Karaoke Advice: How To Force Your Friends To Sing

Regular karaoke singer Lindsey Weber has developed very strong opinions about what constitutes the proper etiquette of karaoke–everything from song choice to mic-handling technique. Her opinions (while regarded trustworthy by some of the greatest karaoke’ers in town) are her own, so feel free to disregard. After all, if you’re just dying to sing “Don’t Stop Believin’”* you’ll probably just go ahead and sing it. Send your karaoke questions for Lindsey to karaokeconfessional AT gmail.com

To Sing Or Not To Sing?

So I love to do karaoke. I can occasionally get my friends to come with me, but they never, ever actually sing. How do you make people who THINK they don’t want to sing realize that actually they do? Any good songs suggestions for newbies? Do I just have to get them drunk enough? –Caitlin

I agree with you, Caitlin, everyone has a little sing in them. I’ve met a few karaoke haters in my day, but I truly believe that they’re just in denial of their basic, primal, belting desires.

I’d start with location. Karaoke bars where you sing in front of drunk strangers are always satisfying for the karaoke obsessed, but can be a little scary for newbies. A small room will not only provide your friends with comfort and privacy, but it’s a great way to bond. Say that! “This would be a great way for us to bond! As friends!” you say to your karaoke-shy cohorts. Drop hints throughout the week. “Oooh, wouldn’t this be a great karaoke song?” you squeak, as you all sing along with Gin Blossoms on the car radio.

Is this doesn’t work, and here’s a last resort option I’d really not suggest, pull the “We’ll sing this one together!” card. That is a good way for a lead-in, and if your friends are indeed shy, after a few songs together they’ll be wanting to sing solo in no time. Options that won’t make fellow karaoke-rs cringe? Spice Girls, NSync, Destiny’s Child…you get the idea. Songs by groups, for groups.

And you know what? Alcohol helps too.

Is is okay to go to karaoke with your friends but never sing?  I just like to watch karaoke but don’t like my voice that much. What’s the appropriate way to explain this to newbies to the group who try and force you to sing with them?

Karaoke Voyeur

Ah, here’s the other side of the coin: Someone who attend karaoke and doesn’t sing. While I cannot relate, I respect you tremendously, Karaoke Voyeur, and probably have tried to force someone of your kind (or perhaps you?) to “just sing already!!!!!” at some point in time.

I’d like to encourage you to sing even though you “don’t like your voice that much,” because there is no way you could be worse than some of the things I’ve witnessed before–and isn’t that the point of karaoke, anyway? We can whine and complain about people with bad voices, but there’s a reason we’re all karaoke’ing and not…singing professionally? If I have to explain this to you, go to an open mic night or something. (HA! Like an open mic night would be any better.)

Anyway, if you choose not to sing and need an excuse to tell your drunk friends, just tell them that your parents were killed in an tragic karaoke accident. They’ll understand.

Is stabbing ever okay? –David

Nope. And neither is Karaoke For Kids. .


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