Tips to ace your first karaoke performance

It’s not as intimidating as you would think.

Matthaeus Choo

Published: 17 May 2022, 2:35 PM

Eh let’s go sing K lah!

For generations of youths, those words meant countless hours of fun in karaoke spots, be it after school or on weekends. 

But for two long years, a new generation was denied the opportunity to experience a favourite pastime of Singaporeans — but no longer. Karaokes have finally reopened and will be sure to welcome old-timers looking to make up for lost time and curious newcomers alike.

As with any performance, singing at the KTV can be far more intimidating than enjoyable, especially for first-timers. The shower head won’t judge your rendition of Bruno Mars but friends might. 

But fret not, newcomers! Here are a few tips to ease those worries and amaze your friends when you finally take the microphone.

Prepare a playlist of your favourites



It’s easy to be spoilt for choice amongst the hundreds of songs available at karaokes. When under pressure from the eager friend desperate to show his best Jay Chou impression, we might line up familiar but difficult-to-sing songs. 

Any good performance requires preparation. So keep a playlist handy to keep track of all the songs you love. Spotify, with its vast catalogue, is perfect for this. One way to find out if you know a song by heart is if we can remember its first line of lyrics. 

Remember to keep in mind tunes that fit your voice — Whitney Houston or Ariana Grande probably will be out of reach for most of us. Before long, you will have a list of go-to favourites ready from the get-go for any last-minute karaoke plans.

Do not drink

It may seem counter-intuitive — after all, karaoke sessions are a way to unwind with friends — but alcohol is a sure-fire way to run out of breath halfway through your performance. 

Instead, keep yourself hydrated. Your vocal cords will thank you the next morning after a night of screaming along to your favourite tunes.

General tips for singing



While some are born with talent, the truth is everyone can sing fairly well with a bit of practice. There are a few techniques to follow that will dramatically help with your performance. Since, for now, masks have to be worn while singing, learning to breathe through your nose while singing will keep you from running out of breath easily. 

Basic microphone techniques to follow include holding the microphone at least two centimetres away from your lips at a 45-degree angle, and moving the microphone away when (trying) to hit the high notes.

Remember to have fun!

It’s time. The microphone hogger has finally decided to take a break and your song is up next. You have kept all the previous tips in mind but, after taking the microphone, completely forgot everything. 

And that’s all completely fine. In fact, you are probably doing karaoke right. 

Karaoke sessions with friends aren’t an audition for Singapore Idol. 

More important than hitting the right notes is for everyone to have fun — through both the pleasant surprise that a friend can sing and the joy of everyone screaming off-key at the top of their lungs to their childhood hits. 

Sorrow shared is sorrow halved and happiness shared is happiness doubled. Karaoke spots with friends are the few places and instances where that is so apparently true.

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