So, you’re on Smule Sing!, but how do you find songs to record? There are numerous ways to find songs on the app. In this article, I’m going to walk you through the options.
VIP vs Non-VIP
Bear in mind that if you do not have VIP access, your song choices will be limited. However, you will still be able to join other users OCs (open calls), except for VIP only songs. In addition, invitations to join your OCs will only last 2 days, as opposed to the 7 days enjoyed by VIP users.
Find Songs via Search
If you have a specific song in mind, the first option you’ll want to try is searching for that song. To begin, tap the microphone at the bottom centre of the app menu. This will take you to the songbook.
Then tap on the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner to search. You can search by song name, artist name, song arranger username or hashtags. Whatever you choose to search by, results will be displayed under the headings ‘Songs’, ‘Invites’, ‘Singers’ and ‘Recordings’. Three search results will be displayed under each heading. There is a ‘See All’ option on the right side of the screen to view all search results under that heading.
So, lets say you want to create an OC, then you view the ‘Songs’ option. If you want to join an existing OC, view the ‘Invites’ option. Searching for a Smule user? Then view the ‘Singers’ option. And if you want to listen to songs which have been recorded, view the ‘Recordings’ option.
You can listen to the track first, to make sure it’s what you’re looking for. Once you’ve chosen your song you’ll have the option to ‘Start your own’ or ‘Join someone else’. Non-VIPs looking at anything other than free songs will have to join an existing OC.
Searching by Song or Artist Name
When you search by song or artist name, you’ll usually, find a few different options under the ‘Songs’ heading. These could include:
- Songs from both the official Smule songbook (with the green Smule icon) and community uploaded songs, if available
- Different versions such as acoustic, piano, songs with or without backing vocals etc.
- Each community uploaded song will include a user rating. The rating also shows how many users have rated it. Users can rate the arrangement of songs after recording. Factors to consider include the sound of the track, the lyrics, the timing of the lyrics, the key and whether the song is as described. I normally try to choose songs with at least an 80% rating. However, sometime that’s not possible, due to lack of choice.
Search by Song Arranger
There are many Smule users who arrange and upload songs to the community songbook. If you particularly like an arranger’s music, you can search for them directly and find songs they have uploaded. Type their name in the search and you’ll see all their songs. You’ll also see open invites and recordings relating to them. You can even type their name and a song or artist name to see if they’ve uploaded a particular song. These search results will also show user ratings, as above.
Search by Hashtag
This is a particularly useful tool to find songs if you’re a member of a group. Most group members have the group hashtag in their profile bio. They also use the hashtag in their OC descriptions. For example, I have #NRG and #GVU in my bio as well as in my OCs. When I want to find people to sing with, my invitations are not the first place I head. I open the songbook option by tapping the microphone icon. Then, search for #GVU or #NRG. From here I can see all invites my fellow group members have open, and choose some to join. This can also be used for competitions, or weekly contests such as #smulepick.
Find Songs via Your Invites
After you start following other users you’ll start to receive invites to join their OCs. Most people use the option to send invites to their followers automatically at the end of a recording. This is a great opportunity to find songs and join other users. You can also use this feature to get ideas for songs to open yourself.
Smule Song Categories
If you’re struggling to think of a song to sing, try using the Smule lists to find songs. These are useful categories of songs, which can be sorted to suit what you are looking for. These can be found from the songbook option, when tapping the microphone icon. To see all the categories, slide the title bar across.
This is an automatically generated list, based on the songs you have already opened and joined. These are a mix of community uploaded songs and those from the Official Smule Songbook. The list can be sorted into ‘Most Relevant’ (the default setting), Songs A-Z and Artists A-Z.
These are the songs currently trending on Smule. Songs from the official Smule songbook which are being searched for most by users. If you’re aiming to get more followers on the app, it’s a good idea to have at least one of the top hits open at all times. These songs can be sorted by Featured (the default setting), Songs A-Z, Artists A-Z and Most Recent.
As the title suggests, these are songs which have most recently been added to the official Smule songbook. This category has the same sort options as the Top Hits.
These songs are available for both VIPs and non-VIPs to open. It’s quite a limited selection of the songs available on the official Smule songbook. However, if you don’t have VIP access and you want to open your own recordings, these are your only choices.
Sing With Artists
You can join OCs opened by the artists themselves here. Artists on Smule Sing! include Anne Marie, Milky Chance, Shawn Mendes, Daya, Sarah McLachlan, Jessie J and many more.
Find Songs by Genre
The genres available to choose from are:
- Hip Hop
- K-pop (Korean Lyrics)
Each of these genres includes songs from the official Smule songbook. The sorting options for the genre lists are the same as the Top Hits.
Again, as the name suggests, these songs can only be recorded by users with VIP access. Even if a VIP user has opened the recording, non-VIP users cannot join these songs. Sorting options include Songs A-Z (default setting), Artists A-Z and Most Recent.
This list contains ALL the songs available in the official Smule Songbook. The sorting options for this list are the same as the VIP Only list.
This category is displayed earlier on in the list on the app, but I wanted to save it for last. All the other categories (except Recommended) comprise of songs in the official Smule songbook only. Community songs are not in the official Smule songbook. These songs are uploaded by Smule users, the song arrangers mentioned previously. The sorting options for this category are Highest Rated (default), Most Popular and Most Recent.
There are some amazing track uploads by Smule users. We should all be very thankful to them. It’s not easy to upload songs correctly. There will be a future article relating to uploading songs, including an interview with one of the active song arrangers on the app. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, uploading your own songs, or making a request to a song arranger may be your best bet.
If you have VIP access you can open a freestyle recording. On the songbook screen, swipe the header area across until you find the freestyle option. You can choose whether to open this as a solo, duet or group recording, as usual. Go make some noise!
As usual, have fun with your song choices. Experiment with different versions of the songs you sing. @lovemusicsing1
Personally, I love singing acoustic or piano versions. It gives you the freedom to make them your own a little more. I loved this piano version of Wicked Game, originally by Chris Isaak (piano cover by James Vincent McMorrow). Hope you enjoy it. Let me know how you get on.
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