Song Selection Tips for Auditions

Whether you are looking to record a vocal demo for audition use or auditioning live, many of the same selection tips apply. Here are some good tips to keep in mind.

Audition Song Selection Tips

  • Don’t use a song currently on the Radio or on Broadway.
  • Don’t use a song that is solely/primarily identified with a singer who made it famous.
  • Don’t pick an overly obscure song.
  • Don’t pick a song that doesn’t make sense out of context.
  • Don’t pick a song where you “showboat” through the entire song.
  • DO pick a song meant for another sex.
  • DO select lesser known material from popular composers.
  • DO reinterpret a well known song. (Slow to fast, straight feel to swing, etc…)
  • DO pick a song that shows your strongest vocal range in the first 20 seconds.

What Should You Record?

It’s helpful to have a few different styles recorded, depending on your vocal/character type and abilities. You generally don’t need more that one song in any style to show what you can do, so I recommend recording different styles to show off your strengths and have the *right* song to submit for any job. That said, here are some common styles that, if you are strong with them, you should have in your arsenal.

  • Classic Musical Theatre (ala Cole Porter, Rogers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Lowe, etc…) Uptempo & Ballad
  • Contemporary Pop/Rock Songs (Uptempo and Ballad Useful)
  • Contemporary Musical Theatre (Tom Kitt, David Zippel, David Yazbeck, etc…)
  • Contemporary Intelligent/Wordy Musical Theatre (Sondheim, LaChiusa, etc…)
  • Jazzy/Big Band Sound
  • Songs that show off your character/acting ability
  • Gospel Song
  • Comedy/Humorous Song

Some smart song choices can cover multiple “styles”!

Surprise Them!

Consider recording a song people are familiar with in an entirely different style or “character” than they are used to and really grab their attention!


Make sure your selections show off your unique talents, not just the song!

I hope these tips help. Feel free to call me at 646-345-3433 when you are getting ready to record!

Information and Rates on Piano/Vocal Demos HERE

Information and Rates on recording Vocals to tracks HERE