At "well established" shows, how often is appropriate for a KJ to sing in terms of the number of rotations that pass by? I'm defining "well established" as a show that has at least 6mos. "same venue" or "established following" time. I've seen well established shows with KJ's that sing at the end of every rotation.
IMHO, I feel about every two or three rotations is fine. The exception would be for a newly established show at a venue that has never had karaoke. Then yes, the KJ or their partner needs to make it happen.
What do you folks think? Does it really matter how much they sing? And what about customer and/or bar owner requests for the KJ to sing?
Posts: 94 | From: MI - Kalamazoo area | Registered: Feb 2000
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Jerry, My wife and I have been in the biz for a while and all our regulars know when they show up that we are going to take our regular turn in the rotation every time through. We don't abuse it in any way, but the whole reason we got into business was because we love to sing. We even have several semi-regulars that never sing, but they show up just to listen to my wife and I. It really depends on you, your club and your regulars. Just remember to always be consistent and your following will have no reason to complain. Just my opinion, GaryC
Posts: 426 | From: Oklahoma City, Ok | Registered: Jan 2000
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The host should at the very least sing the first song to test the equipment. Apart from that, it depends on the rotation--I go to shows that are capable of hitting 2 hours plus rotations, and the host will (as he or she should) skip his turn in order to get as many people in as possible. If it's a slow night, then the host has to sing to help move the show along.
Posts: 1595 | From: Willoughby Hills, Ohio, USA | Registered: Apr 1999
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The two bars a regularly go to, the host sings at the start of every rotation, no matter how long the rotation. One of the bars, the host wanted a long weekend off, so I hosted for him. The place was absolutely packed on the Saturday night (because of me, I'm sure ). I sang the first song of the night, and another one about 3 hours later, and that was it. Every place is different about how many times the host should sing. Some hosts just don't sing at all. These two clubs have mostly regulars, and we are all friends for the most part, so we don't begrudge the host his turn.
One of my karaoke KJ pet peeves is when it's 30 mintues to closing time and the KJ still takes up a turn in rotation to sing.
I swore that if I ever became a KJ (which I am now) that I would always try to put my singers first. Personally, I think it's just a good business practice to show the singers that you are there for THEM.
- Please be aware before reading this post that I am expressing an opinion and feelings and is not meant to offend personally in any way the way others run their show. This is only one philosophy -
When I first started out (close to 4 years ago...time fly's when it's fun), I would sing the first song of the night and after every rotation. Then, it seems, after the word got out about my shows (i.e. song selection, equipment, fair rotation, fun, whatever was being said) we started seeing many new faces and larger rotations. I started to feel that if I was singing after every rotation I am taking time away from:
- A possible new person wanting to try karaoke for the first time either by themselves or with a group.
- Any regulars who may have been used to a smaller rotation in the past either at my shows or someone else's.
- Someone checking out my shows for the first time because of what they've heard on the street about the (sound system, selection, rotation, fun) and the singing experience that goes along with that.
I now feel, although I love singing myself, I'm not there for singing. I feel I'm there to serve:
- The singers.
Have as many people as I can get their karaoke "groove" on. Have them experience the great karaoke rush that hooked me 8 or so years ago. Have them sing the new/old songs I buy for them.
- The venue owner.
To keep the venue owner happy ($$$) and me around for awhile I feel I want to give the singers all the time available.
I feel the bottom line is this...I'm getting paid to perform a service.(create a draw of people that will spend money)I feel this does not include singing myself (Well, maybe once)unless it's very, and I mean "very", slow.
The singers at my shows are not getting paid to do a job. They are there to have a good time and hopfully spend money.
I feel that singers at karaoke venues are limited in the time they can sing from my disc selection and since I own the disks, I can sing from them anytime. I feel it's my obligation (being paid) to give them as much time with my disks as possible.
This is only meant for "food for thought".
P.S. Anthony T. - Your post went up while I was writing the above so I'll address it while I'm still in a writing mood.
Good point - I agree that you're there for the singers. Additionally, to make money for the venue. If both are done correctly I believe you can be the highest paid KJ in any area.
Posts: 94 | From: MI - Kalamazoo area | Registered: Feb 2000
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Well said, all ! Vicky and I both took ourselves out of rotation tonight with only 20 or so singers, because it was getting close to time to go, and we Are there to let them sing and party it up. But since Vicky is the real singer of us two, some people wouldn't hear of that, so she sang the last song in an effort to applesauce (appease) everyone. BTW, you can't applesauce everybody!!!!
I am of the opinion to drop out for 2 or 3 rotations when the crowd gets big, but because I am known for doing swing tunes or generally silly stuff, I DO get requested to sing. I especially like to do that if there's about 5 or more ballads ahead of me, to break the mood."Night of The Living Ballads" can really KILL a Saturday night!! Posts: 303 | From: Portland, OR, USA | Registered: Aug 1999
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Hi All...new here. We each (my husband & I) sing at the beginning of each new rotation...until it gets busy, then we back off and let the singers use the time. During the night, people always ask to sing duets or have a request, so we usually get to sing at least twice per show anyways. It's all good!
------------------ Cindy Soundscape Entertainment
Posts: 1 | From: W. Newvury, MA, USA | Registered: Feb 2000
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I have no problem with a KJ singing once per rotation. The KJs here have very good voices, and it's great to hear them sing; they are also very supportive of everyone else who sings.
That being said, I have encountered shows where a KJ would automatically sing the next song if someone got loud applause for doing a good job on a song. This KJ was singing three or four times per rotation.
I have a real appreciation for the job a KJ has to do -- he or she has to keep the party going and satisfy as many customers/singers/party goers as possible. I've only hosted a couple of times -- as a favor to the KJ -- and I found hosting to be fun, but challenging as well.
Maybe that wasn't even worth .02...but it is my opinion...
Nod to all above. I too, will sing opening song just to check levels, and to open the show. If there is a small rotation right at the beginning I WILL put myself in again. There is noting wrong with this. It's a good time to learn new material and it usually inspires singers to to so at this time as well.
When the rotation is long, I drop out, only to be resurrected if someone:
1) Requests a duet with them.
2) There have been too many sappy ballads in a row. (I usually kick in a fast tune here)
3) Someone requests for me to singa certain song to a B-DAYer or anniversary.
4) Or if someone is having trouble with a song, I usually bring up the mic just enough to set them back on track and them drop out again.
I WILL do the closing song too. Usually a slow song to 'wind down' the crowd, and too I can pick out a cutie to sing to
And the phrase to remember is...."Sorry, but I'm afraid I can't take up customer time by singing myself." People usually understand this when I say it at a show.
I'll just reprint my response from another forum on this topic...it was advising potential new KJs at the time....
If you want to sing all night, walk away now. One of the surest ways to kill a show is for the host to hog the mic.
It's rare that I sing more than two songs all night....the opening song, and the closing song. If there's more than 10 singers, I drop out of the rotation, PERIOD.
The show is for the singers, NOT the host. If you plan to try making a show into your own private showcase, don't bother becoming a KJ...you can only do damage to the industry. You need to be good enought to carry the show by yourself, but only do it if there are no other options.
Regardless of what they say to puff up your ego, the bottom line is that the singers came to sing, not to hear you sing. If you can't handle this concept, you're in trouble before you even start.
If you need to "scratch the itch" to sing, it's best to go to somewhere else to scratch it so you're not inclined to use your own show. (and it shows your support for other KJs)
Karaoke can be a drug, and what was that old drug dealer's saying they used in Scarface? "Don't get high on your own supply." Good advice. (Hel-looo, garyc...read it again)
BTW - A host "helping" a new singer is not the same as a host arbitrarily taking a turn at the top of every rotation.
In my opinion, a host has NO BUSINESS singing a song of their own when there are 30 singers waiting. I'm sorry, but that's a load of crap, and customers have the right to complain about it. (BTW - Just because customers don't complain OUT LOUD about something, doesn't mean that they like it)
As for someone "requesting" a host to sing a song, refer to the "phrase to remember" above.... - L .
You are entitled to your opinion. Just because you have written a book on karaoke rules does not mean they apply to my show or anyone else's for that matter. The regulars at my show don't have a problem with it, why should you? My main point is that every show is different and every host is different. Just because you don't run your show the way I run my show doesn't give you the right to tell me not to sing at my show. Sorry, but we'll have to agree to disagree. GaryC
I'd like to go to Leigh's show! Sure, I'm going to hop on a plane, I wish! Most KJ's I know are very good about dropping out of rotation. If I ever attended a show where the host was singing more than once during rotation, I would never return to that show, even if it was the only show in town. I know many singers who feel this way.
I don't want to be a KJ, I want to always remain a singer, so I can sing, sing, sing!
Remember, this is all advice & opinion. You own the equipment and run the show, you make the rules. Your success will be gauged by your employment.
In keeping with the topic, I, and my wife, take our turn in rotation over the course of the evening until/if the list gets too long and/or the hour gets too late. It just depends on the situation, nothin' written in stone.
I once attended a show, however, in which the KJ would sing 2 or 3 songs in the rotation. Sure, it was a short list, but I thought that uncalled for. We've had short rotations before...hell, me & the wife have had to carry the first hour of a few shows. I mean, I LOVE karaoke, but an hour with no one else singing? A rotation of TWO? Even WE were gittin bored!!
I agree with the earlier point made about seeing things as a singer that ticked you off and making sure not to make that same mistake as a KJ.
It would really get me P.O.'d when, on a heavy night, the owner would instruct the KJ to announce "Last Call for Alcohol", which meant only 4 more songs. Invariably, the KJ would always put himself in for one of those songs, sometimes for two of those songs if a lady wanted to do a duet with him. It didn't matter to him if it was his turn in the rotation or not. We singers didn't like that at all.
I think it's good for the KJ's or one of the regulars (who has a solid repertoire) to start out a show, just to get things off to a strong start. Then start the rotation as normal.
As more people come in and submit their request slips, then the KJ should remove him/herself from the rotation. Leigh is right when she says that it can be intoxicating, especially when the babes from the birthday party are throwing dollar bills at you while you're singing onstage! But the show is for the crowd, not for the KJ.
If it's one of those really slow midweek nights with only a 30-minute rotation for a 4hour show, then I have no problem sharing the rotation with the KJ...there's plenty of time for everyone to get in a lot of songs.
I also agree that the KJ should have the discretion to "pick up the pace" if an hour-long slow ballad set is taking place. I've sat in the audience and completely tuned out the singers after awhile because of so many slow songs being sung one after the other. Getting in a fast song that the audience can join in with to break up the monotony and wake everyone up is a good thing.
But if the KJ does that, then I think that counts as his turn in the rotation. He shouldn't come back later to do the slow song he originally planned to do (I've seen this happen).
I've also seen the "applause-addicted" KJ who won't even wait until the singer who's tearing down the house is finished with his song...this KJ would jump up onstage in the middle of the song and try to share the limelight!