How To Win A Karaoke Contest - Top tips
How to Win a Karaoke Contest
Whether you’re looking to be “discovered,” hoping to win cool prizes, or just seeking some recognition of your awesome vocal talents, karaoke contests are a great way to test yourself. While these competitions offer a chance to see some great performers (and some not-so-great ones, too), and have an outrageously good time, they’re even more fun if you win. How do you do it? Read on, and go ahead and imagine a little ball jumping over the words as you do.
Practice singing.No matter what else you do, it’s important to be able to carry a tune and sing on pitch. While you need not be the "best" singer at the competition, and you certainly don’t need to be professionally trained, those things won’t hurt you.Karaoke contests are usually judged on some combination of vocal ability, audience response, and stage presence, but if you can nail the singing part, the judges may give you some leeway on other aspects of your performance. The best way to practice karaoke is to sing karaoke.
Memorize the lyrics of a song.Most karaoke contests allow you to pick your own songs, and if you’re going to win, you should have practiced these time and time again. Yes, the words are right there on the screen, but if you know the words and have perfect timing, you don’t even have to look at the screen. There have also been instances where the MC deliberately mutes the song, or the music is genuinely mis-recorded, and you won't hear the song for some time. You have to keep on singing until the music returns. Not only will your overall performance be more masterful, you may impress the judges and audience with your knowledge of the songs. An elimination round in a contest is a bad time to find out that you can't pull off a particular song.
Understand the format of the contest.Karaoke contests are usually either judged by a panel of judges or by the audience. In some of the latter, the audience will actually formally vote, while in most a judge or judges will try to gauge the audience's reaction to a song. You also want to know how you're being judged. Most contests are based on overall performance, but some look strictly at how well you impersonate the artist (or how original you are), or other factors. Finally, know how many songs you'll be expected to sing so you'll have enough prepared in advance.
Follow the rules.Some contests require that you sing a particular kind of music (80s rock only, for example), or that you appear in costume. Make sure to follow the rules or you probably won't win even if you give the best performance.
Extend courtesy to other performers.Yes, other performers are your competition, but don't try to malign them or mock them, even if someone really can't sing. Be polite, and unless the rules dictate otherwise, applaud everybody. Remember you will very likely be judged on your audience's reaction to your songs, and many of your competitors are part of the audience. They won't treat a heckler kindly.
Cater to the audience (or the judges).Above all, sing to the audience, not to the karaoke screen. Beyond that, know your audience. Understanding your audience will help you choose songs that most appeal to them. If you haven't been to a venue before, you might want to visit it in advance to check out the crowd and see what they're playing on the jukebox. On the night of the competition, try to gauge the judges' or audience's reaction to songs and see if you can spot trends (maybe they hate love songs), and choose your songs accordingly if you still can.
Sing a song to showcase your range and talents.There are a lot of songs that just about anybody can sing passably, but if you've got an exceptional vocal range or if you can Rap just like Snoop (rap is notoriously difficult to karaoke) choose songs that reflect that. If you want to awe the audience—and you do—you need a great performance of a difficult song.
Develop stage presence.People come to karaoke (or to concerts) toseea performance, not just to hear one. Don't just stand there and sing, and don't act like you don't know what to do during an instrumental interlude. Convey the emotions of the song with your facial gestures and body movements, and by all means Dance if appropriate. Get some ideas by watching concert videos of professional performers. If you can find a video of the original artist performing the song you're going to sing, all the better.
Dress the part.Your attire can help the judges remember you, especially if you go to a themed competition or if you're only singing certain kinds of songs. If you're going to sing glam rock, dress like a glam rocker, or maybe dress like a country singer to add a bit of humor to your performance.
Be true to the original.Even if it's subconscious, most people judge a karaoke performance by how close it sounds to the original. It's amazing when someone gets up to sing a Garth Brooks song and you could swear they were just lip-syncing to a CD of Garth himself. While you need not be a professional voice impersonator, try to fit the mood and style of the song (i.e. add a bit of twang to a country song).
Add your own twist.Musicians who cover a song can alter it all they want. You don't have that luxury because the karaoke music is designed to sound just like the original version. That said, there's a little room for creativity. For example, try inserting the name of a local landmark in place of one mentioned in the song. This can have a humorous effect and is likely to get a rise out of the audience.
Relax and have a good time.If you have a problem with stage fright, you've got to learn to suppress it. There are a number of ways to do this, but probably the best is to fight it by singing a lot of karaoke. Don't take yourself too seriously up there, and even if you're nervous, show the audience that there's nothing you'd rather be doing.
Be a good winner (or loser).If you win, congratulations! Now be gracious. If you don't win, don't mope, don't make excuses, and don't get mad about how "the contest was fixed." You'll likely see these people again if you continue to compete in karaoke contests, and you want to leave them with a good impression of you.
QuestionWhat if I don't know the song?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFollow the lyrics and just sing along the best you can with the rhythm of the beat.Thanks!
QuestionIs "Hey Porter" by Johnny Cash a good karaoke song?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSure, people love Johnny Cash. The most important thing is that you like the song and that you'll have fun performing it.Thanks!
QuestionIs "Sweet Dreams" by Patsy Cline a good Karaoke song?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, it is a good Karaoke song.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if they don't allow the lyrics on screen but just provide the backing instrumentals and also won't allow it to be sung in English?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPractice as much as you can. Since it's not in English, practice correct pronunciation of the lyrics. After you master pronunciation, try singing it with the backing instrumental.Thanks!
- Get hydrated well in advance. Drink plenty of water before the competition, and maintain your hydration throughout. Nothing can sabotage your singing like a dry mouth.
- Choose songs that most everybody knows. People generally get into a song that they recognize and like. Obscure songs aren't off limits, but only choose one if you have a good reason (i.e. if you can yodel well, you might want to choose a less well-known song with an amazing yodeling part).
- Watch what you eat before and during the event! Dairy based foods, like dips and sauces, can coat your throat and make singing more challenging. Also be aware of dry foods, like tortilla chips, that can create a "tickle" and make you need to clear your throat.
- Tap your toe. Learn to keep the beat, from the simplest country two-step to the triplets (three notes sung in the time normally occupied by two) that fall out of a reggae song every once in a while.
- When you're practicing, have a friend or two go with you to karaoke and honestly critique your performances. You can't always judge your performance accurately, and unless you're in a competition, it's tough to get a good idea of how well you're really doing.
- Nothing beats actually going out to karaoke nights for practice, but you can also practice at home on your own karaoke equipment, or you can find lyrics and karaoke MIDI files on the Internet.
- The "tone-deaf" singers you might sometimes hear don't really have any hearing problem. They just haven't developed a feel for the scales, and how to jump across the right interval of notes to the next note. Get a simple music keyboard at home, or call one up on your computer. Play a few simple songs and let your voice follow the notes. Practice changing notes like C-E or C-F or C-G. Be aware of a little music theory like half-tones and chords and so on. Learn to match the pitch correctly. Practice will smooth out any problems you may have.
- If you have an Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3 system, rent or buy Rock Band or Rock Band 2 (the latter has a no-fail mode) and get any USB microphone, and start a vocalist career. Start with Easy and move up as you learn. This software provides the correct tone and pitch and shows where you're at. Change the settings to turn down the vocal track, the crowd noise, and sound effects, and turn up the mic - this will turn the software into a true karaoke platform. (Do not, however, use Guitar Hero: World Tour as its vocal interpreter is basically broken and it will rate you far worse than you actually are. Not to mention Rock Band 2 will tell you how hard a song is to sing; Guitar Hero: World Tour will not.)
- Don't choose a song that's overdone. While you want a song that's familiar to people, you don't necessarily want to sing one of those songs that you are almost guaranteed to hear at any karaoke night you visit. People tend to tire of the same old song and dance.
- Be careful about alcohol. "Liquid courage" is the very fuel that keeps most karaoke nights running, and the performances in these venues generally reflect that. In a competition, you'll find that many people, maybe most, don't drink at all. If you do want to loosen up with a couple drinks, don't go overboard.
- Don't sing a long song or one that repeats itself a lot. If your performance leaves something to be desired, a long song will really wear on the audience. Even if you have a great performance, though, people tend to get bored with a song that's too long or that's just the same thing over and over.
- Don't sing a song that somebody else has already sung. This invites a direct comparison with somebody else, and you'd better be sure that all aspects of your performance will beat theirs hands down before attempting it.
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