The Art of the Perfect Karaoke Song From Our Readers

I don’t consider myself an expert in many things (okay that’s a lie, I know pretty much everything) but I have a particular expertise in choosing a good karaoke song. Before you get too green with envy, know that this didn’t happen overnight. This particular skill set has taken years to perfect. Along the way, there’s been many a misstep. For example, there was the great Tracy Chapman catastrophe of 2008, or the David Bowie Space Odyssey disaster in the same year. If you think Toddlers and Tiaras is bad… well, then you’ve never heard me attempt ‘Fast Car’. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did. It’s just not okay to let your friends even think about attempting TLC’s ‘Red Light Special’.

There are several rules to follow when picking out a karaoke song:

1. Don’t pick a slow song: It’s just going to drag everyone down if you sing ‘Dust in the Wind’. It won’t be funny and you’re not Will Ferrell.

2. Sing a song you actually know the words to: Sure, singing R.E.M.’s ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’ seems like a fantastic idea on the surface but trust me, you don’t know the words and you’re going to look like an idiot. No, shouting Leonard Bernstein! does not count.

3. Don’t Sing Journey, Bon Jovi or Neil Diamond before ten o’ clock: Look, there might be people that disagree with me on this, but those people are drunks. These are peak songs and you can’t just bring them out all willy-nilly. At ten o’ clock, no one is as drunk as you yet. We just aren’t ready sing ‘Livin on a Prayer’. If you’re going to be a douche, sing John Mayer. Also, it’s okay to sing Neil Diamond songs that aren’t ‘Sweet Caroline’. Why don’t more people sing ‘Coming to America’? That song would rule at karaoke.

4. F Bombs are totally okay to throw into a song: I don’t care if you’re performing a duet with your grandma. If there’s an instrumental pause, you throw in those F bombs. One of the greatest karaoke performances of all time was given by my ex-boyfriend. He has probably the worst singing voice anyone has ever heard… ever. To make matters worse, he sang ‘Mambo #5′. The thing is, it was fantastic karaoke and it’s all thanks to the F bomb. If you’re remotely talented you’ll tell that audience of drunkards to “f***ing deal with it” during that 22 second intermission.

5. Don’t bite off more than you can chew:
I’m looking at everyone who’s even thought about doing Whitney and Mariah. I’m guilty of this myself and you can pull off pretty much anything with a few sweet dance moves (the snake, the chicken wing) and an F bomb. But, you guys, let’s leave these ladies to the talented people. This goes double for the people that pick slow Mariah and Whitney (‘Hero’, ‘I Will Always Love You’). That’s insanity! And, frankly, it’s breaking two cardinal karaoke rules.

…but I should have because I’m a god damn professional.

by Meghan Storrie

Read more from Meghan at I Accidentally Made This Blog.

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  1. let’s just ban Bon Jovi, Creed and Nickelback completely. Journey had more than 3 songs but you wouldn’t know that from the people who faithfully won’t stop believing even after going separate ways. NO MORE BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY!!! also if the song your singing has no screaming in the original, there is no need to add your own.

  2. Karaoke is just an amazing part of life!

  3. Tip: If you want to go home within the hour, sing “This Used to Be My Playground” …its scary deadly, like a gas leak.

  4. Old-school Madonna and the Spice Girls are my go-to karaoke favorites. Love it!

  5. I just had a karaoke night last night, and I totally have to agree with this!! I havent tried the F bombs tho…maybe next time :P

  6. Love this!! Very important advice for ANY karaoke king/diva! :)

  7. Also, beware of the slippery songs where you thought/assumed you knew how the verses went but you in fact have no idea…that also goes for the bridge section you forgot about…

  8. Karaoke-Plus in Miami and karaoke jockeys everywhere thank you for this. Well done!

  9. This. Is. Hilarious.

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