A beginner’s guide to the art of karaoke

Mark Unger/Staff

Whether you need a destresser from schoolwork or a way to treat yo’ self after a long week, karaoke offers a unique means of relaxation. But neophytes into the craft may find the practice of singing in public to be a bit off-putting. Naysayers may claim that it’s humiliating or boring, but we at the Clog disagree and wish to enlighten you to the joys of karaoke.

It’s not about being a good singer

In fact, karaoke is harder if you’re a good singer. No one goes to a karaoke bar to hear the vocals of Beyoncé or Freddie Mercury; they go to see a performance. They come to see ordinarily diligent students or professional workers sever their shackles of social conformity. They come to see the therapeutic release of pent-up energy, both good and bad, manifest itself in the form of passionately sung Taylor Swift. This isn’t to say that good singers can’t be good at karaoke. So long as you remember that the vocals are probably the least important part of your performance, you’re good.

The louder the better

If at all possible, scream everything. The higher the volume, the higher the hype.

Know the room

The objective of every performance is to engage the room. You are there to move the audience into singing along with you. One of the best parts of karaoke is that feeling of solidarity that exists when performer and listener alike merge into a single singing entity. It’s in these moments that the enthusiasm of the room becomes something constructive, therapeutic even.

Humiliate yourself

The catharsis of singing in public is most potent when you go all out. Pick a song that no one would ever see you choosing. Sing your heart out. Dishonor your family name if you have to. The point is, when you change the way that people fundamentally look at you, you are making a statement; you are announcing to the world that you are a human being, and yeah you do crazy stupid stuff, and yeah none of this is normal. But wouldn’t you rather be silly and happy than ordinary and sad? A truly moving performance is a recognition of the fact that we’re on this planet for a short time, but you choose to own this moment.

You’re ready. The next time someone invites you to their birthday party at Jaguar Karaoke, GO. And amid the adrenaline and the sweat and the light-headedness, you will find solace in your small pocket of the universe.

Contact Edrick Sabalburo at [email protected].