Karaoke Etiquette: 7 Rules to Sing By

Karaoke is the ideal mix of a bar hangout and performance showcase. The world needs to hear you sing and you’ve already got your first ten songs picked out in your head. But before you go ahead and load those sweet tunes into the machine, here are some general rules of etiquette to ensure that your five-hour songfest is just as enjoyable for you as it is for your audience.

1. Respect the list

The list is king. Do not mess with it. It’s not cool to delete someone else’s song so that yours comes up faster. Also, turn on the shuffle function so that everyone gets a chance.

2. Use the “skip” button wisely

DO NOT skip a song that is playing without the song chooser’s permission. Ignore this rule and there will be awkwardness and hurt feelings (not to mention the potential for a vengeful song skipping war). DO skip your own song as soon as you finish singing to save precious air time.

3. Right song right time

As with any playlist, there is a pace to the karaoke song lineup. You have to ease into the heavier jams (and alcohol helps get everyone in the mood). So save your “Bohemian Rhapsody” performance and “Sweet Caroline” singalong until later in the night. Similarly, if the room is on a high, don’t bring the mood down with a slow, quiet, emo song. Bring up a more energetic number from your selection to keep the vibe going.

4. Don’t mic hog

No Mariah, that’s not your song. Also, stop jumping in on other people’s songs and hijacking their moment.

5. Why so serious?

Karaoke is meant to be fun, so don’t take it too seriously. You don’t need to hit every note perfectly and the worst singer often gets the most applause. So don’t be shy, get loose, goof around a little and have a good time.

6. What happens at karaoke…

Keep it off your #instastories. Those videos of your gal pal twerking and a co-worker taking seven penalty shots (because they still don’t get how to play Fives) are better saved for the WhatsApp group.

7. Share the love

Include everyone in the singing, dice games and fun. Invite someone to sing a duet and take the initiative to serve that Chivas green tea around the table. Karaoke is an inclusive and uplifting activity that has the universal power to bring colleagues, strangers, friends and frenemies together and make the evening a guaranteed good time.

Some of our Hong Kong haunts for your next karaoke jaunt…

The Tonno5 Tonnochy Road, Wan Chai

CEO Neway2/F & 3/F, 19-31 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay

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