Why Can’t I Sing the Right Notes When I Sing with Karaoke?

Have you ever tried singing with a karaoke track, and realized you weren’t sure if you were singing the right notes?

Singing with karaoke requires something of singers that is unique to other musicians. All musicians have “buttons” to press of some kind. They inevitably use their hands or eyes to play their instrument. This means that if they are looking at what they are doing, they can tell if they are playing the right note.

This is not so with singers!

It’s one of the unique challenges beginning singers face as they develop their singing ability. Singers only know if they are singing the right note by ear! They can’t see or touch the right note. Pretty crazy. Beginning singers often don’t realize this is the case until they are singing with a karaoke track. In a karaoke track, the lead singer is not singing your notes for you, so you and you alone have to hear each pitch play in your mind before you sing it.

Some singers automatically start doing this for one reason or another, but some have to learn how to do this. I had to learn how to do it. I consider myself really fortunate that it didn’t come natural for me because when I realized that singing independently of other singers was a skill and not just “talent”, I was able to practice and get farther than where natural ability often takes singers. That gave me a rich set of sounds to imagine in my head, and sing along with chords, and harmonize with another singer. Super fun.

So when I’m working with a singer in my Austin studio or online, and they come to the realization that they will have to learn to sing the right notes against the karaoke track or chords, it means they have a whole new way to experience music and singing. That’s exciting.

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