Let’s say you finally worked up the courage to hop on stage and regale family, friends, and coworkers with some karaoke caroling. Well, a good round of holiday karaoke needs more than a halfway decent sense of rhythm and some yuletide joy. Like mastering any other art form or skill set, there’s plenty of rules to follow and practices to remember before you should deck the halls. In collaboration with Heineken, music critic Rob Sheffield has shared some tips and hints to help make your next karaoke party truly festive.
Tip #1: Don’t Worry About Your Talent Level
Whether you’re singing for eight people or 80,000, the basic karaoke question is the same: Do you rock the mike or not? Karaoke is all about moving outside of your comfort zone and summoning the nerve to get up there and perform in front of people. You don’t need a good voice. That’s the beauty of karaoke. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous your voice is; all that matters is the enthusiasm you bring to it. Fortune favors the bold, even if the bold are also totally tone deaf.
Tip #2: It’s the Holidays – Sing a Carol!
Just no “Little Drummer Boy.” Seriously. You can do a holiday-themed song or three if you want to, but this one is a buzzkill. Every “pa rum pa pum pum” seems to drag on for an hour. And that goes double for “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” or “Silver Bells.” Of course, the holiday season is always a big time for karaoke, whether it’s an office party or a family gathering. But carols usually aren’t what people sing at karaoke, so there’s an element of risk involved in combining them. There’s nothing especially cool about singing carols. But then, the essence of karaoke is being willing to risk blowing your cool.
Tip#3: And When in Doubt – Sing Louder
Or if you forget the tune. If you blow the high notes. If your voice cracks. Sing loud and sing proud. Whatever happens, keep going and move forward. Let the song carry you through. There’s no “go back and fix it” in karaoke–that’s the beauty of it. There is only “loud” and “louder.”
Tip #4: Pay Attention to the Screen
Not knowing what comes next in a song can be a terrifying moment – but don’t lose hope. According to a recent survey by Wakefield Research for Heineken, Americans think the best way to recover during karaoke when you don’t know the lyrics is to sing the right lyrics from the prompter (47%).
Tip #5: Grab a Partner
Man or woman – you cannot deny the draw of a Beatle. The same survey said both men (41%) and women (39%) would most like to sing a karaoke duet with Paul McCartney. Either way, grab a partner – or even get the whole crowd involved. Everybody likes to join in the song together, especially when everybody’s in the festive holiday spirit. And the holiday season is when people tend to juggle a bunch of different invites on the same night, so make the crowd glad they picked this party. It doesn’t really matter how the song sounds – with karaoke, you embrace the ridiculousness and share that moment with the people around you.