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Are you working up the courage to audition for a singing role? Whether it's in theater, for a record contract, or for a competition show, like American Idol, the song you pick is critical. So, what are some good audition songs that will leave the best first impressions?

Honestly, it depends. Picking good audition songs isn't just about how well you can sing them. There are many other factors you should take into consideration before choosing your next audition song. Let's look at what goes into the perfect song choice.

What Is the Audition For?

mic ready for audition

Image from Pixabay

The best songs will vary depending on what the audition is for. What worked for your last theater audition might not be as successful for a singing competition. Let's look at the three main audition types and how they differ from one another.


You want to land the next big role in your school's theater production. Or, you have your sights set on Broadway. No matter which one it is, the guidelines are mostly the same.

Good audition songs for theater involve putting yourself in the role you want. If you're aiming for the lead who sings soprano, then pick a song in that same spirit. You won't do yourself any favors by auditioning for the villain while singing “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. Give the director an idea of how you can fit into the role you're auditioning for. They won't be able to picture you in that role unless your song reflects the character.

Record Contract

If you're looking to impress the executives at a record company, then things are a little different. Chances are, the record label has some idea in mind of how to market you. Good audition songs, in this case, reflect your marketability. So, if you're an R&B artist, pick a song that's in your niche.

Are you going for the smooth, sensual, tomboy image? Songs by Aaliyah or Ciara will be up your alley. Or, are you the powerhouse belting type? It may tempt you to go for Whitney Houston or Aretha Franklin. They are amazing artists to emulate, but you don't want to be predictable. Pick an unexpected song in your relevant genre instead. Show the record label you've done your research, and that you can be innovative.

Talent and/or Competition Shows

Good audition songs for American Idol, The X-Factor, and The Voice are in a league of their own. You must impress the judges to get your foot in the door. Show them your star power by standing out from the crowd. Dazzle the judges with an amazing song that shows off your chops. So, let's break down how you can pick the best song for your voice and style.

Know Your Strengths

a musician that knows his strengths and performing well

Image from Pixabay

You won't get very far unless you pick audition songs that work for you. What worked for someone else might not be the best choice for your voice or personality. It's important to be honest with yourself for this process. It helps if you have a singing coach who can help you sort through these details. If you don't have a coach, ask someone to help you. Friends, family, or professionals online are all great options. Go with what you're most comfortable with.

Pick Songs in Your Range

Show Off Your Personality

Make Sure the Song Is Appropriate

Make the Most of Your Time

Be Original

Make the Song Your Own

Check for Do Not Sing Lists

Good Audition Songs to Sing to Impress the Judges

an old composed song

Image from Pixabay

The best audition songs have a combination of everything we mentioned above. Go for songs that fit your audience and show off your strengths. Whether you choose a ballad or a more upbeat song, pick the best song for you.

Be honest about your limitations. It's a big risk to choose songs by Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Queen, Celine Dion, Adam Lambert, Leona Lewis, or other artists with a complex, difficult range. Only go for songs by these artists if you're confident you can pull them off.

Great Songs to Pick

  • "Creep" by Radiohead
  • "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin
  • "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  • "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera
  • "Late Nights & Heartbreak" by Hannah Williams & The Affirmations
  • "Impossible" by Shontelle
  • "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift
  • "Halo" by Beyoncé
  • "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith
  • "There You'll Be" by Faith Hill

Songs to Avoid

  • "Tomorrow" from Annie
  • "Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt
  • "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz
  • "Defying Gravity" from Wicked
  • "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" from Across the Universe
  • "Chandelier" by Sia
  • "How to Save a Life" by The Fray
  • "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables
  • "Let it Go" from Frozen
  • "Gimme Gimme" from Thoroughly Modern Millie


There's a lot that goes into picking good audition songs. What you decide on will make or break your audition. Tailor your song choice to what works best for you. You don't need to impress the judges by doing what everyone else is doing. Show them your unique personality and style through your incredible voice and your song choice. You'll give the judges an unforgettable experience and leave them wanting more.