30 Romantic Songs to Sing at Weddings

30 MORE Romantic Songs to Sing at Weddings

As a wedding singer, choosing a song that represents the couple and their love story can feel like a lot of pressure! You might already know how fun (and let’s face it: lucrative) it can be to offer wedding gigs.

Sometimes, the happy couple knows exactly what they want as far as the song goes. But often, they are certainly open to suggestions from the professional! As you’re working with the bride and groom, here are some ideas for choosing the perfect songs to sing.

 

30 Songs to Sing at a Wedding

Traditional/Classical Songs to Sing at a Wedding

1. “Let the Bright Seraphim” – Handel

2. “Panis Angelicus” – César Franck
3. “Ave Maria” – Bach/Gounod
4. “Bist du bei mir” (If you are with me) – Bach
5. “Irish Wedding Song” (Traditional)
6. “Ich Liebe Dich” (I Love You) – Beethoven
7. “You Raise Me Up” – Josh Groban

Pop Songs (Old and New) to Sing at a Wedding

1. “We’ve Only Just Begun” – The Carpenters

2. “At Last” – Etta James
3. “Just the Way You Are”- Billy Joel
4. “I Can’t Wait” – Ben LaRue
5. “All of Me”- John Legend
6. “Could I Have This Dance” – Anne Murray
7. “Here and Now” – Luther Vandross
8. “Here, There and Everywhere” – The Beatles
9. “Thinking Out Loud”- Ed Sheeran
10. “From This Moment On” – Shania Twain

Broadway and Movie Songs for Weddings

1. “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof”

2. “Someone Like You” from “Jekyll and Hyde”
3. “Till There Was You” from “The Music Man”
4. “One Hand, One Heart” from “West Side Story”
5. “A Thousand Years” – Sung by Christina Perri, from “Twilight”
6. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” – Elvis Presley, from “Blue Hawaii”
7. “Evergreen”- Barbra Streisand, from “A Star is Born”
8. “There You’ll Be” – Faith Hill, from “Pearl Harbor”

Duets to Sing at Weddings

1. “Endless Love” – Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

2. “It’s Your Love” – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
3. “The Closer I Get to You” – Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway
4. “E Più Ti Penso” (The More I Think of You) – Andrea Bocelli and Ariana Grande
5. “Lucky” – Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat

If you’re still having a hard time choosing which songs to sing at a wedding, think about the following:

Consider the couple.

If the bridge and groom are young and hip, a Josh Groban song might not fly! Likewise, if it’s an older couple, they may want an old standard. If you know the couple personally, you might already know what kind of music they like. Browse through my recommendations below and offer them a couple of ideas to go from.

Consider the ceremony.

Another important thing to consider is whether the event is super formal, or more casual. A beautiful classical song is ideal for a formal wedding in a church, but you may want a more current love song for a backyard wedding with a more laidback vibe.

Consider your own strengths.

The final thing to consider is… YOU! When selecting any song, you have to think about your voice type, vocal ability, and styles that you sing comfortably in. A Handel aria would be out of some pop singers’ ability, and likewise, an opera singer may sound completely awkward singing the Beatles.

You can also check in with a voice teacher for more advice on which songs to sing. Brainstorm together, keeping your vocal strengths in mind, to really come up with something that’ll impress the bridge and groom! Your teacher can also help you prepare for the big event so you feel confident.

Most of all, have fun with it! Weddings are beautiful, and it’s such a great feeling knowing you’re contributing to the experience of both the bridal party and the guests. Enjoy it!

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!

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Photo by Krystian Olszanski

play ukulele

3 Simple Steps to Play Ukulele in Different Genres and Styles

play ukulele

Want to learn to play ukulele in different styles and genres? Here, ukulele teacher Michael L. explains how you can get the most out of your ukulele and learn to play new songs and chords…

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the ukulele? Is it of someone playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow“? Or a singer/songwriter playing a soft ballad? Something like the volcano love song in the Pixar short film? I’m here to tell you that the ukulele can do so much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, I love sentimental ballads, but the ukulele can also lead ragtime, jazz, blues, or strange, ethereal tunes, too.

Read on to learn how to play ukulele in different genres and styles!

Change Your Ukulele Strings

By now you probably know how to tune a ukulele in standard tuning, but If you want to be able to play different types of songs and music, you need to make a few minor tweaks to your ukulele. First, I recommend replacing the high G string with a low G string. This gives your ukulele a broader range and a little more versatility.

*Note: you can’t do this with every type of ukulele. You need a concert or tenor ukulele in order to change to a low G string. If you have a baritone ukulele, it already comes with a low D string.

Learn New Chord Voicings

The next step to play ukulele in different genres is to learn new chord voicings. For instance, instead of playing a C on the third fret (C-reg below), play it starting on the fifth fret (C-new below), and instead of playing a G7 on the second fret (G7-reg below), play it starting on the fifth fret (G7-new below).

 

play ukulele

Experiment by finding familiar notes and chords in new places on the neck, and then adding new notes that weren’t possible with the standard chordal voicing.

Learn New Ukulele Chords

OK, now that you’ve got your low G string and you can play familiar chords in new places, it’s time to learn some new chords! For jazz, the C7 shape and the Bm6 shape are invaluable. Try alternating the two shapes as you walk down the neck.

For instance, start with a C7 and then go down to a Cm6, then to a Bb7 and then a Bbm6 (check out the video below to see how this sounds).

The Adim shape and Dmaj7 shape also work well with jazz on the ukulele.

 

Believe it or not, the ukulele can play the blues pretty well, too.

Check out this turnaround in C:

 

To play this in other keys, play the root on the A string, start on the same fret on the G string, and walk down chromatically on the G string while keeping the root note on the A string.

End the turnaround with a 5 7th chord. You can play the minor pentatonic, or blues scale, too.

If the root is on the G string, the pattern is:

A —————1-3–
E ———-1-3——-
C —–0-2————
G 0-3—————–

*Note: the fret numbers will change depending on your root note, but the pattern is the same

If the root is on the C string, the pattern is very similar:
A —————1-3–
E ———-1-3——-
C —–0-3————
G 0-3—————–

Again, the fret numbers will change depending on your root note, but the pattern is the same.

If you’re getting tired of playing songs in a major key, try the minor keys and you will get some surprisingly surreal sounding songs. The key of Fm has a particularly haunting sound on the ukulele. I also like bouncing between minor chords; starting on the C string (Ebm below), to major chords starting on the G string (Bb below) while putting in some lead melodies on the A string, where appropriate. You will notice a definite change in sound with a low G string here.

play ukulele

I hope these tips gave you some new ways to play ukulele. It’s a powerful instrument and deserves some recognition beyond the singer/songwriter status. Happy practicing and have fun!

Need some help changing your strings or playing new chords? Search here for a ukulele teacher near you! 

 

Willy MPost Author: Michael M.
Michael teaches ukulele, guitar, drums, and music theory in Austin, TX. He studied music theory and vocal performance at the Florence University of the Arts in Italy. In addition to private lessons, Michael teaches music to special education students in Austin public schools and foster children with Kids in a New GrooveLearn more about Michael here!

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6 Easy Steps to Create Your Own Drum Cover

6 Easy Steps to Create Your Own Drum Cover

Have you ever watched a cool drum cover video on YouTube and thought to yourself, “I wish I could do that?” Well, guess what…you can! Here, drum instructor Maegan W. shares six simple steps to help you create your own drum covers…

It seems like drummers are taking center stage these days with the help of one major tool, the drum cover. Drum covers can be considered the ultimate outlet for artistic expression. Not only can you share your unique drumming style, but you can also create a visual masterpiece to match.

So how does one make a drum cover? In this crash course, you’ll learn drum cover basics, along with the essential steps to build your fan base, get discovered, and be the star of your own show.

1. Equipment

The first thing you need to create a drum cover is a recording device. This can be a smartphone, a GoPro, a camera, or your computer, if it has recording capabilities. Of course, if you have access to high-quality video equipment, feel free to use that. If you don’t, no problem, just focus on putting 100 percent into your drum cover.

Next comes sound. If you have an external microphone, make sure you know how to use it. Read the manual – every little tip and trick makes a huge difference in sound quality.

2. Song Choice

Song selection is crucial. Depending on your goals for your drum cover, you may want to do some research. If you want to get noticed, then it’s important to pick the songs that people want to hear.

This may seem obvious, but so many drummers want to stay underground, or think they’re too cool to cover popular songs. There’s nothing wrong with this mentality, but if you want to bring people to your channel, you need to play popular songs. This doesn’t mean you should cover songs you don’t like, but covering pop songs can help you gain exposure online.

3. Know the Song

Before you record, make sure you know the song inside and out. I like to get to a point where I can play the entire song without listening to the song. You can avoid a lot of editing and post-production work if you know the song really well.

Post production is the most time-consuming part of the process, and it usually causes people to give up on a project. I like to chart a song before I come up with creative parts to play. Once I know the format, I move on and learn the beats and fills, then I add my own twist. Not knowing the song is also a waste of time and energy because you have to keep stopping and starting over.

4. Test

Once you have the song down, it’s time for a sound and video check – don’t skip this step! There’s nothing worse than playing your drum cover perfectly with all the fills exactly how you want them, only to realize the lighting was bad, your head was out of the frame, or the sound is off.

Trust me, take the time to test.

5. Stand Out

Once you’re ready to go, try to think of something that will make you and your video stand out. It doesn’t have to be crazy, but little signature moves, sounds, styles, and filters can help you create a memorable, crowd-pleasing drum cover.

You get to decide what you want to be known for. Do you want to be the drummer with great hair and crazy gospel chops (Luke Holland), the drummer who does a backflip off his chair (Dylan Taylor), or the guy with the awesome accents and mash-ups (Cobus)?

Decide what makes you stand out. But don’t just imitate other drummers – highlight your unique gifts and come up with your own thing.

6. YouTube Channel

If you don’t have a YouTube channel, don’t worry – it’s super simple to create one. Just get yourself a Google e-mail address, go to YouTube, and create an account.

Once you’ve recorded and edited your drum cover, you’re ready to upload it to YouTube. Use careful, strategic keywords in your description. These will help you get fans, views, and likes. Include the song title, artist name, “no copyright infringement” statement (very important; you can research what other drummers list in their descriptions), and your social media pages and website links in the video description.

A lot of people like to list their drum gear or song lyrics in the description. This way, if people search for specific brands or lyrics, your video may pop up in the search results.

Once your video is uploaded, send it to everyone you know and post it to your social media sites. With so many digital tools, everyone has the opportunity to become a star, but remember, it takes hard work and patience.

Now that you know the steps, it’s time to get started. Remember this very important fact: done is better than perfect. It doesn’t have to be perfect (it will never be), just do your best during practice and give it your all! With that being said, make sure you’re proud of the videos you post.

I hope this helps. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Maegan-WPost Author: Maegan W.
Maegan W. teaches drums, songwriting, and more in San Diego, CA. She earned a degree in Percussion from the Musician’s Institute, and has been teaching private lessons since 2004.  Learn more about Maegan here!

Photo by Bold Content

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L’automne en France – French Vocabulary for Fall

French Vocabulary for Fall

Are you surrounded by dead leaves and pumpkin spice lattes yet? If so, that means it’s fall! Here, French teacher Mikayla S. is ready to spice up your fall with some wonderful French vocabulary…

The End of Summer

La rentrée (the start of the school year, which takes place September 1st each year) in France is a big deal. It signifies the end of summer and the return to work and school.

The French are very lucky in that they usually have five weeks of paid vacation. Most French take the entire month of August off for what is called les grandes vacances (the big vacation).

If you ever find yourself traveling to France during this period, it might seem like the country is empty and shut down. That’s because this month is used to travel far away, or even just a few hundred kilometers to the south of France, where one can relax and unwind from the stress of work, school, and everyday life.

One of the benefits of learning French is to be able to move to France and experience this for yourself!

A Bountiful Harvest

The end of summer and the beginning of fall in France also brings about a very beautiful and bountiful time. Between the end of August and the end of September, vineyards all over the country are loaded with grapes ripe for the picking.

During this time, you can see tractors and trucks rolling through the small villages of the beautiful French countryside. They’re full of freshly-picked grapes which are then carted off to be fermented and turned into wine.

This period of time is called les vendanges (the grape harvest) and it can be a very stressful time for winemakers as they try their best to pick grapes at their peak (thus, resulting in great wines).

The Beginning of Fall

But like all good things, les grandes vacances have to end. September 1st has come and gone and everyone is back to school or work; the daily grind.

Les fermiers (farmers) go back to their fields for harvest, les travailleurs (workers) go back to work, and les enseignants et les écoliers (teachers and students) go back to school.

Est-ce que vous avez le cafard (are you feeling down – literally translated as, “Do you have the cockroach?”) because it’s the end of summer? If so, here’s some fun fall vocabulary to get you through la rentrée. Don’t worry about mastering pronunciation yet – just try them out!

French Vocabulary for Fall

 

French Vocab for Fall list

1) La rentrée
The start of the school year.

2) Un pull
That comfy, cozy thing you wrap yourself up in during fall – a sweater!

3) L’automne
Whether you call it autumn or call it fall, it’s the season after summer (l’été).

4) Une feuille
A leaf.

5) Changement de couleur des feuilles
The changing colors of leaves from vertes (green) to rouges (red), marrons (brown), oranges (orange), et jaunes (yellow).

6) Les feuilles sèches/ les feuilles mortes
After the leaves turn colors and fall off the tree they become dead leaves (which are always fun to crunch).

7) La récolte, la moisson
These are the harvests of fruits, vegetables, and grains.

8) Un ratêau
A rake for all those falling leaves. The verb, “to rake,” is ratisser.

9) Le potiron, la citrouille
Used in pies, Jack-o-Lanterns, and Cinderella’s carriage – this would be a pumpkin!

10) L’épouvantail
This is a scarecrow – for scaring crows, of course!

There you have it – lots of French vocab to practice and master! Having a conversation in French and throwing in these words is another great way to practice.

If you struggle with the pronunciation or general understanding of the language, I recommend taking lessons with an excellent French teacher. Having private instruction is the quickest way you can improve your French skills. Be sure to try some of these words out this fall!

Post Author: Mikayla S.
Mikayla teaches many subjects, inlcuding French, European History, and World History. She has been speaking French for over a decade and recently earned her bachelors degree of French and Francophone Studies at San Diego State University.  Learn more about Mikayla here!

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