College student sets national karaoke quality record by tricking the machine with the sounds of his horn.

In addition to displaying lyrics and music videos, some karaoke machines will even grade your performance, awarding points for how closely you match the original pitch and rhythm of the song. However, getting a high score can be incredibly difficult if you don’t have a set of professional-level vocal chords.

So when Japanese Twitter user and Niigata University student @AoiIb_1108 stopped by a karaoke parlor with a friend, he was pretty impressed when his buddy finished his rendition of “Ito,” a popular ballad by singer Miyuki Nakajima, and the machine told him he’d performed it with a stunning 98.459-percent accuracy to Nakajima’s original, the highest score recorded by anyone in Japan on that particular karaoke network. Obviously, @AoiIb_1108’s friend must have a fantastic singing voice, right?

Actually, we don’t know, because he didn’t sing a single word during his record-breaking performance.

Instead, @AoiIb_1108’s friend brought his saxophone into the karaoke booth and replaced Nakajima’s vocals with notes from the soulful instrument. Even though he didn’t have any sheet music, the saxophonist was able to make do with the on-screen pitch guide, perfectly timing each breath with a substitute so convincing that the machine’s sensors and scoring mechanism counted them as acceptable vocals, almost like an instrumental method of singing scat.

One amazed commenter wondered if @AoiIb_1108’s friend is a professional musician, but he replied that no, his friend is still a freshman in their college’s music department. Amateur status aside, the video of his amazing karaoke feat has earned nearly four million views, and online praise such as:

“Going out to buy a saxophone.”
“This must be proof that Miyuki Nakajima was a saxophone in previous life.”
“What beautiful sounds. His saxophone playing is as full of emotion as a human voice.”
“I want to hear him play the full version.”

It’s kind of strange to think that karaoke machines apparently don’t require you to sing in order to win their respect. But then again, considering karaoke originally comes from the Japanese for “empty orchestra,” maybe their appreciation for fully instrumental music shouldn’t be such a surprise.

Source: Twitter/@AoiIb_1108 via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where Bump of Chicken’s “Tentai Kansoku” remains his go-to karaoke song.