I really love Karaoke, but my wife doesn’t. Turns out it’s not very fun to do something if you don’t think you’re very good at it.
She is actually a very good singer, but most popular songs don’t really fit her vocal range. If I wanted her to join in the karaoke fun with me, and I did, we had to find some songs that fit her lower alto voice really well. Songs that she could sound great singing.
Quick Word on Picking Songs
The truth is, the range of a traditional alto is actual quite large, so you’ll almost certainly find songs on this list that don’t actually fit your range perfectly. Some of the songs on the list will hit the lower alto range, some will hit the upper range, and some will hit the entire alto range.
So with that said, I have a few words of advice for anyone wanting to pick a song or two to sing.
First, think ahead. Listen to a few songs and hum along to make sure you 1) know the song well and 2) can sing the notes.
Second, don’t be afraid to sing a song from a male vocalist. Several of the songs on this list fit my range perfectly (I’m a tenor), and I sing them even if it’s a female singer. Two of my go to songs are What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes and Almost There from The Princess and the Frog. Nobody cares that it’s supposed to be a woman singing because they fit my range and I sound good singing them.
Third, you can always drop an octave for high notes or go up an octave for low notes. If you love a song, but can’t hit some of the notes, don’t be afraid to simply drop or raise to an octave in your range.
Without further ado, here is my list of great karaoke songs for low female (alto) vocalists:
Let’s start off with pop. The great thing about pop is lots of people will know the songs and want to sing with you.
1. “Jar of Hearts” – Christina Perri
This one goes first on my list because it’s my wife’s go to song. The mark of a good song for her is that no note is too high and this song really just has one note that’s a stretch for her. She likes it because it fits her range for 95% of the song and then she gets one chance to really go for it.
2. “What’s Up” – 4 Non Blondes
I put this one on here because it’s one of my go to songs as a tenor. I also just love the song and have a lot of fun singing it. Other people love to join in and sing with me on this one.
3 and 4. “Sorry” and “Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
If you have a very low alto/contralto voice, then Justin Bieber has a handful of songs that will fit your range perfectly. And on a personal note, I just love the sound of “Love Yourself.”
5 and 6. “Gimme One Reason” and “Fast Car” – Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman is a great artist for altos. Her vocals are always in the alto range and she also doesn’t do a lot of complex vocal techniques. Just great songs and great melodies in the traditional alto range.
7. “Stay With Me” – Sam Smith
You’ll see a trend in this article of songs performed by male vocalists. If you’re limiting yourself only to songs performed by female artists, then you’re missing out on a huge trove of songs performed by men that sit inside the lower range for women. Sam Smith has several songs that fit this description. My favorite of his is “Stay With Me.”
8. “Young and Beautiful” – Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey is an alto, most of her music should suit you.
9. “Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga has a huge range, but “Bad Romance” is one that avoids the higher soprano notes.
10. “All I Wanna Do” – Sheryl Crow
If you know the verses to this one then the crowd will help you through the chorus.
11. “Rehab” – Amy Winehouse
I’ve seen this song on every list of “Karaoke songs for altos” I’ve read, so I suppose I’ll put it on mine as well. And it’s a pretty fun song.
12. “Drops of Jupiter” – Train
Drops of Jupiter is a song I’ve been singing (as a tenor) for years. It has such a great sound, but it’s actually not that difficult to sing.
13. “Take Me to Church” – Hozier
This one is on the list because my wife likes to sing it. It hits the bottom of her register, but the chorus is right in her sweet spot.
14. “Summer of Love” – Shawn Mendes
I found this one on a top 50 list for 2021 pop songs and took a listen. It would work great for a lower female vocalist.
15. “Something To Talk About” – Bonnie Raitt
I mean if Will Ferrel can pull this one off, then so can you!
16. “Bad Habits” – Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran can actually get a little high for women with lower voices at times, but the majority of his music fits perfectly into the alto range.
17. “Watermelon Sugar” – Harry Styles
I also found this one on that top 50 list for 2021 pop songs and took a listen. It actually fits smack dab in the middle of an alto register.
18. “Royals” – Lorde
I’ve always been a bit of a music snob, and I have historically been low on pop music, but when I heard “Royals” for the first time I had to recognize the outstanding songwriting. I love this song and it totally fits the alto range the whole way through.
19. “bad guy” – Billie Eilish
This song doesn’t require a ton of skill and it sticks within a pretty small (alto) range. It’s probably not the song to show off your vocal skills, but if you just need to get through a song to appease your friends, then this might be low enough risk for you.
20. “No Scrubs” – TLC
This is another song that keeps within a relatively small range, which should make it a safe pick.
The 70’s were the absolute peak of the male tenor lead singer, and there is no shortage of classic rock songs that work great for women with an alto range. Classic Rock is the genre I listen to most, so I took most of these from my personal list of karaoke songs (yes, I keep a list of songs on my phone just in case I find myself at a karaoke party).
This list might be more aptly called “List of Rock Songs that Michael Likes to Sing.”
Yes, that’s a screenshot of the ever growing personal karaoke list I keep on my phone.
21 and 22. “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” and “Don’t Stop Believin'” – Journey
Steve Perry of Journey is basically an alto. You could probably pick any song they’ve ever written and use it as a karaoke song, but these are two of my favorites. Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ is like one of my all time favorite songs to sing. I suggest you give it a chance.
This female cover of “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” freaking rocks..
23. “Landslide” – Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac features Stevie Nicks, one of the best rock vocalists ever. She sings primarily in the alto range, but typically jumps up to low soprano for a few lines in each song. “Landslide” stays pretty modest throughout.
24. “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” – Tom Petty
You’re going to see lots of male vocalists in my rock list. There are just so many male singers that hit that low/mid alto register. Tom Petty has dozens of great songs, but “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” is probably the most famous, although it hits the lower range for an alto.
25. “Dust in the Wind” – Kansas
I couldn’t resist throwing in another Will Ferrell vocal performance. It gets a little high for him, but a woman with a lower voice could seriously rock this song.
26. “Joy to the World” – 3 Dog Night
I’m really loving the idea of a female vocalist on this song. In fact, I loved the idea so much I had to go find a female covering the song (and I was not disappointed).
27. “One Last Breath” – Creed
Creed was the soundtrack of my senior year of high school. “One Last Breath” is probably their most famous song, but if you really have a deep voice you could try out my favorite song of theirs “Weathered.”
I am truly loving listening to these female covers. Here’s one of One Last Breath.
28. “Barracuda” – Heart
Heart had quite a few great songs, but in my opinion “Barracuda” rocks the hardest.
29. “The Reason” – Hoobastank
Hoobastank was another one of my favorite bands in high school. Their vocalist typically sings in the alto range and they have so many great songs: “Crawling in the Dark,” “Running Away,” “Same Direction,” First of Me” and “Disappear.” Not sure if all those fit a lower female range, but their most famous song “The Reason” definitely does.
30. “Come Together” – The Beatles
The beatles are another group that just has so many great songs that fit high male and low female ranges. My personal favorite of theirs is “Come Together,” but they literally have dozens of others that would fit the alto range, from “Oh Darling” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to “Day Tripper” and “Help!” their discography is a gold mine of great karaoke songs.
At this point I just can’t help myself.
31. “Come Sail Away” – Styx
Styx is another classic rock band with a high tenor/low alto vocalist. “Come Sail Away” has to be their most popular.
Now as I’m writing this article I think I’m getting a little too excited because I’m over here thinking “I need to plan an opposite sex karaoke party” where everybody can only sing songs originally performed by someone of the opposite sex. These gals are crushing these covers.
32. “Somebody to Love” – Queen
“Somebody to Love” is a go-to karaoke song for me and I can say it is just so much fun to sing.
At this point the cover is obligatory: although I would probably recommend singing that intro an octave below the woman in the video.
33 and 34. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love is a Battlefield” – Pat Benatar
Pat Benatar is another superb alto. You could pick anything from her discography, but probably her most recognizable songs are “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love is a Battlefield.”
35. “Back in Black” – ACDC
ACDC’s primary vocalist, Brian Johnson, has perhaps the highest male voice in rock. It’s a real struggle for me to keep up with his vocals most of the time. He’s definitely hitting the upper range for altos. It’s so high that I would argue that a woman is more likely to pull of an ACDC karaoke song than a man.
To make this one work, you’ll probably need a voice with a lot of growl.
36. “Give a Little Bit” – Supertramp
Add Supertramp to the now long list of classic rock bands with male vocalists that sing in the alto range. And then check out this group of (german?) gals covering “Give a Little Bit.”
37. “Ramble On” – Led Zeppelin
Robert Plant has an argument for the greatest lead singer ever, and Led Zeppelin also has a huge list of songs that would work for an alto. You could go for “Stairway to Heaven” or “Whole Lotta Love” or “Black Dog”, but I’m partial to “Ramble On” primarily because of the mention of Gollum. Although to be fair references to Lord of the Rings are quite common in Led Zeppelin’s lyrics.
38. “Rich Girl” – Hall and Oates
I think of Hall and Oates as the group with the name that seems like they should be grouped with the likes of Simon and Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills and Nash, but they actually belong with the other 70’s and 80’s artists on this list.
Anyways you could go for “Maneater” or “You Make My Dreams Come True,” but I’m partial to “Rich Girl,” which was clearly meant to be performed by a woman.
39 and 40. “Zombie” and “Linger” – The Cranberries
One of the more unique singers you can find on this list, Dolores O’Riordan of the cranberries is an alto and most of her draw is from the uniqueness and emotion of her voice rather than the difficulty of her singing. “Zombie” and “Linger” are both quite easy vocal performances and give you lots of opportunity to add your own flair.
Historically speaking I’m not a fan of country music, but as I grew older and got away from the musical influence of my childhood home I found that I actually love country music, but I’m pretty picky about the vocalist.
For example I love Johnny Cash, but I have a hard time with other male country singers with a strong drawl in their singing. Anyhow, I’m actually partial to female vocalists in country, so this article works out well for me.
41. “Jolene” – Dolly Parton
“Jolene” is without a doubt my favorite country song performed by a female vocalist and one of my two favorite country songs (I can’t decide if I prefer “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash). This song may creep up a little into the soprano range, but I just couldn’t leave it off my list.
42. “Bluebird” – Miranda Lambert
I’ll admit, I don’t know country music well enough to pick songs out of my head. I had to go listening to some artists I wasn’t familiar with and “Bluebird” is a simple vocal performance that sits comfortably in the alto range.
43. “Keep Up” – RaeLynn
Another song I came upon in my research that has a great sound and fits the lower female range. You’ll want to check the chorus because she hits one note a bit higher than the rest of the song.
44 and 45. “Breathe” and “This Kiss” – Faith Hill
Seems to be a trend that most of these great female country vocalists sing in the mid-upper alto range. Faith Hill fits this description, and her two hits “Breathe” and “This Kiss” can both be pulled off by an alto with a decent top range.
46. “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood
I’ve never thought of Carrie Underwood as an alto, but “Before He Cheats,” her most well known song could be performed by an alto if you’ve got a bit of that upper range.
47 and 48. “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much” – Shania Twain
My wife and I have a running joke about Shania’s song “That Don’t Impress Me Much” so I’m quite partial to that song. However, both of these songs will fit nicely into the mid-upper range for altos.
49. “Wide Open Spaces” – The Chicks
The Dixie Chicks also have a great cover of “Landslide” which I’ve already got on my list.
50. “Stand by Your Man” – Tammy Wynette
With a house of three girls and myself, I’ve begun to consider myself a feminist, and I try to prioritize my wife’s dreams and desires enough that she doesn’t have to “Stand By” me. But sometimes there’s no denying the quality of the music, and “Stand by Your Man” is a great range for an alto. And heck, it’s karaoke, you can sing “Stand by Your Gran” if you want to.
Disney songs have been a big part of my karaoke experience, so it would be a sing to leave this genre off my list.
51. “Almost There” – The Princess and the Frog
This was one of those songs that I just loved so I decided I’d try to sing it (remember I’m a tenor) and it actually ended up fitting my voice really well. It’s mostly towards the top of my range, so I’m sure it will suit a low female voice just as well.
52. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” – The Little Mermaid
Ursula is like the definition of a contralto voice. She has an amazing deep, creepy and full voice. If you can pull this one off in the style of Ursula, you’ll no doubt get big cheers from the crowd. You might want to practice this one a few times before performing because there are a lot of half speaking/half singing parts which are common in Disney songs.
53. “Un Poco Loco” – Coco
Young Miguel’s voice hasn’t yet matured, which puts it safely inside the alto range. Not to mention this song is short, catchy, and has the option for a few nice harmonies for a second (tenor/baritone) performer.
54. “I’ll Make a Man Out Of You” – Mulan
This is one of my all time favorite Disney songs. It hits the low alto, high tenor range and given the subject matter of the movie it has a little extra irony if you choose to perform it on stage.
55. “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” – The Lion King
Like Miguel from Coco, this song features a young Simba singing more as an alto than a tenor. This one is a lot of fun to sing and the crowd should have no problems lending their support through the chorus.
I think my big takeaway from writing this article is that if you are a female with a lower vocal range you should ABSOLUTELY be looking at male vocalists when you pick your karaoke list. Usually all I do is ask myself which songs I most enjoy singing along with and start there. Who cares what the gender of the original artist was? Just sing whatever you sound great singing.