How to Plan a Karaoke Outing With Friends
Choosing a Venue
When you're planning a big karaoke night, the right venue makes all the difference. After all, you'd likely pick a different location if you are bringing your family than if you were going out for a bachelorette party.
It may surprise you how many places offer karaoke. Spend some time researching the options and pick the right place--your karaoke night will be much better if you have the right environment.
What is Karaoke Anyway?
In its simplest form, karaoke involves a KJ (Karaoke Jockey) playing songs from a CD or computer with words displayed on the screen. Then the singer can sing along with the music-only track. There are "live" karaoke venues and other alternatives as well.
Karaoke originated in Japan, but quickly caught on around the world.
Choosing a Song to Karaoke
The song you choose is very important to your enjoyment of the karaoke experience. Spend some time thinking about what you and your friends/family will sing before you head out for the night. There are many lists online that give examples of great karaoke songs. The most important thing is choosing one that suits your voice and that you will enjoy singing. Try a few songs out beforehand and see what you are most comfortable singing--if you're comfortable, you'll do your best and have more fun.
Those who karaoke regularly know that there are unspoken karaoke "rules." Follow these rules of karaoke etiquette and you'll fit right in--no matter where you choose to spend your evening singing.
- Don't hog the stage - Remember that there are others who want to sing too so get off the stage when your song is complete.
- Pick enjoyable music - While you will never please everyone, don't choose a song you know will be annoying (ie, no Justin Beiber or 10 minute Pink Floyd songs--even if they are great!)
- Be Kind to your KJ - These professionals deal with drunks, belligerent singers and difficult divas all the time, so be kind and tip!
- Even though the lyrics are displayed, you will do better if you know the song well already.
- If possible, practice singing the song ahead of time. Youtube often has examples--as posted here.
- Focus your energy on the audience. They will respond better if you connect with them.
- Sing something you enjoy--if you're having fun, the audience will have fun too.
- Don't karaoke if you've had too much to drink. You won't perform your best and may even fall down.
- Have fun and don't worry about it!
How do I find Karaoke Shows?
The best way to find karaoke shows is to ask karaoke fans. If you have friends who enjoy singing, they will probably know where the best shows are and who the best KJs are. If you don't have a personal connection like this, just start making phone calls. Bars are often good bets, but regular restaurants, pool halls, bowling alleys and even skating rinks may have a show too. Plus, there may be private events at places like the American Legion, the Moose Lodge and other clubs.
Getting Over Nerves
One of the most difficult things about the karaoke process is getting past those nerves. Once you've done it a few times, you'll realize that it is a lot of fun and the audience is there to support you. However, the first time is hard. Some people like a drink or two to help with the shyness, but don't go overboard! Watching your friends or family go up first may help too. When you see it's not that bad you'll be eager to get up there yourself.
Make the Night Complete
Many karaoke venues are very accommodating to parties and events. Talk to the manager and see if you can bring in a celebratory cake, hat for the the guest of honor and other little extras to make your night a hit.
Another consideration is finding "just the right song." You may call ahead and make sure the KJ has the song you're requesting. If not, he or she may be able to guide you to where you could purchase it yourself and bring it in for use. After all, you don't want to get stuck without your favorite karaoke song!
Karaoke is Fun!
So, now that you know a bit more about planning a fun karaoke night with your friends or family, you're probably eager to get out there and start singing! Be brave and get up there with your favorite song. Once you've sung your first tune, you'll be ready to come back again and again.
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