Lei Chic It was an awesome Tuesday night: an hour alone with a new episode of must-Glee TV.

And as you're humming Afternoon Delight (as sung by John Stamos and Lea Michelle) around the office, you’re actually waiting for tonight as J-Lo, Steven Tyler and Randy take on the top 13 on American Idol.

It’s so inspirational your friends are planning something you haven’t done in years - a Karaoke Party. They say it’s just like riding a mike, but your last experience hit anything but a high note. So how can you make sure your rendition of Fireworks doesn’t blast into the greatest hits of bad singers on YouTube?

Take note: we asked award-winning performer and recording artist Cathy Foy-Mahi and former Society of Seven member and Jasmine Trias vocal coach William Daquioag for some tips to keep you from falling flat.

1 – Don’t drink too much
We know, we know, you need a few just to get up the liquid courage to pick up the microphone. But too many throws off your timing, pitch, and Foy-Mahi says you could end up singing too loud and seriously damage your vocal chords. Daquioag adds alcohol actually dries out your throat, putting an unwanted raspy spin on your rendition of Separate Lives . If you’re really nervous, make sure your audience has a few. Everyone sounds better with beer ears.

2 – Hold the microphone a comfortable distance away
Foy-Mahi says too close, and you’ll sound distorted and blast the room. Too far, and no one will hear you. Keep it about chin level, pointed at your mouth and be ready to adjust.

But Randy’s right. The most important tip

3 – Song choice, Song choice, Song choice dawg!
There’s no point in straining on a song that’s too high or too low. If you’re in pain, your audience will be too. So find an artist that you can sing without too much trouble and stick to it. We searched online and found these suggestions.

*Get By With a Little Help From my Friends – Written for Ringo Starr’s limited range, most of the Beatles song has is composed of just five notes.  Also try Yellow Submarine.
*Material Girl – Madonna, most of Madonna’s songs aren’t too difficult. Ditto for Britney Spears.
*Tainted Love – Soft Cell
*I Want to Be Sedated – The Ramones. The lyrics consist of just 10 lines, used over and over and over again.
*Karma Chameleon – Boy George
*(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
*Tequila – The Champs. If you can find it in rotation, the lyrics consist of just one word said three times. One caveat; you may have to dance to fill the instrumental time.

Don’t Ever Sing:
*Anything by Mariah, Celine, Christina or almost anything by Whitney unless you have mad skills. Daquioag says the one he’s heard butchered the most, I Will Always Love You.
*Bohemian Rhapsody & Welcome to the Jungle are harder than you think
Foy-Mahi could also live without ever hearing Living on a Prayer or I Will Survive

On the Fence:
*Anything by Journey. Karaoke forums agree Steven Perry is difficult, but so many sing along they’ll cover up your cracking voice.

Cathy Foy-Mahi is the founder of All Hawaii Entertainment, offering Polynesian and continental performances for any occasion. Contact her at cathy@allhawaiientertainment.com William Daquioag owns The Performing Artists Academy in Kapolei, which offers drama, dance and music classes. Call 808.682.5857 for more information.

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