Improving Reading Speed for Karaoke

I’ve realized that I want to try improving my reading speed specifically for karaoke. I realized the other day while doing karaoke that I stumble a lot over the kana only parts of lyrics specifically. I tend to do a lot better when singing along with someone (although it’s still difficult) and when solo-ing a song, I sometimes lose the line until the final ending or kana of that line. Funnily enough, WK seems to have helped a lot with the kanji aspect as I don’t have problems keeping pace with singing along to the lyrics when they have kanji I’ve learned from here.

So my main problem is that I tend to get scrambled on the kana only parts of songs. I’d like to improve so I can sing along better when invited to duet a song (especially ones that I just know how they sound and haven’t bothered to try to understand the lyrics) and also so I can solo better. I’m really not too worried about increasing my comprehension since I know that’ll come sooner or later with the rest of my studies (although I assume that will take several years). And I’m also not going to try to completely understand a song I’ve been asked to duet (if I like it, I can look up the lyrics later). For now, I read kana daily on WK and in my daily life, but I just can’t read it aloud at a sustained speed. I plan to try using kanjiroids’ kana function more often, but what else do you think I can do to improve my reading speed of straight kana?

I’m hoping to get good enough to sing songs in general (probably nothing rap or known for being fast though) in the next 6m-1y. I’m trying to optimistically hope for an end to this pandemic…


I’m not sure if this will help or not, but a lot of kids books have very little kanji. I find that this paradoxically makes them harder to understand, but if you can access such books via friends/library/wherever, you can practice reading them aloud and it is mostly kana.
Basically, the more you read, the better you get…


Practice practice practice. :slight_smile: Besides reading books with more kana, you could just pick random songs and try to sing them on the fly. Repeat a given song several times, and then move on to a different song.

There is literally one song that I know well enough and can read the lyrics quickly enough to actually sing in full, so I understand your pain. Not that I’m actually doing karaoke. I just like to sing along when listening to music. :sweat_smile:


I have tried reading picture books in Japanese before although I don’t think that those will be super helpful. Although maybe the problem is that I should be trying to speed read them? At the very least, maybe they’ll help me be able to sing the non chorus parts of ♪おさかな天国〈振り付き〉 - YouTube without memorizing those lines lol.

I’ll see what I can do to trick the youtube algorithm into giving me random karaoke songs rather than… whatever odd criteria it’s using now (bye anime pvs, cat vids, and JoJo).

It extra hurts because when you just look at the lyrics or try to listen to it, it makes sense, but then singing in real time is just pain.



Most music services like Apple, Spotify, etc will have lyrics for the music playing. I always use this to sing along to songs even when I know a lot of the words.

You can also try singing along to artists who tend to use a lot of kana lyrics. Official Hige Dandism seems to be good for this.

Singing along to really fast lyrics helps too if you’ve memorized the song. I know the following by heart phonetically but reading the lyrics during the fast part actually helped with reading faster in general.


I find singing along doesn’t help as much as I would like. I do it a lot in my car, but I don’t think it’s helped me too much.

I don’t have the services you listed, but I do pay for Youtube music, so I can try to get karaoke versions to come up more often…

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Not sure that it’ll help, cause it only uses Romaji:

But perhaps it’ll help you get more familiar with some of the songs.

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Yeah, my problem is specifically with kana. Kanji and romaji are fine. Perhaps someone else will be able to make use of it though

That may be a good idea to try. Maybe do a session of 3 or 4 songs that you’ve never heard and try to sing along.

The Sing! Karaoke app from Smule is something else I do quite a bit. Mostly for English but I’ve tried a bunch of Japanese songs. It’s pretty good because you can just do it yourself with no pressure or you can join someone else.

The last one I actually posted was 8 months ago but I still use it a lot.

Uh, don’t actually look that one up. It’s pretty rough for me. :joy:

Warm up with sakamoto kyu

Ps. If anyone is bad at singing, this should be your song. Anything old man genre
(And the whole snack bar will like you)


Speed getting you down?
feel good again with

Post twice for aesthetic


I’m not a big fan of it for that pricetag, so I’ll pass :sweat_smile:

absolutely gonna do this though

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not my cup of tea but thank you, lol

I am still a very slow reader so probably my advice isn’t worth that much :sweat_smile: but what helped me quite a bit was the read aloud sessions we did for the Kemono book club. Of course that was not especially kana-heavy text but I still found it helpful because normal text also contains a fair share of kana. That book club is over but a similar one will start on Nov 6th:


That does sound nice, but I can’t do Sundays that late my time :frowning:

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