Trend Music

Karaoke offers opportunities aplenty

G D Sharma in a karaoke performance   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

(This is the third and final part of an article on Karaoke)

Karaoke has revolutionised amateur singing and unlocked huge talent all around. Before Karaoke, people were shy and had misgivings. These reservations have now vanished. I know of homemakers, who sing their favourite songs, while they go about their chores at home. They are most forthcoming when a Karaoke Session is announced in a friend’s house on a weekend evening. People are coming forward to display their talent. With increasing access to Karaoke, they are excelling in it. There are opportunities in the form of Reality Shows, and the like, for people to awaken their dormant singing skills.

So what are some current trends in Karaoke singing?

First, in India today, like in Japan, you have a plethora of clubs and bars, which observe a Karaoke Evening. This has become a huge attraction, and one can find people of all ages holding the mike. Social clubs encourage their members to take the floor through a Karaoke Nite. This has become an attractive and inclusive idea to let the members get some prominence in displaying their talent.

Popular hangouts

Enterprising individuals have commenced Karaoke clubs which are subscription-based. Their model is to have a spacious hall, with the offer of beverages and snacks. And of course, a stage for belting out your favourite songs. These places have also emerged as popular hang-out joints.

Next, there are eateries and regular hotels and pubs, where a specified day of the week is earmarked for Karaoke. One can order drinks and food, add their choices in the common playlist and step on to the stage when their turn comes.

Then there are these private Karaoke studios where interested persons have to enrol through a subscription. The owner of the studio most often is well versed in Karaoke and apart from singing also doubles as a trainer for new aspirants. The studio is acoustically well-equipped and the facilitator operates the laptop from which the tracks are played. This format is very popular and ensures large number of subscribers, who are grouped into smaller teams each of which is assigned a day. One can pick and choose to suit one’s convenience.

On the Net, you have some very good channels which offer free Karaoke tracks. With increasing digitisation technology on offer, the quality of these tracks is getting better, aspiring for professional standards. Again, on the Net, there are videos, which are not for singing along but very good to listen to since the original song plays in the background and like a Karaoke prompt, the lyrics appear on the screen, with the colour changing as the songs progress. Such tracks are very good for practice, since we can see how the singer has dealt with a particular phrase or line, or a particular alaap or indulged in harkatein (twists & turns) for impact.

Today on the Web, there are several sites, channels and blogs that provide Karaoke tracks. But, to sound a note of caution, not every such provider has got it right.

In the context of Hindi Film Music, particularly the genre that my troupe represents — 1950-70s — Karaoke tracks for film older than 1950 are few and far between. But for later years, the quality of these tracks keeps improving. One must keep trying out these tracks in order to zero-in on the right one for downloading.

So to conclude a three-part article that was intended to serve as a guide for aspiring and current Karaoke singers, this is a stellar example of how we have embraced technology to improve our lives. Its phenomenal popularity and success stand testimony to this fact. And in the process, we are experiencing joy and pride at being able to sing and entertain those around us. That’s a priceless reward in itself. Happy singing…


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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 12:08:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/karaoke-offers-opportunities-aplenty/article31470471.ece

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