“Did you know that ‘Karaoke’ means ‘Empty Orchestra’? That’s hauntingly beautiful, isn’t it?”
–Ted Evelyn Mosby
In addition to being blogging goddesses, Sage and I run an organization called PromCon. We do monthly events that culminate in a Prom Themed pub crawl every May, and we also collect money to give to Donate My Dress. Tonight we have our semi-annual karaoke night and it got me thinking about the do’s and don’ts of Karaoke.
First of all, if you suck, suck with style. I have a friend who is completely tone deaf…yet she LOVES karaoke. And whenever she gets up there, she doesn’t try to be good, and yet she is having so much fun, you can’t help but smile and sing along with her. This rule is also proven in this fantastic scene from My Best Friend’s Wedding…
Well played, Kimberly Wallace. Well played. Sucking…with style.
Likewise, if you ARE good, nobody likes a show off. I don’t care if you sing “I Will Always Love You” better than Whitney, nothing brings a rowdy karaoke bar down faster than a slow song. And contrary to what Smash may tell you, record scouts don’t regularly hang out at karaoke bars on Saturday nights looking for the next great superstar. So save the ballads for your audition for The Voice. Whitney has plenty of upbeat songs for you to wail on anyway.
Also, if you go up there, for the love of GOD, sing. There is nothing worse than a bunch of drunk girls giggling their way though “Lady Marmalade” and only singing every fifth word or so.
Also, you should always keep song length in mind. Mindy Kaling puts it best in her book:
“It kind of behooves you to pick a short song. I don’t care if Don freakin’ McLean shows up in a red-white-and-blue tuxedo, no one is allowed to sing “American Pie.” It’s actually kind of hostile.”
TRUTH. Anyone who has suffered through “American Pie” at a karaoke bar knows this is true.
It’s always a good idea to have a signature song that you know you do well (favorites of mine are “Ironic” and “Bitch”) and you also know is a crowd pleaser. When you are comfortable with a song, you can actually perform it and have fun as opposed to being rooted in front of the video screen with fear plastered across your face. Engaging the crowd and getting them to sing along with you is always a good thing. Having trouble thinking of a song to do? You can never fail with a song from the 80’s, especially if it is from a movie.
They speak the truth on American Idol…it all boils down to song choice. So next time you go to karaoke, keep this in mind: what were the songs that you would turn the volume up and sing at the top of your lungs whenever they would come on the radio? Chances are, most people did that too…and that makes a good karaoke song. Mindy sums up the ultimate karaoke rule perfectly, “It’s kind of a responsibility. It’s up to you to sing a kick-ass upbeat song that sets the mood for your friends to have fun, drink, and pick up girls and guys.”
And lastly…take a page from Ted Mosby’s book. Don’t ever be afraid of expressing your love to everyone in the bar.