The Singer Rotation List.
This is the very pulse of the Karaoke show. Karaoke Jockeys (KJs) know if they screw this up to often and their show will die a quick and painful death! Below are just a few of the many situations every good KJ must successfully learn to deal with in order to run a good show.
How Does Your Rotation Work?
Basically its first come first served. Karaoke rotations can get pretty complicated as the night goes on especially if the venue has a lot of singers. We never play favorites with our rotation but people do get confused as to how a proper rotation works. Lets say Sal, Cindy, Ray, Dawn, and Joe put
songs in. So the rotation is:
Now Iggy puts a song in while Joe is singing. Well its a good bet the rotation will go around again before Iggy is added because there might not be enough time for the KJ to look up Iggys song and cue it up before Joe is done singing. Now if Iggy puts his song in while someone from the top of the rotation is singing, then its a good bet that Iggy will be added to the end of the current rotation.
Johnny Come Late.
Scenario 1: Say we have singers that have been at the venue all night. At 1:30am two new singers walk in and we're at the top of the rotation. The new singers will probably get to sing if there is time, but logically we as KJs must give priorty to the singers that have been in the venue supporting us all night.
Scenario 2: Same situation with the 1:30am arrivals. Were at the top of the rotation the KJ just has time for the original singers plus one more, but Sal was set to sing the last song. She came up and asked if there was time before the new singers arrived so late in the evening and we told her yes. Guess what? Unfortunately the new singers are out of luck. To ensure youll be able to sing, please get to the venue early enough to get a spot in the rotation.
Scenario 1: Ive seen this happen time and time again. The owner of the venue comes up throws their weight around and demands their friend sing next or worse right as the show is ending. Rest assured we do argue the facts like other singers are waiting and they know their spot in the rotation, we just told someone they cant sing because the shows over Its frustrating for KJs because were made to look like an ass and it looks like were playing favorites. Were not employees of the bar but we are providing a service and we do have to earn a living. Whats a KJ to do? If you see this happening, go up to the owner and tell them its not fair. If they think they will lose a customer, maybe they will listen to the KJ next time.
Scenario 2: Can I sing next I have to go! If I had a dime for every time Ive heard this, Id be rich. Honestly we do understand youre excited to be singing and you want to squeeze in one more or your gang wants to hear that special song you do, but in reality its not fair to the other singers who have been waiting their turn. The most frustrating thing of all is when we do make an exception (Were only human and we do occasional fall for a sob story) and the person begging us to sing because the have to leave doesnt leave!!! Again the KJ looks like an ass!
Have a heart people were really doing the best we can and trying like heck to keep it fair and fun. Its really tough when people have been drinking and they wont take no for an answer. Theres nothing like getting threatened over a song.
Its simple duets count as your turn in the rotation.
Heres the rotation:
Scenario 1: Ray is next and he will be doing a duet with Dawn. Dawn will not sing again until the rotation goes around again.
Scenario 2: Iggy is up and has a duet with Cindy. Cindy will not sing after Sal in the next rotation because she already sang in this rotation as a single and now shes singing with Iggy.
Scenario 3: Sal is due up after Iggy finishes the current rotation but Sals next song is a duet with Iggy. If Sal doesnt have another single song in shell have to wait for Iggys next turn to sing.
These are just three out of the countless dilemmas a KJ might face as far as the rotation is concerned and thats just for duets!!!
I put my song in hours ago.
Scenario 1: Sometimes during all the commotion and controversy, KJs do make mistakes. If we did skip over you, youll be up A.S.A.P. probably next. We usually announce our screw up so the other singers know whats going on. Believe me regular singers know their place in the rotation and they are justifiably territorial about it, hey theyve been waiting to!
Scenario 2: The KJ has a huge rotation. Say we have 17 singers. Average song is four and a half minutes (Unless youre a Frank Zappa fan and his songs are like 10 minutes long! God I hate Frank Zappa!) anyway thats like 4.5 X 17 = 76.5 minutes!!! That means when your done with your song, youll have to theoretically wait over one hour to sing again. Dont get discouraged though, singers drop out of the rotation, singers dont have songs in, or they go outside to smoke, etc So stick around. As I stated before we diligently strive to keep the rotation as fair as possible and to keep it moving along.
The Star of the Show.
Please read our Commandments of Karaoke!!!
Someone runs up and wants to sing with the person starting their song. We step in and attempt to stop the run in, but the singer says its ok and allows the run in to sing. The run in is on the rotation. Guess what? The run in will be skipped in the current rotation because they are singing with the current singer and that will be considered a duet and that means that is the run ins turn in this rotation. Dont tell the KJ things like I was only doing back up! Remember others are waiting and they will feel cheated if you run up, sing with someone, then come up again and sing in the same rotation. Sorry fair is fair.
There are many variables, constantly changing situations and circumstances that affect a KJs rotation list. Most KJs will do their utmost to keep it fair and fun for everyone. I hope this article has given you some insight into some of what KJs have to deal with. We do love and appreciate our singing friends and we hope you understand sometimes it difficult to keep it organized!