Karaoke became famous in Japan during the seventies. The Japanese word literally means “empty orchestra”. “Kara” comes from “Karappo”, and “Oke” derives from “Okesutura”. There is a legend that it originated in the city of Kobe in 1868. It found is way to the United States during the 80s. Karaoke is the great phenomenon of musical entertainment worldwide... a fad that just won’t go away.
Tips for a Successful Karaoke Night
1. Choose a song that you like.
2. Go for hip, well-known songs.
3. Learn the DJs name.
4. Do not touch the mike with your lips.
5. Rehearse (in the shower, while cleaning, get into the groove before you step in the club).
6. Treat the mike with respect, even if it is your own equipment.
7. Mind the speakers, do not point the mike at them. Feedback is annoying.
8. Do not be afraid of ridicule. That’s the point!
9. Don't make fun of others. Laugh with them not at them
10. Applaud and cheer, recognize the other. They will likely return the favor.
11. Do not sing a song that other has already done. Do not go with the attitude of trying to show them how is really done, it’s bad form.
12. Absolutely don't butt in anybody else’s song, unless you are invited.
13. The DJ is your friend, do not harass him. Better yet, get him a round of whatever his having.
14. Breathe properly.
15. Practice in front of the mirror.
16. No screaming into the microphone.
17. Do not be overwhelmed by better or semi-professional singers. The world still wants to see what you are about.
Selected Karaoke Bars in the United States
This list includes one karaoke bar for the following states: Texas, Florida, New York, California, Washington D.C. and Hawaii.
Located in Houston is Texas Tornado Karaoke. DJs Joe and Garb Grunow literally have all genre available. Songs from all of your favorite languages, Swedish, French, German, Irish, Phillipine, Italian, Hawaiin, Jewish, Yiddish, Hebrew, Turkish, Danish, Portuguese, even Aussie & New Zealand/Kiwi tracks. Call 281-844-8518 for more information.
Since 1988, right in the Shellborne Hotel, Kara-O-King features their most loyal singers in their website. A world-class karaoke venue. Open bar and three private rooms. Open from 10pm until 5am. 1801 Collins Ave. Miami Beach.
Orchid Karaoke Club offers 18 luxury private rooms, state of the art video and sound equipment. Professional lightning guarantees a once-in-a-lifetime performance experience. The highly featured club located in the corner of 6th & Oxford in Koreatown at 607 S. Oxford, Los Angeles. 213-251-8886.
One of the best Karaoke spots here is Cafe Japone. Thousands of English, Spanish and Japanese songs to choose from. Charges $10 per person during the week and $15 during the weekends. Opens seven days a week from 9:30pm until closing. Cafe Japone is located on #2032 P St NW. Reach them at 202-289-1703.
Owners Malcolm and Lynn Shiroma expect $1 million in revenues in gross sales for the success they are enjoying with its fun enterprise Krazy Karaoke, a karaoke club geared towards children and the elderly. Their concept has been so successful that they plan on expanding to the United States as a franchise.
The Shirona’s story is interesting. As real estate agents and former band members, they used to entertain their real estate clients with amateur performances. They worked at perfecting not only their business but their singing skill. “We used to practice a lot, tape ourselves, play cassettes and do critiques to try to improve so we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves”.
Best if Taken with Friends!
Beware of Karaoke Germs
Not all is fun and games in karaoke. Some health advisory is in order. Cold and viruses survive up to 48 hours outside the body. They survive longer on plastic and metal. So when you grab that microphone all happy and excited, you are certainly taking some special souvenirs with you. Especially if you get up close and personal.
How to Avoid this “Brotherhood of Saliva”
1. Bring your own microphone. The cost of a microphone starts on an average of $20.
2. Get Saniguard, a dry on contact sanitizer that kills harmful bacteria in 45 seconds.
3. Keep the mike at a safe distance.
4. Get your own mike cover.
5. Use alcohol wipes.
My Friend Wilma is The Best at Karaoke!
(and me too!)
The Psychological Benefits of Karaoke
Do not be discouraged, there are far more benefits in venturing karaoke, than staying home. If its for germs, you just can’t avoid them. They are wherever you go, even in the soap you use. So, do not stay home on the account of germs.
Psychology looks into the many benefits of karaoke. The Singapore Medical Journal relates that “while karaoke could be anxiety provoking in some patients, it improves social interaction as a therapy tool”.
The Asian Medical Journal in its report “Music Therapy and Internal Medicine (Hiroshi Bando, 2001) defines karaoke as a form of music therapy, effectively used in social situations. “Is used in patients recovering from cerebrovascular accidents (CMA) and treating the aged.”
According to the publication, karaoke is the best form of music therapy that Japan can be proud of having developed.
Karaoke relieves stress, enhances psychosocial factors, improves mood and personal motivation. Data is inconclusive since psychologists confirm there is not yet any consensus of opinion about the nature of human emotions, or how to treat them when they are under duress. But we do know one thing... Singing is just clean, plain fun!
Karaoke is a tool in language rehabilitation. Reduces psychophysical tension, and enhances music education. Is effective against depression and included as treatment in some chemically dependent patients to help them with their spiritual issues.
Psychologist describe healthy environment as one that enables people to be themselves. Karaoke, among many other scenarios, fits this definition perfectly.
Trivia: Some define karaoke as “drunken and tone-deaf”. There is a United States Karaoke Alliance.
Karaoke peaked in 2002, sales exceeded $200 millions that year, it has been on a steady decline since. In 1971, Darnkue Inoue invented the karaoke machine by plugging an amplifier. He failed to patent his invention in a timely manner. He won the IG Nobel Prize in 2004 “for providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other”.