The Unspoken Rules of Karaoke

17 Jul 2017

There is no denying karaoke is fun – an excuse to sing, laugh and generally have a good time with friends. But karaoke also has a set of unspoken rules, which we have set out below to help you avoid looking like a fool when you take the mic.

Take Turns

People go to karaoke to sing, not just wait and listen to other people. Make sure the microphone is being shared equally, and don’t put several songs in a row for yourself. One easy solution is to go round clockwise in the group, ensuring everyone gets their turn.

Rap is a No-No

It is ambitious to choose a rap song when it comes to karaoke, mainly because as an amateur you will not be fast enough to get right the words or mumble it when you do. So the best option is to avoid it – even if you do know all the words to Eminem’s Lose Yourself. However, this rule doesn’t need to be applied 100% as rapping – even if you are good or bad – makes for a funny experience.

Know the Words

While karaoke is fun, relaxing and always a good laugh, it does help to know all the words to your chosen song when it's your time. The best songs to perform are usually favourites that you can belt out word-perfect even when
you don’t have a backing track for them.

Perform Familiar Songs

Though this does not need to be applied every time, it is better for everyone that you perform songs familiar to the majority. As karaoke is a shared experience, singing well-known songs gives people a chance to provide feedback or the opportunity for people to join in. This makes karaoke a much more enjoyable experience.

Fail Big

It is a Broadway trick that if you fail on stage, just go with it. This can apply to karaoke too, as a bad singer having fun is much more entertaining and memorable. If you know you can’t sing, don’t worry about it and carry on having the best time you can have.

Don’t Karaoke Shame

If you go to karaoke to critique like Simon Cowell, you are not going to make a lot of friends. Leave the criticism and shaming of fellow singers at the door – people are doing karaoke for fun, rarely is it a very serious business where people are hoping to be discovered. Same goes for jeering or booing other singers.


Anyone who has the guts to get up and sing deserves to be applauded and encouragement – even if they know they were bad. As karaoke is a social event, clapping and cheering on your friends means everyone is likely to have a positive time – and try karaoke again!

Don’t Block the View

Blocking the view of the karaoke machine and screen with the lyrics is rude, as the singer needs to be able to see the words. It is the singers’ time to shine, and stealing the spotlight is not good karaoke etiquette. Following on from this, you should also not carry on loud conservations that distract the singer or drown out the backing track.

Have Fun

Perhaps the most important rule to karaoke that has been the case since the rise of the activity in the seventies is to have fun. If someone wants to sing again, let them, and vice versa – don’t force someone to sing if they don’t
want to. If someone is being left out of the karaoke fun, it will ruin the purpose of the activity!

Do you have any karaoke rules of your own! Let us know via our social media channels, and take a look at the range of karaoke machines for sale we have in our online store!

More from the blog...

Best Karaoke YouTube Channels to Follow

Health Benefits of Singing Karaoke

What to Consider When Buying a Karaoke Mixer

View all news »