By Camille van Niekerk
Karaoke should be fun, but it can also be stressful for new or inexperienced singers! Read on for some advice on how to take the stress out of karaoke night.
1. Choose a good song for your voice
Song selection can make or break you. Here are a few considerations and tips for choosing a great song.
- Think about style: Narrow down your search by focusing on the genre that suits your voice best.
- Consider the key: In most cases, karaoke bars will only have songs available in their original key. So if you struggle to sing along with the original track, cross that song off your list for now. Use your vocal range as a guide, and search for songs from an artist with a similar range. (See the end of this article for a list of artists by vocal range.)
- Familiarity: It’s usually best to choose a song that your audience is familiar with. That way, they’re engaged and can sing along if you invite them to. Keep in mind, however, which songs might be over-done and throw those out.
- Grab a partner: If you’re new to singing, look for a duet and invite a friend to sing with you. It’s much less nerve-racking when you have a buddy for support!
Even casual karaoke is a performance! Set yourself up for success with the following:
- Warm up at the start of each practice session. Your voice will perform best when it’s been properly stretched out and prepared!
- Sing with the original track, then graduate to a karaoke track. You can find great karaoke tracks for free from Sing King karaoke’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/singkingkaraoke
- If you’d like the most polished performance: practice in front of a mirror and/or record yourself. Watch for signs of tension or nervous fidgeting and listen back for things to work on.
- Aim for memorization: Although you’ll have lyrics on the screen, it’s best to not rely on them. That way, you can focus on the performance and have more fun with your audience.
3. Prepare on performance day
It’s almost performance time! Here are a few final tips:
- Ensure good vocal health: Get a good night’s sleep, stay hydrated, and avoid smoke if possible!
- Warm up: Before heading out, spend some time warming up your voice.
- Mic technique: In general, aim to hold the mic about an inch away from your mouth. The mic should be almost perpendicular to your head, parallel with the floor. If, however, you have a particularly loud section, or you’re hearing feedback, hold the mic a little further away from your face.
- Once you’re on stage: Have fun! Your job is not to execute a technically flawless performance. Your job is to have fun, and to invite the audience to have fun with you. Remember to breathe deeply, draw confidence from your preparation, and enjoy the moment!
Singers from each voice type:
Look through the following lists of singers, organized by vocal range. Spend some time listening to their music, and hopefully you’ll find some great karaoke songs!
Learn how to sing in the same style as your favorite male and female singers with the tutorials below:
Lana Del Rey
Good luck and have fun!