Singing is everybody’s first instrument, at times it can feel far from natural! A crucial part of being a good singer is choosing suitable songs. With unsuitable songs even the best singers will sound terrible! If you’re struggling to sound good singing, check if the songs are a good match for you.
Many singers make the mistake of just trying to sing the songs they like listening to. Don’t make that mistake yourself – use these 7 tips to identify songs that are truly in your singing “sweet spot”.
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1. Start from what you love.
Everyone sings in the shower, right? Or maybe you rock out in the car on the way to work, or just hum to yourself when you’re walking down the street.
Those “shower songs” are often naturally good choices!
Since you’ve already been practicing them you have probably already identified any serious issues, and you might have even worked through problems and found ways to make the songs your own.
The key question is: do they sound good outside the shower?
To find out, ask a trusted friend, or record yourself and listen back.
2. Check your vocal range.
Every singer has a “range”, spanning from the lowest to the highest note they can sing.
It’s important to choose songs comfortably in your range. If you don’t, it’s going to be hard to hit the notes in tune and you might even damage your voice.
You can check if a song fits in your range using the sheet music. Or just try the song out, karaoke style. Pay attention to any notes which feel like a strain or you just can’t hit.
If a song you love is outside your range you can transpose it to a different key.
3. Explore styles to find what suits your voice.
Sometimes the style you love listening to is not actually the best match for your voice. Many famous singers grew up with one style of music before having a career in a totally different genre!
Try singing songs from different genres to discover your personal singing strengths.
Be open to finding your sweet spot songs outside your normal listening habits.
4. Choose songs with a good tempo.
A song’s tempo is the speed of its beat, notes, and lyrics.
When choosing songs be sure to consider their tempo. Slow does not always mean easy!
Maybe your voice is perfect for slow, smooth ballads. Or maybe you have a flair for fast, fluid lyric delivery and will excel with faster songs.
Try singing songs with a variety of tempos and see what tends to work well for you.
5. Avoid your vocal breaks.
Most singers have one or more noticeable “vocal breaks” in their range.
A “break” is where your voice shifts from one tone to another, for example shifting from “chest voice” to “head voice”.
Don’t choose songs that dwell on those break notes! Your sweet spot songs will comfortably use one part of your range at a time. For example a song might use multiple parts of your range – but the verse uses one, the chorus another, and so on. Avoid songs which require you to keep dancing around your break notes.
6. Don’t judge a song on first listen.
We often judge a song quickly: “Oh, I don’t like that”, “That one’s not for me”…
In fact some seemingly-hard songs may not be, and some songs which seem like they’re not a match for you could actually turn out to be in your sweet spot.
When exploring different styles of song, be sure to listen and try singing several times before making a decision.
It can also be helpful to try this with a friend and hear their opinion.
7. Find your motivation
Ultimately, your “sweet spot” songs are going to be the ones that resonate with you, personally.
All sorts of different things can excite us about performing a song. Sometimes it’s the lyrics, the melody, the rhythms, or a personal connection from your life.
So for every song, don’t just ask “is this in my sweet spot” – ask “Why is this in my sweet spot?”.
Remember your “why” and you’ll build a personal songbook that you truly love.
Your Singing Sweet Spot
Use these 7 tips to find your “sweet spot” songs and you will quickly become a better singer.
The more you explore and hone in on your sweet spot the easier it will be to choose suitable songs.
As you focus more and more on “sweet spot” songs, you’ll sound better and better. Keep developing your voice and your repertoire and enjoy that sweet, sweet singing!
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