How to Choose a Song for a Musical Theater Audition

How To Choose a Song for a Musical Theater Audition

The following is the transcript for the video. Be sure and watch the video.

Auditions! Auditions! Auditions!

If you’re going to perform in musical theater you’re going to have to audition.  Do you know how to pick the best song for a musical theater audition? The kind of song is going to get you a call back and eventually win you the part? Inside this video I’m going to tell you how to do it! Stay tuned.

Hi I’m Chuck Gilmore with Sing Voice Studios. I’d like to spend some time today helping you learn how to find the very best song for your musical theater audition. I’ve got an audition coming up later this month, and I’ve been working on this for quite a while and I’m very excited about it. I think I’ve got just the right song that is going to really set me apart from all the other auditioners. So I’m going to share with you today exactly how to do that. Watch closely.

Overview of

Were going to begin by going to In the upper right-hand corner there’s a link entitled, “Show Database”. Click on “Show Database”. There is a musical show index. The index has listings of hundreds of musical theater pieces. Also in the front you’ll see  “Browse by Composer”,  ” Browse Character “,  “Browse by Type of Shows”.

We’re clicking, here the “Browse by Composer”. There’s a list of composers here that you can select. For example let’s select, “Richard Rogers”. There’s a listing of all of the songs [shows] that Richard Rogers has written, and that’s a great resource.

You could select, say, “Stephen Sondheim”. There is a list of all the shows by Sondheim. This is a great way to do some show research by composer, by writer. You look through the list there, and there are all the different shows from Sondheim. You can click on one of them, “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum”, and get all the information there about that particular show.

Also in this website is a musical theater character’s listing by personality types. On the left hand side male and female characters… For example the “Suave” character and there’s a list of several people they’ve identified as fitting this profile, “handsome, masculine, smooth talker”, etc. and there’s a listing of the shows with those characters.

Also there’s a listing of “Type Of Shows”, and so you may be in a show that you would like to check and see if there’s a certain type of show, let’s say, “Early Broadway Shows”, and there’s a list of early Broadway shows. So it’s a great way to do some research.

How To Find A Great Song For Your Audition

Let’s assume that we’re now going to be auditioning for a show… How about Oklahoma. We highlight the “O” and go to Oklahoma. This is a great summary here about everything about the show. The plot summary, audition tips, and then on the far right-hand side identify that, “hey I’m going to audition for  “Curly”.

If I look down below, I see a list of songs in Oklahoma, “Oh What A Beautiful Morning”. Curly sings that. So I type in, “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” on YouTube and listen to the song.

Okay, so I get a pretty good idea of what that song is like and so let’s do a little bit more research. I’d like to find a song that’s kind of similar like that. So I’ll check out “Richard Rogers” and see if I can get any leads here on some of the different shows that he’s written. I’d like to try and find a song that maybe not everybody else is doing.

What’s a possibility here? I don’t want to do something that everyone’s done, I’ll check his personality out a little bit. I’ll go to look at “Curly McClain” and see if there’s some other characters like him that I could maybe select some songs from. So I go to a character profile. Oh, he’s the “Eligible Bachelor”, and here’s a couple shows, “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers”… “Bless Your Beautiful Hide”[song].

You know everybody does that song. So that doesn’t really help me, I don’t think I want to do that song because I think it’s done a lot so let me go back to  “Richard Rogers” and I’ll select the show “Carousel”. Now here’s a personality. The lead is “Billy Bigelow”. He’s a tenor-baritone. He’s not quite the same character as Curly, but maybe he sings like Curly. So why don’t I check out some of the songs that Billy Bigelow things from Carousel. And, low and behold, I find that Billy Bigelow sings something called “Soliloquy”. So let’s cut and paste that onto YouTube and listen.

All right, that gives me a pretty good idea of what that song is like. I think that would be a great song to use in the audition for Curly. So I cut and paste “Soliloquy Carousel”, put it into, and there it is. I wonder if it’s in the same key as the one I’ve just heard. Well you can listen to it here on music notes. It’s 19 pages. It’s a long one…$7.50. Let’s listen and see what it sounds like.

The nice thing about this… I think it’s the same key but I’m going to double check. I can always transpose it, that’s one of the things that’s nice about this website. So you can transpose it to different keys. Well let’s check it and see if it’s the same key. I’ll just check back on YouTube, and yes it’s the same key. Awesome.

All right, so I’m going to go ahead and buy this piece of music from and now I’ve got my audition number for Curly. I think it’s something that not everybody is going to have.

How to Get The Advantage In Your Next Audition

But, let’s say one of the girls would like to audition for, “Ado Annie”. So she clicks on “Ado Annie” and finds out that she’s the flirt. So here’s some other characters like Ado Annie. Here’s one from the show, “The Boyfriend” and her name is Maisie,… “Polly’s vivacious classmate, a flirt…”. Well that sounds like Ado Annie. Well what does she sing?… “There’s Safety in Numbers” (Mazie and the Boys). Let’s cut and paste that to YouTube.

Cool, what a great number, not everybody’s going to do it. Let’s cut and paste that to, and see if we buy “There’s Safety in Numbers”. Oh, they don’t have it.

All right, here’s another website, it’s called, “”. We type in, “there’s safety in numbers” and see if we can find that song in there. It will be exciting because not everybody is going to know that number, and it’s great to have a song that not everybody’s doing, that fits the character perfectly.

Well here’s an anthology and looking through the song list it looks like, yes, this particular book has “There’s Safety in Numbers”. It’s $15, but there are 34 different songs here. I can look inside and see the table of contents and I’m going to buy this. So we order it.

This website,, is perfect for finding just the right song so that you can get the advantage in your next audition.

I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you inside my next video.

How to Choose a Voice Teacher

Do you need help choosing a voice teacher? Download my free guide on “How To Choose A Voice Teacher”. Inside that guide there are six things to avoid when choosing a voice teacher and 10 important tips to help you make the decision that is going to be best for you. I hope you find it very helpful.

Thank you

Music Tracks by Incompetech Music and J Ray

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About Chuck R. Gilmore

My personal singing journey from failure to success gives me a unique perspective and special insight into the problems you face as an aspiring singer. Everything from not being able to sing high notes to lack of confidence singing in front of others. Because I've solved them in my own voice, I know how to help you.

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