Karaoke Tips – A Better Show For Everyone
What is so great about karaoke? Let’s just be honest – everyone who dreams of the limelight doesn’t necessarily find themselves standing in it. Just watch the American Idol tryouts if you doubt me! For most people, real life doesn’t come with a stage and a spotlight. And that’s okay, but the magic of karaoke is born from the residue of the dream. It feeds our soul, connects us with other dreamers like ourselves, and is a lot of outright fun for those who like standing up to perform.
What will make a karaoke show the best it can be? A collection of talented, semi-talented, and even untalented regulars intent on having fun is the basis of a successful karaoke show. Throw in a capable, personable, and well equipped karaoke DJ and you’ve got a real recipe for good times.
What can you do as performer and audience member to make the most of the karaoke evening? You know the common sense rules of courtesy that are the core of karaoke etiquette – treat others as you want to be treated, respect the establishment, the equipment, and the karaoke DJ. This is the foundation of good fun for everyone.
But sometimes a karaoke show gets dull and you don’t know why. I think every show takes on a life of its own based on the energy of the crowd and the song selections of the performers. So you can help resuscitate a defibrillating karaoke show by putting in a slip for a song that changes the pace. If the show is dragging, pick a fun dance song to get everyone on their feet, or a karaoke anthem that you know will lead to a roaring audience sing along. If the heavy metal selections are getting tiresome, throw in a mellow oldie to refresh the mood of the show. You’ll be helping the DJ and helping the show if you create variety in the musical genres.
I’ve also seen a karaoke show slide downhill after a singer stands up and belts out an amazing performance. There are some semi-pro vocalists out there on the karaoke circuit and when they get up to sing they can bring the house down. The down side of their expertise is that a regular karaoke crowd can feel that following the “awesome singer” is a privilege they’d rather not have. Who wants to get up to sing after the crowd has heard a Frank Sinatra ringer, or a Whitney replica? Best way to revive the crowd is to get a few big groups up there singing a few karaoke anthems like “Love Shack” and “The Summer of ’69.” That way no individual has to take the hit of going right after the karaoke professional. There is safety in numbers.
Speaking of safety in numbers, a great way to get the karaoke virgins and the karified (short for “karaoke-terrified”) singing is the group song. But watch out on participation in the big group number when your karaoke show is really crowded. If you sing with a group that may be counted as your only turn – most KJs count it. So if you want to solo, you don’t want to add your name to the group ticket. (But don’t try to sneak into a group under the KJs radar- stealing an extra turn really hisses off the crowd.)
Final tips for karaoke fun: consider the audience when you are choosing your tune. I’ve been in karaoke clubs where the old time country songs were greeted with groans. And I’ve been in clubs where over half the performances were country. I’ve seen more derailed rap attempts than I care to relate – rap is hard to sing without the vocal track to keep you on beat. Unless you are really confident in your ability to sing without guidance from the vocal track, I say stay away from rap if you want to keep the show on an even keel.