Karaoke Kpop: 11 Resources to Help You Sing Up a Storm
If you’re a fan of Korean music, just hearing about famous K-pop groups like BTS and EXO probably get your heart racing, your toes tapping and your mouth singing along.
But wait—if you’re already singing along, you may as well take it a step further and warm up your pipes for a little K-pop karaoke.
Karaoke can be one of the best ways to learn Korean with K-pop. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
- 11 Karaoke Kpop Resources for a Popping Language Learning Sesh
- Why Do K-pop Karaoke?
- How to Maximize the Learning Potential of K-pop Karaoke
11 Karaoke Kpop Resources for a Popping Language Learning Sesh
Available on: iOS | Android
Smule is all about karaoke. It allows you to browse by country, so it’s pretty easy to find your favorite tunes to belt out.
With dozens of great K-pop songs, Smule gives you plenty to sing. For instance, “택시로 5분” — “5 Minutes by Taxi” by 미미시스터즈 — Mimi Sisters may be your next favorite jam.
Smule also offers plenty of resources to support your karaoke endeavors. Not only does it provide Korean lyrics, but you can also videotape yourself singing the number solo or as a duet with the original performer. Want your Korean language exchange partner to give you feedback? You can share the video or even broadcast live.
If you want a little listening practice, watch what other users upload to give you the feel of a more traditional karaoke experience—minus the awkwardness of having to hide your face when bad performances make you cringe.
Available on: Android
K-pop Karaoke is what it says on the tin: an Android app dedicated exclusively to Korean karaoke. Aside from a lineup of your favorite songs, it can also provide optional romanization and English lyrics.
And if you’re an avid K-pop fan, you can access bios of your favorite artists, official music videos, licensed products, tour dates, news and more. And there’s a special bonus for Korean students: you can chat about your favorite K-pop songs and performers in the forums, which could also be a great place to find your next conversation exchange partner.
Available on: iOS | Android
KaraFun offers both online and app-based karaoke, and they offer a ready-made playlist of K-pop songs.
All the songs offer a karaoke option so you only hear backing vocals as you rock out. In the web player, you can hear the song and sing along to on-screen lyrics that include Hangul and transcriptions in the Latin alphabet.
You can also search for specific songs that may not be in the K-pop playlist. With a library of over 35,000 songs, there’s a good chance all your K-pop favorites are there!
There’s a demo version available online and in the apps that offers shortened versions of songs, but users will need to upgrade to a subscription to access all of them in full.
Available on: iOS | Android
You may already have a Spotify account to listen to all your favorite songs. If you don’t, there’s no reason not to start one. As a Korean language student, you can use Spotify to find karaoke Kpop playlists that other users have created.
And if that’s not enough for you, you can also search for karaoke tracks of your favorite songs and make your own playlist!
Available on: iOS | Android
FluentU isn’t strictly a karaoke app like most of what’s been mentioned so far, but it can help you learn Korean via songs!
Here's a quick look at the variety of video choices available to you:
Each word in the interactive captions comes with a definition, audio, image, example sentences and more.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and easily review words and phrases from the video under Vocab.
Don't stop there, though. You can use FluentU’s unique quizzes to learn the vocabulary and phrases from the video through fun questions.
FluentU even tracks your progress and remembers all the words you've learned, making for a 100% personalized experience.
Review sessions use video context to help embed the words in your memory. The best part? You can access the full FluentU video library with a free trial!
Start using FluentU Korean on the website or download the app from the iTunes or Google Play store.
K-Pop Karaoke Hits
Available on: Apple Music
Are you a fan of 포미닛 — 4Minute, 투애니원 — 2NE1 and/or 소녀시대 — Girls’ Generation (SNSD)? Head over to Karaoke Masters’ page on Apple Music and download their album of karaoke tracks that include 10 of the groups’ most popular songs.
Unfortunately, Karaoke Masters doesn’t provide lyrics on their page, so you’ll have to look elsewhere online if you don’t know the songs by heart yet. But if you’re already pretty comfortable with your Korean or want to challenge yourself by belting out unfamiliar lyrics, then there’s no need for that extra step!
Super K-Pop Karaoke
Available on: Apple Music
Super K-Pop Karaoke is another downloadable option with plenty of addictive K-pop karaoke tracks.
Granted, there are only 50 tracks on the album and it hasn’t been updated since 2014. Still, you’ll find plenty of catchy numbers, such as 24시간이 모자라 — “24 Hours” by 선미 — Sunmi. No matter what you choose, you’re bound to find something that suits your mood!
TJ KARAOKE TJ 노래방 공식 유튜브채널
TJ KARAOKE is a regularly updated karaoke channel that features many of the latest hits in the K-pop world. The lyrics are entirely in Hangul with Romanizations, so if you want to give yourself a challenge and have a more immersive karaoke experience, you can try singing along to any of their featured songs.
Luckily, the channel sorts the videos into playlists according to artist, genre, etc., saving you the effort of having to scroll through the hundreds of selections on your own.
Just to give you a taste, here’s one of the fun ones: BOOMBAYAH by BLACKPINK!
Karaoke Stuffs is an excellent YouTube channel for K-pop fans. It offers lots of songs as well as karaoke challenges K-pop lovers and Korean learners are sure to enjoy.
And these challenges aren’t just straightforward karaoke. Instead, the videos cycle through multiple songs from multiple artists. While you’ll have access to the lyrics, your main challenge will be transitioning between the songs quickly and seamlessly.
Also, the channel has instrumental tracks of popular K-pop songs with on-screen lyrics! You can sing along to ChungHa’s hit “벌써 12시” — “Gotta Go” that reached number 1 in the Kpop Hot 100 list or Girls’ Generation’s debut single “다시 만난 세계” — “Into the New World.”
Pandeaux is another YouTube channel that puts together terrific K-pop karaoke challenges. These transition through multiple songs, and your job is to keep up and manage to sing all the song clips correctly. However, rather than sticking to songs by one artist, as some YouTube channels do, challenges often feature songs by multiple artists.
For instance, “Kpop Karaoke Challenge (End of the Year 2018 Special 2)” will take you through a whopping 30 songs by a variety of performers. You’ll have both Hangul and Romanized lyrics to guide you along, but it may take some practice to finally nail the challenge because you’ll need to know so many different songs and switch between them quickly.
Can’t challenge yourself enough? K-Worldwide is another YouTube channel with awesome K-pop karaoke challenges. Some videos offer Hangul, but others only offer Romanized lyrics, so you might want to look at the video carefully before trying to perform for a crowd.
Unlike other channels, these K-pop karaoke challenges often revolve around a sub-genre of K-pop. For instance, if you love rap, you might try “Kpop Random Karaoke Challenge #2 [Rap Version].” Ready for an intense experience? You can also try the “K-Challenge” playlist, which features an intense combination of karaoke and dance challenges.
Bonus: The in-person K-pop karaoke near you
With the international success of K-pop, there are plenty of establishments around the world that focus primarily on K-pop karaoke. Of course, you can find dedicated establishments across South Korea, but there are also some scattered throughout the world. For instance, in the United States, K-pop fans can enjoy karaoke at Kpop Karaoke in Annandale, Virginia.
However, even if your local karaoke hotspot doesn’t focus exclusively on K-pop or even advertise it as an option, it’s possible that they have some K-pop numbers available. Because K-pop has become a global hit, you never know where your favorite tunes will turn up, so you may want to reach out to see what your local establishments offer.
Why Do K-pop Karaoke?
First and foremost, doing K-pop karaoke is fun and social. You’re more likely to want to do it and often, thereby advancing your Korean skills. And associating your Korean skills with fun will probably serve as an added motivator to keep learning.
Also, Korean songs are chock-full of useful, common vocabulary and often illustrate valuable grammar rules. Doing K-pop karaoke will reinforce these concepts, making them easier to remember down the road. If you ever forget a rule or word, all you have to do is play through the song in your head to remember it.
K-pop karaoke can also serve as helpful pronunciation practice. Even if you don’t know much Korean and stick to easy Korean songs, you’re still saying the words out loud. Singing gives you the pronunciation practice you need minus the stress of putting together your own sentences and ideas from scratch.
Finally, you can use K-pop karaoke to connect with Korean culture. Language and culture are intertwined, and you cannot fully understand one without the other. By engaging in karaoke and immersing yourself in Korean songs, you can connect with this popular pastime and learn more about common themes in Korean music.
How to Maximize the Learning Potential of K-pop Karaoke
Study song lyrics ahead of time.
Going into any karaoke experience without any preparation is scary enough. Doing so in Korean can be particularly nerve-wracking. That’s why you should study the song lyrics ahead of time.
Not only will this improve your overall performance, but it can help you digest the vocabulary and grammar so you’re not left pondering the Korean language while you perform.
Don’t just learn lyrics—learn the meanings of songs.
Sure, it helps to learn the individual lyrics and meanings of each word. However, you should also try to learn the meaning of the songs as a whole. Your performance will benefit, and you will get better at interpreting subtext, which may come in handy in your next Korean conversation.
Speak the lyrics before you sing them.
Singing can be pretty stylized, so speaking the lyrics ahead of time will help you nail down the accurate pronunciations of the words. After all, you don’t want to have to sing every Korean word you learn from karaoke when it’s time to say them in real life!
Learning to speak the words ahead of time can remove them from the context of the song and help you understand them independently of your favorite numbers.
Memorize lyrics to use as models for vocabulary and grammar rules.
Memorizing lyrics won’t only help you the next time you do karaoke: it can also improve your Korean skills. That’s because knowing key lyrics can help you remember vocabulary words and grammar rules you might otherwise forget. Even years later, you may be able to remember these just by running through the song in your head.
Do karaoke alone or in a group.
Each method is beneficial in a different way, so try both!
If you do karaoke alone, you have more opportunities to pause and think about word meaning, rewind to try again and mess up without any fear of embarrassment.
On the other hand, doing Korean karaoke in a group is also wonderful. Your friends could give you the extra motivation and excitement you need to get into it. Plus, if you do karaoke with other people who speak Korean, you can even work in a little conversation practice between tunes.
So sing out! Karaoke Kpop might be the most fun you have while learning Korean.