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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2024 9:43 am 
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I just recently returned from a very long road trip to see the eclipse and fill in some of my bucket list states. While I and my family was driving 4500 miles cross country and back, my wife and I had the opportunity to go to a couple of different karaoke shows. Here is my take on how karaoke is "generally" perceived from "average" bar patron. Now we are talking just the people that go out to let loose, NOT the karaoke divas.

As a typical night of karaoke, the vast majority of the patrons are NOT singers, nor are they there to even participate. They are there simply to have a good time. Karaoke singers/participants are only a small percentage of total patrons, unless the venue is a dedicated karaoke bar. Then a much larger percentage of patrons are their for singing or supporting. As bar owners, their priority is to be profitable, whether it's a country bar, large night club, sports bar or even a karaoke spot. They offer services, activities and food/drinks to attract more people. Pretty simple huh? As long as the venues are managed well, then they have a good chance of being successful.

OK, now let's change the focus onto karaoke hosts. If we are hosting as a professional, our objectives are usually to offer quality sound with top quality equipment, a fair rotation and a friendly, fun atmosphere. How far we go and spend on our gear is a choice we make from a personal viewpoint. This is where the opinions will differ and where I think we are biased as hosts.

By putting together large libraries, expensive sound gear, lights, software, mics, etc. who are we trying to impress? Personally, I think that our egos are to thank. I think we are kidding ourselves in believing all that "stuff" really makes a difference in how our shows are viewed from the general bar patron or bar owner. All they truly care about is bodies in the bar, spending money and having a good time. While on my trip, I attended two separate small local bars and the karaoke shows they had that particular night. What I actually saw was actually pretty informative.

First show, in Arkansas: Small place that only held about 35-40 people max. The host was using lousy gear, horrible mics, played from Youtube, total lack of organized rotation, had to sing toward the wall with our backs to the crowd, and a total lack of fun personality from the host. Almost every single thing we as "professional" hosts would cringe at. Guess what,,, we had a total blast!! Why you say? I believe it was all because of the crowd itself. Were they there to support or particapate in karaoke? Not really, only 5 or 6 people sang. The rest just simply had fun visiting and drinking. They were very welcoming to us as visitors and made us feel like part of the group. From my standpoint as a singer, the crowd didn't care one little bit that the sound was terrible, and that they were looking at the back of our heads. They just simply had a good time.

Second show in Kansas: Club was a bit bigger, held maybe 50 people, and standing room only. They do karaoke several nights a week, with rotating hosts. The host was using decent sound, good mics and I am not sure what software. He was definitely not the greatest host I have seen tho. There was maybe 8 to 10 singers, it kind of was hard to tell because the rotation was so helter skelter, just a sign up sheet, and the host was all over the place on who sang next. Also, we had to use the screen on a table right next to the mixing board,, really awkward. But guess what, again we had fun, simply because of the crowd. Generally, they weren't there to participate, they were there to drink and visit. I believe the only reason that karaoke was there was to make noise.

That's my observation, karaoke is simply there to fill the silence. It really doesn't matter to the general patron (again, not diva) that we have the best sound, newest software, nicest mics and host the fairest of professionally ran shows. It all boils down to the crowd, and how much "fun" they are having, and how much they are spending so the venue is profitable. The average bar patron is usually there to drink a few, visit with friends, meet new people and typically have a night of distraction from daily life. Those are the people that spend money and make it possible for owners be successful. Singers who take their performances seriously (the divas) are usually, but not always though, the ones who don't spend much money, water drinkers, complain about being skipped,,, you know the type.

Now this is only an opinion, but as hosts who are we trying to impress? Who are we kidding? I think it's us, we believe by putting all this effort and money into our shows, that it will make us successful, when it all boils down to the crowd, how much fun they have and how much money they are spending. That's my take, yours will probably differ.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2024 2:43 am 
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My Dear Mr. Scott...

I respectfully disagree with you. You cannot base your assessment from these two places that are not really known for karaoke. For example, the bar in Arkansas, was just that. They may have offered karaoke but as you said, people were not there for it. And I'm sure the same people would be there regardless of whether or not they had karaoke.

Now, with that said...

There are a lot of singers that love and take karaoke seriously. They know where all the good places are, they know who's hosting, and they know what the sound is like. And these are the people who are going to pack the better places. They are not going to the places with hosts that have no people skills and poor sound and equipment.

Providing a great experience for my customers has always been my #1 priority. When I first got into this I wanted to provide the kind of sound that I would expect if I was going to a karaoke bar to sing. And so, for me, sound quality has always been my top priority.

If you are doing karaoke professionally, you should be professional. Sound is your business! Yet, most hosts don't care, won't put the money into it, use inferior equipment or "toys". It's more like a hobby. Or for some, beer money.

Well, I wanted to set myself apart from the rest, raise the bar if you will. This has nothing to do with ego. It's about running a business and provide my customers with the best experience around. The kind I would want for myself.

I continuously get compliments on my shows all the time. I even get tips, and I don't even put out a tip jar. But these people tell me that I have the best sound around and have the most fun at my shows.

At my shows, I have regular singers who come out week after week because they know they're going to sound good and have a great experience. And, I also have non singers who come out also, because they enjoy the show and listening to others sing.

If the people from your Arkansas show, were to go to a real karaoke bar, where they are in the spotlight and not singing with their backs to the audience.... they would probably have a heart attack from shock. I'm sure they have no clue what a real, high quality professional karaoke show is like.

So, I would not base my assessment on a couple of Hicksville bars that offer substandard karaoke. Remember, all karaoke is NOT created equal. Like anything else, there's good and bad. You've just experience the bad.

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2024 6:11 am 
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Alan,

I think it's great that you take pride in your shows. That's what I do as well. But what I am saying is that "most" people, (not the divas) could not care less about what mics you use, or what mixer, or software, etc. I am not basing this on just "two local hicktown shows". This is an observation from visiting well over a hundred different shows in the last twenty plus years. All that most people want is to drink, get drunk, and have a good time. The average bar goer doesn't care in the slightest about what or how we do our jobs. The fact that we fill the silence is all they care about. Now, when it comes to the more serious karaoke singer, that does not hold true. But also, those are the same people who "generally" do not spend much money. They are more interested in performing and being in the lime light.

I have been to literally well over a hundred different shows, in probably 25 of the 31 states that I have visited, and it's the same thing. For those hosts that actually DO take pride in their crafts, and offer great service, good sound, etc... I thank them. But I'm not the "average" bar goes either. I do however notice how the audience reacts to the singers and it seems to me they don't care what "we" do as hosts, as long as the silence is filled.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2024 8:14 am 
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Another way to look at it is this: How many different pirate shows do you know? How many are successful? I am betting there are quite a large number of them that are money makers for the bars. And isn't that what the eventual goal is for us? To make the venues money? And how much money did they put into their systems? Again, probably the bare minimum. And yet, the venues seem to be busy. Why are they still busy you ask? It's because the average bar attendee is having fun. Very simple.

Now while I agree from my upbringing that any job that is worth doing, is worth doing "right". But, simply put for the most part, "they" don't care, only "we" as hosts seem to make a big deal out of it. Is it because of integrity? Pride?,, or just plain ego's that are making those decisions. Your responses may vary.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2024 9:11 am 
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mrscott wrote:
Another way to look at it is this: How many different pirate shows do you know? How many are successful? I am betting there are quite a large number of them that are money makers for the bars. And isn't that what the eventual goal is for us? To make the venues money? And how much money did they put into their systems? Again, probably the bare minimum. And yet, the venues seem to be busy. Why are they still busy you ask? It's because the average bar attendee is having fun. Very simple.

Now while I agree from my upbringing that any job that is worth doing, is worth doing "right". But, simply put for the most part, "they" don't care, only "we" as hosts seem to make a big deal out of it. Is it because of integrity? Pride?,, or just plain ego's that are making those decisions. Your responses may vary.


I can't disagree with you for the most part. However, I once was that average person who went to bars that had Karaoke. I had absolutely no interest in singing or Karaoke and thought it was a total waste of time. With so many choices of things to do in my town, I would cringe when someone in my group wanted to go to a Karaoke bar. Annoying bad sound and bad singers was definitely not my thing but I've always been of the belief that you make your own fun so I would! I never sang at any of these bars and definitely never wanted to go back! Why? Because, it felt cheesy. One day a friend took me to a really good show. The host was fun, the music sounded great, he knew how to make everyone sound better and he and the crowd were encouraging, so I had to try it. Went up on the stage with my knees knocking and I was bit by the Karaoke bug. Although, I knew nothing about his equipment, microphones, program, etc., I knew it sounded much better, looked better and was more fun than any of the previous shows I had been to. I wanted to go all the time and now I was the one dragging my friends out to Karaoke, but only to his shows or shows like his which were few and far between. I wanted to practice and get better, hence my home system. I graduated from a small portable all in one system with 30 CD+Gs to a system that is far superior to those of many "professionals". He died and I have never been to a show like his since. Anywho... I think you don't care until you do and I think the average person knows more than you think about sound but when in Rome you do as the Romans. I am not a Diva, I just want to have some fun, and I will go almost anywhere once and I will make the best of it but if it's a bad show, I'm not going back. I can have fun in a lot of places. Lol. Maybe these bars that you speak of, have no competition.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2024 10:07 am 
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Mr. Scott, Something just came to mind... Bridging your two post... Perhaps the reason that Karaoke isn't as popular as it could be in my city that can certainly support more Karaoke venues than it has might be due to the lack of good hosts who care. With so many great things to do here, some might even say the best of the best clubs and nightlife, perhaps people are not going to settle for mediocre. Maybe it's not Karoke that is dying per say, perhaps it's the good hosts that are dying out. I think a bar with a lot of competition and a discriminating clientele will need to pick up their game. They will not be able to get by with a YouTube Karaoke host. Obviously, location matters.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2024 1:30 pm 
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Dakota wrote:
Mr. Scott, Something just came to mind... Bridging your two post... Perhaps the reason that Karaoke isn't as popular as it could be in my city that can certainly support more Karaoke venues than it has might be due to the lack of good hosts who care. With so many great things to do here, some might even say the best of the best clubs and nightlife, perhaps people are not going to settle for mediocre. Maybe it's not Karoke that is dying per say, perhaps it's the good hosts that are dying out. I think a bar with a lot of competition and a discriminating clientele will need to pick up their game, they will not be able to get by with a YouTube Karaoke host. Obviously, location matters.

Like Mr. Scott, I have also been to numerous karaoke shows. I always want to see what the competition is doing, thinking maybe I can learn something new.

What I have found is that 90% of the people hosting karaoke, should not be doing so. Why? Because most of them are nothing more than "name callers". They lack people skills, and have the personality of a flea. In addition, they run their shows using pirated music, YouTube videos and have terrible sound and inferior equipment. In other words, everything that karaoke should not be.

Now, like anything else, karaoke is a business. If you are running a karaoke business, wouldn't you want to provide your customers with the best experience possible? Look at it like this...

If you own a restaurant, wouldn't you want to provide your customers with the best food around? I mean, this is how you build a reputation, right? If the food is good, people are going to come back... and they're going to spread the word about your place and recommend you.

Karaoke is very similar. Providing the customer with an unforgettable experience. One that says: "Man, I had an awesome time tonight. Can't wait to go back next week!"

The problem is, there are very few really good hosts. Many customers and bar owners think that this is how karaoke is but that's because they haven't really experienced a really good karaoke show.

I run a high energy show, and try to get everyone motivated. I cannot just sit behind my console all night. I have to get out with the crowd, fool around with the people, and make it fun for everyone. I provide awesome sound which I adjust for every singer so that every voice sounds the best it can. With most hosts, it's just "set it and forget it".

As I've said, people know where to go for an awesome time. They know the karaoke places, and what the sound is like at every place.

Karaoke singers do care. No, they won't be going to those dive bars where the karaoke sucks.

But regardless. I will never compromise my shows. And it's paid off. I have a following and I have people come to my shows even though they have a place that's closer to their home. They're willing to drive the extra mile or two because they know that they are going to have a great night and sound their best.

Yes, there are people that DO care.

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