Could I become better at karaoke and learn to like it?

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be another nice winter day-the morning will be cold, the high will be around 10C and it'll be mostly sunny. If you're wondering what the weather this week will be like, just look outside. It's not going to change much at all for the next 6 or 7 days.

If you know me, you know that I'm not a big fan of karaoke. There are two main reasons-one, there's no chance for conversation and two, I'm a terrible singer.

Could these tips make me a better singer? Could I actually enjoy karaoke?

Here are three tips from singer/songwriter Yu Mamada for how to step up from singing in the privacy of your shower to singing in front of other people at karaoke.

1. More so than pitch, focus on the song’s rhythm

“There’s something people who are good at karaoke have in common,” Mamada explained, “and that’s that they’ve got the rhythm of the song down. Sure, pitch is important, but it’s really the people who’ve got the rhythm who make the song sound good at karaoke, so pay attention to that point when thinking about how to sing.” I have to say that I'll try to take this one to heart. I always worry about my pitch when I'm at karaoke.

2. Adjust the echo and volume for your song

KT 3

Each karaoke room has its own karaoke machine inside, and you can adjust various echo and volume levels by twisting knobs on the unit itself or using its remote control. The three big ones to check for are microphone volume (マイク音量 in Japanese text), music volume (ミュージック音量), and echo (エコー).

Just like a professional would fiddle with these levels before each song in a recording session or concert set list, so too does Mamada recommend setting them to match the mood of the song you’ve chosen to sing. I'd love to do this, but I have no idea how changing them will improve my singing. Is it better to have more echo? Or less? Should I keep the music volume higher? I need more details about this advice!! Ha ha!

3. Sing songs you like

The whole point of karaoke is to have fun, so it’s always important to sing songs that you, personally, like. Not only will you have a better time, your appreciation for the song’s sound and lyrics will shine through in your performance, making it more enjoyable for the rest of the group as well. This is the hardest one for me, it's really difficult to find the songs I like at karaoke...I spend half my time just looking for songs that I know, never mind finding ones that I actually like...ha ha!

The other upside to singing songs you like? You’ll sing them more often, which is good because karaoke, like any other skill-based activity, is something you become better at with practice.

“Taking a song that someone else wrote and making it your own takes time,” Mamada told us. “For me, it sometimes takes six to 12 months before I can really nail it.”

What do you think? Are they useful pointers? Have you tried any of them? If I'm armed with these three new karaoke tips, I don’t think I’ll sound half-bad the next time I'm out singing with friends...

Have a great day!

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