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  • Singing Students: Beginner Song Choices (Singing Teachers)

    Posted by Eliza Fyfe on September 6, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I can’t seem to find any easy-going, speaking range songs with an easy melody but not depressing? There must be something out there fairly upbeat but simple?! Any ideas?

    Guest Teacher replied 7 years, 10 months ago 2 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Kat Hunter

    September 6, 2016 at 11:18 am

    For women:
    Taylor Swift is good for beginner songs, but very wordy, so that’s the trade-off.
    Valerie (Amy Winehouse) is upbeat and fair easy.
    I’m like a bird by Nelly Furtado only goes up to Bflat and is fairly speaky.
    Royals by Lorde is fairly straightforward and low too.
    Somewhere only we know (lily allen did a version of this from memory)

    For either:
    Let it be by the beatles it pretty simple and doesn’t have a huge range if you can put it in a key that suits the student
    Same with yellow by coldplay.

    For men:
    Most things by oasis (wonderwall or don’t look back in anger, both dead simple)
    Under the bridge – red hot chilli peppers
    Other side – david gray
    Four seasons in one day – crowded house

    A few ideas to get started with at least🙂

  • Guest Teacher

    September 6, 2016 at 11:19 am

    My favourite song of all time to get beginner singers thinking about pitch accuracy and scale practice is Frank Ocean’s ‘Thinkin’ Bout You’. It’s worked wonders with about 5 of my regulars and they absolutely loved that they could pick out the major scale from the melody.

    It’s my secret weapon for any students who run away from the idea of scales.

    My other secret weapon is the sax line from George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’ that features the Phrygian scale ascending. Another sneaky way to get students singing scales when usually they get frightened of them.

    Hope this helps,
    L x

  • Guest Teacher

    September 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Hi Eliza

    A lot of the time I let my students pick their songs. Obviously if it’s too difficult for the level that they are at I give them a couple other choices, but a couple of songs that are relatively simple or easy to simplify are:

    Make you feel my love – Adele
    Let her go – Passenger
    Roar – Katy Perry (recently found out that this is in the Grade 1 Rockschool book)
    Hero – Enrique Iglesias
    Holiday – Green Day
    Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Clean version obviously) – Green Day

    I know that they aren’t all up beat but they have worked quite well for me.

  • Beckie Tunnicliffe

    September 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Hi! Here are a couple I have found useful🙂

    My Favourite Things – The Sound of Music (G1)
    Fireflies – Owl City (G1)
    Take A Bow – Rihanna (G1)
    The Fear – Lily Allen (G1)
    Upside Down – Paloma Faith (G2)
    Thinking About Me – Olly Murs (G2)
    Dear Darlin – Olly Murs (G1)

    On another note, I think Roar is a lot higher than Grade 1! It’s probably there because the range is limited but the breath control needs to be on point! I try to get my Grade 1 students to avoid it to be honest!

    Here’s a link to Rockschool’s Wider Repertoire, hope this helps! https://www.rslawards.com/music/graded-music-exams/vocals/wider-repertoire

  • Guest Teacher

    September 6, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I’ve got a couple in particular that I really like to use, depending on the student:

    Nelson’s Blood (traditional) is great because it’s a simple melody, minor but can be quite lively as it’s a sea shanty. There are also some easy harmonies that lead straight off the main melody so it’s a good one for easing people out of their comfort zone.

    Son of a Gun – remembered this beauty a few months ago, an old favourite that Nirvana made famous. Two very simple melodies but a key change between verse and chorus plus room for some nice, slightly harder harmonies focusing on the 3rd above.

    Thanks for the other suggestions, made a note!

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