The rules of karaoke

Dalton Gackle

Yes, there are some rules for karaoke. How could there possibly be rules for one of the most informal activities on planet earth, you ask?

Even a place with no rules has at least one rule: that there are no rules.

So here are some do’s and don’ts for karaoke.


  1. The drunker, the better. Discombobulated ejaculations of the mouth is one of man’s greatest attributes.
  2. Sing a one hit wonder. It’s a wonder that I even had to tell you to sing one.
  3. Bring a friend. Two silly souls are greater than one. The more the merrier! Until you bring more than one friend; then nothing gets accomplished.
  4. Leave your heart on stage. It doesn’t matter if your voice sucks, if you aren’t feeling the performance, no one else will be either.
  5. Go for that high note. The crowd will admonish you for your bravery. And if you hit it, well, then you earn the crowd’s respect.
  6. Work the stage. Don’t be a nervous wreck, be a rock star.
  7. Sing the song that everyone knows but won’t sing, also known as the guilty pleasure. Like Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. I know all the words and I’m not ashamed.
  8. Keep your clothes on. Seriously.
  9. Eye contact is a must. Engage each and every person.
  10. Make new friends. Pull up a random person form the audience for a duet.


  1. Don’t apologize for your performance. It’s karaoke, no one cares if you are bad. In fact, it’s almost a requirement.
  2. Don’t give a background story. No dedications. Most people don’t want to hear why you picked the song. Unless you say, “I picked this song because it’s awesome.” In that case, you exude confidence.
  3. Don’t sing some obscure song. Most karaoke stations only have well known songs, but if you have an entire library at your disposal, stick with the classics.
  4. Don’t get off tangent and tell stories or let us know your political opinions. Save that for Thanksgiving dinner.
  5. Don’t stop your performance. If you forget words, just hum it, the crowd will pick you up.
  6. Don’t brag about your skills before hand. We don’t want to hear that you were in honors choir in high school.
  7. Don’t eat the microphone. We want to hear you sing, not gargle.
  8. Don’t do a mic drop after you’re done. It’s bad for the microphone and for your image.
  9. No rap songs. Unless you can rattle off Fergalicious.
  10. No Sarah McLachlan. Absolutely not.