What are the best duets to sing for beginners? Check out these suggestions from Brooklyn, NY voice teacher Liz T…
From Sonny and Cher to the Carpenters, duets can be very fun – and challenging! Selecting the right duets to perform with a partner can make the song sound more colorful, and add an even stronger vocal sound. Keep reading for famous singing duets and tips for a successful duo, too!
What Are the Best Duets to Sing?
There are many incredible duets out there. If you’re interested in learning easy duets to sing, here are some male and female songs I recommend.
- “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher (1965)
- “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing” (1987)
- “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” (1992)
- “Take Me or Leave Me” from “Rent” (1996)
- Señorita by Shawn Mendes & Camilo Cabello (2019)
1. “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher (1965)
This is one of the easiest and most famous singing duets. It’s a fun and flirty pop song that showcases both male and female voices. It makes the audience feel good too!
Thank you to Felipe Duarte for the use of this video!
2. “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing” (1987)
This very romantic upbeat ’80s rock song makes you want to dance right from the beginning! It’s best for a male bass and a soprano or alto. Each singer has his or her own verses, then you sing the chorus together.
Thank you to Candice Parise for the use of this video!
3. “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” (1992)
This Disney love ballad by Alan Menken is one of the most beautiful duets to sing! It can be sung in either gender, although it’s best if a tenor and a soprano sing this song. It has beautiful lyrics and is great to perform at a coffeehouse, karaoke night, or school recital.
4. “Take Me or Leave Me” from “Rent” (1996)
This fiery love song between two women from Jonathan Larson’s musical “Rent” is a strong belt song. It shows lots of attitude and emotion, and is very fun to sing! It’s definitely a good one to work on those Broadway chops.
5. Señorita by Shawn Mendes & Camilo Cabello (2019)
Written by Canadian Shawn Mendes, Señorita is a spicy Latin pop song with Mendes and Cabello. It’s their second song together and reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. This is an adventurous and exciting piece if you’re looking for a fun duet!
Final Tips for Learning These Duets to Sing
While duets are exciting, they take a lot of work! Here are some tips to help you rock your performance:
Pick a song you both like.
There are many duet pieces out there, ranging from contemporary R&B love songs to country ballads, and show tunes to classical pieces. Pick a song that will showcase both your voices, whether singing male and female, female and female, or male and male. Also, if you feel it’s appropriate, don’t be afraid to try a song that was meant for the opposite gender — sometimes these are the best duets!
Practice your parts alone, then together.
When learning duets to sing, it’s important to nail down your own part first. This makes it easier when it’s time to practice and perform as a duo. If both of you are trying to learn your parts at the same time, if you are singing in unison or in harmonies, it’s going to be more difficult. Also, explore different duet combinations — some voices blend more than others, and if the duet is not working for some reason, it could be because your voices are clashing.
Add parts together and harmonize.
Now that you have practiced both of your parts individually, it’s time to put them together! Do it slowly at first. Take each part section by section, and slow it down if you need to. While you should be listening to your duet partner, try not to let it distract you. Duets can be sung in different ways, by two people singing different verses, and the same chorus, or completely different lyrics at the same time. Once you have mastered your duet, I encourage you to add some interesting harmonies — your audience will love this!
The song ideas don’t stop here — check out our list of 400+ songs to sing!
Liz T. teaches singing, acting, and music lessons in Brooklyn, NY, as well as online. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M in Vocal Performance and currently performs and teaches all styles of music, including musical theater, classical, jazz, rock, pop, R&B, and country. Learn more about Liz here!
Photo by morganknorr