Ruining the mood at karaoke


A typical night at karaoke in Japan

goo Ranking recently took a look at a subject that was tempted to entitle “Karaoke FAIL”, but it didn’t quite fit, and anyway I have another FAIL coming later this evening. So, the survey was into what leaves people feeling down at karaoke.


Between the 21st and 23rd of June 2010 1,137 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 65.1% of the sample were female, 8.0% in their teens, 20.4% in their twenties, 31.2% in their thirties, 23.9% in their forties, 9.2% in their fifties, and 7.2 aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

I’ve not been to karaoke for ages and ages, but I’ve done my fair share of ruining the mood for others, judging by the list. Fiddling with the sound effects is one of my favourites, and in order to try to disguise my total inability to carry a tune I’ve occasionally done the speaking instead of singing.

Photo from gullevek on flickr.

Ranking result

Q: What leaves you feeling down at karaoke? (Sample size=1,137)

Rank   Score
1 Everyone is getting into a song, but I don’t know it 100
2 A broken microphone that won’t stop squealing with feedback 94.9
3 The first song is a compromise 77.6
4 Just as the song gets sabi a member of staff enters 73.9
5 Broken microphone 72.9
6 When I’m singing my heart out to an obscure ballad, no-one is listening 68.8
7 The touch-panel has a flat battery 65.1
8 While I’m singing along someone goes to the toilet 64.1
9 The video with the song is too old 60.7
10 Someone else sings my best number 54.2
11 Can’t choose a comfortable setting for the air conditioning 53.2
12 The chosen song’s singing part or instrumental part is long 50.2
13 When I ask “Are you not singing?” they say “I really hate singing”. 47.5
14 When I start singing someone else starts choosing their song 46.4
15 There’s a lingering smell from the previous occupants 46.4
16 The first song is a ballad 42.4
17 When I’m singing a part with feeling someone else joins in 41.4
18 Someone else is singing a song I like, but they make small mistakes 40.0
19 There’s someone who’s always half a note out of tune 37.6
20 Someone joins in with the harmony without asking 32.9
21 The staff says there’s lots of space for everyone, but the room’s too small 30.5
22 As I’m trying to adjust the key to suit me the song finishes 29.8
23 As I’m singing someone’s fiddling with the volume, echo, etc controls 28.1
24 Even though we’d planned to share the song, someone sings all the chorus themselves 27.1
25 There’s women in the group but the videos for the songs are too sexy 24.1
26 Everyone’s clapping, percussion, etc is out of sync 17.6
27= The two of us want to sing until daybreak, but the other person falls asleep 14.6
27= The music from the adjacent booth gets in the way 14.6
27= They are a good singer, but they’ve too much vibrato and it ends up sounding like enka folk songs 14.6
30 Someone starts rapping along to the songs 13.9
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