Karaoke Survival Guide: 5 Essential Tips
Singing karaoke for the first time can be scary and you might not think a “How to” guide on singing karaoke is necessary, especially if you’re not much of a karaoke fan. But even those who don’t actively seek karaoke can often get roped into it, and you’ll be better off making the experience as painless (read: embarrassing train wreck-free) as possible. Here are some basic tips you might not have thought of, to make your karaoke experience much more enjoyable for both you and your audience.
1. Song Choice
Choose a song that you know and that is easily in your voice range. Singing a song that you know really well will make it easier for you to give your best performance on stage - you can practice songs online at home or by singing along with the original recording.
If you’re singing at a karaoke bar or party, singing an up tempo song rather than a ballad, will keep the crowd in a party mood, singing a ballad can clear a room. You Really Got Me by The Kinks is a good song in a mid range that almost everyone can sing easily. Girls, if you want to sing it too, feel free to swap the gender “Boy, you really got me now”!
Choose a song that’s under 3 or 4 minutes - unless you’re a pro and really know the song well, singing for more than 3 or 4 minutes on stage will seem like a really really long time. Although it might seem like a good song choice, Hey Jude by the Beatles, is over 7 minutes long, and would be best to sing it online rather than on stage!
2. Bust a move!
No matter how well you move, entertaining the audience with your dance moves is part of the fun particularly during music breaks of the song (if you’re not comfortable dancing by yourself on stage, you might want to make sure that the song you choose does not have long musical breaks).
Barry Manilow’s Copacabana (At The Copa) is a great song choice, but be prepared to dance around the stage for almost 2 minutes of the the musical break in the middle of the song. Don’t be discouraged from singing songs with musical breaks, just be prepared to do something during them.
3. Look out at the crowd and smile
Not only will you have more fun if you know the lyrics really well and don’t have to rely on the screen, the audience will enjoy your performance much more if you’re moving around the stage and at least sometimes looking out into the crowd and smiling. Any audience participation that you can gain will increase the amount of applause you receive at the end of your performance.
It’s a win-win situation, the audience will enjoy your song more and so will you! Singing karaoke is all about having fun as Amy proves in her karaoke rendition of Tina Turner’s Simply the Best.
4. Go with friends and perform a duet
If it’s your first time and you don’t know a song really well, or you feel too nervous, you don’t have to sing karaoke alone. Find a friend and sing together, or get a group of people and go on stage to shout it out! A good song choice for multiple voices, that’s danceable and a lot of fun to sing and to perform, is Kool & The Gang’s Celebration,
5. Share the mic
After you’ve sung your song and basked in the applause, hand the mic back to the KJ and let someone else have their moment on stage. While you’re not on stage, sit back and enjoy other karaoke performances and encourage others by listening to their performances and applauding. When it’s your turn you’ll get back what you give.
Other web references
Here are a few other fun web references on how to sing karaoke:
- Wikihow to Sing Karaoke with Confidence
- Howcast to Pick a Karaoke Song if you can’t sing
- CNN Shortcuts How to Sing Karaoke
However and wherever you sing karaoke, remember to have fun. You’re only as good (or bad) as your last performance and unless you’re recording songs and publishing them online, chances are that you’ll be the only one to remember your performance.
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