So, What Is Karaoke?

Karaoke lets you sing songs with background music in the style of the original artists, but what makes karaoke better?

Sound Quality - When singing karaoke, it is very important that you can hear the background music and yourself. With karaoke, we depend upon the sound system to do this. The sound system must be able to produce good quality sound, over the entire audio spectrum, and it must be balanced so that both the background music and the vocals can be heard by everyone.

The Rotation - It is important to make sure everyone has a turn. To do this, the KJ will maintain a "rotation", which is a list of singers, in the order in which they signed up. When the last singer in the list has had their turn, the KJ will start again and the top of the list. When a new singer signs up, they go at the end of the list. One advantage of this system is everyone always knows who is before them, so they know when their turn is coming up. This helps speed up the process by eliminating delays between songs. Some KJ's have difficulty with maintaining the rotation. They may lose track or they add their friends in the middle of the rotation so they can sing sooner. Cutting in line is rude, no matter where it happens. A good KJ won't allow this. The one exception is sometimes a bar employee will want to sing and can only do it while they are on a break, so it may be necessary to fit them in where they have free time.

Karaoke Etiquette

1. Everyone wants to sing. Anything that delays the show, makes it so fewer people will get to sing. Be kind to the other singers and avoid creating delays. Keep track of when you are going to be up and be ready to sing. Help the KJ by letting them do their job without a lot of unnecessary distractions. When you finish your song, return the microphone to the KJ and resist the temptation to make announcements or comments that slow things down.

2. We all appreciate support. Be sure to show your appreciation for singers when they finish their song. While people are singing, try to avoid loud, distracting activity that takes away from their performance and the enjoyment of others who want to listen to them sing. If you are going to talk, try to do it quietly.

3. It's karaoke, not Carnegie Hall. Remember that most of us are singing karaoke because we are not professional musicians. If we were able to sing just like Adelle, or Bing Crosby, we would be making records, not singing in a bar. Never make fun of those who are putting in the effort to sing. We all make mistakes and we should all be accepting of the effort, if not the skill that people put into their songs.

4. Karaoke is usually a solo activity. If a singer wants to share the mic with someone, they will ask. Never jump in uninvited on the mic. This is very rude and unacceptable. The singer is performing the song they way they want to, and this seldom includes the arrangement that a 6-pack of beer might have inspired in your mind.

5. Karaoke equipment and karaoke tracks are expensive. The venue has to pay royalties to various agencies for the right to use copyrighted music. All of this adds up. Respect the equipment. DO NOT DROP THE MIC. It may make great Youtube videos, but in real life, mics are expensive pieces of delicate equipment. Do not put food or drinks on the speakers or near the KJ's console. A single spilled drink can ruin the night for everyone and cost the KJ a lot of money.

6. Last, but not least, show your servers and KJ's some appreciation. They are usually working for a minimal wage and tips are greatly appreciated. If you leave a tip at a restaurant, why not do the same for the servers and KJ at the bar?