What should a man look for in a great karaoke song? Well a song you love of course, but not every song is quite so easy for the average man to sing. There's a reason you don't hear Barry While hitting Mariah Carey whistle tones.

Of course nothing should stop you from singing your favorites. But if you're a guy looking for some easy karaoke songs to improve your singing or impress the crowd, we have some suggestions for you from Katie Sanakai of 30 Day Singer and Guitar Tricks.

How to choose a karaoke song

There are plenty of great men's songs out there, but finding one that hits the perfect balance of ease and fun can be a challenge. When choosing a song, try to find one that is:

  1. Memorable – Don’t choose anything too obscure. Instead find a song that people remember the words to and can sing along with. That said, try to pick something other than the top hit by that band. People don’t want to hear the same songs every time the go out and they’ll respect you for the variety you can bring.
  2. Short – Even if you are an amazing singer, other folks are looking forward to their turn and don’t want you to take over the stage for 5 minutes! Try to keep it in the 3-4 minute range.
  3. Upbeat – Sure, we can always use a great rock ballad to slow things down. But most of the time, karaoke patrons want something fun with a fast tempo.
  4. Keep it simple – Avoid too much background singing/harmony or complexity. Don’t get yourself in a situation where you can’t cover all the parts and are singing your own background vocals! Try to choose a song that relies on one main voice and still sounds good without lots of harmonies.
  5. Limited range – Don’t get caught singing a song that will get way out of your range, either too high (Queen, Bon Jovi, Journey) or too low (Johnny Cash). Make sure you’re singing a song you’ve done before. Try practicing it at home and maybe even record yourself singing to see if it’s a good fit. Might even be a good idea to do some vocal warmups on the way to the karaoke bar.

How to make your karaoke performance a success?

Karaoke is a two-way street. You are there to perform, but most of the night you’ll be listening as an audience member as well. The song you choose should be both something you love to sing, and also something you know the audience will enjoy.

Two men with guitars performing in a karaoke room in The Melody Club, Gothenburg.

Everyone comes out to a karaoke session hoping to smile, laugh, and sing along. It’s not supposed to be as serious as your weekly singing lessons. So keep the audience in mind as you choose. They don’t want to hear the same song 3 times in the same night (even if it’s the one you had in mind). Always have 3 or 4 songs in your back pocket when you go out to karaoke in case the inevitable happens: someone “steals” your song.

Easy karaoke songs for guys

Let’s take the top hits of karaoke and make a new suggestion from the same artist or in a similar style that will be a hit with the audience and make you sound like a star (without too much effort!).

1. Tell Her About It – Billy Joel

Instead of Billy Joel: “Piano man”, try “Tell her about it”. Sometimes ballads can slow down the fun of the night. As great as “Piano man” is, someone may have performed it and it doesn’t have the fun piano rock of most Billy Joel songs. Instead it’s a bit of a downer!

Billy Joel has a wealth of great tunes, so try “Tell her about it” instead. It’s upbeat, doesn’t have a very taxing range, and has lots of instrumental riffs to keep things fun. It harkens back to the music of the 50s and 60s and so will appeal to several generations of musicians. It’ll be one of those songs that make people say “I forgot about that one!”

Sing Tell Her About It karaoke here.

2. Angel From Montgomery – John Prine

Instead of “Wagon Wheel” by Bob Dylan, try “Angel from Montgomery” by John Prine. John Prine is a beloved composer, and “Angel” has a poetic, singable, chorus and a pretty narrow vocal range. It has been covered by many of the blues and country greats.

The song is told from the perspective of a woman, but is often performed by a man (Prine himself included), so you have to feel ok with that. “Wagon wheel” is one of those narrative songs that are full of lyrics and the verses are significantly harder than “Angel,” that has a clearer, simpler story and an equally compelling chorus.

Sing Angel From Montgomery karoke here.  

3. You Make My Dreams Come True – Hall and Oates

Instead of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, try “You Make my Dreams Come True” by Hall and Oates.“Don’t Stop” has a really high vocal range and clocks in at over 4 minutes. Steve Perry has a unique vocal range and a high belt voice, so it’s tough to imitate Journey’s style.

Released about the same time, “You Make My Dreams” is just as infectious, but has a more accessible singing style. The high notes can be sung in falsetto or light voice instead of a belt. The audience will like backing you up on this one and it’s only 3 minutes long.

Sing You Make My Dreams Come True karaoke.

4. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen

Instead of “Bohemian Rhapsody” try “Crazy little thing called love”. No one can sing like Freddie Mercury. He is a rock legend, and many of his songs display a really high belt voice that few can copy.

Some of the best, most famous Queen songs rely heavily on background vocals and are long songs (think “Bohemian” or “Somebody to Love”). In contrast, “Crazy little thing” isn’t dependent on the background vocals and it is based on a simple blues progression. It is also pitched lower than many Queen songs. This way you can honor Queen and do it justice at the same time.

Sing Crazy Little Thing Called Love karaoke here.

5. Wild Night – John Mellencamp and Me'Shell Ndegeocello

Instead of “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi, try “Wild Night” by Van Morrison/John Mellencamp and Me'Shell Ndegeocello. No one writes a great, singable chorus like Bon Jovi. But their top songs are also often over 4 minutes (some over 5) and they have key changes and background vocals galore. Instead, try “Wild Night” that has all the drama and power of Bon Jovi but in a more manageable package.

Sing Wild Night karaoke here.

Whatever song you choose, the most important thing about a night out singing karaoke is having fun. Be sure to invite your friends or make new ones at your local karaoke venue. Whether you’re in a karaoke bar or a private room, if you are a trained opera singer or if you’re just learning how to sing; pull up a chair, release your inhibitions and let your hair down a bit. Enjoy that awesome feeling of joining others in song and leave your ego at the door- karaoke is truly just about having fun and enjoying singing.