How to Host Karaoke/ Karaoke Hosting Best Practices
Karaoke hosting is demading, but fun job. The Rock God has spent many a night at karaoke with many different hosts. Here are the karaoke host best practices that he has seen.
- Start the karaoke show by introducing yourself and that this is a karaoke show. Then tell the audience how to request a song, i.e. where the song list books are, where the request slips and pens/pencils reside, and to whom to give the request slips. Next, mention any drink or food specials that the venue has for that evening. Finally, mention to tip the servers and bartenders well.
- Have lots of blank request slips and pens or pencils available.
- Have some books of song lists available.
- Put the words onto televisions/monitors that the audience can see and use to sing along with.
- Sing the first song. Use this song to test and adjust the sound.
- Look after your regulars. Start a second rotation within 1.5 hours. Put new singers in the new rotation between the regulars.
- If it is a busy night, don't sing every rotation. The audience members came to sing, not watch you sing!
- When asked, give an accurate estimate of when a person will be up to sing. It usually takes 4-5 minutes per singer on average.
- If it is a busy night, don't allow songs that are too long, e.g. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin, Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf, etc.
- Watch for people putting in invalid names so they can sing multiple times in a rotation.
- Between songs, thank the last singer and announce the next 2 or 3 singers. This allows people to get ready to sing and keeps the rotation moving.
- Have some props available, e.g. funny hats, funny glasses, plastic guitars, etc.
- Don't allow groups of people to sing to many songs in a row. Split them up in the rotation.
- Clean the microphone regularly with a disinfectant cloth so nobody gets sick from someone else who is ill.
For more karaoke host best practices, please see my Twitter account!
- This page was last updated on June 6, 2014.
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