March 24—Tahlequah is home to various venues that hold regular karaoke nights.
Dewain’s Place and Ned’s are the go-to spots for those who want to sing along, but Kroner & Baer and The Branch also occasionally host karaoke events.
Introduced in 1971 by a Japanese inventor who discovered how to eliminate off-track vocals, karaoke has been a mainstay at bars and parties for decades. For those wishing to improve their singing skills, local singers offer suggestions.
Denyce Dunham-Finch plays and sings in the Qualls-based band Oklahoma Wildlife, and she used to host karaoke in the 90s.
“The machine was huge and heavy, about the size of a jukebox. It had real vinyl records in it. It was a novelty and the crowd had a blast,” she said.
For those who want to sound better, it’s not a bad idea to warm up the voice with vocal exercises.
“Most people don’t warm up before they sing in bars. I guess the booze does that for them. When the lyrics are in front of you and you have backup singers, most people sound pretty good,” she said. .
She recommends singers pick songs they’re somewhat familiar with, but it’s not a bad idea for confident singers to step out on a limb.
“The best thing is that no one expects a karaoke singer to be professional. When someone is awesome and pulls off the performance, that’s awesome,” she said. “At a private party I hosted, a woman sang ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’. It was so good I still remember it today.”
The most important advice she gives is to do it.
“I encourage everyone to participate. Singing is so good for the soul, and who knows, someone might remember your performance 30 years later,” she said.
Harley Tinsley is a musician, performer and occasional karaoke singer who believes karaoke is for everyone, regardless of ability.
“The problem with karaoke is that you can’t be very concerned about the quality of your singing. Karaoke isn’t for the crowd, it’s for the person singing who is having a good time”, did he declare.
Tinsley doesn’t do much prep before singing or before performing in a live show. He also knows his limits.
“Some things I avoid, like most rock songs. Honestly, I don’t try to sing them because I can’t stop my voice coming out, so I don’t do them,” he said. declared.
He also recommends what he calls “liquid courage”.
“The right amount will actually help relax your vocal cords. It will also make you sound better in everyone’s ears,” he said.