Singing acapella (or a cappella) without music is a special way to show off the power of your voice and is an important part of learning how to sing. There are lots of songs out there that work well singing without any music but make sure you pick one that suits your individual voice.
Practice singing different songs acapella and see which ones suit you best. Singing without any music gives you the opportunity to make the song your own and show off your unique talent.
Performing acapella at an audition is a risk, however, it’s also a great chance for you to experiment. Make sure that when you’re performing a cover song you’re creative and that you put your own unique stamp on it.
What does it mean to sing acapella?
Acapella is an Italian phrase which translated means “in the church style”. It began in the 19th century and stems from the popularity of gospel music and other similar genres of music at the time.
Acapella means singing without the accompaniment of instruments or a backing track and it can be performed either as part of a group or on your own. It is a form of music that does not involve any instruments. Instead, the sound of the singers provides all the musical instruments that are needed. All the sounds are natural and come from the voice.
Best acapella songs to sing without music
- Hello by Adele
- She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5
- Fallin by Alicia Keys
- Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
- Crazy In Love by Beyonce
- Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi
- Secret Love Song by Little Mix
- Slow Hands by Nial Horan
- You and I by Lady Gaga
- Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
- Rockabye by Clean Bandit
- Somebody that I Used to Know by Gotye
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
- Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
- Roar by Katy Perry
- Use Somebody by Kings of Leon
- Fight Song by Rachel Platten
- How Do You Sleep by Sam Smith
- Lost Without You by Freya Ridings
What song should I choose to sing acapella?
As ever, song choice is very important. You don’t want to pick anything as it might not work without the instruments. Listen to the song carefully and analyse it. Would it work without any instruments? Or would it sound too dull?
You need to look at songs that have got a good melody to them and enable you to explore the song and explore the power of your voice within it. It’s also a good idea to look at a song that has good emotional depth because it will enable you to put more into it.
Best acapella songs to sing
We’ve come up with what we believe are 19 of the best songs to sing acapella.
#1 Hello by Adele
Adele’s vocal cords are among the best in the music industry and this ballad is a great song to practice singing. The slow rhythm will give you time to practice your breathing and to be able to focus on those big notes.
#2 She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5
Another great ballad, this gives you a chance to test a wide variety of notes. It works well for both male and female singers and still sounds beautiful without the backing of instruments.
#3 Fallin by Alicia Keys
One of her biggest songs to date and still a classic, Alicia’s voice is remarkably strong and powerful and it makes this song perfect for singing acapella.
#4 Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
He’s known for singing with his guitar but his music sometimes sounds even better with the vocals alone. Many of Ed’s songs will work well acapella but this one stands out as one of the best.
#5 Crazy In Love by Beyoncé
Although the original is known for its powerful instruments, Beyoncé’s vocals in this track are just as powerful and singing it acapella means people will really pay attention because your version will be so different to the original.
#6 Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi
One of the biggest artists in the world right now, this is one of Lewis’ biggest tracks and is a good one for male singers to practice belting out without any instruments.
Easy songs to sing without music
#7 Secret Love Song by Little Mix
As a four-piece girl group with stunningly powerful harmonies, Little Mix sounds spectacular singing acapella so many of their songs would be ideal, but this ballad is one of the best songs to practice.
#8 Slow Hands by Nial Horan
This is another song which will work well for male artists wanting to practice singing solo without any accompaniments.
#9 You and I by Lady Gaga
Probably one of her least-known songs but still popular with her fans, this is a great track and another really powerful Gaga ballad that works really well without backing music.
#10 Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
This is a great track as it is but experimenting with it by singing without any instrumental backing is a great idea. Justin’s voice is so versatile that it will work well for both male and female singers.
#11 Rockabye by Clean Bandit
Another song that is full of classic melodies that will test your voice and help it to stand out. It’s a really fun song to sing!
#12 Somebody that I Used to Know by Gotye
This is one of those songs that will probably sound better without the backing music because it’s a strong track vocally. It will help you to sing more loudly and you can really belt it out.
#13 Somewhere Over the Rainbow
This has been covered by different artists over the years and although it’s an old song, it’s also a classic and one that will work very well if sung acapella. Remember when Leona Lewis auditioned for The X Factor? This was the song she chose and she totally blew the judges away. If you practice and rehearse it, you could do the same one day!
#14 Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
Try not to have the music video in your mind when you sing this one! This is a great track to sing acapella and for female vocalists, it’s perfect as it’s got a great pitch.
#15 Roar by Katy Perry
This song is great because as well as having an exciting melody, it also allows you to put a lot of emotion into your performance which is so important when you are singing acapella because you don’t have the support of the backing music. It’s also a very powerful and fun song to sing.
#16 Use Somebody by Kings of Leon
This is a good song for rock fans or anyone wanting to try something a bit different. It will work well for both male and female artists.
#17 Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Another song that is packed with emotion, it’s also a really good song to sing acapella because it has an exciting melody and gives you the chance to really experiment with the song and make it your own.
#18 How Do You Sleep by Sam Smith
This is a good choice because it steps away from a traditional ballad yet it still has a great vocal range that makes it work well to sing acapella.
#19 Lost Without You by Freya Ridings
The slow tempo of this song really allows you to practice singing and try and make changes to the song to make it stand out. It’s a really beautiful ballad and works well with or without music.
Why should I sing acapella?
Singing acapella is a real test for any singer. It tests your tonality, intonation, ear training and your sense of musicianship. But don’t be frightened to take that step and try something new. For any aspiring musician, it’s an essential part of learning how to sing.
Being able to sing acapella will also set you at an advantage because it will give you a better chance of securing performances and live gigs.
Easy acapella songs for beginners
It’s also good to practice singing acapella if you have dreams of being a singer because the chances are, you will often be asked to sing acapella when you’re at an audition or talent show. It means people can listen to your voice on its own merit and without interruption from musical instruments. It’s a good way to test an artist’s musicality and stamina.
It’s also a good chance for you to improvise with the melody, rhythm and interpretation.
Singing acapella is also a great way to boost confidence. If you practice it and become comfortable with it then it can go a long way to helping you improve your performance and abilities as an artist.
What is the easiest way to sing acapella?
The most important thing you can do is to practice ear training. You need to be able to fully understand the song and interpret the different tones and pitches as well as the rhythm of the song. There are simple ways that you can improve the way you listen to a song through ear training exercises.
Listen to a standard, traditional song such as a hymn. Make sure it is a professional recording. Once you feel confident singing the melody of the song acapella, start to double-check yourself in comparison with the original song. Sing one note at a time, and then compare it to the recording.
It is an exercise that will take time and lots of practice so be patient! Once you have checked and sung each note, record yourself singing and compare it to the original. If the notes sound the same then it means you have trained yourself to sing by ear. If it sounds different, go back to that melody and practice each note again.
You can repeat this exercise with lots of different songs, it’s all good practice and will help you to become a better singer in the long run.
Acapella covers of famous songs
This video from the popular Acapella group Pentatonix covers some of the best songs of the last few centuries:
How do you become an acapella singer?
If you enjoy singing in this style, it may be something that you want to pursue further in your career. As mentioned above, you need to be looking at some key aspects of singing. That’s mainly delving into the pitch, harmony, range and adjustment. Make sure that you have adjusted the song to suit your performance and that you are able to make it work without musical instruments to accompany it.
If you feel that singing acapella as a solo artist isn’t enough, then you could join a band and sing as part of a group. Doing that, though, will mean you have to decide what sort of singer you want to be and what role you want to play in the group.
What sort of voice do you have and how would it fit into the group? You will need either a bass, alto, falsetto or high soprano part.
As with everything in the music industry, practice is key so make sure you spend any spare time you have rehearsing and seeing what works best for you and for your voice. There is so much choice out there with different songs to experiment with so take each opportunity even if it’s just on the way to work in the car.