Our Ten Best- Episode 24: How to not Embarrass Yourself in Karaoke
After a few beers, Karaoke at your local bar can seem like a pretty fun endeavor. However, before you run into the vocal jungle, listen to these 10 tips that will help you sing much better than you thought you could have otherwise.
10- Pick a song that suites your range: Sure, Journey and Queen songs are a blast to sing, but that doesn’t mean your vocal range can support that type of wailing. For those with lower ranges, find something that do don’t have to stretch to far to. For those with higher ranges, be careful as well, no one wants to hear your screeching, so you may have to rein yourself in a bit. Remember as well, in Karaoke, you’re singing to pre-recorded tunes, so improvisation isn’t needed or expected. Sing in the right key and the rest will come naturally.
9- Avoid duets: Unless the person you’re singing with is uber-talented, this won’t work and both of you will walk with your heads down back to your bar stool.
8- Sing loud: Most karaoke microphones are horrible and don’t pick sound the way they should. Keeping the microphone about three-five inches away from your face will make you sound as strong and clear as you possibly can. Now that you know that, go sing your butt off.
7- Don’t scream: No, this doesn’t cancel out the last entry. There’s a big difference between singing with some volume and screaming. Amy Lee can do it, but guess what? You can’t. So don’t. Please
6- Pick a different song: No one wants to hear “Piano Man,” or “Don’t Stop Believing” four times a night. Obese men should stay away from Biggie Smalls the same way the goth chick should stay away from Fiona Apple. Pick a sleeper hit [tracks from the Gin Blossoms or The Toadies always work great] or something no one would expect you to sing. The whole object of karaoke is to have fun and singing the same songs all night makes the experience boring.
5- Don’t make out with the microphone: Other people have used it before and other people will use it after. Spitting on the thing doesn’t make you sound better; it makes you disgusting.
4- Pick a quick song: Motown songs are great at showcasing your ability in a small amount of time and no one wants to hear a seven minute song from someone who can’t sing.
3- Have energy: Too many times have people with great voices squandered opportunities to get numbers from the opposite sex by having no energy on the mic. A great voice is a huge part of the experience, but don’t forget to have fun and move around a bit.
2- Practice a few days before hand: Sing in the shower, or on the way home from work; anything to just give yourself an idea of how you sound. Recording yourself is also useful, so you can assess your weak spots and sound better when you have to.
1- Don’t drink: Contrary to what you may think, alcohol doesn’t make you sound better. It actually slows down your response time and makes you work harder when singing. If you have to drink and sing, drink afterward.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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