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Top 17 Audition-Friendly Pop Songs for Baritones

Looking for some audition-friendly pop songs for baritones? You won’t have too much trouble finding some great songs. They may not be as popular as songs in the tenor range, but as we shall see, there is still plenty of great material. 

And when I tell you that most songs sung by John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, etc., are baritone, you will get my drift. And there are plenty more than just those.

If you have been invited or applied for an audition and they have let you choose your audition song, then consider yourself lucky. Quite often, you will be asked to perform something that has a direct reference to the work in question.

Getting Started

That is quite often a musical or musical play where there are songs to sing. They will usually pitch the material in a set genre. If you have the freedom to choose, then you will need to choose wisely. There are some things to consider:

  • Choose one song as your main piece, but have another fully prepared just in case.
  • Avoid songs you think others might choose.
  • Choose songs that those listening to you will be familiar with.
  • If you choose a song you wrote yourself, then get honest opinions from others you trust. Is it “good enough”?
  • Choose a song that shows your full range.
  • Pick a song that allows you to demonstrate some emotion.
  • Pick a song that you are happy with.

So, let’s get on with it and find some great audition-friendly pop songs for baritones.

Your Song by Elton John

The song that brought the world’s attention to Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s songwriting, and to Elton’s vocals. There is no doubt that this is a great song to sing to impress. However, you must decide if you can do it justice.

It is not an easy song by any means. And anyone who attempts it must try and maintain its simplistic charm. If you can manage to do that, then it could be a winner for you. Once again, a song that not many people would consider including for an audition.

This Year’s Love by David Gray

David Gray is a lesson in belief and persistence. He had been around a while and just been dropped by his record company. He was trying to keep busy writing and recording a new album at his own expense. Out of the blue, he got the chance to write a song for a movie, and this gem popped out.

And what a song it proved to be. A great piece of work, packed with emotion and power. It reflects the desperation people sometimes feel about relationships. He managed to hire a studio to play a real piano for the part, but the strings, etc., were courtesy of Roland. The keyboard, that is, not a friend.

It may well be a song that others will choose. A great song to choose but having a second choice ready might be a good idea.

All You Need Is Love by The Beatles

You can’t make a list of anything musical without including these guys. Probably the greatest pop composers there has ever been, and this is a classic example. A John Lennon song, first released in 1967, typifies so much of the feeling of the time and is still relevant today. 

Not a song that many will be using for an audition, I think, so worth considering.

Always On My Mind by Elvis Presley

Take one of the great acts of the modern era and combine them with a great song, and you will get something special. Elvis was not everyone’s cup of tea. But showman he was, and he demonstrated it with this song written by Willie Nelson.

Released in 1972, a short time after his split with wife Priscilla, there is a power to his performance. Given that this was originally a Country song, that power is rather surprising. 

There have been plenty of covers recorded, but this is usually the version that others are measured by. Another vote winner if you can pull it off.

Piano Man by Billy Joel

Billy Joel’s first single, taken from his first album in 1973, is still recognized as one of his signature songs. With a nice tempo, easy lyrics, and easy to listen to, it is a great audition song for baritones.

Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan

People often forget that Bob Dylan wrote this song. It was lifted as a single from his “Nashville Skyline” album. It is not a song that you would initially associate with him. 

Gone are the high nasal tones we all know so well. They are replaced with a lower-pitched softer voice, almost reflective in the way he sounds. There have been plenty of covers of this song, but it’s still Dylan’s that holds a gentle innocence. 

Written allegedly about Barbara Streisand, but who knows. If you do choose this, don’t try and copy Dylan’s style. Use your own style but keep it in the context of the song. An interesting song to attempt in a simple structure. Creating the right atmosphere is the important thing with this song.

Cracklin’ Rosie by Neil Diamond

In the 60s, Neil Diamond was better known as a songwriter, penning hits for The Monkees and others. Cracklin Rosie was his first American number one and was successful in the UK as well.

It is actually a song about some old-timers in a Native American village. There were far more men than women. For some, a bottle of Cracking Rosie became their company for the weekend.

A great tune with a happy feel to it. If they are looking for something bright and cheery, this will do the trick.

(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding

An easy-going song from the late, great Otis. This is a song that will stir some memories if your listeners are of the right age. Released in 1968, shortly after his death in a plane crash, it is still a nice song to listen to.

Otis was known first and foremost for being a great soul singer. Although, this was hardly what you would call a ‘soul’ song. He co-wrote it with another great of the period, guitarist Steve Cropper.

If you fancy giving this one a go, make sure you can whistle in tune. It might sound a bit strange without that ending.

Slip Slidin’ Away by Paul Simon

It was never a case of should we include a Paul Simon song. It was just a case of which one. There are so many, and a large proportion of them suit the baritone range. Some of the other contenders on the audition might pick one of his songs. 

So, I have chosen one here that they may overlook. A great tune, great message, typical all-around Simon genius. And a great candidate for the audition.

Mother and Child Reunion by Paul Simon

Let’s stay with the great man for one more, a single release from his 1972 album “Paul Simon.” Again another great song that might be overlooked. It has an infectious rhythm and a positive feel to the way it is constructed.

This song was a manifestation of Paul’s appreciation of Reggae music. One of his favorite artists, Jimmy Cliff, recorded in Kingson, Jamaica. That is where this was recorded, at the same studio, using some of the same musicians and backing singers he used.

The result was as near as you are going to get for a white guy performing Reggae. This would be a choice with a difference. I doubt very much whether any of the other contenders will choose a Reggae audition song for a baritone singer.

In My Life by The Beatles

Along with “Strawberry Fields Forever,” another good baritone song for an audition incidentally, this might be John’s masterpiece. A track from the 1965 album “Rubber Soul,” it is a song deep in imagery and meaning. 

The message is that at the end of our lives, there will always be one that we are closest to. No matter how many friends we have, there will just be one. It started as an autobiographical piece, but it diversified and became all-encompassing and applicable to everyone.

A good song for an audition? I think so. It allows you to demonstrate feelings and emotions, which might be important for what they have in mind. Vocally, it won’t test you. But that is a good idea in some respects.

Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers

From 1971, a great song from Bill Withers. This is one of those songs that sticks in your mind and is, therefore, a great choice for an audition. Bill was joined on the track by some great musicians. Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn on bass being one. No surprise then that it has such a great rhythmic feel to it.

At an audition, is it normal for those who are watching you to be looking for more than just a very good voice. At this stage, you probably have no idea what they are auditioning for. 

But whatever it is, if you can inject some emotion into your performance, it is going to help. This is one of those songs where you can certainly do that. A great pop song for baritone auditions that is worthy of some consideration.

Oh Very Young by Cat Stevens

There are songs that you hear just once, and they leave a mark that never goes away. For me, this is one of those songs. Not one of his best known possibly but one of his greatest.

At the time he wrote this, in 1974, he was searching for something. He had nearly died with TB, and he admits during that phase, he realized there was a “bigger picture.” While writing this, he was researching Buddhism, and there are plenty of references to that.

Saying Goodbye

But for me, the thing was that he likened how it can be so hard to say goodbye. Even though we know that nothing lasts forever. How he likened it to throwing away an old pair of jeans. Together they have been through so much, but now it was time to say those goodbyes. “And the patches make the goodbye’s harder still.”

A genius of a song from a genius of a writer. And one that will certainly impress a panel of people for its depth and meaning.

Song Sung Blue by Neil Diamond

Let’s return to Neil Diamond. You may not be particularly enamored by him as an artist, but he wrote great songs that everyone knows and loves. This is another of them. He admits that his inspiration for this song came from Mozart and one of his early piano concertos.

Neil Diamond’s songs are usually simple in format and quite easy to sing. And because he writes for himself, they are naturally baritone. Released in 1972, it was a candidate for a Grammy award but lost out to Roberta Flack.

Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond 

I am sure you forgive me for one last delve into this man’s impressive songbook of work. And who doesn’t love this one? A great little tune and one of the best choruses ever written in a ‘pop’ song. It is just a great example of how to write that elusive successful pop song. 

There were plenty of rumors about who the song was actually about. It finally emerged it was about Caroline Kennedy. 

Sing this at an audition, and you might just get them all singing along with you. In other words, one of the most popular audition songs for baritones.

Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen 

You want something a little more uptempo, I hear you say. Freddie and Queen are a good place to start with that. Freddie wrote the music and lyrics to this, and it captures perfectly his zest and love of life. 

Unfortunately, it was this hedonistic existence that eventually killed him. But there is none of that here. Even though John Deacon, for one, was frightened for him at the time.

As far as audition-friendly pop songs for baritones go, it has power and allows some creative interpretation of the way the tune is constructed. The great thing about it is the way the song portrays excitement and optimism.

Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me by Elton John

Once more, back to Elton John. The problem with a list like this is that you can quite easily select two or three songs from one artist. I suppose that is a tribute to how great the songs are and how good the artist is.

An interesting back-story on this one but no real space for it. It ended up being one of his best, even though he was in one of his ‘Elton moods’ when he sang it and couldn’t get it right.

Quite a Pair

Many people say that Bernie made Elton with his lyrics. The words have always been a strong part of Elton’s best songs. But let’s not forget the melodies that go with them. This is powerful, almost ‘Phil Spector’ in the way it is constructed. The melody brings that to the words. 

Some famous faces from the Beach Boys on backing vocals add to the whole mix. A great song for an audition. Great melody, with meaningful words, and a song that can generate a powerful performance.

Need Some Audition Song Ideas?

We can help with that. Check out our handy articles on the Best Audition Songs for Basses, the Best Audition Songs for Altos, the Best Audition Songs for Kids, the Best Duet Karaoke Songs, the Best Songs About Cheating and Lying, and Songs about Fighting for some great song option.

A mic might help you practice these songs. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Dynamic Microphones, the Best Live Vocal Mics, the Best Wireless Microphones, the Best Computer Microphones, and the Best Cheap Microphone Under $50 you can buy in 2022.

Audition-Friendly Pop Songs for Baritones – Final Thoughts

I’ve included some great songs that should give you some food for thought. Preparation is always important for these things. And so you should always make your choices from as many options as you can find.

It will be tense. But your nervousness can help you if you use it in the right way. But remember that if they have invited you in, there is a reason. And the only reason is you. You have earned your place to be there. And don’t forget the three B’s.

  • Be well-prepared.
  • Be well-rehearsed.
  • And be confident.

And part of that is choosing a song that you feel comfortable with and that you like to sing. That can make a big difference. So choose wisely.

Until next time, let your heard be heard.

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About Jennifer Bell

Jennifer is a freelance writer from Montana. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and English, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Games and Simulation Design.

Her passions include guitar, bass, ukulele, and piano, as well as a range of classical instruments she has been playing since at school. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, yoga, eating well, and spending time with her two cats, Rocky and Jasper.

Jennifer enjoys writing articles on all types of musical instruments and is always extending her understanding and appreciation of music. She also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories for various websites and hopes to get her first book published in the very near future.

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