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What Are the Best Songs to Sing to Show Off Your Vocal Range?

February 9, 2023

What Are the Best Songs to Sing to Show Off Your Vocal Range?

When it comes to showing off your vocal range, some songs are better than others. There are no single best songs to sing for vocal range, but in this post, we’ll show you what to look for if your major question is, “how to find songs for my vocal range?”

Many singing teachers agree that one of the most alarming things today is tuning in to television talent competitions and seeing nine-year-olds singing opera. Not only are the arias generally age-inappropriate, but they make vocal demands on the singer that often requires a training period longer than the child has been alive!

Less publicly, but equally common, are singers who wrong-foot themselves with inappropriate repertoire at local singing competitions and music festivals. They might pick flashy, famous arias that are beyond their capabilities, instead of choosing the best songs to sing to show off their voice and their current stage of development.

In this post, we’ll give you some tips to help you find your vocal range–  and how to find the best songs for my vocal range, too. 

What Are Some Good Songs to Show Off Your Voice?

If you’re looking to show off your powerful vocal range, then you’ll want to choose songs that allow you to belt out those high notes, such as:

    • Adele’s “Someone Like You” – the song starts off slow and gradually builds to a crescendo, giving you plenty of opportunities to show off your vocal range. 
    • Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” – this song also starts off slow, but the key change in the chorus provides a perfect opportunity to show off your upper range. 
    • Rihanna’s “Diamonds” – this pop ballad has a catchy melody that will let you show off your vocal agility. 
  • Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” – this song is perfect for highlighting both the low and high notes of your voice.
  • Beyonce’s “Halo”–  this uptempo pop anthem allows you to show off both your vocal range and your ability to belt out a catchy tune.

No matter what type of song you choose, make sure it allows you to showcase your unique voice. The best way to show off your voice? Sign up for singing lessons so you can identify the best songs for your voice type. Check out the many benefits of singing lessons below: 

What is a Good Vocal Range for a Singer?

When it comes to vocal range and songs for vocal range, there is no single answer that is right for every singer. The size and shape of your vocal cords, as well as the way they are connected to your respiratory system, all play a role in determining your vocal range. 

That said, most experts agree that the average adult male has a vocal range of about two octaves, while the average adult female has a range of slightly more than one octave. Of course, there are always exceptions to these averages, and some singers are able to extend their range even further. 

For example, opera singers often have a much larger range than pop singers. 

Ultimately, the best way to determine what is a good vocal range for you is to consult with a voice teacher or coach who can help you assess your individual strengths and weaknesses. 

With their guidance, you can develop the techniques necessary to make the most of your unique vocal range.

How Do I Find Songs in My Vocal Range? 

If you’re a singer, one of the most important things you can do is to find songs that are in your vocal range. This way, you’ll be able to sing them comfortably without strain or effort. 

There are a few different ways to go about finding songs that are in your range. 

One option is to use an online tool like the Vocal Range Finder. Simply enter in the name of a song, and it will give you an estimation of what range it falls into. 

Another option is to consult a vocal coach or teacher. 

They will be able to help you identify songs that are well suited for your range. Finally, you can also experiment on your own by singing along with different songs and seeing how they feel. With a little bit of exploration, you’ll be sure to find plenty of songs that fit your voice perfectly.

Ultimately, be patient!

It can be difficult to have patience at first, but think of it like learning to walk before you can run.

It’s not just a case of not having the range or the vocal security to sing a particular aria – reaching for notes outside of your normal compass, or trying to make a false “operatic” sound that comes naturally from years of training, can actually cause you vocal damage that can take months of rest, or even surgery, to recover from.

A sprinter wouldn’t go and run a marathon without training; you should view your vocal development with the same care. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t choose music that challenges you, but make your “difficulty” choices in terms of musical complexity rather than vocal acrobatics.

Extending Your Vocal Range

If your range is relatively short, you may find choosing songs tricky – but don’t despair; increasing your vocal range takes time, and shouldn’t be rushed. Even if you only currently have an octave at your disposal, you could consider working on something like English composer Benjamin Britten’s setting of “Oliver Cromwell”, sung here by tenor Peter Pears with Britten at the piano.

Good exercises to extend your vocal range include humming gently through a fifth, then extending the scale up to the sixth before descending. Also practice this on open vowel sounds. Make sure you don’t stop the air as you sing, or strain for high notes – if you feel any tension or discomfort, stop!

For more on determining your range, check out the video below.

Finding the Best Songs to Sing – Women

Why limit your vocal development to singing in English? If you know other languages, you might want to explore song repertoire in French, German, or even Czech or Russian.  Composers to look out for are Schubert, Wolf, and Schumann for German songs (or lieder); Fauré, Hahn, and Chausson for French songs (or chanson); and Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky for Russian songs.

A fairly simple choice in the French repertoire is “Le Secret” by Gabriel Fauré. Although not exclusively the preserve of female singers, it suits a high-lying voice with bright colors beautifully.

Robert Schumann’s “Du Ring an meinem Finger”, from his song cycle “Frauenliebe und -Leben”, is another song suited to a medium-high female voice, as heard in this performance by the great English contralto Kathleen Ferrier.

Finding the Best Songs to Sing – Men

Although the great  German song cycles may seem daunting, it’s worth it for aspiring male singers to choose the musically less complex numbers, as they encourage your safe vocal development without you feeling like you’re in singing kindergarten.

Some of the best songs to sing for a young male singer, however, are back in the English repertoire.  Ralph Vaughan-Williams’ glorious “Silent Noon” will test your skills at changing keys, and hearing what may seem to you to be strange harmonies at first.  This wonderful 1976 recording by British baritone John Shirley-Quirk with Martin Isepp at the piano may tempt you into the right kind of pushing your abilities.

An often-unexplored area of vocal repertoire for men is Neapolitan song.  Leoncavallo’s wonderful “Mattinata” should be in the repertoire of every keen tenor.

Best Songs for Limited Vocal Range

While some people have remarkable vocal gifts, many of us must work a bit harder to find our “voice.” 

For those with a limited vocal range, choosing the right songs can be crucial for hitting the right notes and creating the desired effect. 

Some of the best songs for those with limited vocal range include tunes that artificially deepen or sharpen one’s voice for a more dramatic effect. 

Examples of these types of songs include “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria” from The Sound of Music and “Gonna Get Over You” by Sara Bareilles. 

Another effective technique is to select songs that feature backing harmonies, which effectively mask any imperfections in one’s voice and allow them to sound more powerful and confident. 

Whether you’re looking to belt out an opera aria or simply boost your confidence while singing along in the shower, these are just some of the best songs for those with limited vocal range. 

So no matter what kind of voice you have, open your heart, open your mouth, and let the music do its magic!

The Best Songs to Sing – A Checklist for Beginners

Choosing the best songs to sing can be something of a minefield, and when you’re starting to move into more demanding repertoire, the guidance of a good teacher and regular voice lessons is essential.  However, singing through lots of repertoire is the most fun you can ever have with your voice, so when armed with books full of beautiful songs, bear these tips in mind when you’re putting together a recital program, or even just some fun pieces to sing:

Is it available in the right key for me?

You will notice if you listen to other recordings of some of the YouTube links above that they may be in different keys; if a song feels too high, or too low, check to see whether it’s available in a key that’s more comfortable for you to sing in.

Is it comfortable?

Even if you’ve found the right key, you still may find the song stretches you uncomfortably, and in a way that even with practice, you aren’t going to be able to overcome.  Put it aside for a few months, then come back to it.

Will I be singing by myself?

You should also take into account whether you’re hoping to perform solo or with others, as this can have a big impact on which songs are most suitable. 

What is my audience? 

It’s crucial to consider the audience and setting in which you’ll be performing. Different genres of music may be more appropriate for different audiences or contexts, so it’s important to choose a song that feels right for where and when you’ll be singing

What is a Good Song to Practice Singing?

There is no question that music has the ability to inspire and uplift us. However, in order to really get the most out of a particular song, it is important to choose one that showcases your voice in the best way possible. 

Some good examples of songs that can be great for showcasing your voice include classic standards like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or artists like Ella Fitzgerald who have a distinctive vocal style. 

Another great option is to choose songs by contemporary artists whose voices you enjoy listening to and emulate their sound accordingly. 

Ultimately, the key to choosing a good song for showcasing your voice is to find something that makes you feel confident and connected to your own vocal abilities. Whether it’s heartfelt ballads or upbeat pop tunes, there are plenty of great songs out there just waiting for you to make them your own. 

So, what are the best songs to sing to show off your vocal range? We’ve compiled a list of great tunes that will help you highlight your vocal skills. Give them a try and see how your voice sounds! And don’t forget to practice regularly; the more you sing, the better your range will become. 

It can be very tempting to sing pieces that don’t quite fit your voice, so keep all the above advice in mind.  Exploring the wealth of vocal repertoire out there can be a lifelong quest.  Good teaching, steady development, and the right repertoire are the essentials for any singer to make the most of their vocal abilities!

Want more ideas for songs to help you with your technique? Check out our list of 400+ songs to sing for every occasion!


Photo by David Martyn Hunt


Suzy S.