The Guide to Doing Karaoke in China

Karaoke in China isn't just about singing; it's a social event where friends bond, special moments are celebrated, and even business meetings happen.


Whether you're a karaoke pro or a first-timer, this guide will help you navigate the world of Chinese KTV 🎤


The Guide to Doing

Karaoke in China

              

Karaoke is a beloved pastime activity where people sing along to music videos in private rooms. 

In China, everyone refers to karaoke as KTV (pronounced "kay-teeh-weeh"). You'll often hear friends ask:

去KTV吗?

Qù KTV ma?

Let's go to karaoke?


 NOTE.
KTV is so popular in China that it has been taken to the next level with tiny, self-service booths that let you rock out anytime, anywhere.


1




01. Booking a Room
You can book a KTV room directly at the venue or use the app 大众点评 (Dàzhòng Diǎnpíng) for online reservations. Just type "KTV" in the search bar, and choose a location that suits you.

大众点评
Dàzhòng Diǎnpíng

Dazhong Dianping

A popular app for making
reservations and checking reviews.

01. Room Size 

Most KTVs offer rooms for various room sizes - from small rooms for 1-5 people to large party rooms for over 20 guests.

Here are the typical options:
  • 小包 (xiǎo bāo) - small room (1-5 guests)
  • 中包 (zhōng bāo) - medium room (5-10 guests)
  • 大包 (dà bāo) - large room (10-20 guests)
  • 豪华包 (háohuá bāo) - deluxe room (20+ guests)

02. Duration of Stay
When booking, you'll need to decide on the duration of your stay. KTVs offer hourly rates, and you can often get discounts for booking longer sessions.

💡Primetime tends to be more expensive, especially in the evenings and on weekends. For better deals, consider going during off-peak hours.


欢唱时间
huānchàng shíjiān

duration of stay


 NOTE.
When your time is up, you can ask to extend your session (续时 xù shí) for an additional cost.

03. Special Packages
You can often take advantage of 套餐 (tàocān), or package deals. They include a set number of hours for the room, along with food and drink options.

套餐
tàocān

package deals


 NOTE.
It's worth checking out the package deals options by asking:

这个时间段包含套餐吗?
Zhè ge shíjiān duàn bāohán tàocān ma?
Does this timing include a package deal?


02. Doing KTV Like a Pro

01. Choosing Songs

Choosing a song (点歌 diǎn gē) at KTV is a no-brainer. Karaoke machines offer a wide selection of songs in different languages and genres 🎤


Here are a few ways of searching for songs:

  • 搜索 (sōusuǒ) · use the search function;

  • 分类 (fēnlèi) · browse through the categories;

  • 歌手 (gēshǒu) · browse through the singers;

  • 排行榜 (páiháng bǎng) · browse the top charts

  • 语言 (yǔyán) · browse by the language

If you enjoy singing, you probably have your own list of favorite songs. Sharing playlists is also a good way to make friends and bond over music:


歌单
gēdān

playlist


02. Singing Modes

When it comes to KTV, Chinese people take it very seriously and often sing with impressive skill. If you're not confident in your singing abilities, use the 原唱 (yuánchàng) function to let the original singer lead while you sing along.

原唱
yuánchàng

to sing with the original

singer's voice in the background


And once you've gained some experience and started feeling like a karaoke pro, challenge yourself by singing without the original voice in the background.


伴唱
bànchàng

to sing without the original

singer's voice in the background


03. KTV Rules


It's essential to respect each other's song choices and take turns selecting songs. Everyone has different musical tastes, so letting everyone have their moment to shine is key. Avoid being a mic hog (麦霸 màibà) and don't monopolize the microphone at the KTV party. It's also not polite to cut off (切歌 qiēgē) someone else's song to sing their own.


切歌
qiēgē

to cut off someone else's song


麦霸
màibà

mic lord, mic hog



03. KTV Phrases

Once inside your private KTV room, the real fun kicks off! Here are some useful phrases you can use: 

你唱得真好!
Nǐ chàng de zhēn hǎo!
You sing really well!

你先唱吧。
Nǐ xiān chàng ba.
You sing first.

我们一起唱!
Wǒmen yìqǐ chàng!
Let's sing together!

你想唱什么?
Nǐ xiǎng chàng shénme?
What do you want to sing?

 BONUS 

Take it Further


KTV is a fantastic way to improve your Mandarin! Here are some easy Chinese songs our teachers suggest you to sing at karaoke:

  • 月亮代表我的心

This song is a classic love song. The memorable lyrics are easy to sing along to, even for beginners.


月亮代表我的心》

"Yuèliang Dàibiǎo Wǒ de Xīn"

"The Moon Represents My Heart"
🔍 Search for: 邓丽君 (Dèng Lìjūn)

  • 小苹果

It's a catchy and fun song from 2014 with easy lyrics, perfect for everyone to sing along and enjoy.