Singing karaoke: 5 pro tips

Follow our local expert advice and rock your next party.

Holiday party season is on its way. Want to add some musical fun to your next family gathering? Or avoid humiliation at your office party? Whether you’re a singing novice or do a mean “Don’t Stop Believin’,” these tips from karaoke experts Sarah Bucher and Corey Bonar, both of Bella Musica in Miamisburg, will help you step up your game.

1. Don’t let nerves stand in your way

One of the biggest issues for most people when it comes to karaoke is self-confidence. “Unfortunately, nervousness in front of others is always a thing — even for professionals,” said Bucher and Bonar via email. “And a little extra adrenaline is good.”

You may not be able to eliminate nervousness completely, but taking some simple steps can keep your knees from knocking too badly. Bucher and Bonar said, “Some things that can help are being as prepared as possible, which for karaoke is hard, but pick a song you know really, really well. Do it often. The more you sing in front of others, the more comfortable you get with it, and remember that the people listening to you really want you to (do) well. They are rooting for you!”

2. Keep trying

If you’re like many people, then you’ve probably had at least one bad experience with public singing or even just plain public speaking. This can lead to the aforementioned nervousness and keep you from a good time. If this sounds familiar, take note.

“Getting back on the horse is very important, but what’s more important is getting back on the right horse,” said Bucher and Bonar. “Exposing yourself to a hostile performance environment can do even more damage.” Be sure to start out with a friendly crowd of family or friends — many affordable options exist for at-home karaoke, including discs for video game consoles and small karaoke machines.

Another consideration is a karaoke event geared specifically toward beginners. Bella Musica offers a monthly karaoke clinic at Star City Brewing Company in Miamisburg. “We are striving to create a safe, fun, and encouraging environment for people to sing and improve as singers and performers,” Bucher and Bonar said.

3. Control your breath

One of the key elements of good singing is adequate breath support. Keeping your voice strong and well modulated is essential when you’re trying to wow a crowd. “Breathe — may sound simple, but when people get nervous, it’s one of the first things to go. Deep, intentional breaths will help support the sound,” Bucher and Bonar said.

Take deep breaths from your diaphragm, not just the top of your lungs. “Don’t be timid. Put the sound out there. Don’t apologize or sing soft because you’re scared or testing the waters. Just go for it,” they said.

4. Choose the right music

Now, the fun part: choosing your song. Do you picture yourself singing a particular song? Or are you into karaoke standards: “The Morning After,” anyone? Be sure that your choices are within the scope of your vocal type and range.

“Physically you should choose a song that you can sing. This involves the range and the style of the song,” said Bucher and Bonar. “The best way to choose a song is to sing through it and see how it feels. It also helps to have someone’s input from the outside, anything from taking private lessons to having a friend listen to you. Mentally, you have to like what you are singing. You have to be able to connect with the song on some sort of personal level.”

5. Enjoy yourself

Don’t lose sight of the reason you’re at the party or karaoke bar in the first place. You may be looking forward to wowing the crowd with a power ballad, but the social aspect is by far more important.

“Karaoke is supposed to be fun and help people relax,” Bucher and Bonar said. “Everyone is on a different journey, and it is important to remember that karaoke is fun for everyone, from performer to audience.”

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