We’ve all been there. That moment you see the audition notice and your mind begins to race over which song you’ll choose. With endless possibilities, we’re going to help you narrow down your search by pinpointing which styles and genres work for certain shows.

Musicnotes is proud to partner with Sheri Sanders, the brilliant mind behind Rock the Audition and Musicnotes Audition Cuts. Audition Cuts are short (16-bar) and long (32-bar) “cuts” of songs arranged to showcase your range and abilities. When you go into an audition, you likely won’t be able to sing an entire piece, so these cuts are perfect for capturing your talent in a short amount of time.

When it comes to actually choosing your audition piece, you’ll typically be asked to sing a song in a certain style. Whether it’s pop, rock, or traditional musical theatre, it’s important to stay within the guidelines. Sheri has put together some incredible Spotify playlists to help you find the best piece for you. Organized by style (or genre), we’ve listed the musicals that fall into each category so that you can pinpoint which style you need to sing in for your audition.

Once you’ve found the perfect song for you, make sure to grab the Audition Cut at musicnotes.com! Choose from a short cut or a long cut, and make sure to check to transpositions to find your perfect key.

Sheri has also created four additional stations of songs that could be used for more than one style of musical! Referred to as the “Bendies” these songs can be bent from one era or one style to another based upon the musical elements in the song.

You can find those stations at the bottom of this page!

The Motown Era

The Motown Era spanned from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s and was incredibly impactful as the music of the Civil Rights movement in America. The “Motown Sound” became the genre of music during this time and was influenced by rock and roll, rockabilly, the British invasion, and 1960s pop music. The result was an era full of soul, rock, and pop!

Motown songs are perfect for musicals like HairsprayMillion Dollar Quartet, Beautiful, Jersey Boys, All Shook Up, Memphis, and even Little Shop of Horrors.

Browse Sheri’s Motown Spotify Playlist

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

The 70s Folk/Rock Era

This era, also known as the Vietnam era, introduced raw emotion into music with genres like folk and rock. Songs from this era are perfect for musicals like GodspellPippinHAIRJesus Christ SuperstarThe Rocky Horror Picture ShowThe Who’s Tommy, and Hedwig.

Browse Sheri’s 70s Folk/Rock Spotify Playlist

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

The Disco Era

The Disco era of music was all about enjoying yourself, letting loose, and setting the dance floor on fire! It’s important to bring this kind of energy in the room with you when you’re auditioning for musicals like Mamma Mia!, Kinky Boots, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Disaster!, The Wiz, and Sister Act.

Browse Sheri’s Disco Spotify Playlist 

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

The 1980s Pop/Rock Era

The 1980s introduced pop and new wave music, as well as rock from legendary 80s “Hair Bands.” For audition purposes, we’re looking at the songs that are dynamic in range and show off your whole voice.

These songs are great for the humorous, fun musicals that take place in the 1980s like Rock of Ages and The Wedding Singer. You can also use these tunes to audition for musicals that simply live in the 1980s like FameFootlose, or Flashdance. In some cases, you may not be auditioning for a musical that takes place in the 1980s, but the style is still found in the music, like it is with We Will Rock YouSchool of Rock, and many Andrew Lloyd Webber and Frank Wildhorn musicals.

Browse Sheri’s 1980s Pop/Rock Spotify Playlist

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

Contemporary Pop/Rock

Sooner or later you’re going to audition for a show that asks you to sing a contemporary pop/rock tune in your audition. While these may seem like contrasting genre, a contemporary pop/rock song is a catchy, easy to follow tune that shows versatility in your voice. So we’re not looking at the super repetitive 3-note-range song, but rather are looking at artists like Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, and other artists with dynamic styles and abilities.

These songs are great for musicals like Legally Blonde, Next to Normal, Bare: A Pop Opera, King Kong, Pretty WomanMoulin Rouge, and Beetlejuice.

Browse Sheri’s Contemporary Pop/Rock Spotify Playlist

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

Punk

While punk music is probably not the first genre you’d think of for vocal auditions, musicals like Jagged Little PillAmerican Idiot, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and LIZZIE: A Punk-Rock Musical are all going to ask for audition songs in this style. When looking for the perfect piece for you, focus on finding a song that evokes a lot of emotion, while still remaining melodic enough to show off your voice.

Browse Sheri’s Punk Spotify Playlist 

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

R&B and Rap

Yes, R&B stands for “rhythm and blues,” but in a nutshell, it’s soul music. So when you’re looking for an R&B audition piece, find a piece you can put your entire soul into! Rap is a huge part of pop culture and is making it big in musical theater now too, so if you find a great audition song you can rap and sing the hook in, you’re looking at a show-stopping audition! Just remember to find a song that really showcases all you have to offer.

R&B and Rap audition songs are perfect for musicals like Hamilton, In the HeightsMean GirlsBring It On: The Musial, and Legally Blonde.

Browse Sheri’s R&B and Rap Spotify Playlist

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

Country

Country music is telling a simple honest story but its roots are in blues, gospel, and folk. Songs within this expansive genre are great for musicals like The Great American Trailer Park Musical, The Broadway Revival of Oklahoma!Hands on a HardbodyThe Bridges of Madison CountyFloyd Collins, and Bright Star, Waitress.

Browse Sheri’s Country Spotify Playlist

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

Poetic

“Poetic” is a term Sheri uses to describe songs that take on more alternative, folk, coffeehouse, or singer-songwriter characteristics. These songs are perfect more poetic or ethereal musicals like Spring AwakeningHadestown, Amélie: The MusicOnce, Alice By Heart, and Natasha Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.

Browse Sheri’s Poetic Spotify Playlist

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

Latin Pop

Latin Pop music is passionate, engaging in rhythm, and perfect audition material for musicals like EvitaOn Your Feet!, In the Heights, and Hamilton.

Browse Sheri’s Latin Pop Spotify Playlist

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

Traditional Musical Theater

In many auditions, you’ll be asked to sing a traditional musical theater song. These are songs from “the classic,” musicals like Guys and Dolls, Seussical the Musical, Chicago, Les Misérables, Oliver!, The Sound of Music, A Chorus Line, Camelot, The Phantom of the Opera, and West Side Story.

Browse Sheri’s Traditional Musical Theater Spotify Playlist 

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

Pop Musical Theater

Pop Musical Theater is becoming more and more popular with movie musicals like A Star is Born, La La Land, and The Greatest Showman taking the world by storm. Choosing a pop musical theater tune for your audition piece is great for musicals like Waitress, The Last Five Years, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, 13: The Musical, Jekyll and Hyde, Ghost, Wicked, Rent, and Newsies.

Browse Sheri’s Pop Musical Theater Spotify Playlist 

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

Teens

This is a Spotify station of all Audition Cuts that are GREAT for teens. They are smart, emotional, thoughtful, passionate but not inappropriate.

Did you find the perfect song? Grab a 16-bar or 32-bar Audition Cut here.

“Bendies” Stations

Motown/70s Folk/Rock

 

Disco/80s

Country/Bluegrass/Folk

Pop/Rock/R&B/Punk


We hope you’re ready to take on your next audition with the perfect audition piece! Don’t forget to grab all of your audition cuts at musicnotes.com, and keep checking back for new arrangements! For more tips on vocal auditions, check out our articles:

Good luck on your next audition!

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