Karaoke etiquette

16 March 2018

By Kieran

Let it be known that I’m a big fan of karaoke. But it was at such an event last week that I discovered an unpleasant fact. It’s become clear to me that very few people are wise to correct karaoke etiquette. With this in mind, I feel it is my duty as an educator to advise you crazy kids on how to properly behave in amateur warbling opportunities. Lest you bring shame on your houses. Let’s begin.

Song choice

This is the most important display of politeness in my opinion. What you choose directly affects the enjoyment of everyone else in the room. You want something that everyone, at least, knows. If they don’t enjoy the song, they can somewhat tell themselves they’re enjoying your terrible rendition ironically. So throw out all your niche heavy-metal and your obscure indie bands. This is not the time for taste. Don’t pick anything too long either. I go by the guide ‘If it’s over four, it’s out the door’. There’s nothing worse than getting bored waiting for your turn while some idiot belts out all eight minutes of American Pie. No rap either. No one wants to hear you read off the screen and it’s too fast for anyone who doesn’t have the song memorised to keep up.

Plan ahead

It’s important to have a bank of 2nd choices too. Chances are, someone’s already taken Angels. I like to go for White Flag by Dido, I Wish I was a Punk Rocker by Sandi Thom or Heaven is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle. Easy to sing, crowd pleasing. Slam dunk.

Playlist Queues

Wait your turn. It’s that simple. There’s no bigger dick move than jumping your choice ahead in the queue above someone else’s. I have no doubt you would absolutely kill Seal’s Kiss from a Rose but be patient. There’s time.

Singing ability

It’s fantastic that you’re a great singer. Really, its a pleasure to listen to your angelic tones. However, tonight’s not the night for it. You’re showing everyone up. Stick in a few missed notes and a daft dance. Everyone will feel more comfortable and the evening’ll be happier for all.

Peer Pressure

If someone doesn’t want to sing, don’t make them sing. If someone comes out of their shell over the night then great but some people just don’t want to sing. Their reasons are not your business so just continue smashing Sweet Caroline solo.


Karaoke. It’s spelt karaoke. No one has ever spelt it right their first time. Don’t feel bad. We’ve all been there.

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