceptible to damage. So be sure to drink plenty of water, not just for your vocal cords, but for your whole body!

2. Allergies

Unfortunately, all of the living things that make summer so gorgeous — flowers, trees, grass — can also cause allergies. Allergy symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, congestion, and a bunch of other problems that inhibit breathing and irritate the throat.

One of these issues, post-nasal drip, is particularly damaging to singers because it involves mucus dripping from the sinuses onto the vocal cords, irritating and inflaming them. Many singers (myself included) use OTC medications, nasal sprays, and neti pots to deal with these problems.

3. Amusement Parks

Amusement parks can be lots of fun, but they also encourage lots of vocal abuse: loud talking, yelling, and, of course, SCREAMING on the roller coasters and other rides. Screaming involves slamming your vocal cords together rapidly, and as you might imagine, it isn’t good for you. If you’ve ever found yourself hoarse after visiting an amusement park, you know exactly what I mean.

Luckily, I have a sneaky trick that can completely eliminate vocal damage at amusement parks. When I ride roller coasters and other rides, I open my mouth — but I don’t actually make any noise. No one notices, I have just as much fun, and my voice feels great at the end of the day!

4. Smoke

I love BBQs and bonfires, but smoke can cause coughing, wheezing, and mucus buildup. Avoiding this one is easy — just sit downwind of bonfires, and be careful not to inhale too much smoke while BBQing. You can also volunteer to cut up the watermelon and leave the BBQ to someone else.

5. Concerts

Summer brings a wave of outdoor concerts and music festivals. While these events can be a blast, they often involve singing along (usually loudly and with bad technique) as well as yelling and screaming.

I bet you can guess my antidote for this one! Just like at amusement parks, I don’t actually make much noise at concerts. I mouth all the words and I look like I’m cheering along with everyone else, but I don’t actually use my voice. I have a great time AND my voice feels great the next day.

6. Air Conditioning

While summer air in many climates is nice and moist, air conditioning changes all that. Air conditioning removes moisture from the air, resulting in dry, wintery conditions. This can irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing just like winter air. Air conditioning and fans can also circulate dust, aggravating allergies.

To combat this, try not to crank up the air conditioning too much at home. If you spend a lot of time in a highly air-conditioned environment (like an office), you can protect yourself by staying hydrated and using cough drops or a personal humidifier if your throat feels dry.


By working these tips for singers into your day, you can enjoy summer to the fullest without harming your vocal cords. Your body and your voice teacher will both thank you. Now get out there and enjoy the weather!

Learn more about this topic:

Photo by Roger Blackwell

Post Author: Elaina R.
Elaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ypsilanti, MI, as well as through online lessons. She received her Master of Music from the University of Michigan, and she has a B.M. from the University of Southern California. Learn more about Elaina here!

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Video- how to not sing flat

Video: How to Not Sing Flat | Singing Tips

Singing on pitch take practice — and if you’re struggling with singing flat or singing sharp, you’re not alone! Even some famous singers have trouble hitting the notes perfectly at all times.

Fortunately, there are some great ear training exercises you can do to get better at recognizing when you’re off. Then, use the right vocal techniques to correct yourself.

In this video, singing teacher Arlys A. demonstrates how to recognize if you’re singing flat, and how to not sing flat once you notice it:

Video Recap: How to Not Sing Flat

  • Singing flat means you are singing below the correct pitch.
  • Use a tuner or a piano to check yourself!
  • Try sliding up to find a note until your pitch matches the correct note.
  • Having trouble? You’re not alone! Keep practicing intervals and individual notes in the song you’re working on.

Additional Resources for Improving Your Pitch

Want to learn more? Check out our live, online singing classes taught by professional singing teachers, or sign up for private voice lessons!

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