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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 May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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