5 Simple Steps to Picking the Perfect Karaoke Song

Are you struggling to think of the perfect karaoke song to sing next time you’re at a bar or party? It can be hard to choose a song that’s easy enough to sing and make you sound good, but also that’s fun for you and the audience. That’s why weve put together this list of top tips to help you choose your next karaoke songs and impress your friends. 

How to Pick a Karaoke Song 

1. Make a list of your favourite songs
2. Think about your audience 
3. Be realistic about your ability 
4. Get the tempo right
5. Don’t pick a lengthy song 
We’ll go through each point individually so by the end of this post, you’ll know exactly what song you should sing at your next karaoke party! There’s even a list of the top 20 karaoke songs at the end of this post to give you some more inspiration! So let’s get started. 

1. Make a List of your Favourite Songs

Karaoke is all about having fun. And that’s why you need to pick a song you really enjoy singing and performing to make sure you have a great time. This is so important because it also helps your audience have fun too. It’s a lot easier to enjoy a karaoke performance if you can see that the performer is enjoying it too! 
We get it though, it can be hard to actually remember what songs you enjoy. So have a good think about it ahead of time if you can. Start by looking at your most played playlists and getting some ideas. Take a look at our post on the 250+ best karaoke songs for some more inspiration too. 
Try and get a list of 15-20 potential song choices if you can to begin with. 

2. Think about your Audience

So if course you need to pick a song that you like, but you also need to pick one that your audience will enjoy too! You’ll feel a lot better about your performance if everyone else can get behind you too. But how do you know what song your audience will like? 

Think About the Age Group 

This is really important because different songs will have different reaction from different age groups. If you know that you’ll be performing in front of 50 year olds, then choosing something from the 70s would work well usually. People love nostalgic tracks from their childhood. 

But if you know the audience will be mainly twenty something year olds, then picking something more current might be your best bet. If the age group is mixed, then an 80s hit is usually a safe bet and appeals to most age groups. 

Pick a Popular Song 

You also want to pick a song that most people will know. It doesn’t matter if your favourite song sounds great, if it’s really obscure then your audience won’t love it. People enjoy songs that they can get behind and know the words so they can sing along. So try and pick something fairly popular amongst the audience you’re singing to. 

But Not Too Popular 

There are some songs that people are pretty sick of hearing at karaoke. That doesn’t mean you absolutely have to avoid them, but be prepared for some eye rolls when the instrumental kicks in. These songs include
  • Don’t Stop Believing by Journey 
  • Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond 
  • Angel’s by Robbie Williams 
  • Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash 
  • Hey Jude by the Beatles
  • Dancing Queen by ABBA 
  • Summer Lovin by Grease 
  • Wonderwall by Oasis 

Think About the Venue 

You might want to perform a different song at a party at home, compared to a bar or club in town. Think about why style of music that people at that venue and try to fit in with that. No one will enjoy a slow breakup song at a glitzy pop bar. 

3. Be Realistic about your Ability

The next thing you need to consider when choosing a karaoke song, is your vocal ability. Up to now you should have a list of possible songs to choose from, but now you need to narrow it down more. 

Vocal Range 

First, think about your vocal range. This is usually the most limiting factor to a person’s singing ability. Songs with a narrow range are much easy to sing than songs that require a large vocal range. For example, Whitney’s I Will Always Love You has a wide range of notes, that’s why only a great singer like Whitney can ever sing it well. 
Okay, so you’re probably wondering how to figure out your vocal range. Well, there are a couple of ways to do this properly. First, you can use a piano and go through each note to see if you can comfortably match it. Or you can download an app and let it see if you can match the notes it plays. This will help you figure out your range. From there you can determine whether you’re better at singing lower or higher notes and pick a song that suits you. 

Narrow it Down More

This can help you narrow down your shortlist of songs more. But to narrow it down even more, then you can listen to each song individually and think about the most difficult parts to see whether you can handle them. Now you should be left with a smaller amount of possible song choices which you can have a go at to see which you prefer the most.

4. Get the Tempo Right

As well as your vocal ability, you should consider if the tempo is right for you. You need to pick a song that you are comfortable with the timing. .
Generally, slow songs are harder to sing than fast songs. This is because slower songs usually have more of a focus on the singer than the backing music. They also usually require you to hold notes for longer which is a difficult skill to master and shortened notes are a sign of a weaker singer. If you don’t think you’re a very good singer, then a slow song is probably a bad choice as it’ll highlight it a lot more.
Don’t pick a song that’s too fast either. If you’re struggling to keep up with the lyrics, your vocal performance will definitely suffer. So try and get the balance with the tempo right. And remember to practice each song to make sure you’re comfortable with the pace. 

5. Don't Pick a Lengthy Song

A final thing to consider when picking your karaoke song, is the length. It’s always a better idea to pick a short song rather than a lengthy track. You want to leave the audience wanted more and you definitely don’t want them getting bored. 
Aim to pick a song that lasts 4 minutes or less. Definitely don’t go over the 5 minute mark or you risk the audience getting bored, or even worse, the DJ cutting the song short. 
Song length isn’t the most important factor to consider, but it’s something worth thinking about if you’re torn between two songs.

20 Best Karaoke Songs

Okay so now you should have a few of songs in mind for your next karaoke performance. Don’t go with just one song on your list or you risk the DJ not having it available. You should be safe with 2 or 3 song options, as long as they’re quite well know tracks. Here are 20 of the best karaoke songs to help you think of a song if you’re in a rush!
  • Like a Prayer by Madonna
  • Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
  • Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
  • Rehab by Amy Winehouse
  • 22 by Taylor Swift
  • Ghost by Ella Henderson
  • No Scrubs by TLC
  • Unfairthful by Rhianna
  • Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
  • New Rules by Dua Lipa 
  • All of Me by John Legend
  • Back in Black by AC/DC
  • Counting Stars by One Republic
  • Gold by Spandau Ballet
  • Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty
  • King by Years and Years 
  • Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
  • Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
  • White Wedding by Billie Idol
  • This Love by Maroon 5
So that’s it! Those are the 5 steps to picking the perfect karaoke song! Take a look at these other posts for more advice! 

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