10 Best Songs for Altos

If you sing in the alto voice range, there are plenty of great songs that are perfect for you. What are the best songs for altos?

10 of the best alto songs are as follows:

  1. Bound to You by Christina Aguilera
  2. Praying by Kesha
  3. Bluebird by Sara Bareilles
  4. Baby Can I Hold You by Tracy Chapman
  5. Million Reasons by Lady Gaga
  6. Lay Me Down by Sam Smith
  7. Someone Like You by Adele
  8. Because of You by Kelly Clarkson
  9. No Scrubs by TLC
  10. This Kiss by Faith Hill

An alto is someone who sings the second highest part in choruses. Altos have voices lower than sopranos. Also, the lowest type of female voice is the alto. The alto voice ranges between F3 and F5. 

Meanwhile, a male alto sings in falsetto, a high male note. Men who sing in falsetto are usually the countertenors. Thus, if you are a male, you can develop your falsetto voice and sing any of these alto songs.

Read on to learn about the best alto songs, the difference between a male and a female alto, and some tips for enhancing your alto voice.

Best Songs for Altos

best songs for altos

The 10 best alto songs for males and females are as follows:

1. Bound to You by Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera delivered a superb alto song with Bound to You. The song speaks about finally finding love and being terrified to love for the first time. This type of love is like being bound in chains. 

Christina’s captivating voice weaves through the song enticingly, pulling you in until she hits the resounding climax. With a wild cry, she croons the ending line, “Can’t you see that I’m bound in chains?” 

You will have to be self-confident to deliver this alto song. There are no subdued performances when it comes to Christina. Thus, you have to give it all you have. 

2. Praying by Kesha 

This song by Kesha evolves from a dark theme of uselessness into a brighter realization that she can make it on her own. Moreover, her breathy and slightly raspy alto voice lends an exciting tempo to the song. 

Definitely, Kesha has a way of drawing you into her experience through her song Praying. “I hope you find your peace. Falling on your knees praying.”

Thus, if your voice falls into this alto type, the song is a perfect fit for you. 

3. Bluebird by Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles breezes comfortably through the verses of this letting-go song. Moreover, her alto voice comes out smoothly without effort. “Back to the sky on your own. Oh. Let him go, bluebird. Ready to fly, you and I.”

Absolutely, Bluebird could be one of the best songs for new alto singers. They can train slowly using the alto pitch. Moreover, a male could also sing this song because the lyrics are neutral.

4. Baby Can I Hold You by Tracy Chapman 

Both male and female altos can sing this Tracy Chapman song. Tracy serenades listeners with her rich, soothing voice. “Years gone by and still words don’t come easily. Like, forgive me, forgive me.”

Moreover, in this song, the Grammy award-winning artist talks about love finding its way back to the beloved. Particularly, the melody is catchy, and the tone is suitable for alto beginners.

Thus, the song has become a sort of anthem for lovers still in their honeymoon period.

5. Million Reasons by Lady Gaga 

Lady Gaga revealed that the meaning of the song Million Reasons is about heartbreak. Moreover, she said the song was about her father, her ex, and more. Lastly, she added that she needs human connection. [1

Definitely, she has rendered a lively version of the song despite its sad theme. Her vocal range is vast, while her throaty voice can sing almost any type of song.

Males could also sing Million Reasons with a guitar

6. Lay Me Down by Sam Smith

Reportedly, Sam Smith revealed that “the song was written after he deleted a guy who was unresponsive to his advances from his Whatsapp.” [2]

Nevertheless, the song’s lyrics talk about losing someone and wanting to lay down beside him/her. This suggests that the person may have passed away. 

Sam started with a slow and haunting tempo and then went into a frenzied beat. Then, he goes back to the slow tempo at the end of the song. 

The song would definitely be a challenge for male and female altos as their voices have to adjust to the song’s various rhythms. 

7. Someone Like You by Adele 

Who would not know Adele’s Someone Like You? The song gained worldwide fame and has won the Best Pop Solo Performance at the Grammys.

Moreover, she is a mezzo-soprano. Meaning, her voice ranges between a soprano and an alto – an incredible vocal trait.

best alto songs

Adele’s refreshing and authentic voice ranges from her highest Ds notes to her lowest B2 notes. Her vocal range is astounding, enabling her to sing almost any type of genre.

Furthermore, Someone Like You speaks about finding a person just like the beloved, as the ex-beau has already found someone else.

Adele’s rendition of the song proves to be one of the most mesmerizing performances on stage. She stands there and sings, but her powerful stage presence is unmistakable.

You can perform as well as Adele if you are committed and dedicated to your goal. As the cliché goes: “Practice makes perfect.”

8. Because of You by Kelly Clarkson

Kelly wrote the song when she was 16, particularly when her parents got divorced. The pain she was suffering as a young kid was reflected in the song’s lyrics. 

“I will not make the same mistakes that you did. I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery…”

Moreover, she added that parents don’t often realize the effects divorce has on children. And she hopes that listeners can learn from her song and not commit the same mistake as her parents.

Kelly’s rendition of the song is hauntingly brilliant and heartbreaking since she has one of the most powerful voices in the American music industry.

Go on and sing like Kelly Clarkson, and you would become a legend.

9. No Scrubs by TLC 

No Scrubs is a bop. TLC sings about how they don’t want ‘scrubs,’ wherein scrubs refer to jobless and broke men. 

Moreover, the group belts: “I don’t want your number (no). I don’t want to give you mine and (no). I don’t want to meet you nowhere.”

Moreover, the catchy song would be a great slow-dance too. You can easily vibe with the song’s undulating beat while singing to the tune. 

No Scrubs is also fun to sing at karaoke bars with your friends. Thus, you won’t have difficulties reaching the alto pitch. 

10. This Kiss by Faith Hill

This Kiss is Faith Hill’s pop, cheerful song. Faith sings about her first kiss and how the act evokes wonderful feelings of happiness. 

“It’s perpetual bliss. It’s that pivotal moment. It’s, ah, unstoppable. This kiss, this kiss.”

This Kiss is ideal for female altos as you can quickly learn the tune and pitch. Also, you don’t have to strain your vocal cords to sing the song. Well, if you’re male, you can also try singing this cheery love song.

Indeed, no matter what type of song it is, Faith Hill always delivers. 

You can pick any of these songs and develop your alto voice.

The Differences Between a Male and a Female Alto

Alto came from the term contratenor Altus. Moreover, this term refers to the part immediately after the tenor part. 

A male alto is the highest male voice, singing falsetto, while female altos are usually called contraltos. On the other hand, countertenors typically sing in falsetto. Lastly, contratenor is the male’s highest voice.

There is no significant difference between male and female alto singers. Also, it should be noted that the difference lies only in how they reach the required pitch.

Next, let us proceed to some tips for enhancing your alto voice. 

Tips to Enhance Your Alto Voice

You can develop your alto by observing the following pointers:

1. Breathe Through Your Diaphragm

You are breathing using your diaphragm when your feel the air come from the pit of your stomach. Moreover, your chest rises and decompresses. This belly breath will provide more air for your lungs to use.

alto songs

You are doing this properly when your belly compresses and your chest rises. To check if you’re doing the right thing, hold your belly with your hand’s palm and feel its relaxation and tightening.

2. Relax Your Throat Area

Do not clench your jaw or tighten your neck muscles. They should be relaxed so that your vocal cords can deliver their full function.

You have to maintain the correct posture; stand straight with your shoulders and neck aligned and relaxed. It is the typical posture you have when you exhale. 

3. Use Your Mouth Properly to Produce Clearer Notes

When singing, use your lower jaw to produce a clearer and rounded sound. Open your mouth and practice lowering your jaw. 

Also, practice first with the vowel sounds: ah, eh, ih, oh, uh. Enunciate them properly, pronouncing each word fully. Afterward, proceed to the consonants.

4. Use Your Tongue to Enunciate Words

Roll your tongue with the words to avoid stuttering. Remember that your tongue’s placement is crucial to your diction. Get those r’s and l’s clearly, so that people can understand your song’s lyrics.

Sometimes, words are mispronounced, lending a different meaning to your song. One of the most popular misheard lyrics is a line from Starship’s We Built This City. 

Some listeners thought it was: “We built this city on sausage rolls,” when it was actually “We built this city on rock and roll.”

5. Warm Up Your Voice

Before starting your practices, warm up your voice by purring your lips. Produce the ‘brrrr’ sound, as if you were cold. Feel your lips purr against each other.

Do this several times until you feel your throat and vocal cords flexible enough.

Produce the vowel sounds with your mouth opening widely. Also, do this step for several minutes too.

6. Learn How to Resonate Your Tone

Use your mouth, tongue, and your chest areas to resonate with your notes. You should control your breathing until you have resonated your notes. Feel the notes reverberate through your system.

7. Learn How to Read Music Sheets

You cannot effectively practice if you do not know how to read the music sheets. Thus, you should learn the basic symbols of notation to be able to do this. Know what quarter notes are, note values, dots, and ties. [3

8. Sing with Confidence

Your self-confidence will always be the X-factor that will help you succeed. Because no matter how good you are, if you do not believe in yourself, no one else will. 

Go to the stage and deliver your song confidently and express yourself through your song with gusto. And lastly, do the best you can, and everything will fall into place to bestow your success.

Conclusion – Best Songs for Altos

10 of the best songs for altos are as follows:

  1. Bound to You by Christina Aguilera
  2. Praying by Kesha
  3. Bluebird by Sara Bareilles
  4. Baby Can I Hold You by Tracy Chapman
  5. Million Reasons by Lady Gaga
  6. Lay Me Down by Sam Smith
  7. Someone Like You by Adele
  8. Because of You by Kelly Clarkson
  9. No Scrubs by TLC
  10. This Kiss by Faith Hill

There are still thousands of songs out there that you can choose from since these are only a handful of these wonderful songs.

Find out your alto voice quality and search for at least three songs that match your preferences. Practice with these songs until you can deliver them smoothly. Note that you can also include other songs as you grow your repertoire.

Related reading:

Audition Songs for Altos

Best Karaoke Songs for Alto Females [19 Songs]