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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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