Expert Advice: How to crush it at karaoke

. November 1, 2014.

Do you love karaoke and feel the desire to hone your craft? Maybe you’ve been thinking of giving it a try but you doubt your talents. Either way, seasoned karaoke-man Peter Hawkins—80s music aficionado, KJ with Stoo’s Karaoke, and believer that people of all singing abilities can serve up a stellar performance—is here to help.  

Support your fellow singers

Some singers are amazing. Some singers are not. All are welcome and encouraged. It’s about the love of the music, people. So spread the love and clap for everyone, from the girl who just nailed “Love On Top” to the guy that was so nervous he whispered his way through “Semi-Charmed Life.” You don’t have to highly rate the performance, you don’t even have to like the song, but please show respect for the courage to perform. 

Branch out 

The greatest joy I see is when singers find themselves in a new song. Everyone has their go-tos, but I love hearing people say, “never tried this one before” or  “wish me luck!” Who wants to be a one-hit wonder anyway!

Have a repertoire

Certain songs are always going to be picked: “Wannabe,” “Baby Got Back,” “Don’t Stop Believing.” When someone beats you to your first choice, having a few songs in your back pocket comes in handy.

Mic check

Microphones are a vitally important part of your performance. A good distance to hold your mic ranges between two and eight inches from your mouth. Your voice is the reason you’re up there, so let them hear you. If you feel you need more volume, ask your KJ. We want you to sound your best. 

Group singing 

While it’s a challenge, with a little pre-planning the performance can be amazing. And for first-timers, the comfort of a group is a good way to start your karaoke career. Most shows will only have two microphones. There are a few ways to share the stage. 1) Find a lead singer, then back him up with harmonies and dance steps. 2) Huddle together with the mic out in front of the group. 3) Pass the mic around so everyone gets a shot at being the frontman. Just be sure to have fun with each other and share the stage. 

Dancing on stage 

Pace yourself! Don’t go so crazy that you are out of breath and puffing your way through an uptempo song! Dancing and showing the crowd that you are enjoying yourself is contagious, and soon you can get the whole place dancing with you. 

Catch Peter Hawkins on Tuesdays at Good Time Charley’s, Wednesdays at the Tower Inn in Ypsilanti, Thursdays at Arena Sports Bar, Fridays and Saturdays at Circus Bar. stooskaraoke.com

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