Picture of Susan

Head Voice Coach

What songs should I sing at karaoke?

5 easy steps to picking a great song for karaoke

You decided to attend the next karaoke party and now you need a song that will help you feel less intimidated when you hear the next Adele singing right before you!

Here are a few things I like to share with clients when they are selecting karaoke songs.

#1 Define your Karaoke Goals

Think of what you want to achieve when you step on the karaoke stage.

Do you feel super confident and want to show off your singing chops? Look at artists like Beyonce, Ariana, Adam Lambert & Marvin Gaye.

Do you know you’ll be shaking and therefore probably don’t want to pick a slow ballad? Look for fun upbeat songs like Mercy by Duffy, I want you back by Jackson 5, Jailhouse Rock by Elvis, etc.

Do you want the audience singing along so you feel like the life of the party? Look for crowd pleasers like Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, I’m a believer by Smashmouth, Ring of fire by Johnny Cash, One hand in my pocket by Alanis Morrisette, and other songs that invite the whole crowd to join in on the fun!

Once you determine your main priority, it will be easier to select specific artists and musical genres to narrow it down to.

#2 Prepare your list of Karaoke Songs

Come up with a list of artists or songs that meet your goals for singing at karaoke and make a playlist on Spotify, Youtube or Apple Music etc.

Sing along with your playlist and see what you are vibing with the most! What is the most fun?
Which songs feel effortless? Which songs make you feel like the inner rockstar that you are?

Narrow your list down to 4-6 songs and spend some time singing these around the house, in the car and in the shower.

#3 Karaoke pitfalls and how to avoid them

Review your list for difficult things to avoid that could get you in a bind on stage…

Look out for these common things that can cause chaos for a singer on the karaoke stage:

Multiple key changes- These tricky kay changes can throw your ear off and you may end up singing in the wrong key and feeling lost if you aren’t an experienced singer.

Songs that begin without an intro- This is especially difficult if the song starts without any chords and just rhythm.

Songs that have a cappella sections in them- even with lyrics on the screen, these sections have to line up with the track when the track comes back in and you may have trouble keeping the groove and tempo consistent

Songs with a long instrumental break in them- There is nothing more awkward than when a guitar track is wailing a killer solo and everyone is staring at you standing in place with a sheepish look on your face. (I have some tips for making these sections less awkward and more fun but that will come soon in another blog post)

Songs that are really long we love “stairway to heaven” and “sign of the times” as much as you do, but these songs feel really long when there isn’t a live band to enjoy the solos! Radio length is around 3:30 and anything over 4 minutes needs to be a great bop with tons of personality and excitement in order to keep the people enjoying your performance.

#4 Find Karaoke Songs on YouTube

Look on YouTube for karaoke versions of your short list of songs and try them out.

Remember that nobody sounds great the first time they switch to karaoke after singing with the original recording!
Try the karaoke tracks a few times and see which 2 are your favorites to sing.
Notice if you have been using a video marked “higher key” “lower key” or “acoustic” etc. This way you can try and find the match when you show up for karaoke night!

#5 Karaoke Party Preparation

Prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.

Lots of people get butterflies and jitters before they sing or speak in public. This is totally normal and it is best to acknowledge that you are simply excited about singing!
Warm up your voice the afternoon of the karaoke party. You can use our warmups free download for a start!

Make sure you have been drinking water during the day so your body is hydrated and your vocal folds can function more easily.
Practice the song 2-3 times that day and see how you feel. Is everything easy to follow? Is your voice cooperating? Do you need to watch the lyrics closely still or can you enjoy letting loose and watching the audience?

Karaoke is supposed to be fun

Most importantly, remember that karaoke is supposed to be fun! Pick a song that makes you feel amazing and lets you have a blast!

More Karaoke Singer tips Coming soon

  • Great karaoke songs for beginners
  • Great karaoke songs for light voices
  • Great karaoke songs for a small vocal range