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Music Lessons for Adults with No Time To Practice? Try Karaoke.

Karaoke Machine Note #4: Music Lessons for Adults with No Time To Practice? Try Karaoke.

Copyright 10/2011 by

One of the best ways for adults to practice music is by listening to music while accomplishing activities they cannot avoid. Mentally rehearsing music makes time spent on routine tasks well-spent. An adult may wash the dishes while listening to, and thereby learning, a musical selection the adult intends to play on an instrument.

Karaoke can assist a singer even further than an instrumentalist, who cannot play while working; obviously, a singer may sing along.

Some individuals will be able to sing with a CDG, sometimes called CD with Graphics (lyrics). Would-be karaoke machine owners should note that, on CDGs, the songs will appear only once, with only a faint melody line, and no vocal track. The CDG will have more songs than a DVD or CDGM (a CDGM contains a multiplex track which has a vocal rendition of the song), but will not provide a vocal rendition from which lyrics and style may be learned.

Alternatively, a multiplex CDG (a CDGM) provides a vocal track. With a CDGM, a karaoke singer or vocal student can sing along with a model. This will free the singer from the need to view lyrics as he/she performs work. A vocal track will be available with DVD, or DivX, as well.

A karaoke machine with automatic vocal cancel can stop the recorded vocalist whenever the karaoke vocalist starts to sing. Automatic vocal cancel generally operates with a multiplex track. The vocal line will cancel when the singer starts, and will start up when the singer stops singing into the microphone, making learning a new song easier. If vocal cancel is automatic but one wants to keep the vocal track going while a song is being learned, a singer may simply turn off the microphone.

A feature similar to vocal cancel, known generally as vocal elimination, is available on some machines. Vocal elimination will remove vocals from ordinary CDs. See VocoPro's KC300Pro and KC6000 mixers. Another way to eliminate ordinary CD vocal lines is to experiment with stereo speakers to see if one will eliminate the vocal line.

A vocal eliminator isn't a perfect karaoke solution, but it does give a singer the option to use an existing library of CDs for singing karaoke.

These karaoke options make it more possible than ever for an adult to achieve a goal of playing an instrument better, or singing well, just by listening while performing ordinary tasks that otherwise would prevent music practice.

Karaoke machines with features such as pitch control, vocal cancel, and vocal elimination are available at More expensive karaoke machines allow for change of tempo, or recording.

Very affordable TASCAM trainers which don't entirely dampen the solo line, but can alter both tempo and pitch, are found, along with sheet music with CDs, at