10 of the Best Pop/Rock Audition Songs Guaranteed to Rock
Written by Meghan Mitchell
April 26th, 2019
Most new musicals call for a modern sound, which can be challenging to find in your classical musical theatre repertoire. It’s hard to find songs that are not overdone in the pop scene, especially when a new hit makes it to the radio. Often at auditions, it’s the nostalgia of classic hits that make the lasting impression in the audition room. For songs of this nature, start by cutting the chorus with a verse, or the bridge of the song to the end, to find the perfect 16 or 32 bars. The best part about pop style singing is that you can make it your own by adding a riff here, a slight harmony there. It doesn’t all have to be sung as it’s written on the page! Here are some pop/rock classics, from old favorites to modern hits, sure to deliver at your next audition.
1. Hold On by Wilson Phillips
This song was made famous all over again by the blockbuster hit “Bridesmaids”. This early 90’s pop classic enlivens any audition with its upbeat and inspiring lyrics to “hold on for one more day”.
2. It’s My Life by Bon Jovi
Do you really wanna rock? Then Bon Jovi is the way to go. You can get as gritty as you want and feel on top of the world with his lyrics.
3. Bring Me to Life by Evanescence
This song has a slow build that leads to an all-out rock out. Amy Lee’s lyrics hit hard and are sure to make you feel like a Rockstar at your next audition.
4. Somebody to Love by Queen
Freddie Mercury is a rock legend who pours his soul into his craft. This classic hit is guaranteed to be a crowd favorite, especially when riffing to all those high notes!
5. Black Velvet by Alannah Myles
This late 80’s/early 90’s hit is a sultry classic, reminiscing about the days of Elvis’s fame. Black Velvet is a durable power ballad for an alto looking to make an impression.
6. Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is one of the most celebrated musicians of our time, and this classic hit of hers will be sure to rock; full of power and drive, “Edge of Glory” really knows how to amaze at any audition!
7. This Love by Maroon 5
Adam Levine has had a long career in music, so let’s take it back a bit to his earlier album, Songs About Jane. “This Love” is a classic Maroon 5 song, sure to be a crowd favorite in the audition room.
8. What Ya Want from Me by Adam Lambert
This song was first made famous by Adam Lambert, and then again by Pink! This song is a tried and true power ballad that you can make your own.
9. Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
There are many famous singer/pianists out there, but Billy Joel has always topped the charts. Uptown Girl is one of his all-time feel-good hits!
10. Drift Away by Dobie Gray
Some classics have been remade time and time again, and this classic was initially made famous by Dobie Gray. This song is one that transcends time, and you can truly make your own to impress at any audition!
Listen to a Spotify playlist featuring these songs below:
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