The Personal Website of Ronald Huereca

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Should Karaoke be a Judgment Free Zone?

I have written about Karaoke a lot on this site. I have opinions. You have opinions. So be it. The posts are just from my own personal experiences with Karaoke.

Here’s what may be an unpopular opinion: Karaoke should be a judgment-free zone. Hear me out.

When someone is brand new to Karaoke, they’re putting themselves on the line. It’s scary! Remember your first time in front of a crowd? It was likely nerve-wracking. Alcoholic beverages help with the anxiety and the “guts” factor, but not everyone drinks. Throughout my posts on Karaoke, I came up with one hard rule: clap always. As one KJ I met put it, you can either clap because you love the performance, or clap because it’s over.

My Judgment Experience

I love singing on Smule. I have over 1000 recordings and it’s a great place to practice Karaoke songs before attempting them in “public.” Smule is my playground and there are a lot of cringe-worthy vocals that I have admittedly laid down. The only thing I dislike about Smule is that some users do not use headphones making the song hard to listen to. I never berate anyone for not using headphones. I listen for a bit, perhaps choose to not “like” it, and move on.

There was a song that I’m not really good at called The Gift by Angels and Airwaves. It’s a hard song. I chose to use Popstar effects to make the song passable when I attempted it. A person joined in and immediately started to criticize my vocals. I only listened to the first 30 seconds of the insults and decided to delete the duet, block the fucker (rather than engage the troll), and then remove my song so he couldn’t join in again under a different account. I honestly was dismayed by the criticism. I’m not a professional singer. I use Smule as my Karaoke platform and testbed.

In my opinion, the user should be kicked off the platform. Joining someone’s duet and then lambasting them on their vocals is absurd. Just quit the duet and make up your own instead if you hate the vocals. I’ve done this countless times when a vocalist doesn’t quite match my nasally voice or key that I’m capable of singing in. In my opinion, Smule is just a form of Karaoke and should be a judgment-free zone.

Karaoke Judging

Unless you’re at a Karaoke contest, I believe that Karaoke should be a judgment-free zone. And even at Karaoke contests, you’re judged based on a set criteria.

I believe that people should clap always. What I’m sick of is hearing people talk behind the singer’s back while the singer is doing their best attempt at a song. No Karaoke performance is perfect, but it’s not up to us to pass criticism on the singer unless they come up to you and ask for feedback.

So I’ll leave it like this: I think Karaoke should be a judgment-free zone.

What are your thoughts?

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