rockaoke australia lyrics

Live band karaoke and lyrics

The story behind the technology – Live band karaoke and lyrics. 

This is a little story about how we refined our live band karaoke lyrics experience and how we believe we made it a WINNING product!  You see, Live band karaoke gigs can be precarious at times.  There are so many factors that go in to making a band sound tight, perform well and sound great.  These mainly come from rehearsals.  But with Rockaoke gigs, the singers have never rehearsed with the band before.  This was one of the main reasons why in London, so many musicians just couldn’t deal with this idea.  At the time, I was in one of them.  So how did we resolve this matter to make Rockaoke enjoyable for everyone?

looking at lyrics on a pageFirstly, we all realised that the biggest barrier lay in the fact that most people can’t remember lyrics.  So we thought, hey, simple, let’s print them out on paper for people to read.  We did this for 3 years in the UK.  But as we got more and more gigs under our belt, we started to see this work against us.  Don’t get me wrong, it worked well for the singers who really knew their stuff.  But that was only a small percentage of them; most punters really couldn’t remember the structure of the song.   And why would they?  That is always the bands job, we could never expect punters to remember where the bridge is, how long the solo is, where to cut out, how long the 3rd chorus is and so on.  Our singers were getting frustrated that lyrics would stop on the paper, or that the band wouldn’t let them know what was coming up.  As you can appreciate, these are things that are ironed out during rehearsals, not during a gig.  As band members, we spent more time pointing to lyrics on a music stand and yelling directions (over loud music) instead of playing our instruments.  To be honest, this frustrated the heck out of me.  I wanted to make sure that we put on the best show as possible and you can’t do that if you are trying to baby foot the singer around.  This is not the singers fault at all, they are not professional singers, they are not expected to memorise lyrics and know a song back to front.  Something had to change.


Coming back to Australia, my mate Andy and I set our sights on developing a system in which could help all singers sing the song while not having to remember the structure of the song., basically, when and when not to sing.  It took us over a year, and I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details, but we devised a way for the bands to play in sync with a video that displayed the lyrics on the go.  The videos themselves take about 2 hours each to produce, so hundreds of hours have been put in to this tireless endeavor.  Needless to say we couldn’t do it without a myriad of apple products (damn you apple – no thank you actually).  This unique system would highlight the lyrics at the point you needed to sing them (Just like karaoke I guess).  This is what we needed to launch Rockaoke in Australia.  We could then make it transferable so all bands can use this system.  We were also able to send the lyrics feed out into TV’s in the venue which would add something that we never realised at the time – The audience was able to sing along with the band! Genius (if I don’t say so myself).

Some people might criticise the system for “locking” the bands in to a structure.  Some musicians even believe this (I think it is because most musos are lazy and this makes us learn the song correctly…heaven forbid – Isn’t that why we get paid!) But hey, that is the small sacrifice we have to make to ensure everyone has a good time.  After all, this not Karaoke and this is not a Jam night.  This is an experience.  An experience that we have the ability and know-how to share with all lovers of music.  An experience that we have the rare opportunity to give and that makes us feel pretty proud.  But Rockaoke is really a team effort.  It is important to the integrity of the entire show that everyone is on the same page (literally).  That is why I believe you won’t get a better live band karaoke experience anywhere!

In my upcoming posts, I’ll be discussing all things that singers need and want to know about performing with a band.  I’ll be sharing some secret and some less obvious tricks of the trade to help give you all a better understanding of the inner workings of a band, and ultimately make it more fun for you guys!  Stay tuned!



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