Would you like to try singing unaccompanied? Maybe you’re unsure which acapella songs would show your voice off and be easy enough to manage without backing.
Acapella songs have to be chosen carefully unless you have a lot of experience. Some numbers are tricky or sound odd without music. Finding the best songs to sing acapella is key. Do this and you’re on your way to sounding pitch-perfect (just like the movie)!
Our list covers numbers for choirs, auditions, beginners and for fun. Read on to find out how to choose the right song for you.
Acapella songs – the best songs to sing acapella
Acapella is an Italian phrase which translated means “in the church style”. It began in the 19th century and stems from the popularity of gospel music and other similar genres of music at the time.
Acapella singing is performed without the accompaniment of instruments or a backing track. Either as part of a group or on your own. It is a form of music that does not involve any instruments. Instead, the sound of the singers provides all the musical instruments that are needed. All the sounds are natural and come from the voice.
Good songs to sing acapella
Singing acapella (or a cappella) without music is a special way to show off the power of your voice and is an important part of learning how to sing. There are lots of songs out there that work well singing without any music but make sure you pick one that suits your individual voice.
As ever, song choice is very important. You don’t want to pick just any song. It might not work without the instruments. Listen to it carefully and analyse it. Would it work with simply the melody line? Or would it sound too dull?
Find songs that have a strong melody to them and enable you to explore the song. It’s also a good idea to look at something with emotional depth. You need to perform the song. If you strip the backing away and leave just the melody and your voice it’s not enough. This is why acapella groups often add their own vocal backing and elaborate dance routines into the mix.
Acapella choir songs
If you feel that singing acapella as a solo artist isn’t enough, then you could join a group and sing as part of a group. Doing that, though, will mean you have to decide what sort of singer you want to be and what role you want to play in the group. What sort of voice do you have and how would it fit into the group? You will need either a bass, alto, falsetto or high soprano part.
It’s also good to practice singing acapella if you have dreams of being a singer because the chances are, you will often be asked to sing acapella when you’re at an audition or talent show. It means people can listen to your voice on its own merit and without interruption from musical instruments. It’s a good way to test an artist’s musicality and stamina.
It’s also a good chance for you to improvise with the melody, rhythm and interpretation.
Singing acapella is also a great way to boost confidence. If you practice it and become comfortable with it then it can go a long way to helping you improve your performance and abilities as an artist.
Check out some of these numbers perfect for groups.
Easy acapella songs
If you’re new to this, listen to a standard, traditional song such as a hymn. Make sure it is a professional recording. Once you feel confident singing the melody of the song acapella, start to double-check yourself in comparison with the original song. Sing one note at a time, and then compare it to the recording.
It is an exercise that will take time and lots of practice so be patient! Once you have checked and sung each note, record yourself singing and compare it to the original. If the notes sound the same then it means you have trained yourself to sing by ear. If it sounds different, go back to that melody and practice each note again.
You can repeat this exercise with lots of different songs, it’s all good practice and will help you to become a better singer in the long run.
Easy acapella songs for beginners
Start simple with some of these straightforward songs.
1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
This has been covered by different artists over the years and although it’s an old song, it’s also a classic and one that works very well sung acapella. Remember when Leona Lewis auditioned for The X Factor? This was the song she chose and she totally blew the judges away. If you practice and rehearse it, you could do the same one day.
2. Somebody that I Used to Know by Gotye
This sounds great without backing music because it’s a strong track vocally. It will help you to sing with power and you can really belt it out.
3. Imagine by John Lennon
Prefer an older song? Try this well-known modern classic from one of pop’s legends.
4. Secret Love Song by Little Mix
As a four-piece girl group with stunningly powerful harmonies, Little Mix sound spectacular singing acapella so many of their songs would be ideal, but this ballad is one of the best songs to practice.
5. You and I by Lady Gaga
Probably one of her least-known songs but still popular with her fans, this is a great track and another really powerful Gaga ballad that works really well without backing music.
Good acapella songs to sing
6. Everything I wanted by Billie Eilish
Billie’s soft sounds and minimal backing means her numbers work well for a paired back acapella version. If you want something uber cool and bang up to date, this is it.
7. Lost Without You by Freya Ridings
The slow tempo of this song really allows you to practice singing and try and make changes to the song to make it stand out. It’s a really beautiful ballad and works well with or without music.
8. Slow Hands by Nial Horan
A song which will work well for male artists wanting to practice singing solo without any accompaniments.
9. Rockabye by Clean Bandit
Another song that is full of classic melodies that will test your voice and help it to stand out. It’s a really fun song to sing!
10. Chandelier by Sia
Originally a dance hit, then an acoustic number, this also sounds hauntingly beautiful without any backing.
11. Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Another song that is packed with emotion, it’s also a really good song to sing acapella because it has an exciting melody and gives you the chance to really experiment with the song and make it your own.
12. How Do You Sleep by Sam Smith
This is a good choice because it steps away from a traditional ballad yet it still has a great vocal range that makes it work well to sing acapella.
Best acapella songs for auditions
Singing acapella is a real test for any singer. It tests your tonality, intonation, ear training and your sense of musicianship. So it’s perfect for an audition. Being able to sing acapella will also set you at an advantage because it will give you a better chance of securing performances and live gigs.
Obviously song choice is dependent on what the audition is, what the judges would like you to sing and whether or not they want you to sing acapella. However, the songs we have listed above will all work well for auditions because they enable you to get the most out of your voice.
The best audition songs will be the ones that show off your voice and truly test it to its limits to ensure that the judges know what you can do and how good a singer you are. Ballads often work well. They are slower allowing you more time to spend on different notes. But that doesn’t mean you should rule out upbeat songs.
It’s all about what works for you and your voice. The most important thing is to make sure you practice with various different songs and have at least three tracks that you are confident singing. Performing acapella at an audition is a risk. However, it’s also a great chance for you to experiment. Make sure that when you’re performing a cover song that you’re creative and that you put your own unique stamp on it.
Gospel acapella songs
Gospel is a popular genre for acapella numbers. Here are some you might like to try.
Where pop meets gospel, is this Christmas favourite that lends itself to a simple vocal-only version.
15. Amazing Grace
A classic hymn and acapella number. There’s a big interval in this and with backing, it’s usually only one for those who can hit high notes. But the beauty of acapella is that if a note is too high, you can drop the key to suit your range.
16. How Great Thou Art
A ‘big’ hymn. This has been covered by many of the greats and has an easy melody.
As with everything in the music industry, practice is key. So make sure you spend any spare time you have rehearsing and seeing what works best for you and for your voice. There is so much choice out there with different songs to experiment with so take each opportunity even if it’s just on the way to work in the car. Practice singing different songs acapella and see which ones suit you best. Singing without any music gives you the opportunity to make the song your own and show off your unique talent.
- How do you become an acapella singer?
If you enjoy singing in this style, it may be something that you want to pursue further in your career. Work on your pitch, harmony, range and adjustment. Make sure that you have adjusted the song to suit you and that you are able to make it work without musical instruments to accompany it.
- What is the easiest way to sing acapella?
The most important thing you can do is to practice ear training. You need to be able to fully understand the song and interpret the different tones and pitches as well as the rhythm of the song. There are simple ways that you can improve the way you listen to a song through ear training exercises.
Which do you think are the best songs to sing acapella? Do you sing acapella songs? Let us know and share your links in the comments below.