Finding the right songs to sing for auditions can be tricky. Avoid anything that’s already overdone and make sure your choices are appropriate for your voice, age and style. There are lots of great pop audition songs that’ll help you shine like a star.
Are you trying to choose a number that’ll show your voice at it’s best, and unsure where to start? Read on for tips and suggestions on the kind of numbers you might like to consider.
Pop audition songs
Choosing a good audition song can be crucial to your success. Not only do you have just a short few minutes to prove your talent but you may have just one shot at it. This is why you should search for the best audition songs for your voice, age and style.
There are three major factors to identify before you start, namely:
- Your voice type. This will be either soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, bass, baritone or tenor. You could also have the ability to use falsetto. You can find your vocal range in under two minutes.
- Your genre of music. This may be pop, folk, rock, indie, classical, opera, musical theatre, jazz, grime, hip hop or rap. But most commonly you’ll be looking at mainstream pop.
- Your style and vibe as a performer. It could be that you specialise in anything from soulful emotional ballads (Lewis Capaldi) to beat-heavy uptempo dance numbers (like Dua Lipa), to frothy pop anthems (like Katy Perry).
Once you’ve thought about these, you can narrow down your search.
Songs to sing for auditions
There are lots of good songs from which to choose, the choice is almost endless. personality and make you stand out from the crowd. Be sure to put your own stamp on it and have fun! If you want to see exactly how singers make covers their own, check out Radio 1’s Live Lounge as well as some of our previous contest winners.
Getting started with good songs to sing for auditions
Don’t pick the most popular song of the moment. Competition judges and professionals hear the same song endlessly, so you’ll get off to a bad start if your choice makes them groan before you’ve even begun. The same applies to cliché songs and karaoke classics.
Choose a fairly modern song you love and enjoy singing. If you have a great time performing it, there’s a higher chance the audience will share your enthusiasm.
If you do want to perform a classic song, you can give it a modern twist, or even take a famous pop song and give it a retro sound.
Let’s get started with some great tracks you might want to consider.
Good audition songs for sopranos, mezzo-sopranos and altos
#1 Roar by Katy Perry
This upbeat positive anthem has a great feel-good theme. You can add in some movement if you’re a dancer. And with some staccato sections and opportunity to belt, there’s just enough challenge without it being too difficult.
#2 Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
If you like to sing ‘big’ songs with lots of angsty drama, this is for you. It’s got plenty of light and shade and needs to be performed by a singer who can portray no holds barred emotion. This is a heady number for older teens, rather than younger singers.
#3 New York by Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys ballads are always a great shout for an audition, especially if like Alicia, you play the piano. It will allow you to show off the expressive side of your voice. The huge chorus and gradual build-up throughout the song will give you the platform to showcase the power in your voice
#4 You Got the Love by Florence and the Machine
This is a great example of a modern take on a disco classic. And there’s even more room to develop this song in your own way, either downplayed or upbeat.
#5 Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
This is a great audition song choice for aspiring rock vocalists. The song has very few lyrics to learn, perfect if you’re worried about forgetting your lyrics in auditions. As it’s so simple it gives you ample opportunity to put your own stamp on it.
#6 Brave by Sarah Bareilles
This soprano easy-listening number has a great message and will have everyone singing along. Check out more of Sarah’s numbers for further audition song inspiration too.
#7 Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
Another easy listening song, this time more suited to mezzo-soprano voices. The trick to making this song work is to try to sing this in your own way and not imitate the original. Many people put all their power into the song and forget about the lyrics, make sure the painful meaning of the word doesn’t get lost in the technical performance.
Male pop songs for auditions
Here are some top tunes for the guys…
#8 Count on Me by Bruno Mars
This gentle Bruno Mars happy classic always creates a great vibe. You don’t need a huge range to nail it and it suits laid back singers.
#9 One Call Away by Charlie Puth
This mid-tempo song will allow vocalists to demonstrate the tenor range. This is the perfect audition song for male vocalists who want to show a light and tender touch.
Because the original has a heavy amount of autotune you can easily make it your own.
#10 Let it Be by The Beatles
Go retro with this stunning enormous hit song. It’s so well written and lends itself to many different interpretations. Be sure to put an unusual spin on it though as it’s been around and covered many times – you can go soft and acoustic, or rock it up. Take the opportunity to belt out the hook where possible.
#11 Human by Rag’n’Bone Man
A bluesy contemporary song, Human is perfect for guys with deep voices and rock, country or blues-orientated vocalists. It’s a versatile track that can be performed as a gospel ballad or even as a haunting acoustic folk song.
#12 Happy by Pharrell Williams
Get the judges smiling, clapping and tapping their feet with this huge hit (if they have a good time, they’re more likely to mark you higher). See how much joy you can spread with Happy. You can play with the tempo and backing for a slightly more unusual version.
#13 Famous by Scouting for Girls
Many pop songs are about love and relationships. This is a really nice alternative to those themes and will give the judges a bit of variety from the same old tunes. It needs a lighthearted approach and is perfect for those singers with bags of cheeky charisma.
#14 Skinny Love by Bon Iver
This low key modern classic is a wonderful ballad that can silence a whole room. Bon Iver is the original writer but the cover by Birdy brought the song to a huge audience and showed how artists can bring their own individual approach to a cover.
And don’t forget, it’s not just about what you sing, but how you sing it. That means having good technique, but it also means having amazing stage presence and putting the song over in a way that attracts the judges’ attention.
- How do I choose the right audition song for me?
It should suit your vocal style and range and show your voice at its best. Pick a song you can make your own that fits your image, style and age. Check the audition guidelines too. They may already provide a list of pre-approved songs or ask you to prepare multiple song choices.
- How do I choose an age-appropriate song?
Just because you like a song doesn’t mean it’s the best song to perform in auditions. In order to sell a performance, you need to be able to portray the lyrics and meaning to the song. Choosing an age-appropriate song will allow you to properly connect to words and emotions.
Which pop songs have given you the most success at auditions? Which are your most and least favourite songs to sing for auditions? Let us know in the comments below.