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Tracy Frank, Published September 13 2012

5 Things Friday: Five tips for singing karaoke

Editor’s note: “5 Things Friday” is a weekly feature in SheSays that will run on – you guessed it – Fridays. It will focus on quick tips, ideas, activities and more – all in bunches of five. If you have a “5 Things Friday” suggestion, contact us at shesays@forumcomm.com.

WEST FARGO – Divas and Rockstars karaoke bar in West Fargo is celebrating its five-year anniversary this week.

And what better time to get some helpful advice for taking the stage from owner Jill Carlson and Tanya Weets, a Divas and Rockstars DJ:

1. Buddy up

If you haven’t tried karaoke before, start with a familiar song and sing it in a group or duet.

Singing with others calms your nerves, and sharing the stage is a lot less difficult the first time, Carlson said.

Also, singing a familiar song frees you from worrying about the song in addition to the performance, she said.

“Even if you’re not very good, it doesn’t matter,” Carlson said. “It’s just a fun outlet.”

2. The mic is your friend

Hold the microphone close to your lips and sing out, but don’t shout.

People often hold the microphone incorrectly, Carlson said.

Some hold it away from their mouths because they don’t want to be too loud. Others cup it or hold it to the side to look cool, which could result in feedback.

DJs will adjust the microphone’s volume, but there’s nothing they can do if you hold it too far away, she said.

3. Sing in your vocal range

If you pick a song that seems too high or too low, try changing the pitch.

The DJ can also adjust the song’s key, putting it into a lower or higher range. And if it doesn’t work, you can start over, Carlson said.

“I do it all the time,” she said. “Play with it a bit.”

4. Be nice to the DJ

DJs work very hard to be fair and give each person a chance to be on stage, but only about 15 songs can be done in an hour. Sometimes people lose patience waiting their turn, Carlson said.

“Alcohol is involved, so they get a little bit more vocal than maybe they would otherwise, and they don’t have a lot of patience. But the DJ is a very important position, and they try their best,” she said. “We can’t control time, so they just have to understand that on a busy night, they just have to wait.”

If you want to sing more or practice, Carlson suggests going to the bar during a weeknight when it’s not typically as busy.

5. Have fun

Above all, let go and have fun. That’s what music is all about.

“If you’re a great singer, it’s a good place to show off and entertain. We love that,” Carlson said. “But we also love it when people just come out and have fun.”

Divas and Rockstars will celebrate their anniversary with games and drink specials throughout the weekend, Carlson said.