10 Songs Not to Sing at Auditions

Last month, we gave you some song choices to sing at auditions. But sometimes it helps just to see a list of what to stay away from. As with anything, these lists are flexible and highly depend on context. A song that’s overdone at Broadway auditions might be a perfect choice for a high school audition. And if you put a different spin on a song that makes your way completely unique and special, there’s always room for that being an exception to the rule. Keep that kind of flexibility in mind as you go through these 10 songs not to sing at auditions.

1. Popular

I know, I know. It’s adorable, a fun comic piece, and even oddly insightful, but it’s been done too many times. While you’re at it, you should probably stay away from most of the Wicked score, especially “Defying Gravity.”

2. On My Own

Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, the whole show is incredible. But I’d avoid “On My Own.” Leave behind “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Castle on a Cloud” as well.

3. Think of Me

That cadenza at the end is so pretty and impressive, but there other wonderful choices to show off your soprano range that haven’t been done as many times. Also ditch “All I Ask of You.”

4. Tomorrow

Please just skip this one. To a lesser extent, don’t come in with “Maybe” or “A Hard Knock Life” either.

5. Memory

I love this song, and the lyrics are really moving and powerful. You just don’t want to compete with Betty Buckley on this one.

6. Don’t Rain on My Parade

Speaking of not wanting to compete, you should typically avoid this Barbara Streisand, later turned Lea Michele, classic. It’s a phenomenal song, but Glee brought it back into the limelight, and it’s become especially overused since then. The Glee songs in general are usually on the “avoid” list.

7. Corner of the Sky

There are probably fewer songs for men at auditions that desperately need to be avoided, but this is one of those really popular ones. Pippin is one of my all-time favorite musicals, and this song is gorgeous. It’s just done a lot.

8. Part of Your World

This one’s fun, but unfortunately, most kids have been watching The Little Mermaid since the age of 5, and “Part of Your World” is the big solo in it.

9. Let It Go

And speaking of Disney, this is a big to-avoid song. A couple years ago, every girl I knew was belting this one out. Not only is it incredibly difficult to pull off, but it’s also overused.

10. Burn

Hamilton is beloved (as we know from the $1000 tickets). This is a great song, both for vocals and acting, but you may want to wait a while before going to an audition with it in hand.

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Of course, there are plenty of other things to avoid at an audition. In general, if you’re going to a musical theatre audition, you’ll want to bring a musical theatre song instead of walking in with Adele or Taylor Swift. The exception to this is when you’re trying out for a rock musical and specifically asked to bring a pop or rock song.

If you have questions or comments about good or bad audition songs, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

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