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Posts by Caroline Labour
The Best of Abba
I was in a record store today browsing the “soundtracks” section and stumbled across the “Mamma Mia” soundtrack. I absolutely love this movie (especially the sing-along version) however I couldn’t decide whether to buy the album or not. Here was my dilemma: the song list was great however I wasn’t sure why I would buy an album of Abba cover tracks when I already own Abba Gold (Abba’s “best of” record released in 1993). I asked my shopping buddy for her opinion and she couldn’t decide either!
We left the store with a strong desire to sing Abba songs and my friend and I started naming our favorite Abba songs over lunch. Here are some the hits that we came up with:
- Mamma Mia
- Dancing Queen
- Gimme Gimme
Test yourself with backing tracks!
If you’re a true Abba fan (and by “true” I mean that you know their lyrics off by heart) then one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Abba songs is to download your favorite Abba backing tracks and have your own private sing-along party – even if its just you attending!
One of the excellent features of Prosound backing tracks is that they’re available in MP3 format which means that they can be purchased and downloaded instantly. You can then simply add the backing tracks to your iPod or iPhone or burn them onto an audio CD. If you’re going to be singing solo, I recommend choosing Abba backing tracks with backing vocals – that way you’ll have all those beautiful three part harmonies in the background. If you can round up some friends though, opt for backing tracks without backing vocals and give those harmonies a shot! If you’re really keen, you can even try learning an Abba medley. This will really test your skills in terms of identifying the songs in the medley and working out when to end one song and start another. It’s all in the name of fun so why not give it a go today!
You’re just moments away from owning your own Abba backing tracks – simply follow this link and type “Abba” into the search box and away you go!
So for a final burst of Abba inspiration, here is a clip from that ever fabulous movie, Mamma Mia. Enjoy!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW1NZtpAUnY
Yours in song,
Kelly Clarkson – Biography
Kelly Clarkson is an American singer/songwriter and was the winner of the inaugural series of American Idol. Kelly has been described by Simon Cowell, the creator of American Idol, as the most successful contestant to have ever appeared on the show.
Kelly Clarkson backing tracks are amongst the most post popular to be searched and downloaded online. At the time of writing, approximately 2900 people search for Kelly Clarkson karaoke in Google.
Kelly was born in 1982 to parents Jeanne Rose and Stephen Michael Clarkson. Prior to auditioning for the show, Kelly performed in a number of high school musicals and she received classical vocal training, hoping to pursue a career in music.
Kelly Clarkson Rises to Fame
Kelly Clarkson rose to fame in 2002 with American Idol’s first ever “winner’s single”: A Moment Like This. In the following video, we see a somewhat nervous Kelly Clarkson perform to her biggest audience to date (at this early stage in her career). Kelly’s performance of this hit single led to her gaining monumental support from the American public to beat semi-finalist, Justin Guarini.
Kelly Clarkson’s Hit Singles
Not long after the success of her first album, Thankful, Kelly gained a number one spot on the charts for the second time with her motivational ballad “Breakaway”. I can personally recall singing along to “Breakaway” on my first ever iPod Nano and making of the most of the “repeat” function so that I could learn the lyrics! This was just the start of many hit singles to come from Kelly Clarkson.
Kelly Clarkson’s chart toppers to date include:
- A Moment Like This
- Miss Independent
- The Trouble With Love Is
- Because of You
- Walk Away
- My Life Would Suck Without You
Kelly Clarkson Karaoke Downloads
With the mainstream appeal of Kelly’s repertoire, it’s no surprise that many of her hits are extremely popular amongst professional vocalists and karaoke enthusiasts. Kelly’s songs appeal to both solo and group vocalists and can be downloaded with or without backing vocals.
Download your favourite Kelly Clarkson karaoke tracks today – simply search for “Kelly Clarkson” under Artists. Do you have a favourite Kelly Clarkson song? If so, please post a comment below.
Yours in song,
Karaoke Machines For Parties
One of the best ways to spice up any party is to invite your guests to participate in karaoke. You may be thinking that your friends might not be up for it, but fear not, this is nothing that a couple of cocktails or beers can’t fix!
Karaoke machines are ideal for parties because they are interactive – this means that your guests are not just watching the entertainment, they are the entertainment! As the host, watching your guests enjoy themselves and having a great laugh can be a very rewarding experience.
Once the singing begins, you will also want to make sure that the fun continues to flow without technical glitches. The key to hosting a hassle-free event is to choose a suitable type of unit and to do some simple planning before your guests arrive.
Choosing A Great Karaoke Machine
Some of the best features to look out for in a karaoke machine include:
- Functionality: easy to set up and use
- Group friendly: minimum of 2 microphones
- Sound: good quality microphones
- User-friendly instructions
- Song choice: comprehensive song catalog
- Long-term use: ability to add new songs
- Pitch: key changing ability
- Tempo control
- Competition: point scoring ability
There are many types of karaoke machines to choose from and you can make a simple purchase decision by working out which features appeal to you and your guests the most. Based on my experience as a karaoke host, I believe that a great machine should be easy to operate and there should be a good range of songs to choose from. Most karaoke participants will be happy to overlook some of the fancier features as long as they get to have a go.
Prior to making your purchase, its also important to have a budget in mind. There are some amazing-looking karaoke machines out there with impressive functionality, but having all the bells and whistles may also come at a high price tag. Once you’ve decided what you’re prepared to spend, its highly likely that you’ll find something suitable within your price range, especially if you’re prepared to purchase your machine online.
Planning Your Karaoke Party
Once you’ve selected and purchased your karaoke machine, you can start preparing to host an awesome event. Its a good idea to spend some time familiarizing yourself with your newly acquired gadget: learn how to turn the unit on and off, find out how to select and change songs, and learn how to turn on any extra features such as point scoring, key changing etc (and don’t be afraid to read the instruction manual!).
To get your guests singing as early as possible at the party, you can also pre-arrange the following:
- Turn your unit on early in the day and charge your microphones if necessary.
- Cut up song request slips where participants can write: their name, the song name & the song number. This will speed up the song selection process on the night.
- Ask a friend, couple or group (in advance) to sing the opening song – try not to ask professional singers as this might discourage your guests from having a go! Ideally ask someone who is a bit of a “clown”.
- Send around songs lists throughout the function so that your guests can start to think about which song/s they might like to sing.
By following these simple steps, you’ll boost your chances of hosting an unforgettable event.
If you’ve ever attended or hosted a successful karaoke party, please share your experience by leaving a comment below.
Yours in song,
Discovering Backing Tracks
Approximately one year ago, my vocal group was asked perform a set of songs with a live band at another group’s event. After agreeing to take on the gig, we set out and did what any professional vocal group would do: we did a bit of research on the likely audience and we picked a set of suitable songs. We then provided copies of all songs and music to the musicians so that they could prepare for our upcoming rehearsals.
We had approximately six rehearsals with the band prior to the function and as the weeks passed, it became clear that the band members were inadequately prepared for our set and we started to fear the worst for our performance. It all erupted a few days before the show when we attempted a full run through of our songs at the venue and the band made mistake after mistake. In fact, of the ten songs we were meant to perform, the band could not play even one in its entirety. We had to make a really tough call and we chose to ‘fire’ the band!
They had completely let us down and with only days to go before the performance, we had only one option left – to perform with backing tracks.
Backing Tracks Save The Day
This whole experience put us under a great deal of stress, but I was pleasantly surprised by the number of advantages that backing tracks offered over using a live band:
- Backing tracks can sound exactly like the original song
- The song structure is fixed which lends itself nicely to choreographed moves
- Singer are never left wondering (or guessing) when to start singing or how to end the song
- Backing tracks can be purchased with our without backing vocals to suit solo singers or groups
Stealing The Show
I’m proud to say that all of our hard work and preparation paid off. Because we knew our lyrics and dance moves inside out, substituting live music for backing tracks was quite straight forward. Once we started our first song, it didn’t take long at all for the audience to be up on their feet and it was truly amazing to perform in front of a packed dance floor. This will definitely be a night that I won’t forget – not so much because of the success of the actual night, but because we were able to make the most of a bad situation. And yes, the backing tracks helped a lot!
Have you ever sung along to a backing track or watched a performance involving backing tracks? If so, please leave a comment below – I’d love to hear about your experience.
Yours in song,