There are a lot of people in the music industry that do not consider a woman to be able to sing tenor, often females with tenor voices get categorized as contralto singers. Singing tenor and contralto is not that different no matter if you are a woman or a man, however, when you are auditioning for a singing job the difference between the two categories will either help you or hinder you from getting the job.
If you have been to several auditions already as a female tenor you have probably heard the producers say that you are either contralto or the producers simply start arguing between themselves if your voice is tenor or not, in some cases people may even get rejected at auditions because they do not sound tenor enough. The truth is that most music producers and vocal coaches consider that different tenors have different vocal qualities and oftentimes these ideal qualities do not line up between all the producers which could cause some confusion.
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If you are a female tenor getting ready for an audition or just practicing singing tenor you will have a very hard time finding tenor songs for females. If you are a beginner and only exploring what is your true vocal range my recommendation is to read my article How to sing for beginners step by step ( 14 Easy Steps ), this way you will have an easy step by step guide which you can practice till you find your true voice.
Oftentimes people do not explore or push the limits of their voice, you might even be a female tenor and never know it as you either didn’t practice for it or something is dragging you down, in this case, my recommendation is to read my article How to improve voice quality naturally. In addition to this, you should also do some research on how the actual food you consume also affects your voice, for example, if you have a healthy lifestyle which is beneficial to all singers you might find that your nutrition is actually what helps you having a great tenor voice.
When searching for tenor songs for females my recommendation if you are fairly new to tenor singing is to try out songs that are easy to sing for karaoke, generally speaking, karaoke songs are fairly easy to sing even if you are a natural tenor for more information check out my article Best sing along songs when drunk ( Top 23 ). All the tenor songs for females in this list have been originally created for female tenors, although you could sing also tenor songs that are meant for males the truth is that tenor songs for men sung by women are extremely difficult.
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1. “No Scrubs” TLC
If you have grown up during the 90’s you are probably already familiar with this song. It was released back in 1999 and it has been awarded a Grammy for Record of the year, the song is fairly easy to sing and it is highly recommended to beginner female tenors, however, if you are preparing yourself for an audition my personal recommendation is not to use it as honestly it has been played to death at most female tenor auditions.
2. “Back to Before” Marin Mazzie (Ragtime)
Ragtime is a full-blown Broadway musical, if you want to impress anybody with your tenor voice this is the song for you as most female tenors will shy away from it as it is fairly difficult to sing if you are not in full control of your voice. Most people when auditioning for a tenor role they often times choose familiar pop songs like these are a lot easier to sing than a musical, however, this is the main reason why almost everybody sounds the same at an audition.
3. “Bali Hai” South Pacific
“Bali Hai” is a classical tenor song for females, the song is actually a show tune which has been released back in 1949. The song considered a classic by many has been used by a lot of movies especially even in our recent times. If you manage to sing “Bali Hai” correctly you will simply mesmerize the audience with your voice, although it is not recommended for beginner singers as it is kind of hard to sing, especially if you are not familiar with the show tunes.
4. “This is my beloved” Kismet
The song “This is my beloved” has been part of the musical called Kismet which has been produced in 1953. During the early ’50s, musicals were very popular in Hollywood movies, the musical Kismet has gained a cult following since then mainly due to the “This is my beloved” song. Originally the song has been sung by Ann Blyth, which during that period of time was considered one of the best female tenor voices in the world.
5. “Lady Marmalade” Various Artists
The song has been performed by several artists like Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink released back in 2001 it quickly climbed on the Billboards top 100 charts. Although the song is sung by several artists it can still be a great song for female tenors. The song is fairly easy to sing but it is highly recommended to sing it with a group that has different vocal ranges as this is how the song is meant to be sung.
6. “Skyfall” Adele
Adele has one of the best voices in our modern times, although most critics consider her voice type to be a soprano the song “Skyfall” can easily be sung by any female tenor as it suits the tenor voice very well. If you are a new singer then you have probably already practiced singing some of Adele’s songs, transitioning to a tenor voice type for almost any of her songs would be fairly easy.
7. “Raise Your Glass” Pink
The song “Raise Your Glass” sung by the artist Pink has been released in 2010, till this day this song is one of her more successful ones. It is fairly hard to find modern-day female tenor songs and arguably Pink is not a true tenor but this song can be easily adjusted to be sung by a tenor, although you might slow down the tempo while singing this song as singing it with a tenor female voice will feel and sound awkward if done by the same tempo as the song is.
8. “Turn Back, O Man” Godspell
The song “Turn Back, O Man” is part of the musical Godspell composed by Stephen Schwartz, if you explore his music you will find a lot of good songs which are suitable for female tenors, although as he mainly composes musicals you could find it difficult to sing them as a tenor. What is great about this song is that by singing it you will explore your entire tenor vocal range in different tempos.
9. “Rolling in the Deep” Adele
This is the second song by the artist Adele on this list, although as previously mentioned is not an actual tenor but here songs are excellent for any tenor female singers. Just keep in mind that if you are preparing for an audition to not use it as some directors and producers are extremely bored of her songs as most auditions no matter for what kind of voice type has at least some people singing here songs.
10. “Close to You” Karen Carpenter
The song “Close to You” performed by the band The Carpenters sung by Karen Carpenter has been released back in 1970, since then it has become a classic. The song has won numerous awards and in 2003 it was part of the top Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The song is fairly easy to sing for new and advanced female tenor singers as well but if you are unfamiliar with here type of singing it could be a challenge.
11. “Summertime Sadness” Lana Del Rey
The song “Summertime Sadness” performed by Lana Del Rey is one of the newer songs on my list, released in 2012 the song is especially easy to be sung by new female tenor singers. If you are just starting to experiment with your tenor voice, my suggestion is to try not only this song out but some of her other popular songs as most of them are well suited for any female tenor no matter their level of experience.
12. “Yeah Yeah Yeahs” Maps
If you have ever played Rockband on the Sony PlayStation you probably have not only heard this song but played it as well, as it was one of the most popular songs in the game. The song originally has been released in 2004, since then a lot of movies have used it and in 2004 the song was played at the MTV Movie Awards as well.
13. “Mein Herr” Liza Minnelli
The daughter of Judy Garland, Liza Minelli has always struggled to come out from her mother’s shadow and she has managed to do that with this song. If you watch the video above you will see not only amazing singing but also great choreography. If you are a female tenor auditioning for a musical or a show this is one of the best songs which you should use, in addition to singing it you should also learn the choreography.
14. “Rhiannon” Fleetwood Mac
The song “Rhiannon” has been released back in 1975, since then it has also been added to Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. If you search the song you will mostly find only live performances and her voice is amazing, do keep in mind that this was an era before playback singing became mainstream and autotune was not a thing. The song is fairly complex which makes it kind of difficult to be sung by female tenors, but if you can sing it well you will impress anybody.
15. “Send In the Clowns” Judy Collins
The song “Send In the Clowns” has been released back in 1975, the song was very popular during the late ’70s and early ’80s and it is even making a comeback in our modern times with several artists singing the song in one form or another. Due to its title “Send In the Clowns” most people think it is some kind of funny song but if you listen to it it will become obvious in the first couple of seconds that this is a heartwarming song, although I would love hearing this song at the beginning of every political debate.
16. “So in Love” Ella Fitzgerald
The song “So in Love” was written by Cole Porter and sung by Ella Fitzgerald, it was released in 1949 and this is one of those oldie but goldie songs. In addition to being an excellent song for a female tenor singer it also has a great sounding orchestra accompanying it. Some may consider the song to be fairly difficult to be performed as the style of singing is almost extinct in our modern era.
17. “Because Of You” Kelly Clarkson
The song has been released in 2004, it was a very popular song during that time. The song is fairly easy to be sung by female tenors but it will not sound as impressive as singing some of the other more classical tenor songs, especially if you are auditioning.
18. “When She Loved Me” Sarah McLachlan
The song “When She Loved Me” performed by Sarah McLachlan was part of Toy Story 2 released in 1999. The song is part of the movie and it tells the tale of Jessie, which is the main protagonist of the movie. It is a great song for female tenors although if you listen carefully to the lyrics it might get quite depressing.
There is not a lot of options when it comes to tenor songs for females, the few options that you have might be fairly difficult to sing as most modern singers are not used to that type of singing as the majority of tenor songs performed by females have a completely different way of singing. Practice makes perfect and if you are truly a female tenor you have to practice to achieve your edge but once you do it will pay off big time as there are few female tenors in our time.