You may think that you need to go big or go home when you sing at a party! We all want to share our enthusiasm and our talent! But when it comes to learning to sing it isn’t the best policy to start out by tackling the complex harmonies and belted high notes of a song like Bohemian Rhapsody! That might be your goal, but when it comes to singing, especially for beginners – small steps make the mountain.
In the early days of studying it’s imperative to find easy songs to sing, even if you have bucket loads of raw talent. Your attention at this point should be on finding your voice, singing in tune, improving harmony singing, and expanding your vocal range- this can all be done by working through easy songs to sing.
From nursery rhymes to campfire songs, karaoke hits, and Broadway songs – this guide will help you to pinpoint the simplest sing-along songs to get your vocals good and warmed up and to start putting perfect pitch into practice.
Starting with simple song choices will build your singing chops and not cause you additional stress. You will achieve your goals and progress rather than feeling frustrated. By focusing on the smaller tasks and minimizing your stress you will build your confidence.
Easy songs help you to build up your confidence as a singer because there is more chance that you will be successful and less chance that it will go wrong, leaving you feeling exposed or tone-deaf.
Practicing with simple songs will help you to concentrate less on techniques that could trip you up and more on the basics of good singing practice like learning how to breathe correctly, standing upright, expression of the meaning of lyrics, projecting your voice, and all the other factors that will form a foundation for your singing.
Minimizing stress while you are just beginning is vital for those who want to stick with singing. If you can focus more on getting the basics right, you’ll have more time to build your voice and progress to more complex popular songs later. Frustration only pushes us towards giving up!
Knowing what makes a song easy to sing is the first step in narrowing down your song list. It will also help you to understand how a song is created.
First and foremost, you want a song that has a simple melody that is easy to follow without too many changes. Well-timed intervals and pauses between notes can be another gold star to look for when finding easy songs to sing. If you think about singing nursery rhymes for children – the melodies are simple and the notes evenly paced. Many teachers will use hymns and traditional American songs because they are well-known and predictable (in a good way!).
Simple lyrics are the second thing to consider when determining which songs you should begin with. As you will be working on your pronunciation (saying the words correctly) and on your enunciation (ensuring you speak clearly) you don’t want lyrics that are going to make you trip up in the middle of your song. Love songs and children’s songs are great examples of songs that don’t take a great deal of work when it comes to memorizing and singing the lyrics.
A song with a slow, easy tempo may be the best way to go when starting out. Using a metronome or tapping your feet are suggestions to help you keep a steady beat. With practice, a consistent tempo will get easier to master. As you progress, you can try songs with more complicated rhythm and tempo, but for starters, take it easy and use a simple tempo to ensure you are hitting your notes on the beat.
Finally, look for a song that holds a universal message and is easy to relate to. Consider musical theater, love, or worship songs, even the Star-Spangled Banner. When you understand the message, you will find it easier to throw yourself into the delivery. Picking songs that are subversive or need some unraveling will affect your delivery so save the symbolism, metaphors, and foreign language songs for later in your career.
A few examples of easy songs in different genres follow.
In pop music:
“Build Me Up Buttercup,” The Foundations
“These Boots Are Made For Walking,” Nancy Sinatra
“500 Miles,” The Proclaimers
“Can’t Help Falling In Love,” Elvis Presley
“I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor
In musical theater and Broadway:
“Funny Honey” from Chicago
“Mamma Mia” from Mamma Mia
“Do Re Mi” from Sound of Music
“So, This Is Love” from Cinderella
Of course, there are thousands of songs available for those who want to start with easier songs and build their way up. Some songs are covered by many artists and checking a few of them will allow you to find a version that best matches the style of your voice. For those working with piano or guitar accompaniment, the less complicated styles of songs are also easier to learn on an instrument.
Finding the right style of songs for your own unique voice is part of developing your talent and skill set. Along with ensuring that you are selecting songs that you can sing well, the exercise will also help you to get to know your own voice better.
One of the best things to look for when finding which songs suit your voice is to choose something that feels natural and easy in your range. If you find that you are needing to force your pitch to go too high or too low, causing your voice to strain, this probably isn’t the right song for you at this stage.
The aim is to find songs that sit in the closest range to your natural speaking voice. Not only will this keep your voice healthy as you aren’t having to strain but it will also communicate the message of the song clearly to your audience.
Part of being a singer is learning that your body is your instrument and you need to learn to listen to that instrument. If a song leaves you feeling like you’re out of breath or your neck muscles are tightening, perhaps you need to reconsider if this is the right song.
Certain types of voice can be best suited to different types of songs. Softer voices tend to be flow with acoustic and love songs, strong voices work great with musical theater or Broadway, and gravelly voices are amazing when matched with rock songs.
The ability to pick perfect songs for yourself is all about knowing your voice intimately and being able to correctly assess your own ability and reach. Working with a vocal coach can be a great journey that helps you to understand your own voice and talents better. If you prefer to stick to karaoke for the time being, start considering whether the songs you choose are working with, or against, your natural voice.
Whether you are blaring out renditions of your favorite songs during karaoke for a fun time or you are using karaoke for more serious practice, the aim is to use this trusty little machine to help build your voice and your confidence. While many people need to throw back some serious alcohol to get up their confidence to sing karaoke, we don’t recommend it.
Unfortunately, public karaoke machines are most often found in local bars. Singing while intoxicated, especially early in your development, can make you careless with your voice. You may recall waking up one morning hoarse or with a sore throat after a night of karaoke. This could be because the alcohol prohibited you from listening to your body. Perhaps, you didn’t realize that you were screaming out the chorus to Adele when you thought you were singing softly. You can damage your vocal cords by not taking care of them.
Try and be aware of picking karaoke songs that work well with your voice so you don’t have to push and strain, causing you to risk damaging your vocal cords. There are many karaoke songs available now to choose from. Check with your establishment to see if you can get a list of karaoke songs ahead of time.
Another great tip for beginners is to pick a song that has well-known chords and lyrics. Rather than standing on the stage alone under full exposure, choose a popular song and encourage the audience to sing with you. Having the audience join in gives you a chance to build your self-confidence and practice vocal tips and techniques with a microphone on stage, without feeling completely naked. Plus, seeing people enjoying your performance does wonders for building your self-esteem. Check out karaoke songs people will love right here.
Try to pick songs that are short and sweet, you don’t want to be “hogging” the stage for a full fifteen minutes or the audience may get restless. You might even get booed. It’s a lot of pressure for beginners to keep their performance level up that long. You may find by the 7th chorus that you are exhausted and your voice has faded and gone off-key. You should consider every singing performance to be training. Just as if you were training to be a mountaineer, you wouldn’t head straight for Kilimanjaro. You’d head the hills first. The same with karaoke.
You may think that by picking a popular Paul McCartney song or one of Mariah Carey’s greatest hits that you will be able to belt it out on the karaoke stage and be signed by a record company on the spot. That is probably not going to happen, mainly because record companies rarely hang around karaoke bars.
It also could scar you emotionally if you select a difficult song and end up falling flat on your face in front of a large crowd. You will probably be more successful if you pick a song with an easy or average level of difficulty that you can sing well – maybe even better than the original! If you choose a great song that requires lower levels of skill and technical ability, you are more likely to shine on that karaoke stage.
If your child is just starting out in singing, it is important to pick simple songs for them, as well, to practice. Fortunately, many children’s songs are designed with easy levels of format, pitch, tone, and lyrical complexity.
Children are often introduced to singing through things like simple nursery rhymes, Sunday School worship songs, or campfire songs. The trick with teaching children how to sing is to put a lot of emphasis on it being fun.
Songs with a slow, steady beat, like Jingle Bells, are great for young children to sing. They are repetitive, simple, fun, and don’t demand too much mentally or physically from the child. This can be an awesome way of building their confidence.
Songs for toddlers should have a limited range of notes. Choose songs that have lots of interactive moments included or weave in some of your best moves. From pointing to body parts to wiggling around, little ones will find action songs much more memorable. “The Wheels On the Bus” is an example of this that you may enjoy singing with your child.
For children, D above middle C is said to be the most beneficial note. This is because D is neither too high nor too low, so it is easy to control the pitch. For those children who are just beginning singing, learning to hear different notes and sing in tune can be a valuable skill that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
After mastering singing the less complicated songs, you can look for songs that will begin to build your voice. Singing easy songs is advantageous in so many ways: building your confidence, stage presence, and understanding of music can all start to blossom from singing simple love songs, harmonizing on easy hymns, and hitting all the notes on the “Star Spangled Banner.”
But part of the beauty and awe of singing is that it’s a skill upon which you can evolve as a person with a never-ending set of expertise and knowledge. It’s an outlet for your emotions, passions, and thoughts that keeps challenging and engaging you on your journey.
Finding songs to build your voice will contribute to your development into a great singer and will help maintain your interest in music. Before you start exploring which songs will best build your voice, you need to analyze and understand your own voice.
If you practice singing easy songs, you will have an idea as to what your parameters are. You will know how your chest voice feels when you are struggling to reach a note, which pitch feels the most natural, and where your vocal strengths and weaknesses lie.
If you are struggling to pin down your strengths and weaknesses, this is where having a lesson with a voice teacher or vocal coach can come in handy. Having someone who can deliver an objective opinion based on fact rather than emotion will help to channel your energy in the right direction. If you can’t commit to a series of lessons for whatever reason, even just one lesson will give you a glimpse of the feedback you can obtain from a third party.
Range is the span between the lowest note and the highest note you can sing comfortably. No singer wants to be stuck in a rut, and now might be a good time for you to start to look for songs that will help to build your range. Pick songs that are close to your natural range but that also push you a little bit further along in your development. A good example for a female singer with a low range and natural chest voice is “Stay” by Rhianna.
Working with a song’s range is also a great way to start building in more emotional performances. Songs with highly intensive emotions can nudge you to sing a little higher while those with gentle and thoughtful feelings invite you to sing a little lower. Expanding your range will assist you to create a much deeper emotional connection to the lyrics in your song, and this connection can truly help you to make that song your own.
Another musical aspect that will help you to build your voice is to start thinking about tempo. Tempo is the speed at which a song is sung. When people begin singing, they tend to stick to songs with a slower tempo. Ballads, love songs, and country songs are great for students at the start of their musical journey because the slow tempo allows them more time to find the right pitches, deepen their vowels, understand phrasing, and learn how to breathe effectively when singing.
For those students who continue to sing slow-tempo songs, they develop their muscles and reflexes during training sessions. The stronger these muscles and reflexes become the more they can start to weave in more upbeat and complex tempos into their repertoire.
Finding songs that will push and challenge you relies on your having a broad background of different music genres. As a singer, you should make it your goal to not just listen to songs you like within your genre but also to listen to all kinds of different music.
The best advice authors give to young writers is to read as many different kinds of books as possible. The same is true of singers. If you are passionate about singing, the more variety of singing styles you expose yourself to, the more creative choices, tips, and techniques you will be able to take away from that experience.
As you move into the more professional elements of singing, such as performing, you will need to start selecting songs based on your audience. Of course, singers should always pick songs that work with their voice and their range but choosing songs to suit the occasion will work to your favor.
For example, if you are singing at a wedding, love songs are sure to be a hit; whereas, if you were singing at a rock concert, you’ll need something a bit more lively to capture the attention of your audience. Or think of the age of the audience and choose something they will be familiar with rather than something completely outside their experience.
Another thing to consider when looking for the right song to sing in front of a live audience is to consider the type of performance involved. If you fill your setlist with upbeat, fast tempo songs, your audience is going to expect you to have high levels of energy. If you suspect you will be exhausted after the first 2 songs, you might want to consider weaving in some slower, lower energy songs to keep from falling flat on your face. It can also help to video yourself practicing your songs so you can analyze your presentation and improve your overall performance.
Singing is a journey, and everyone needs to start by taking just one step. You may dream of wowing crowds in front of live concerts, having lucrative record deals, and hitting notes that would break windows but, first, you must start slowly, one foot at a time.
Finding easy songs to sing will equip you with skills you can carry with you for the rest of your life. It’s like learning to read – you begin by practicing your ABC’s until you know the alphabet by heart, then you start learning sounds and reading children’s books, before long you’re reading novels before moving on to the classics and Shakespeare. This is just an analogy for singing – you start with songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star;” and, in time, you will be singing Michael Jackson’s greatest hits without pausing for breath.
Keep in mind that optimum vocal health is an essential ingredient on the journey. Eat right, get plenty of sleep, keep yourself hydrated, and always do your vocal exercises before beginning to sing.
If the road seems long and arduous and you want to get there quicker, investing in your voice can take a different angle. Working with a qualified vocal coach or singing teacher, whether online or in-person, can speed up the process. Tried and tested techniques, simple yet sophisticated methods, and a thorough understanding of how your voice works will enhance, if not override, raw talent. If you want to hitch a ride on the road to becoming a star, you might want to check out voicelessons.com to help you.
The more work, commitment, and practice you invest in the early days of learning to sing, the more rewarding your journey will be.
Good luck, and keep on singing!