By Nellie Vinograd
Belting is a singing technique when the singer carries their chest voice beyond its natural break, or maintaining chest voice for pitches that are usually for head voice. Are you feeling ready to develop your belting voice even more? Here is a list of a variety of songs from different genres to test out what’s the right fit for you. Not all belters are created with the same style, so it’s always good to have options. Or if you’re not feeling ready to audition or perform with these yet, they also make great songs to sing in the shower or during a long car ride.
Getting ready for a big audition or want to expand your Broadway repertoire? Here are some interesting belting choices (not “Defying Gravity”!) from a variety of classic and contemporary musicals. Let your inner belter shine with these showstoppers.
“Being Alive” from Company
“The Gods Love Nubia” from Aida
“Gimme Gimme” from Thoroughly Modern Millie
“And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls
“Maybe This Time” from Cabaret
“The Ladies Who Lunch” from Company
“Bless The Lord” from Godspell
“Not A Day Goes By” from Merrily We Roll Along
“A Summer in Ohio” from The Last Five Years
“I Will Never Leave You” from Side Show
“Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors
“Take Me Or Leave Me” from RENT
“When You’re Home” from In The Heights
Ready to challenge yourself and expand your belting chops? Try out some of these contemporary pop songs from some of the best belters on the charts right now. These songs could also work as audition songs if you’re trying out for a rock musical or a show with a modern edge. Be especially careful when you belt in pop songs, because it’s a challenge to recreate the professional, studio-recording sound that these singers pull off - you don’t want to lose your voice or damage your vocal cords by straining or screaming.
“Cut To The Feeling” by Carly Rae Jepsen
“Firework” by Katy Perry
“Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato
“Rumor Has It” by Adele
“Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande
“Unwritten” by Natasha Beddingfield
“Shake It Out” by Florence + the Machine
“Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson
“Love On Top” by Beyoncé
If you’re looking for a particular sound or want to try different belting styles, some of these throwbacks could be what you need. Try singing with the raspy growl of Joan Jett or the penetrating warmth of Aretha Franklin. It’s also helpful to get a bit of music history and context by exploring music from the 20th century. Pay tribute to the belters of the past with these fun classics.
“How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston
“Think” by Aretha Franklin
“I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross
“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
“Just A Girl” by No Doubt
“Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
“To Zion” by Lauryn Hill
“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion
Hopefully these suggestions will lead you to discovering even more great belting song. As always, you want to find what works for you and your singing style, even if it’s not the most well-known or expected choice.