A Karaoke party is a great way to get some friends together and have quality fun for the entire families. Children can sing and demonstrate their talent and catch attention. Adults who aren’t yet singing can get inspired as I got few years back – this is a life injecting event when you find a new passion. Moreover, a karaoke party is a good way to spend time than just food and current event banter. And if it is winter like now, it is hard to find a better indoor event. So, all said here are some tips for the organizers and the participants alike.
Party gear setup:
- Have a decent sound system in place – speakers, a mixer and at least a couple of microphones, good connecting wires.
- For a indoor space of about 100-200 sq. ft, about 60-100 Wattage speakers are more than sufficient assuming you will have about 50-75 people in the space. Here is a good set of speakers. This comes with a 4 channel mixer which is a great deal for less than $200.
- The noise of the audience can drown the music tracks playing and can cause challenges for the singers. Thus it is a good idea to keep the speakers at above the ear levels if possible. A pair of stands help just for the party. You can stow away the stands after the party so that it doesn’t detract from your living space’s looks.
- You can get a decent microphone for $20 or less. A great deal are these Behringer’s for less than $40 you get three of the microphones. If you are going to buy wireless microphones, check it’s batter requirements. You can get 8 rechargeable batteries for less than $20 as in here. This same link also has the charger listed (<$10), you might want to get that too in case you don’t have one already. For wireless microphones, check a previous post.
- It is a good idea to cover the microphones with wind shields. They are inexpensive as in here.
- A decent pair of microphone wires – loose connections can be distracting to the singer. With a good connection, they can focus on the singing. Here’s is a great deal.
- Make sure that the audio cable between your mixer and the audio source is long enough so the singers can have some freedom of movement. A 12 foot cable is about $10.
- Test the sound system ahead of the party. This includes setting up the wires, making sure both the music and the voice audio come out clearly through both/all the speakers.
- Singers can use music tracks from a variety of sources. Online web sites, dropbox accounts, SD cards, flash drives, Youtube, etc. Make sure all these sources work. I have my karaoke tracks on my mobile phone. So make a wifi connection available. If you have to change your home wifi password temporarily, you should do that and distribute the password.
- If you are having some use video karaoke display on your TV, make sure the audio output is good enough for the room size and crowd’s noise levels. If you have the TV connected to a receiver/sound system, you will be fine. But a TV’s sound output by itself will not be sufficient to get the sounds above the ambient noise levels of a party gathering.
Tips for Singers:
- Watch your food. A big part of any party is food. Those cheesy and oily appetizers or sodas can take away your singing voice and create strains that you don’t want. Water, honey, tea is your best bet before singing. At some point you have to have food, hopefully you would have sung your best songs before then.
- Your song choice is very important. Especially if the party has a theme, pick at least one song that goes with the theme. You can sing other songs to display your talents. If you have only one opportunity to sing, sing a song that fits the occasion.
- Pick a song that matches your range. Don’t go overboard in taking the challenge for the event. At practice, it is a different thing altogether where you need to try things out.
- Assume a good posture. You should stand light on your feet, leaning forward a bit helps bring lightness to your body and this helps in releasing body tension and ‘getting into’ the song to bring out emotions.
- If you use a lyrics sheet to sing, it is best kept at or near eye level. You head should not be held down or up as this can strain your vocal cords.
- Put all your vocal technique lessons into use. Singing from the diaphragm is one of the primary rules to give you breath support. If you don’t understand what these terms mean, either read up or take voice lessons.
- If you are singing multiple songs, pick dissimilar songs – such as songs from different eras, songs of different challenge levels. You want to try to keep the audience’s attention all along. Unless the audience is keen in music or singing, they very well might be looking into their smartphones within seconds of switching off from your singing!
- Sing duets. Duets present a different level of challenge in terms of coordination and doing justice to the original. If involves teamwork, trust and ensuring each other succeeds. Sometimes, when one singer is off-track, the other singer needs to be smart and pick up so he/she stays on track. These skills are must have if you are aspiring to be an entertainer than just a singer. Singing duets with someone impromptu requires yourself to be in a comfort zone where you can connect with the other singer. In American Idol or other singing competitions, one of the challenges is to pick a partner who is probably unknown to you and come up with the performance within a week. This can be a challenge and you should be able to figure out how to work this. All in all, duets can be much more fun to sing and entertain.
- Avoid singing songs you have sung before. A few times is okay, but then it gets uninteresting. There are no dearth of songs to just pick on the spot and sing, assuming if you are a bit experienced in singing.
- Depending on which stage you are in singing – starter/beginner, I-want-to-have-fun, I-can-do-a-good-job, let-me-show-my-talent-today, this-time-I-am-going-to-impress, I-will-do-justice-to-the-lyrics-music, I-will-involve-the-audience, I-will-make-my-audience-forget-their-pains-for-a-moment, etc you want to remember that when you get on stage, ultimately those moments shouldn’t be about you but about the song and the ability to involve the audience and get them to forget themselves.
- If you are a started, don’t be hesitant. A karaoke party with friends is your best chance to get on stage and get over any stage fears. Good friends are very encouraging and this would be the opportunity you need to get to the next level.
- Don’t hog the show – give everyone a chance to hold the microphone. If you find someone is hesitant to sing, encourage him or her. In short, be the leader you are always.
- After the applause, say thank you and take a bow if it is appropriate.
- And don’t forget to practice. Even the pros practice before a performance. Practice exposes any weaknesses that you might have developed over the recent past though you got that song right last time.