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Karaoke Fun! Singing Tips

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Tips for Singers:
Expanding Your Repertoire
by Richard Baisner

I still remember when I first starting singing Karaoke a couple of years ago.

Back then, it took me a long time to find a song I thought I could do, and when I got up on stage, my timing was off, I was off-key, or unfamiliar verses would suddenly appear on the screen. In short, I was terrible! Sometimes I’d be so nervous that my hand would start trembling as I held the microphone. Every other singer seemed to so relaxed and comfortable with their songs … why wasn’t I?. I thought I just wasn’t "born with it."

But, instead of giving up on Karaoke all together, I practiced one or two songs over and over again in private until I was ready for the stage. And, wouldn’t you know it, people actually clapped and sometimes praised my performance in private later on. Well, that certainly was an ego-booster. So, my plan was to go from one Karaoke place to another, performing the same few songs, hoping no one would catch on that I had such a limited selection. Not like anyone said anything directly, but sometimes I would give the KJ a new number, and they’d look surprised and say "Oh, what’s this? I’ve never seen this one before." Now, two years later, I am glad to say that I have performed over 160 songs.

Here’s some advice on how to find new songs for yourself.

Most of my best songs I discovered by "accident." Meaning, someone coaxed me into singing it just because they wanted to hear the song, or I was forced into a duet against my will. Of course, some of these songs came out just plain awful, but other times someone might come up to me and say "Hey, that was pretty good!"

If you can perform a song well, see if they have any more by the same artist. With a little practice, it’s relatively easy to do most of the that artist’s other songs. Many times the Karaoke version of the song is available, but the Karaoke place you’re singing at doesn’t have it. Consider purchasing the disc for yourself. It’s always handy to have with you wherever you go..

Go through a Karaoke song selection book and write down all the songs you want to sing. Then, practice in private. Or, wait until the audience dies down. If you want to try a song, but are afraid you’ll really make a fool of yourself, drag someone up there with you to share in the embarrassment. Sometimes I’ll do a "good" song first to develop rapport with the audience, then I’ll try some experimental songs. Other times I might warn the audience ahead of time, "OK. This one’s a first." This way, if you mess up, everyone can laugh about it. Sometimes the song may be too high, and sure enough, when I get up there I’m hoping I could pull it off, but I end up distorting my face and cracking my voice. And, I’m only on the first verse! You know it’s going to be the longest three minutes of your life.

Pay attention to other singers. If you have a similar vocal range as them, try signing the song yourself sometime. Of course, it’s polite to do it when they’re not around. Otherwise, they may get the impression that you’re trying to steal "their song." I developed a little rule of thumb for myself: if I hear someone do a song better than I, I won’t sing it again.

Whenever I visit a friend’s house, I’m quick to be rummaging through their CD and tape collection looking for different songs to practice. Listening to wide variety of radio stations for new song ideas. I even researched past billboard top 100 lists to get ideas. One friend of mine actually goes to CD listening bars (or music stores where you can preview CD’s for free) to hear how the song he wants to perform goes. Now, that’s creative!

(reprinted with the kind permission of
Richard Baisner a.k.a. Grateful)

Singers, looking for great quality custom Karaoke backing tracks? Try these links below:
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