The Idiot's Guide to Being a Karaoke Rockstar

Tonight's WLA6K Party is going to feature one of the best Live Rock Band Karaoke groups this side of the Mississippi, so you're DEFINITELY going to be singing, right?


What's that, you say? You don't do karaoke? Nonsense! Everyone can sing karaoke, even (and sometimes especially) those you wouldn't think would have the guts (or voice) to pick up a mic. That's the point of karaoke - it's fun, it's easy and it lets even the worst singer be a Rock God(dess) for at least 2 minutes!


Need some pointers? Check out these tips from

Pretty Girl belting out a karaoke hit

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.


6. 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.


Now, get up on that stage tonight and ROCK ON!

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Comment by Jeff O on February 25, 2011 at 9:49pm

don't choose songs with a long guitar solo.

unless you really yell it out, i wouldn't choose a song with a chorus that keeps repeating. you might know the words, but it gets boring. 

The absolute king of karaoke is at Arlene's grocery. Karaoke wiht a live band. serious stuff. I thought I was good, until I went there. 

Comment by Eileen Thompson on February 25, 2011 at 5:09pm
Awesome! Thanks!
Comment by Ethan on February 25, 2011 at 5:00pm
These are the available songs for tonight:
Comment by Eileen Thompson on February 25, 2011 at 4:35pm
Oh, and want some song ideas? Check out this page:



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