What to Consider When Selecting an Audition Song

Finding the right audition song can take time. Even if you’re already comfortable in the spotlight, picking the best audition song can still be an arduous process. Let us help you decide by showing you the factors you should be considering when selecting the perfect song for your upcoming audition.

What Should You Consider in Picking the Best Audition Song?

Audition type

Is this a pop or rock audition? A musical theater? An operetta? Will the genre even suit your voice type? These are important questions you should be asking before you actually give it a go. If the genre or style is completely new to you, you might need time to prepare for this shift. We recommend that every singer maintain a book of the best audition songs they can readily use when the time comes.

Audition Type

If you’re no stranger to the audition type and musical genre, go choose the crowd pleaser from among the possible songs based on the audition’s requirement or suggested composer. For musical theater auditions, do your homework and find out what the vocal range of the role is and what style of music they sing. Pick the best song that shows that you can do what is needed for the character.

Your strengths

What parts of your voice feel the strongest and most comfortable? Is it chest voice? Middle voice? Head voice? With that answer, look for an audition song that showcases mostly those parts of your voice. Never choose an audition song just because you think that is what the audition panel wants to hear. When given a choice, always choose the best audition song you have to offer. Choose an audition song that is within your comfortable singing range. This is not the time to stretch for a note as blowing a note will almost certainly also blow your chances. The audition panel will expect you to show off the very best you have to offer.


Song length

This is similar to selecting your audition song based on the required cuts, but also keep your audience in mind. Your audition panel has been listening to singers all day long and doesn’t really want to be forced to cut you off.

Some auditions only need 16 bars of a song or just a verse and a chorus. The casting directors have neither the time nor the energy to have everyone sing for 5 minutes, so edit your song into something short. A verse, a chorus, and a close will suffice.


In auditions, there are three possible forms of accompaniment you should expect. They may provide an accompanist, you may have to sing a capella, or you may be allowed to use recorded accompaniment. Always be prepared for any of these since not all auditions will give you the choice. Many auditions will insist that you use their accompanist. If you are given a choice, however, you need to be aware of a few factors that should influence your decision.

Accompaniment will keep you on the pitch and will fill in the instrumental sections of the piece. Live accompaniment also best mimics how you would be performing in the show, and demonstrates how well you can work with an accompanist. However, using an accompanist requires you to have sheet music in the correct key, and you will need to practice singing with the accompaniment before the audition. While using prerecorded accompaniment makes rehearsing easy, it limits your ability to make creative changes in dynamics and tempo. Singing acapella should be done only when absolutely necessary.


Song Popularity

The problem with picking a highly popular song is that the performance standard is already set very high. When you choose an extremely well-known song that has already been done by a widely acclaimed performer, you are creating expectations for yourself that weren’t there when you walked into the room. You don’t want to come in singing a song that’s really famous and associated with one particular artist. You want to go in and showcase the very best of your talent, not set yourself up to be compared to a superstar.

Do you already have the best audition song idea in mind? Now go out there and rehearse it to perfection. Good luck!


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