I often explore enjoyable activities like this for practical purposes that provoke one's curiosity and share my experience with you.
How Do You Sing Karaoke?
Many people feel more relaxed singing with a group of close friends because they know they will not be judgmental. That's much more enjoyable than singing in public.
Perfection Is Not Necessary
Professional singers know how to control their voice, have perfect pitch, harmonize, and stay on key. That's not important when you're doing it just for fun.
When you sing for your own satisfaction with friends, you don't need to be concerned about perfection. And that's another reason why it's more enjoyable singing at home.
You Can Mimic Your Favorite Singer
I found that there were particular singers I could imitate quite well. Of course, some people have their own way of singing popular songs, and that's okay too.
We sing better by imitating one type of person over another based on our specific voice. It may also have something to do with how our brain is wired. In any case, even if you're not a great singer, copying the style of famous singers is an enjoyable experience.
What if You’re Not Good at Remembering the Melody?
Karaoke helps stay on key with the melody because you have the background music to help you stay in sync and hold a tune on key while you're singing.
It's almost as if you were singing in a band with background accompaniment. What an ego booster!
What if You Can't Remember the Lyrics?
The greatest thing is that you never forget the words since the lyrics flow by on the screen in sync with the music. You will always have that guide if you can't remember the words to a song.
Everyone's brain works differently. As for me, I never had a problem remembering the melody of songs. But for some reason, I don't always recall the lyrics that well. So having the words on the screen gives me the ability to sing my heart out.
Karaoke With Friends Is More Enjoyable at Home
I used to go with friends to restaurants that hosted karaoke events many years ago. However, these places blasted the music, which can damage our hearing and cause tinnitus.
In addition, it was not pleasant to talk with one another at our table when we couldn't hear one another. We felt more comfortable singing in small groups at private house parties.
You don’t need expensive equipment to host your own karaoke party. I’ll tell you what you need.
How to Build a Library of Karaoke Songs
Karaoke CDs include the lyrics for an on-screen display that is in sync with the music. The voice of the lead singer is removed so that you take their place.
You can find karaoke of popular songs in various genres of music by the artists of your choice. Amazon carries an extensive collection. Look for party packs for great cost savings. Multi-CD sets with hundreds of songs in various categories are also available. I've accumulated a full-blown library of songs by buying CDs like that!
There are two types of Karaoke CDs:
- CD+G (Compact Disc plus Graphics) is used in professional karaoke establishments. And you can use it too if you have the appropriate player. These CDs only work with CD+G players, such as the one I mentioned above.
- VCD (Video CD) can be played on any DVD player attached to a TV. You can also play a VCD on your computer with Quick Time Player or similar player apps.
CD+G format gives you more control that's not possible with VCD. For example, the lead singer is on one track, and the music is on the other, so you can hear both or just the music by choosing the track to play.
Beginners sometimes like to use the singer's voice as a guide, but I feel that makes it more difficult. It's all a matter of personal taste. Besides, singing your unique way is just as much fun.
The Best Equipment for Karaoke at Home
You can find low-cost karaoke players for under $50. But the better ones are closer to $250. They play specially recorded CDs of popular songs with the lead singer removed and include the lyrics that display on your television.
You can avoid the need for a karaoke machine by using Karaoke CDs that play on a standard DVD player. I'll describe the different types of CDs below.
The machine I chose to use is the VocoPro DVX890K Karaoke Player because it includes some professional features, and it's under $250. It's available from online stores, and you can find it with a Google search. However, I suggest you review various machines at a local electronics store to see the latest pricing and features available. Walmart and Best Buy usually carry a good selection.
How to Record Yourself Singing
Saving recordings of yourself singing that you can listen to later in life is an excellent way to enjoy the memories.
You can also benefit by listening to your recording and noticing where you need improvement. Some people are tone-deaf. However, that is true only while singing. I think some tone-deaf people can detect the error when they hear a recording of their singing. I can tell when I'm off-key when I listen to a recording of myself singing.
If you want to have a decent quality recording, go to a local electronics store and ask to see various microphones that give you a studio-quality sound.
I use a stand-alone microphone that records directly onto a flash memory card in WAV or MP3 format. You can transfer the files to your computer via a USB port. It has four built-in mics for stereo and 360° recording. It's called the Zoom H2n, and you can find it on Amazon or at electronics stores such as Best Buy.
Karaoke Software on Your Computer
Instead of buying CDs, you can download and play karaoke on your computer. The software uses MIDI formatted files that contain the text of the lyrics in sync with the music.
You can purchase karaoke software online, and some are free to download. Just be careful not to download malware. Do your research before you download.
The two that I have used are "VanBasco’s Karaoke Player" and "KaraFun." You can find these and the MIDI files to go with them with a Google search. They are both free and have versions for Windows and Mac.
When I sing with friends, I find the musical energy makes us feel good about ourselves. In addition, it's a great way to have a social get-together.
So, start collecting some karaoke CDs, look for a karaoke player to hook up to your TV, and get a few friends together who like to sing. Enjoy the activity, and have fun.
© 2009 Glenn Stok