I often hear this question asked by new vocalists: “What are some easy songs to sing?” I am going to answer this questions right here.
But before I give you a list of easy beginner songs to sing (contemporary and musical theater songs), let’s look at what makes a song “easy”.
Also, I want to discuss briefly how to choose a song that suits your voice and abilities.
When you are starting to learn to sing, there are a lot of aspects to think about – posture, breathing, vocal techniques, pitch, rhythm, lyrics …
It may be challenging to find a song, in which you can manage all these parts. Moreover, you want to choose a song that highlights your current skills.
Choosing a Song For Practice
When you are just practicing songs to develop new skills, choose songs that challenge you in one aspect of your vocal performance.
Maybe there is a high note that you cannot sing well.
Maybe the rhythm is little bit more complicated than you are used to.
Maybe the intervals are tricky.
You may choose to practice only a part of a song to build new skills.
Many new singers choose songs based on trends and likes. But it is always good to consider the components of a song and choose one based on your current skill level or your current goals.
Choosing a Song to Perform
When you are going to perform, look for a song that is within your skills or even better – a song that shows off your best artistry.
Choose a song that suits your style.
Consider songs with lyrics that you can relate to.
It is very important to choose a song that suits your total and most comfortable vocal ranges. If you are not good at singing high notes yet, choose a song that has most notes in your chest register.
I saw new singers who try to perform Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” or Whitney Huston’s “I Will Always Love You” and I felt sorry for them as they struggled through the song. They did not realize that these songs were made for the original singer’s voice qualities and abilities. They thought they would be able to replicate the same result, not recognizing that it takes years to achieve it.
What Makes Songs Easy to Sing?
- Easy melody without large intervals (interval is a distance between two pitches)
- A range of an octave or less
- Notes that are within your comfortable range or in your preferred register (most likely a chest register)
- Accompaniment that plays the singer’s melody
- Lyrics that are easy to remember and pronounce (so Italian and German classical pieces will come little bit later in your career)
- Lyrics that you can relate to and do not require too much acting or interpretation
- A simple rhythm without unexpected accents
If you need more details about How to Choose the Right Song to Sing, please read my previous blog post to find out more.
I also published other blog posts with more easy songs to sing for beginners.
You can find more easy songs here:
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O.K. Enough talking. Here are some easy songs to sing that I recommend to new vocalists because the pieces have the above mentioned characteristics.
Ten Contemporary Easy Songs to Sing
I will start my list with easy songs to learn that were released in the last century but are still considered more contemporary. You can still hear them now and then. I consider them “old classics” that will never go out of style. Time has proved that these songs are songs with great qualities, whether it is the song’s melody, rhythm, lyrics or message. It is worth noting that these songs are all relatively easy to sing.
Note: The links will take you to iTunes previews of these songs and their karaoke versions. I also included links to sheet music on musicnotes.com where applicable.
(To learn more about the advantages of using musicnotes.com and their valuable free tools, make sure to click here to read my blog post about buying sheet music.)
El Condor Pasa by Simon and Garfunkel
This is probably the best-known Peruvian song because of a cover version by Simon & Garfunkel. This is also the oldest song on this list because it was written in 1913. More than 50 years later, Paul Simon heard the melody, added English lyrics, recorded the song with Art Garfunkel and released it on their album Bridge Over Troubled Water.
The song has both beautiful melody and lyrics and is easy enough for beginners. Its range is about an octave with most pitches in the chest register.
If you like this song, you should also check out other songs by Simon and Garfunkel, for example Scarborough Fair or Bridge over Troubled Water.
Link to an original version: El Condor Pasa (If I Could) – Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits
Link to sheet music: El Condor Pasa Sheet Music
Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley
Did you know that this song became an instant hit even before it was released?
Elvis performed this song on a TV show, shortly before it was released and the following day, millions advanced orders were received.
This is a great love song with an easy melody and memorable lyrics. It can be sung by both males and females if transposed to the right key. So if you want to wow your audience, this is a good song to choose. You can showcase your voice, even if you don’t have Elvis’ vibrato.
Link to an original version: Love Me Tender – Elvis: 30 #1 Hits
Link to sheet music: Love Me Tender Sheet Music
Sunny by Boney M
This song was written by Bobby Hebb only 2 days after the assassination of the U.S. President John F. Kennedy and the murder of Hebb’s older brother the following day.
The song’s lyrics are optimistic in spite of the devastating events that had just taken place in Hebb’s life.
Sunny is one of the most covered popular songs, with hundreds of released versions probably due to its catchy melody and positive message.
Link to an original version: Sunny – The Magic of Boney M.
I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash
This song was released as a single in the 70s and was very successful in the United States and the United Kingdom. It even reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at that time. Since then, the song had been performed and recorded by many artists.
You may know this song as a movie soundtrack from the motion picture Cool Runnings about a Jamaican bob sled team. The melody and lyrics are both easy and memorable.
Link to an original version: I Can See Clearly Now – Collections: Johnny Nash
Link to sheet music: I Can See Clearly Now Sheet Music
Top of the World by the Carpenters
Here is another song from the 70s that is still performed by many artists.
This song is an easy song, has an upbeat rhythm, great melody and a happy message.
You may recognize it as a movie soundtrack from Shrek Forever After.
Link to an original version: Top of the World (1991 Remix) – The Carpenters: The Singles 1969-1981
Link to sheet music: Top of the World Sheet Music
Let’s move onto popular easy songs to sing that were released more recently. They probably do not need too much introduction as they are well-known.
Coming Home (Part II) by Skylar Grey
I love this song!
If transposed to the right key, both male and female singers can perform this song.
It is a beautiful song with lyrics that many people can relate to. The song’s range is something over an octave. The melody is very pleasing and has room to show your vocal abilities.
Link to an original version: Coming Home, Pt. II (Bonus Track) – Don’t Look Down
Link to sheet music: Coming Home Sheet Music
Skyfall by Adele
This song is from the Bond movie “Skyfall”. It has an interesting structure with gradations throughout the song. Its range is a little bit over an octave but it can showcase your voice beautifully.
It may not be the easiest song on this list but it can be adapted to make an easier version.
If you play piano, this song is also a good candidate to sing and play on the piano.
Link to an original version: Skyfall – Skyfall – Single
Link to a karaoke version: Skyfall (Instrumental Version) – Skyfall (In the Style of Adele) – Single
Link to sheet music: Skyfall Sheet Music
Link to easy piano sheet music: Skyfall Easy Piano Sheet Music
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
This is a great song without too many high notes. It can be performed by both men and women.
This song is often sung by new singers.
Christina Perri is a great singer with an interesting repertoire so make sure to check out her other songs too (for example Jar of Hearts).
Link to an original version: A Thousand Years – A Thousand Years – Single
Link to sheet music: A Thousand Years Sheet Music
Say Something by A Great Big World
This song is a pop piano ballad that became famous after Christina Aguilera showed an interest in this song.
It is a slow and sad song with powerful lyrics.
This is a simple song that attests to the saying: “There is beauty in simplicity”. This song is sure to win your audience if sung with emotion.
Link to an original version: Say Something – Is There Anybody Out There?
Link to a karaoke version: Say Something (Originally Performed By a Great Big World & Christina Aguilera) [Piano Karaoke Version] – Say Something (Originally Performed By a Great Big World & Christina Aguilera) [Piano Karaoke Version] – Single
Link to sheet music: Say Something Sheet Music
Link to easy piano sheet music: Say Something Easy Piano Sheet Music
Bubbly by Colbie Caillat
I love this artist and her songs, including Bubbly and more recently Try.
These songs have great melodies and lyrics.
They are probably not the easiest songs on this list but with a little practice, they may be just the songs that your audience will love.
Bubbly may have challenging lyrics and tempo but it just may allow you to showcase your voice.
Link to an original version: Bubbly – Coco
Link to a karaoke version: Bubbly (Karaoke) – Karaoke Champions (Vol. 1)
Link to sheet music: Bubbly Sheet Music
Five Easy Songs to Sing From Musicals
Here are my five top songs from musicals that have the criteria of a song easy to sing for beginners as described above.
I also included links to iTunes previews and sheet music.
The Sound of Music
This title song from the musical The Sound of Music is a well-known and easy song to sing. It has a range of an octave without difficult high notes. Simple rhythm and memorable melody makes this song a perfect song for anyone who is starting to learn to sing.
Link to an original version: The Sound of Music – The Sound of Music (40th Anniversary Special Edition)
Link to sheet music: The Sound of Music Sheet Music
Chim Chim Cher-ee
Chim Chim Cher-ee is a song from the musical Mary Poppins and it is an easy song to sing with a range of about an octave but it does not have many high notes. It has an easy melody and rhythm.
The lyrics may be a little bit of a challenge as the song contains some old English words so make sure you know what you are singing about.
Link to an original version: Chim Chim Cher-ee – Mary Poppins (Original Soundtrack)
Link to sheet music: Chim Chim Cher-ee Sheet Music
Who does not know the song Mamma Mia from the musical Mamma Mia?!
It is a fun song in a more pop-rock genre. The range is less than an octave. The lyrics are easy and repetitive. The song’s rhythm is straightforward.
Link to sheet music: Mamma Mia Sheet Music
I Don’t Know How to Love Him
This song is from the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar and it is a lovely song with a great melody (if you have not seen the musical, go and watch it – there are some great songs!)
The range is a little bit over an octave but again it does not have too many high notes.
Maybe this song is not the best option for young girls due to its content.
Link to an original version: I Don’t Know How to Love Him – Jesus Christ Superstar (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Album)
Link to sheet music: I Don’t Know How to Love Him Sheet Music
Close Every Door To Me
A great song from a fantastic musical, Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat.
It is a slow song that may have some challenging parts but overall it is not too difficult in many aspects.
You will need to work on the higher notes but with some practice, this song will please your audience.
Link to sheet music: Close Every Door to Me Sheet Music
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This concludes my list of easy songs to sing for beginners.