If you happen to visit Korea, have watched tons of K-drama, or just staying here for some time, you must have come across the word Noraebang (노래방). Let’s break down what the word actually means. “Norae (노래)” means sing, and “bang (방)” means room; therefore it is basically a room where people sing, and you have guessed it right, a karaoke bar.
But here comes a disclaimer, you should never say Karaoke in Korea because it is a Japanese origin word. In Korea, you should always refer to the singing room as Noraebang because you don’t want to make the nationals angry by labeling their favorite pastime by a name given by their eastern neighbors.
What is Noraebang?
Noraebang is mostly a private room where you and your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, and business associates can play music videos and sing out the lyrics with the caption provided in the videos itself. The system enables you to sing with musical accompaniment. Within these enclosed doors, limited to you and your companions, you finally get a safe environment, free of judgment to sing, whatever you want, however you want.
Is It Expensive?
The price is usually reasonable. A cheaper, simple Noraebang with a couch and economical sound system will cost around $5 (USD), and for standard and well-furnished set-up with a few more amenities run approximately $10-20 (USD) per hour. But as we already know, the sky is the limit for people looking for some whoop. Ultra-exclusive, lavish and expensive Noraebang can reach up to $1000 dollars and more on spending more hours. What is so special about these Noraebangs? They have personal waitresses and complimentary champagne, whiskey, and drinks of your choice to offer.
Are Noraebangs Just Singing Rooms?
In Korea, Noraebang is very common, you will find them literally in every other corner of the streets. You will find them in various sizes, shapes, categories and the category depend upon the neighborhood where it resides. You can have alcohol-free Noraebangs and places that serve alcohol. A typical Noraebang is equipped with microphones, remote controls, couches, a large screen where video and lyrics are displayed, mood décor, could be disco lights, tambourines etc. They also sell drinks and food and give you a complete package of good times with friends in one place.
Another astonishing fact is that most Noraebangs will don’t mind if you bring your own alcohol. Once you check in, you will be given a big binder from where you can pick and choose your favorite songs and then you also get a quick guide on how to use the equipment in the same place as well. The structure is such that of the recording studio, thus soundproof, the sound will not go out of the room on either side of the hallway.
It is the most popular and celebrated pastime, a quintessential Korean social experience. Family, friend squads, students, co-workers, all categories of groups participate in this fun and wholesome way of enjoyment. You just can’t miss the authentic forms of entertainment night out. You will find that most people, after having a tiresome day at the office, come to enjoy a night out in Noreabangs. However, amongst all that fun, you need to remember certain things very essentially, and those are the “Noraebang Rules of Conduct.”
Noraebang Rules of Conduct
Rule number one, DON’T hog the microphone. This is probably the most obvious rule you can have, given that scenario. It is also convenient for your fellow companions to enjoy, so don’t pick choose ten songs for yourself, stick to one or two of your favorites. And if you do not opt for a private Noraebang, then this is your strict duty and must be adhered to.
This might sound absurd but choose upbeat songs. In public places, especially in a sing-along type of situation, you don’t want to fill up your playlist with a series of sad and ballad songs. Rather choose upbeat songs or, even better, the so-called “Karaoke songs,” which have catchy beats that your friends don’t get bored and you don’t get embarrassed.
The next and the last one is for when you participate in a public Naraebang make sure you avoid the Priority Reserve Button, this button basically moves whatever song you choose, right in front of the queue directly. You should only use it in an emergency situations such as when you have to leave early or your friends agree to let you sing before their turn.
Thus, you should definitely visit the Noraebang if you want to wish to get the real essence of Korean life.
Check out the 5 Best Korean Karaoke Machines For A Musical Delight.
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