If you’re a fan of Korean music, just the names of these famous K-pop groups probably get your heart racing and your toes tapping.
You may even find yourself singing along while you watch your favorite Korean music videos.
But wait—if you’re already singing along, you may as well take your K-pop skills one step further and warm up your pipes for a little K-pop karaoke.
Best of all, doing K-pop karaoke is so much more than a fun, addictive pastime. K-pop karaoke can be one of the best ways to learn Korean with K-pop. Here’s all you need to know to tune up your Korean skills with K-pop karaoke.
Why Do K-pop Karaoke?
First and foremost, doing K-pop karaoke is fun and social. Because it’s fun, you’re more likely to want to do it. And if you want to do karaoke, you might do it more often, thereby advancing your Korean skills. And associating your Korean skills with fun will probably serve as an added motivator to keep learning.
Plus, doing K-pop karaoke can help you learn vocabulary and grammar. Korean songs are chock-full of useful, common vocabulary. Not only that, they often illustrate valuable grammar rules. Doing K-pop karaoke will reinforce vocabulary and grammar, making them easier to remember down the road. If you ever forget a rule, 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 aloud. When studying Korean, it can be hard to work in some speaking practice, but doing K-pop karaoke gives you the pronunciation practice you need without the intimidation of having to put together your own sentences and ideas from scratch.
Additionally, you can use K-pop karaoke as a way to connect with Korean culture. South Korea loves K-pop. Of course, so does the rest of the world, but that doesn’t negate the fact that K-pop both reflects and influences Korean culture. Doing K-pop karaoke can help you connect with this popular Korean pastime and learn more about common themes in Korean music.
In fact, that’s what FluentU is all about: taking in the local culture while you learn the Korean language.
You may even find your favorite K-pop music video in the FluentU library!
The immersive, entertaining content makes grammar and vocabulary much more memorable. FluentU’s enhanced video player even comes with interactive captions: Click any word for an instant definition and native pronunciation.
Watch FluentU’s videos on your web browser or, better yet, take them on the go when you download the app at the iTunes or Google Play store.
How to Maximize the Learning Potential of K-pop Karaoke
Study song lyrics ahead of time.
Going into any karaoke experience completely cold is dangerous, but doing so in Korean could be particularly challenging. 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 the meanings of each word. However, you should also try to learn the meaning of the songs. Songs are so much more than a combination of their words, so pay attention to the underlying meaning.
Your performance will benefit, but you also could 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 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 independent of your favorite numbers.
Memorize lyrics to use as models for vocabulary and grammar rules.
Memorizing lyrics can help you the next time you do karaoke, but it can also improve your Korean skills. That’s because memorizing key lyrics can help you remember vocabulary words you might otherwise forget. Even years later, you may be able to remember these words just by running through the song in your head.
Having trouble with a grammar rule? Memorizing song lyrics can help with this, too! If you find a lyric that uses the grammar rule you’re struggling with, you can use it as a model whenever you need to use that rule in the future.
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 to think about word meaning, rewind to try again and mess up without any fear of embarrassment.
However, 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.
Sing up a Storm with These 12 K-pop Karaoke Resources
Available: iOS | Android
Smule is all about karaoke.
Best of all, you don’t have to search hard to find your favorite Korean songs, because Smule allows you to browse by country. With dozens of great K-pop songs, you’ll have plenty to sing. While Smule doesn’t offer the latest hits, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some songs you’ll love. 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 Smule provide the Korean lyrics, but you can also choose to 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, you can watch karaoke uploads by other users, giving you the feel of a more traditional karaoke experience without the awkwardness of having to hide your face when bad performances make you cringe.
Available: iOS | Android
Everysing is another great karaoke app that has a lot in common with Smule. You can sing duets with your favorite performers, sing solos of your favorite songs and share videos with your friends.
Everysing currently advertises over 30,000 free karaoke songs. Plus, Everysing updates songs daily. And if you’re not in the mood to do a long number, Everysing also allows you to sing highlights instead.
Perhaps most excitingly, Everysing allows users to start clubs, which means that you and your Korean-speaking friends can easily exchange videos.
The one caveat is that accessing Korean content can be a bit tricky with Everysing. Due to copyright issues, not all songs in the app are available in every country (though Everysing is working on this), so you’re likely to find more Korean content if you’re located in Korea. Additionally, there are some user reports of Korean songs abruptly vanishing.
If you love your Android device almost as much as you love K-pop, K-pop Karaoke might be the app you’re looking for.
K-pop Karaoke is an Android app dedicated exclusively to Korean karaoke. You can sing your favorite songs, and K-pop Karaoke will even assist you with optional romanization and/or English lyrics.
However, K-pop Karaoke offers a lot more than karaoke alone. Avid K-pop fans can also access bios of their 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 K-pop Karaoke’s forums, which could also be a great place to find your next conversation exchange partner.
Available: iOS | Android
Everyone already knows you’re a star, but why not prove the point? With DingaStar, you can unleash your inner K-pop star on the world!
DingaStar focuses exclusively on K-pop. Songs are updated frequently, allowing you to access recent hits, such as “뚜두뚜두” — “DDU-DU DDU-DU” by BLACKPINK.
And once you find your favorite song, you’ll have plenty of options for what to do with it. DingaStar allows you perform songs as a solo and/or as a duet with a friend. Once you’ve recorded, you can share your performance with other users. If you need a little extra karaoke motivation, you can also participate in events, such as challenges.
Too shy to try K-pop karaoke right away? DingaStar still has some awesome resources. You can talk to other K-pop fans and/or watch their recordings until you build up your confidence to make your own.
Available: iOS | Android
KaraFun offers both online and app-based karaoke, and they offer a ready-made playlist for K-pop songs. With this playlist, you can sing 33 of K-pop’s biggest hits!
All the songs offer a karaoke option so you only hear backing vocals as you rock out. Simply click on the song you want to sing, and it opens up in a separate window. In the web player, you can hear the song, and sing-along to on-screen lyrics that include Korean Hangul, transcriptions in the Latin alphabet and an English translation.
You can also search for specific songs that may not be in the K-pop playlist. With a library of over 37,000 songs, there’s a good chance that all your K-pop favorites are there!
You can also customize the order of songs that you want to sing by using KaraFun’s “queue” option. Simply add a song to the queue and gain complete control of your K-pop concert.
There is a demo version available online and in the apps that offers shortened versions of songs, but users will need to upgrade to a subscription in order to access all songs in full. If you’re looking for K-pop songs for a single karaoke event, however, the super affordable “Party Pass” gives you 2-day access to the complete library.
Available: iOS | Android
You might 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 long as you’re okay with the occasional ad, it’s free.
But even Korean students may not have realized the secret, hidden power of Spotify: K-pop karaoke playlists.
Because users can create playlists, you’ll find an existing K-pop karaoke playlist that contains fun songs like “이름이 뭐예요?” — “What’s Your Name?” by 포미닛 — 4Minute. But if that’s not enough for you, you can also search for karaoke tracks of your favorite songs and make your own playlist!
K-Pop Karaoke Hits
Don’t think that Spotify has a monopoly on awesome 포미닛 — 4Minute karaoke tracks! If you’re a fan of the girl group, you may as well just download this album of karaoke tracks for 10 of the group’s popular songs. Tracks include popular songs, such as “Volume Up.”
Need to see the lyrics to give your best performance? AZ Lyrics has both Hangul and romanized lyrics for many songs.
Super K-Pop Karaoke
Super K-Pop Karaoke is another downloadable option with plenty of addictive K-pop karaoke tracks.
The album features songs from a number of performers. You’ll find plenty of catchy numbers, such as 24시간이 모자라 — “24 Hours” by 선미 — Sunmi.
Plus, because there are 50 songs on this album, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from to match your K-pop mood.
Karaoke Stuffs is an excellent YouTube channel for K-pop fans, and it offers lots of songs as well as karaoke challenges that K-pop addicts and Korean learners will love.
These challenges aren’t just straight forward 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.
In addition to its multiple karaoke challenges, the channel also has instrumental tracks of popular K-pop songs with on-screen lyrics! For example, 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 putting together terrific K-pop karaoke challenges. These challenges transition through multiple songs, and your task as karaokist 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 be able to 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 some 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.
Kumyoung Korean Karaoke Singing Machine
Just because there are plenty of apps and websites to fill all your K-pop karaoke needs doesn’t mean you can go with something more traditional. Case in point: This karaoke machine.
It has two wireless microphones, perfect for duets, and supports 30,000 Korean, Japanese and English songs. While it’s definitely a little spendy, it could be a dream come true for the avid K-pop karaokist.
But be warned: This machine is Korean, so the user manual, menu and remote are all in Korean. For advanced students, this is a great opportunity to use your reading skills. For beginning students, this could be an overwhelming exercise in futility and disappointment.
Find 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, or K POP KARAOKE in Katy, Texas.
If you’re in the New York area, check out Gagopa Karaoke. While it doesn’t focus exclusively on K-pop, it offers songs in a variety of languages, including Korean.
And this is just a taste of what is available in the United States. You can also research options that are available in your area.
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.
Ask your local karaoke purveyor to add K-pop.
If your favorite karaoke joint doesn’t offer K-pop, you still may be able to convince them. After all, with K-pop’s popularity, there are probably some other people in your community who would love a nearby K-pop karaoke option.
Talk to your local karaoke venue to see if they’d be open to offering some Korean options. To be exceptionally convincing, you could even form your own K-pop karaoke club first to show that there are enough interested people to introduce Korean options.
So sing out! Doing K-pop karaoke might be the most fun you have while learning Korean.
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