Karaoke Song Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Karaoke Song

Whether you want an exciting activity for a party or a fun way to practice your own singing, karaoke might be just what you need. It's important to know how to buy karaoke songs, so you can get the most out of your karaoke experience.

>> Choose the type of karaoke music media

If you want to do karaoke at home or bring karaoke to a party, you will want to choose a karaoke player that's right for you. You will also want to know which karaoke songs to buy based on the musical preferences of you and your guests. The best types of karaoke songs are usually songs you enjoy singing and popular songs that people know. It's easy to learn how to buy karaoke songs once you are aware of the wide variety of music available.

Karaoke equipment includes karaoke players, which are machines that play the musical tracks you need. Karaoke players may be large, medium-sized or portable. The largest may offer a video screen for watching videos and reading lyrics as the music plays.

Players, also called karaoke machines or systems, usually come with a cord for plugging into a wall outlet, and some players are battery-operated. They also often come with speakers and a microphone. Players usually have a remote control for operating the machine. They usually have the ability to play either DVDs or CDs, or to dock an iPod, MP3 player or other personal music device in order to play selections from your own music collection.

Music media includes CDs for playing musical tracks, DVDs for playing videos with lyrics and MP3 players for making your experience highly personalized. If you plan to use a personal music device, make sure your karaoke player has a dock that can host your device.

>> Consider music preferences

The best karaoke songs are songs you and your guests love to sing. When considering how to buy karaoke songs, think about preferences. Musical styles vary widely and so do favorites. You will feel confident about which karaoke songs to buy once you think about what you and your guests or friends like to hear. Of course, if you are trying to practice or improve your own singing, find the genre that you are familiar with and find songs you enjoy singing or that will challenge you vocally.

If you enjoy rock music, choose from that genre. If you are hosting a karaoke party and expect guests who like other types of music, you can provide tracks from pop songs, heavy metal songs, soft rock, country songs, show tunes, kids' music or anything else your guests might find enjoyable. Karaoke songs are available on music DVDs or CDs with one type of music, or on a karaoke songs collection featuring many types.

You can often find Top 20 karaoke titles put onto a single CD or DVD. Collections of hits include pop songs loved by girls, top party hits and all-star hits. This will save you time if you want the best karaoke songs to please a big crowd. You can also find hits by specific bands or singers as well, which is wonderful for people with absolute favorites. Try shopping for music soundtracks and new music releases too. Your guests will know how to pick a karaoke song from a CD, DVD or personal music device when they spot a music genre or musical performer they like.

>> Consider how many people will sing

When thinking about how to buy karaoke songs and deciding which karaoke songs to buy, it is helpful to know how many people will participate in karaoke. Think about whether or not the singers will be performing individually or singing together in groups or a large group.

If you know what kind of performances to anticipate, you can choose appropriate music. You and your guests will know how to pick a karaoke song from the music provided if the music is appealing and matches the performance type. Some people prefer going at it alone and singing solo. CDs and DVDs that offer duets are available, ranging from Disney duets to movie soundtrack duets, favorite pop duets and more. Party mix songs and Top 20 selections provide hits that a group may enjoy singing together.

For a large crowd, a great variety of choices is often best. Certain music instruments and karaoke also seem to blend very well, so check DVDs and CDs to see which instruments accompany the musical tracks.
>> Consider other fun items

Knowing how to choose a karaoke song and how to please your guests is very important, but there is more you can do to make karaoke convenient or to spice up a karaoke party. Many karaoke players come with accessories and many songs do very well with those accessories.

Along with remote controls, some players have docking stations for personal devices, and separate or detachable speakers. Some karaoke players have TVs or monitors for showing videos and displaying lyrics, or a cord for connecting the player to your TV. A player may even have disco lighting that enhances a number of song choices.

Karaoke players may include options for voice flexibility, such as voice echo or distortion. Some will have an option for recording performances, which many guests will appreciate. You may want to record vocals in order to learn from your performance or improve your singing ability. People also record performances to post online or send to faraway friends and family via the Internet.

When looking to buy the best karaoke songs, find the types of karaoke songs that match not only your style and preferences, but the styles and preferences of your guests. Be sure to have a wide selection available that offers something for soloists, duets and groups.

Kayak Guide: Don't Get the Wrong Kayak

Water enthusiasts have enjoyed kayaking for years. Sorting out the differences among different kayak designs and styles is simplified if you have information to help you learn how to buy a kayak that will best fit you and your needs.

>> What will you do with the kayak?
Wh en considering how to buy a kayak, take a look at the kind of kayaker you are. Each type of kayak is designed for a specific type of water:

• Sea/touring kayaks: If you are heading for open waters such as the ocean or large lakes, look for sea or touring kayaks.
• Recreational kayaks: If you're just out for some fun at the local lake, look for a recreational kayak. You want something with maximum stability for beginning paddlers.
• Fishing kayaks: If you are a fisherman, then look for a kayak that you can sit in for long periods of time and not tip over when reaching for a fish. Any kayak can be used for fishing, but ones with wider bottoms will ensure that you do more fishing than swimming.
• Whitewater kayaks: If you love to shoot the rapids, consider whitewater kayaks, which have special hulls designed to withstand the impact of large rocks while flying down rivers.
• Rigid kayaks: Rigid kayaks are the most popular type of kayak, especially with beginners, and they are the most common kayak design. Rigid kayaks are made of one piece, so if you choose this type of kayak, you will need to transport it appropriately.
• Inflatable kayaks: Buy an inflatable kayak if you want ease of transport and no storage issues. When you shop for these kinds of kayaks, don't forget to pick up a portable air pump. Aim for calm waters or paddling around a lake, as rock collisions can damage the boat.
• Folding kayaks: This type of kayak is made by stretching fabric over a rigid frame. These are collapsible and easy to store. They are popular among hikers because they are so lightweight. Just strap it on to the back of your pack and off you go.

>> Consider kayak design features

As you determine how to buy a kayak, consider different kayak design features. Kayak dimensions vary, and the best kayak to buy will depend on which works best for you. As you look at kayak features, keep in mind the type of boating you plan to do.

• Length: The best kayak to buy for speed and tracking is a longer kayak design. For more stability and the ability to hold more weight, look for a shorter kayak. Short means slower movement, but when you are in a small creek and need to maneuver, short is the way to go.
• Width: The wider you go, the more stability you have. This is important especially for fishing, because you don't want the kayak to roll you out every time you catch a fish. Wider kayak designs make for a slower ride, but this is not usually an issue when you are fishing.
• Keel: To have control, you need the keel. The amount of curve in the keel will predict how easy the kayak will be to control and maneuver. The more curve there is, the more control you'll have. Contrarily, the less curve to your keel, the harder it is to turn. If you need to keep a straight line, look for less curve. If more control is required, a more curved keel is better.
• Sit-on-top: If the weather is hot and the water is warm, you might prefer a sit-on-top kayak. This type of kayak is self-bailing, because the water just sifts through; there is nothing to fill up. Because your center of gravity is higher, look for a wider base to help with balance and stability. Sit-on-top kayaks are best for beginners and when riding on waves. These types of kayaks are safer, wider and wetter than sit-in models.
• Sit-in: This kayak design, when used correctly, provides a dryer ride. It has a lower center of gravity and can move faster than sit-on-top kayaks. These are recommended if you are an advanced kayaker, because they can be tricky to get out of if you roll them.

>> Consider kayak materials

Material type Advantages Uses Plastic • Least expensive
• Durable -can withstand collisions

• Best for those trips close to home
• Good starter kayak for beginners

Fiberglass • Light and easy to transport
• Easy to repair

• Used for tracking and speed
• Often used for competition

Composite • Light
• Easy to transport

• Best type for more experienced kayak users
• Great for speed

Wood • Hand crafted by experts • Kits are available to make your own kayak • Repairs easily and cheaply • Often used for fishing • Unique models >> Will you kayak alone or with companions? Now that you have some basic information on how to buy a kayak, ask yourself if you plan to kayak alone or with a passenger or two. Available kayak types include single-passenger, double-passenger and even three-person kayaks. Single-passenger kayaks are perfect when you want to travel in your own boat. Double-passenger kayaks can carry one or two people and work well for beginners who need more stability. You can use the second seat to store food and supplies if necessary.

>> Consider accessories

As you shop for kayaks in the canoe and kayak department of your local sports and outdoors store, you will come across some interesting supplies and accessories. First on your list should be paddles, which vary in shape, size and material. Wider kayaks and taller people need longer paddles, just as shorter people and narrow kayaks require shorter paddles. Paddles with symmetrical blades are considered general-purpose paddles and are just right for beginners. If you need driving power, look for paddle blades at 45-degree angles.

Remember that you will need a Coast Guard-approved PFD (personal flotation device), commonly known as a life jacket.

Other accessories to consider as you learn how to buy a kayak are repair kits, waterproof containers and bags, a first aid kit, a bail bucket or water pump, a compass, maps and a VHF radio. Some type of GPS unit can be helpful. If you have an inflatable kayak, remember to buy an air pump. A few other things to consider are kayak carriers for your car and kayak boat covers to protect the boat while you are traveling or it is in storage.

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