Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/Why is it that I can only sing one song?



I have been practicing singing for a year now, on my own, to help keep my mind occupied at home.

Today I accidentally stumbled upon a song that I can actually sing pretty well.  It's a song from The Little Mermaid, "Part Of Your World".  Looking up the song revealed that it is in F Major and the scale covers one octave in the C range.  However, when I try singing other songs that are in F Major in the range of C, I cannot sing them well at all!

I'm wondering what it is about this song that I am good at.  Is there something besides range, register and key that I should be using to find other "easy" songs for myself?

Hi Amanda:

You need to work on expanding the range of your voice.  You can hire a voice teacher for that or you can get my vocal training CD's on Homespun tapes, you can find them on the internet, or you can take Skype singing lessons with me at

Best wishes, Penny Nichols

Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting

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Penny Nichols


I can answer all kinds of questions regarding singing techniques, practice, performance, vocal recording technique and harmony vocal arranging.


I have been a professional singer/songwriter and vocal arranger and teacher in the music business since 1965.

BMI, Folk Alliance, SummerSongs, Inc. (I am the founding director)

Singer Magazine

I have a doctorate in Music Education from Harvard.

Awards and Honors
Platinum record for my vocals on Jimmy Buffett's Son of a Son of a Sailor, 3 times nominated for a Grammy in the background singing category, MVP in the motivational singing category of the Assoc. of Multi-image Assoc. Annual awards two years in a row.

Past/Present Clients
I have sung with, recorded with or opened shows for Mort Sahl, The Byrds, The Dillards, Dillard and Clark Expedition, John Kay (Steppenwolf), The Association and Big Brother and the Holding Co. (Janis Joplin), Steve Miller, Quicksilver Messenger Service, 13th Floor Elevator, Chocolate Watchband, Jefferson Airplane, Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks, Cream (the Santa Monica Civic auditorium 1968), Little Feat in concert.  I wrote and performed commercials for Toyota's campaign to plant a tree for every car bought, Carnation Dairies, and produced a public service announcement for the Navajo Nation called "Black Mesa" to protest the misuse of the land around the Four Corners power stations in Arizona. In 1977, while working with Emitt Rhodes on a record for Elektra, I joined Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefers.  I appeared in the movie FM with the band, toured the U.S. and earned a Platinum Record for my singing on Son of a Son of a Sailor. Also, I've recorded with Art Garfunkle (Fate for Breakfast) Suzi Quatro, Danny O'Keefe, Yvonne Elliman, Jennifer Warnes, Albert Brooks, The Credibility Gap, Steve Gillette and earned a Grammy nomination for my work on Arlo Guthrie's album The Power of Love.  In addition, I have recorded a series of singing lessons which have been sold world-wide by Homespun Tapes since 1985.

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