Audrey's vast background as an international vocal teacher gives us important tips for keeping our voices healthy.
"You're always remembering songs you wanna sing except when you're actually at karaoke."
-- Sebastian Stan
Welcome to Center Stage
Just Look at you, being here and everything! You want to sing. Bless your pea-picking heart (as Ernie Ford used to say.)
Well, sing, you shall! You are about to take center stage where you are the star!
Now, don’t you go worrying about your singing voice because It doesn’t matter how you sound. Who’s going to hear you? If this is a concern, head for the closet or even the bathroom, where the acoustics are quite good.
Are you ready to have some fun? Then, grab a bottle of room temperature water to keep those vocal cords hydrated and let’s go!
Sing Out Loud and Sing Out Strong
“Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought.”
— E.Y. Harburg
Singing Karaoke Songs
Once in a while, I come across a song I'm not familiar with. When this happens, I simply google the title of the song and select the version I like. Once II learn the melody and some of the lyrics, I go back to the karaoke version and sing along. It's helps to be familiar with the melody because the karaoke version is mostly accompaniment.
Before we begin let's warm up those vocal cords.
Why Warm-ups are Important
Besides preparing your voice to sing; warm-ups will help you:
- Minimize tension (a big enemy to the singer.)
- Liberate the voice.
- Increase vocal flexibility.
- Help you sing on pitch.
- Remove physical and emotional blocks.
- Prevent vocal strain.
Warning! Stay within your vocal range and avoid straining to hit the high notes. When you push your voice you're asking for trouble.
The following short exercise uses each primary vowel preceded by an "m."
Mah Meh Me Mo Moo. Keep the lips relaxed for a nice humming sound as you initiate each "m."
Take a sip of water, and let's begin!
Easy Vocal Warm-up
Let's Begin With a Song From "The Sound of Music"
Get ready to burst out in sound! When the words fly at you at this fast pace, I guarantee you won't have time to care how you sound. Have fun!
Ready? Let's go!
Tip: When to Take a Breath
Your goal with "Love Me Tender" is to sing each line on one breath. Inhale from the belly (Here's How) which will give you a nice, smooth, sound.
Tip: Avoid Straining During the Chorus
I suggest dropping the Chorus one octave lower if the notes are too high. It's perfectly acceptable to do this.
Billy Joel's Piano Man
Tip: Let Your Voice Flow
As you think about this song's message, keep your neck, shoulders, and the tone relaxed. Think about how you feel when you hum. Feel for vibrations in and around your upper lip.
Tip: Sing With Clarity
Notice how every word is clear when John Denver sings. He pronounces each word with clarity making sure the consonants are articulated. Have fun with this one!
Sing Along With John Denver
Tip: Avoid Pounding the Second Note
Ladies ( or gentlemen) the first two notes in "Over the Rainbow" are eight notes apart (an octave). Some singers tend to sing the second note louder than the first note. I'd like you to use a little control by not doing this. See if you can match the same dynamic (loud or soft) level with both tones. Hold back the urge to give more power to the higher note for a smoother transition.
This will be a challenge, but do your best.
A Timeless Classic
Tip: Share the Joy of Singing With Your Family
This old standard seems to reach out to everyone.It's easy to sing, short and simple. Gather family, friends, or even your pets around and encourage them to join in the fun.
You Are My Sunshine
- The Japanese word for "Empty Orchestra" is Karaoke.
- Kobe, Japan is the birthplace of Karaoke.
- China, boasts over 100,000 Karaoke Bars.
- Karaoke began in the 1970s.
- Kisaburo Takagi of the Nikkodo Company is the inventor.
- Johnny Carson introduced Karaoke on "The Tonight Show" in 1986.
Tip: Don't Worry About Your Voice; Just Sing
I love the lyrics in this song. Written by Joe Raposo, for "Sesame Street", the late Karen Carpenter made it a hit back in 1973. The message is clear. Even if you think your voice isn't good enough - sing.
Nikkodo executive Akihiko Kurobe, quoted in Transpacific: "Karaoke has no boundaries or prejudices. It is ageless and impartial to gender. It will last forever. Karaoke is like your family or lover. It makes sadness half and happiness double."
When you consider all the health benefits connected with singing you'll be more inclined to burst out in song more often. Singing is a powerful, natural, anti-depressant.and also lowers our blood pressure. Whether you sing on-key or off-key the benefits are the same.
So, sing out loud, and sing out strong. Singing is your birthright!
© 2021 Audrey Hunt
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 08, 2021:
Yes, singing is a natural stress reliever. I've often said, "you can't be sad and sing at the same time."
It's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the video selections. And thank you for teaching me the word "riyaz." I like the sound of riyaz better than practice.
Peace be with you and your dear family.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 08, 2021:
Thanks for joining in this sing-along. I tried to find videos that would fit most singing ranges. Very nice to hear that I accomplished this.
John Denver was one of the best singer/songwriters in the business. I miss him too.
About your cat critic...I wonder if maybe he/she is singing along with you. Ha, Ha.
Keep those vocal cords vibrating and sing often.
Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on February 08, 2021:
Audrey, what fun! I love to sing! My family endures it (but the cat is a harsh music critic). You gave us a fun batch to work with; tunes we're familiar with in a key that is approachable by most. (Gosh, I miss John Denver).
I've never sung at a karaoke bar — but now I can say that I've sung karaoke.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 07, 2021:
What a wonderful article, Audrey! I loved all those amazing videos. Nice selection and you are as always, awesome in the video.
Singing is a stress reliever, and I agree with you. And practice(riyaz in musical terms) is important, even for the master singers.
Thank you for sharing some beautiful and soulful music with us.
Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 07, 2021:
I'm thrilled to know you enjoyed my article. It was a fun project. I often drag out my singing machine and go through my favorite songs. Keep on singing, my friend, and thanks.
I wrote an article about Karaoke singing to help us take our minds off the virus, politics, and other negative stuff. Thank you for confirming that this was a fun experience. Now, I'm happy!
Wonderful! Just what I hoped to hear. These are some of my favorite songs, too. I hope you have a chance to visit a karaoke bar after this virus is under control. It's fun to participate and it's a hoot to watch others as well. Wish we could go together.
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 07, 2021:
I had a blast with this. I love to sing, You've listed some of my favorite songs and celebrities, esp. Elvis and John Denver. I have never been to a karaoke bar, but I would love to go. I didn't know it started in Japan. I warmed up with you on the video. Thanks for the lesson.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 07, 2021:
Thank you, Audrey! I sang along with each of the videos except the one that would not play. It was so much fun! Singing is a definite mood elevator. When you encouraged singing with your family, I grew up that way. We often sang that last song together.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 06, 2021:
This is a fantastic article, Audry. I love, love, love your step-by-step instructions. No, I haven't followed all those steps yet, but I promise you I will. I think this article is filled with love, and of course, music! I have listened to your singing on YouTube also, and it is just beautiful.