Ever since I wrote the post “Top 10 Songs NOT to sing at Karaoke”, I have been getting the same question: What SHOULD I sing at karaoke? I will now attempt to answer that question. This won’t be a list of songs, this will be more of a ‘how to’. I will try to guide you through the karaoke labyrinth.
- First Time? – I often get approached by some folks who want to sing, but have never braved the high seas of karaoke before. They want to know what to sing. That is a hard question to answer. I always say, sing something you know and like. But that can also lead to problems. Some people have some very questionable taste, and if it is your first time you don’t want to get up there, sing your heart out and have people looking at you like you are from another planet. The best advice I have for first timers is – sing a song EVERYBODY KNOWS, and SOMETHING UPBEAT. Songs I would recommend for the newbie are: Anything by the Beatles, Journey, or Bon Jovi. Try an 80’s classic like “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves or something poppy like ABBA, Spice Girls or Ace of Base. Even if people don’t like the song, they won’t be able to help but sing along. Also, get really drunk. You will be more relaxed and you’ll have more fun.
- Know Your Audience – Once you have gotten past those first time jitters it’s time to figure out what “your” songs are. And that depends on WHERE you are singing. When I was in San Francisco I had a heavy show tune repertoire. Here in Prague it’s a little different. People here don’t really know show tunes, so I had to find some new material. Sure, I still belt out Cabaret, but I have added many a pop song to my list. You want people to like you – sing something they like.
- PERFORM! No matter how good your voice is, you still gotta give the folks a show. Don’t just stand there and stare at the screen, move around a bit! Pretend you are Lady Gaga or J-Lo. Become the fifth Beatle. Even if you suck, if you put on a good show nobody will care.
- BE NICE! This means clap for everyone who gets up there – even if they suck. This means not pestering the KJ by constantly asking when your turn is, or if they have a certain song on the list. This means not being a drunk asshole and grabbing the mic from the person singing.