Q for Emily Gould, Person Who Does Karaoke A Lot, On Karaoke Tipping Etiquette

Q, from LOGAN SACHON: HOW TO TIP??????!!!!!! Does it change based on how GOOD you are? And what about if it’s a PIANO KARAOKE bar??????? Do you have to do it each song or can you drop a twenty at the end?

A, from EMILY GOULD: The best thing is to ask the KJ or bartender how much to tip. Seriously, this saves a lot of worry. Most places I go, $2 a song is considered solid, $1 chintzy but acceptable, anything more is for high-rollers or people who are apologizing in advance for dominating the mic.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT FOLKS: ASK (how much to tip) AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE (the answer of how much to tip).

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14 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

I didn’t even know this was a place where one tips!

blair (#1,962)

Thank you, this Q&A, for teaching me 1. to tip at karaoke and 2. that I’ve been using “chintzy” wrong my whole life (I think I mistake it for “ritzy,” which is evidently not synonymous)

wearitcounts (#772)

@blair i found that out about “pithy” not long ago. doesn’t it sound like pithy should mean the opposite of what it means? i can only conclude from our experiences that people in charge of words are sometimes wrong.

nonvolleyball (#305)

@wearitcounts see also: nonplussed (which people use like it means “unimpressed,” but which actually means “confused”).

wearitcounts (#772)

@nonvolleyball see also: bemused (which people use like it means amused, but it actually means confused).

nonvolleyball (#305)

@wearitcounts my new rule is to assume that any unfamiliar word actually means “confused” until I learn otherwise.

wearitcounts (#772)

@nonvolleyball +1 x 100000000

Derbel McDillet (#1,241)

Sooooo . . . I’ve been avoiding asking this because I feel like a jerk for not knowing, but should you tip when you pick up take-out food? Like if I pick up a pizza from a delivery place, should I still tip because the employee may be making less than minimum wage, or should I not tip because there was no delivery involved? Help!

lhorntx (#2,302)

@AconyBelle I struggle with answering that question too! Anyone have any thoughts?

nonvolleyball (#305)

@AconyBelle I don’t usually tip for takeout, but I used to tip $1 when I got carry-out pizzas from this fancyish place downtown because it felt more like they were doing me a favor.

then there was an incident in which they ran the $1 credit-card tip as $7–on a $14 carry-out pizza, & spoiler alert I am not a millionaire–& it was an unbelievable amount of hassle to get straightened out (which I felt compelled to do on principle).

…so now I don’t tip on carry-out unless I end up getting change that I can easily deposit in a tip jar. which is rare, because I don’t usually have cash in the first place. but I do tip well on dine-in & delivery!

honey cowl (#1,510)

@AconyBelle Yes! Tip! Even if it’s just a buck or two. Usually those tips go to the hosts, who are paid minimum wage. Minimum wage doesn’t look so bad compared to a server’s pittance pre-tips, but then hosts don’t get tips. And speaking as a former host tips are a nice thing to have.

shannowhamo (#845)

I hope $2 is New York City prices or something, I feel like any karaoke place I go to (Dallas area) a $1 seems generous -$1 for 2 songs doens’t even sound that bad to me! What happens if you don’t tip $2, does you song get pushed down the list? I’m just saying, unless we’re talking about a really charismatic KJ, they’re mostly just clicking on a laptop. Maybe I’m a terrible person. I did ride in a karake taxi once and now that guy deserved all the tips, he scrolled through the songs on a laptop WHILE driving AND talking on the phone while 6 girls sang “Alway Be My Baby” at the top of their lungs. OH! And I encountered an awkward tipping situation the other day where they had this automated thing where you looked up songs on a little computer and submitted them electronically but the KJ was on the other side of the dance floor. Did he really expect people to come over there and tip him? That seemed poorly planned (and yeah, I didn’t tip, not only that but I’m a terrible singer, to boot. I sang a terrible sober rendetion of Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl.))

selenana (#673)

For a sec I thought you were talking about Brandy the R&B singer and I couldn’t think of a song of that name that she did. Then oh yeah. What a GOOD wife, you would be!

ujas2134 (#4,045)

Emily Gold could become a good business motivational speaker, I have read some of her answers and I liked it a lot. Actually, I would have some questions for her, where can I post them so she could answer?

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