So, it’s that season again! Work nights out, parties, they’re all going to heavily feature Christmas songs on the karaoke machine. But, what happens when you fall directly in between that person who is wailing off-key down the mic, and that guy who sings his favourite song perfectly and is secretly a seasoned professional?
Well, take a look at these potential obstacles, and our tips on how to dodge them!
Obstacle 1 – The Alcohol
It’s very tempting at a karaoke night to keep drinking those pints, or glasses, or shots of whatever to give you “Dutch Courage”. In reality, whilst it may lower your inhibitions about singing in front of people, it’s actually going to make your singing voice worse. Alcohol will dry your voice out, and make it less pliable, so the more alcohol you have, the less control you will have over your voice.
If you are going to sing and drink, make sure that you drink plenty of water to counteract the alcohol. This doesn’t mean you’re a party pooper, just that you want to show the world what your voice is like without slurring your way through the song! (Trust me – been there, done that!)
Obstacle 2 – The Songbook
Don’t be fooled by the shiny cover page…….there are literally hundreds of songs in there waiting to be sung. Pick one that you are absolutely sure of – the one that you know the words and the melody to. It also helps to pick one thats in your range – so you aren’t straining for either the lowest or the highest notes.
It doesn’t matter that no-one else knows the song – you want to have fun singing it so go for it! But, if you are unsure about any part of it – DON’T PICK IT! You don’t want to be That Guy who doesn’t know the song he’s chosen.
Obstacle 3 – The Friend
If you want to sing a duet with a friend – make sure you BOTH follow the points above. There’s nothing worse than singing a song you don’t know, next to a person who absolutely loves it and is bringing out their Inner Diva. It would be a bonus if your voices didn’t clash, but hey! Who cares? It’s a karaoke night at the pub, not a concert at the Albert Hall.
Obstacle 4 – The Stage, The Mic and The Screen
The golden rule here is not to be intimidated by what appears to be a pedestal where those people get up to sing along to their favourite tracks. It’s really only a corner of the room where the electronics can be plugged in. It would be in the middle of the room if there were plug sockets available!
When you get up there, make sure you can see the screen properly, and that you aren’t too close to the speakers. Hold the microphone in the hand you use to write with and make sure it’s not too close, or too far away from your mouth. About chin height is where the mic should be at, depending on how good the equipment is. The DJ will let you know if you need to move the mic to be heard properly.
Obstacle 5 – The Butterflies
The DJ puts the song on the screen, and hands you a microphone. He presses play, and you…….what? Freeze? Start too early? Too late? Oh no! Now you feel silly! What must these people think of you!
Reality Check: They’re probably not even listening to you, and engrossed in their own conversations. That is, unless they know you and are specifically listening to you. Even then, they won’t judge you!
What matters is that you pick it up from the track, or start again. The worst thing you can do is panic. Just relax, be yourself and ignore the people around you. After all, they aren’t the ones getting up to sing, are they!
Obstacle 6 – The Song
Now you’re up there, you’re singing away and relaxing into it, and the temptation to sing really loudly is almost overwhelming…………………but don’t. If you succumb to this temptation and you’re singing more than one song, your voice is going to burn out really quickly. That’s what the mic is there for – just bring it a tiny bit closer to your mouth and it will give you the volume you want without straining your voice. Winning! You’re able to finish the song in style, and when you do, you go and pick another one!
Doesn’t that sound easy! It is. But don’t forget the Golden Rule – HAVE FUN! That’s what karaoke nights were invented for! Enjoy the songs you sing, and enjoy listening to other people sing too.
But – if you do go crazy, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just take it easy the next day, drink plenty of water, and arrange to go to another night where you can really show off what you’ve learned! If you decide that singing is for you, then why not book a lesson and find out what we’re about!