How to Select a Vocal Duet (+26 Duet Song Ideas)

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If you’re new to singing, or if you’re just trying to fine-tune your vocal skills, one fun and helpful exercise is to sing duet songs with your vocal instructor or a friend. Pick a style you both like and you’ll find that the possibilities for both fun and music making are endless!

Why Are They Helpful to Sing?
When you sing with piano, or with a chorus or band, there’s often someone else playing the same line you’re singing. While this is great for learning to sing in tune and working on the tone of your voice, you’re not really stretching your listening skills.

When you sing a duet there are just two lines; your part is all your responsibility and the only thing you have to find your notes from is the other person’s line.

What Are Some of the Best Duet Songs?
If you’re new to singing vocal duets, starting with some that you like and know well is the best way to learn. This way you’ll already have the tune in your ear and you probably have lots of recordings to listen to. Here is a list of some of the best duet songs from many different genres.

  • From Broadway
    • “Something Good” from The Sound of Music
    • “All I Ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera
    • “A Little Drop of Rain” from Miss Saigon
    • “A Boy Like That” from West Side Story
    • “Till There Was You” from The Music Man
    • “People Will Say We’re In Love” from Oklahoma
    • “The Rain In Spain” from My Fair Lady
  • From Pop
    • “Endless Love” sung by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
    • “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” sung by Elton John and KiKi Dee
    • “Quando Quando Quando” sung by Nelly Furtado and Michael Buble
    • “When You Believe” sung by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston
    • “U Got the Look” sung by Prince and Sheena Easton
    • “Under Pressure” sung by David Bowie and Freddie Mercury
    • “I’ll Be Missing You” sung by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans
  • From Your Childhood
    • “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and the Beast
    • “A Whole New World” from Aladdin
    • “One Song” from Snow White
    • “The Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book
    • “One Song” from Snow White
    • “Can You Feel the Love Tonigh”t from The Lion King
    • “A Girl Worth FIghting For” from Mulan
  • From the Movies
    • “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge
    • “Almost Paradise” from Footloose
    • “You’re The One That I Want” from Grease
    • “Up Where We Belong” from An Officer and a Gentleman
    • “It Takes Two” from It Takes Two

There are also fun games you can play with your duet partner that can improve your ear and singing abilities. One great idea is based in the jazz tradition; simply improvise! Pick one person to sing a solo and have the other harmonize. You’ll find yourself quickly learning what sounds good and what doesn’t work as well. If this seems too daunting, just pick a song from the best vocal duets listed above, make up your own verses, then play with the harmonies, and then play around with the melodies. This is a great way to train your ear and your voice.

Duets are a great way to have fun and improve your singing skills. Start with what you know and then branch out from there; you’re sure to have a great time and even learn a thing or two!


Photo by scion_cho


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