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How to Perform Karaoke Like a Pro When You’re Not

How to Perform Karaoke Like a Pro When You’re Not

It’s Friday night and you’ve hit the bar with your friends. Suddenly, they head towards the karaoke section and the one person you actually want to impress invites you to sing. Your palms are sweaty and a feeling of dread starts creeping in. The mere thought of singing in public rather than your shower sends your stomach down to your feet. How can you perform karaoke if you can’t even sing?

By reading this article before going, that’s how.

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be a great singer to rock a karaoke bar. With a little know-how, a good sense of humour and just enough swagger, you’ll go from a quivering jelly to a confident Jagger.

Here are some tips:

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1. Learn to breathe like a singer

Karaoke can be daunting. When we get stressed, we tense up. When we’re tense, our vocals chords tense up too and the sound we produce is not as good as it can be. Breathing like a singer can help to loosen that tension.

The correct way to breathe is to relax, take in the air deeply, almost like filling up your stomach and then use this air as a support for your voice while singing. A couple of hours of practice of this process of filling up your lower lungs while breathing will make it easy and intuitive.

2. Practice karaoke at home

If you have a karaoke machine, great. Use it! Otherwise, you can usually find your karaoke track and lyrics online. Sing while having bath, cleaning and driving, it will benefit you more than you realise, and make sure you not only understand the lyrics of the song, but have memorised them.

Record yourself singing and listen back but don’t freak out the first time; it’s always weird to hear yourself singing when you first start. Use a full-length mirror or a smartphone to video, then watch yourself. Practice and improve your style; get comfortable with performing.

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3. Choose a winning song

When you’re starting out, try picking a song that many people are familiar with and enjoy. Upbeat numbers tend to be better crowd pleasers compared to slow numbers. Songs with long instrumental breaks or overly long songs can be awkward for a karaoke session. It should be a song that you enjoy singing and is well within your vocal range.

By picking an upbeat crowd favourite, the audience will have more fun and that will definitely make it easier for you as a performer.

4. Warm up your voice before you get up to sing

While others are singing, hum quietly along with the songs. Humming is a great vocal warm up and you’ll be surprised at the difference singing on warmed up vocal chords. There are lots of other vocal warm ups you could do but, let’s face it, you don’t want to be caught singing ‘do-re-me’ in a cubicle… not a good look.

5. Fight fear with humour

Remember, everyone’s there to have fun so you don’t need to take yourself too seriously. The best way to fight fear is with humour and, if all else fails, remember that a person who’s able to laugh at themselves is just as cool as a serious karaoke star… perhaps more so.

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6. Use a little mic technique

A beginner is usually scared and he/she unconsciously keeps the microphone a foot or two away from the mouth which makes the voice sound bleak. A more experienced singer keeps the mic close to their mouth, in order to get a nice tone. A pro who has mastered mic technique, however, keeps the mic close to their mouth until they sing louder (often higher) notes. At that point they pull the mic away by a few inches, to compensate for the sudden increase in volume, then bring it back to their mouth when the louder singing is over. This can be perfected at home with a hairbrush.

7. Give an all-out performance

Wear some glamour clothes and enact your ‘star’ fantasies. Go all the way. Giving an all-out performance is always better than hanging back. Be confident. Don’t sound apologetic for your performance. There are many professional singers who hit off notes with startling regularity but no-one cares because their stage presence is so strong (yes Mick, I’m looking at you).

8. Be a good audience

Be a good sport and cheer for other performers. Clap after every song.  A nice encouraging word can lift anyone’s spirit. Don’t wince if someone’s voice cracks up. Eventually, when you get up to perform, they’ll return the favour and cheer you on. As John Lennon said: “Instant karma’s gonna get you”.

9. Have fun

This is the most important part of any performance. Smile, groove to the music and enjoy your time. The movement will free your voice and help in having a better connection with the audience. The truth is that you’re not there to impress people—you’re there to have a great time. Let loose and share yourself with your friends and audience. Sing your heart out.

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The main thing to remember with karaoke is that a great performance doesn’t have to involve a professional singing voice. It’s not a contest and nobody expects you to be perfect. It’s for amateurs who want to have a good time and sing the songs that they love.

Featured photo credit: Stock Unlimited via stockunlimited.com

More by this author

Oliver Braithwaite

Founder/CEO of Stars & Catz

How to Have Einstein’s Brain Even If You’re Not a Natural Born Genius Join a Rock Band in One Month, from Scratch Karaoke Tips How to Perform Karaoke Like a Pro When You’re Not

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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