Imagine you are to sing at a wedding, and, suddenly, the sound system fails to work, and you got no choice but to sing a cappella. So, you got fidgety and nervous. Yet, you were able to cruise through such a situation with your audience applauding you afterward. You did it because you trained well in a cappella singing. But what is a cappella singing?
Well, when I was studying Latin in college, I learned that a cappella etymologically means in the manner of a chapel or in the style of the church music. It refers to olden church music, written for singing without accompaniment.
The term was first used to differentiate the Renaissance polyphony from the Baroque concertato style. However, a cappella evolved to mean unaccompanied vocal music. So, if you are asked to sing a cappella, it only means that you will sing without instrumentals.
You will hear solo and group singers who sing a cappella. Moreover, when you sing a cappella with a group, your conductor will usually assign you a specific voice that you will sing. Yet, when you sing a cappella solo, you need to project your voice all alone.
Your audience likewise will keenly listen to your unadulterated voice. Besides, your audience will also become aware of your vocal timbre and color. Plus, your musicality and stamina will be laid bare and put to the test when you sing a cappella.
Solo A Cappella Singing
It is crucial, as an aspiring artist, that you can sing a cappella because there will be instances wherein you will sing impromptu. It will help if you prepare yourself for such situations as an aspiring artist. Besides, singing solo a cappella, of course, will enable you to showcase your vocal prowess without the help of an instrument.
If you have watched American Idol, you will notice that during the auditions, aspiring American Idols do a cappella singing to showcase what they got to become an American Idol. Similarly, you will need to showcase your pure voice a cappella to qualify for other singing contest shows. Hence, even if you do not like the idea of singing a cappella, you will someday sing a cappella as an aspiring artist.
So, it will help if you prepare for these situations. You cannot just belt a song a cappella that you have not practiced yet. It will help if you have a voluminous songbook where you can choose the song to sing a cappella. Besides, it is better prepared than sorry in such instances.
Yet, you need to pick music pieces that you will sing a cappella carefully. Choose songs within your vocal range and tessitura. It will also help if you select several songs for a variety of occasions. Below are the factors and tips that you should consider to be a better a cappella singer.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best A Cappella Songs
Singing a cappella exposes your voice for scrutiny because your audience will hear your tone, intonation, and musicality sans accompaniment. This fact is doubly true if you are auditioning for a singing contest or even an opera role. Practicing beforehand before plunging yourself into the audition will save you from embarrassment.
Remember that there are factors you need to consider when choosing an a cappella song. First, you need to consider who the judges are. If you see that the judges belong to the veteran generations, you better choose songs from the 50s, 60s, or 70s. However, if the judges belong to Gen Y, you need to adjust your song choice and choose something more recent.
The ideal audition songs should showcase your voice quality. Moreover, it should not be too easy to sing; otherwise, you could not show off your vocal prowess. The judges, of course, will expect you to show the extent of your vocal range. So, you can choose ballads to let you showcase your musicality and faithfulness to the song’s notes.
You can also select upbeat songs, and no rule prohibits you from choosing upbeat songs. The only rule is that the piece that you should select should work best for you. Nevertheless, it will help if you practice a lot singing those songs. Make sure that you prepare three to five songs that you can sing well.
Singing a cappella in an audition comes with some risks. Yet, if you breeze through it without faltering, you can convince the judges that you deserve a slot in the show.
It will help if you are not gun shy in experimenting with your voice. Moreover, you should ensure that you maintain your vocal rendition within the acceptable notation. It will help too if you can infuse something new into the song that is uniquely yours.
Lists of Good A Cappella Songs
FAQs about A Cappella Singing & Song Selection
I read the other day through a music forum much about a cappella singing. I have collated all the questions that kept cropping up on that forum to help you further understand a cappella singing. Below are FAQs that you can check out:
How Can I Become An Acapella Singer?
If you have a gift of a good voice, you are already one step to becoming an a cappella singer. A good voice is a prerequisite to becoming a good a cappella singer. Yet, it is not enough to have a good voice. Any talent that is not honed and developed will soon degenerate. Nevertheless, if you hone your talent and practice singing using the established singing techniques, you can improve your singing skills a cappella.
Aside from practicing a lot, it will help if you have an intuitive metronome inside your head when you sing a cappella. The problem with singing a cappella is that you will have no accompaniment. Hence, you don’t have any clue when to begin singing or when to start a verse. Yet, if you have developed that inner metronome, you can rely on it for better timing and groove.
How Can I Easily Sing A Cappella?
Nothing is achieved without sacrifice. Similarly, if you want to improve your a cappella singing, you need to practice more often. Once you get used to it, singing a cappella will become second nature to you.
Learn the song that you like to sing by heart. Memorize its lyrics so that you can sing its lyrics without forgetting any part. Then, try to feel the song and what it wants to convey. Afterward, learn the right notes of the piece as well as its rhythm.
Listen to the song more often to train your ear. Then, get into the groove when you sing it. In this way, you will deliver an a cappella rendition of a song that will wow your audience.
A cappella singing is like being naked on stage. When you sing a cappella, you let your listeners hear your tone and color without embellishment. It is as if your voice is naked and raw. Thus, your listeners will tend to listen to your voice and not be distracted by any accompaniment.
Your audience will also become more scrupulous in critiquing your rendition of the song because you lay your voice bare for their scrutiny. So, you need to prepare, and with adequate preparation, you can deliver something that your listeners will cherish and remember.