KaraNOke


Firstly, I do apologise for the length of yesterday’s post, particularly as it didn’t really have a point.  Ah well.  Shorter today, though whether it has a point I don’t know.  A confession.

I’ve never done karaoke.

And I don’t particularly intend to.  The very idea fills me with horror, which is really rather strange.  I sing to myself in the shower, in the office, walking down the street and probably in my sleep.  I sing in concerts, sometimes solo.  I once performed a set of songs a cappella at an open mic night.  And I sing and dance in front of hundreds of people from time to time.  So why don’t I want to do karaoke? 

I just don’t think it’s for me.

Firstly, I can’t imagine that many karaoke organisers have songs in their machines that I would actually want to sing.  Pop doesn’t really suit my voice, and rock even less so.  Can you do karaoke to songs from musicals or big band standards?  Maybe, but most people would probably rather hear a bit of Abba, Oasis, the Beatles, Queen or the latest boy band.  I like some of those songs, but have no burning desire to perform them.

Secondly, performing is not something that comes easily with karaoke, as there’s little room for interpretation.  Any decent accompanist will go with the singer, speeding up or holding back as appropriate to the way the song is being sung, but a machine carries on at the speed and volume that someone decided is right.  I never sing the same song exactly the same way twice, so it seems unlikely that I’d want to sing it the way that the karaoke machine wants me to sing it.

And finally, it all seems so corny.  I have sometimes enjoyed watching people perform karaoke, but I’d just feel completely wrong, and would certainly blush to a disturbing shade as I watched the words change colour.  It’s probably a snobbish thing, but the very idea of singing karaoke is just embarrassing – and this from someone who skipped around in sock suspenders singing a silly ditty for a week in March!  Nerves are always a part of my singing experience, so I have no idea to add cringe-worthiness or embarrassment to the mix.

Perhaps the oddest thing about this is that when I’m alone I do, to all intents and purposes, do a spot of karaoke.  Various books of sheet music come with backing CDs with piano accompaniment, and this is very useful for learning a song, though also restrictive in terms of tempo and dynamics again.  In my living room, this is fine (and to be honest, I’d quite like to have a go on the SingStar game that various people rave about), but take the same track into a smoky pub with a dodgy compere and the chance to win a small prize, and the useful tool becomes anathema.  Isn’t that strange?

    • Teuchter
    • August 22nd, 2006

    I’d rather poke needles in my eyes than get up and sing karaoke. This is mainly because, unlike you, I can’t actually sing in key.

    Imagine how awful it would be if we lived in Japan and had to take part in karaoke – or lose face/be sacked.

  1. I’d forgotten that happened! Yes, thank goodness for dull and predictable Britain… 😉

  2. Secretly (not so secretly any more!), I would like to sing karaoke, probably just the once, for the experience. Preferably some sort of classic sad sixties ballad. Worrying, I know! ( =

  3. I could never sing karaoke (eep!), but on occasion I do belt out just about whatever songs happen to take my fancy – after one too many glasses of vino – when the very mistaken idea occurs to me that I can actually sing. AND DANCE. It’s rather embarrassing… well, only since Nog moved in. Before that I used to just embarrass myself personally and in private.

    Nog has told me that he actually thinks I’m quite a good dancer but, being English and very polite, has yet to comment on my singing. 😉

  4. I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one who can’t sing well. I would be mortified to sing in public. I’m really pretty awful.

    • Tom
    • December 26th, 2006

    You should try it! In my experience it’s the ideal ice breaker and a good way of starting a conversation in a bar. Believe it or not most people aren’t paying attention to your singing – they are admiring your guts for entertaining them! Most of those who snigger would never get up and sing them self. I recommend honing your karaoke skills by visiting my karaoke site – you never know, it might give you the confidence to do it for real!

  5. It turns out you don’t need to have a good voice to do karaoke! 🙂

    Deaf Karaoke

  1. September 17th, 2006

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