Glenn Stok likes to explore exciting activities that have captivating value. He writes about it to share the experience with his readers.
The best way to enjoy singing with friends is in the privacy of your own home. It’s easy to follow the song lyrics with karaoke, and you can make a party out of it.
You don’t need expensive equipment to host your own karaoke party. I’ll tell you what you need.
Why a Karaoke Party Is Better at Home
Years ago, I used to go with friends to restaurants that hosted karaoke events. However, many of these places blasted the music, which can damage our hearing and cause tinnitus.
Besides, it was not pleasant to talk with one another at our table and not hear each other. We felt more comfortable singing in small groups at private parties in our homes.
The Equipment You Need to Do Karaoke at Home
You can find low-cost karaoke players for under $50. But better ones are closer to $200. 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 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 costs less than $200. However, I suggest you review various machines at a local electronics store, such as Best Buy, to get to know the latest pricing and features available.
How to Build a Library of Karaoke Song Lyrics
Karaoke CDs include the lyrics for an on-screen display that are in sync with the music. The voice of the lead singer is removed so that you take their place.
There are two types of 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.
You can find almost any popular song recorded for karaoke on Amazon. Multi-CD sets with hundreds of songs in various categories are also available. I've accumulated a vast library of songs by buying sets like that.
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 on the other, so you can hear both or just the music by playing the appropriate track.
Beginners sometimes like to use the singer's voice as a guide, but I find it may make it more difficult. Singing your own unique way is just as much fun.
Singing Karaoke With Friends
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.
Karaoke Helps Stay on Key With the Melody
What if you’re not good at remembering the melody? That problem is solved 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! And the lyrics flow by on the screen in sync with the music, so you never need to worry about forgetting the words.
You Can Mimic Your Favorite Singer
I found that there were particular singers I can imitate quite well. 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.
I Can't Remember the Lyrics
Since the lyrics flow along 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 functions 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. Having the words on the screen gives me the ability to sing my heart out.
Keep the Memory of Your Singing Group Alive
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 notice 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 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. It's a great way to have a social get-together.
So, start collecting some karaoke CDs, look for a karaoke player of your own, hook it up to your TV, and get a few friends together who like to sing. Enjoy the event, and have fun.
© 2009 Glenn Stok