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how do you sing and play at same time?  

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(@daza152)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 32
07/06/2009 4:16 am  

Hi I can play a couple of songs and know all the words, but when I try to sing and play I just can't do it :(

Can any one suggest a way to do this cause I'm sure my playing would sound better and more like the song I'm playing with words.

Thanks Daza. :note1: :note2:


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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1309
07/06/2009 11:03 am  

Hi I can play a couple of songs and know all the words, but when I try to sing and play I just can't do it :(

Can any one suggest a way to do this cause I'm sure my playing would sound better and more like the song I'm playing with words.

Thanks Daza. :note1: :note2:

The only way learn to do this is practice singing and playing at the same time. Depending on the rhythm that needs to be played, it may take a little practice, or it may take a lot! here's some articles that might help on this quest:

https://www.guitarnoise.com/tag/singing/

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.Moondawgs on Reverbnation


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(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2419
07/06/2009 11:38 am  

I agree, the only way that you can really do it is to practice playing and singing at the same time. You also may want to get the music so ingrained in your mind that you don't even have to think about it to play it. It's almost automatic. You could try to play the song and talk to people at the same time to practice as well.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3460
07/06/2009 9:38 pm  

Hi,

It's not that different from playing a piano, where it's initially hard to get your two hands doing different things at the same time. The usual remedy there is to work on each hand separately before putting them together.

Much the same applies to singing and playing guitar - if both aspects aren't solid beforehand then one, or both, will fall apart when you try and do them at the same time. The voice is quite literally another instrument, and you need to do some work on getting your timing, pitch production etc really solid, or it will falter when you try to 'play' the two together.

Most of us assume, because we can sing in a casual way, that adding it to guitar will be just a matter of opening the mouth and going for it. However, there's usually more to it than that. So I'd suggest that doing some work on singing separately would pay off. Perhaps even get some basic singing lessons or some tips from somebody who knows the craft well? If that's not practical then try recording your playing first (or using a backing track) and practice singing to it.

(EDIT: As bkangel and rparker point out below, you could equally well do it the other way around - record your voice first, and then trying to match it with your playing.)

Cheers,

Chris


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 10340
07/06/2009 11:32 pm  

My preferred method - might not work for everyone, but it's working for me - is to get the guitar down to the point where I can almost do it on autopilot, then I can concentrate on the singing. It's pretty much impossible to concentrate on two things at the same time, so if you can do one thing automatically, it's easier to concentrate on the other one.

It's like rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time - if you try to start by doing both together, it'll go wrong - but if you get a rhythm going, say rubbing your belly first, it's easy to concentrate on patting your head.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@chris-c)
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Posts: 3460
08/06/2009 12:33 am  

It's pretty much impossible to concentrate on two things at the same time, so if you can do one thing automatically, it's easier to concentrate on the other one.

That's exactly it. Vic nails it again. :)

The same thing comes up in numerous ways when you're beginner. Probably the most common question asked by new players is "What's an easy song to learn?" and the honest answer is "They're all hard until you've got some basic tools".

I can remember floundering about trying to get a song going ( come to that. I still do... :wink: ) and being frustrated by just how many different things there were to get wrong. I.e. You don't just need a couple of 'easy' chords, you also need all those 'feel' things like timing, touch, rhythm, style, etc. If you don't have any of them going well yet, then it's not going to sound much like the music you wanted to hear. So you have to be patient and work on a range of skills before you can profitably put them all together and get the sound you want. Singing and playing is just another version of the same need to work on building the necessary skills individually as well as together.

Cheers,

Chris


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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1705
08/06/2009 1:39 am  

You could start off with something very simple. Pick a song that you like from the Easy Songs Database, learn it and then sing along with it. Sometimes starting off with something easy is a good way to build confidence.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 118
08/06/2009 2:21 am  

I'm no expert. :lol: I really should just leave it at that!

I struggle with singing and playing. Something that seems to help a little is to run through it initially just strumming the first chord of the bar rather than the full strum pattern, and singing along with that, and then building up to the full guitar pattern.

I guess a bit depends also on whether you regard your singing as a more natural (and comfortable) behaviour, or your playing, and build the song up around that.

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5497
08/06/2009 2:32 am  

I almost always sing. Most of the time in low volumes, but I still sing. I go about learning a new song quite different than some folks do. I sing the song to start off with, but I only srum my guitar once when a chord change happens. Eventually, I add strums and end up with the rhythm pattern by the end of the song normally by feel. Next time through it, it's much better. I normally either have it nailed and need practice to make it smooth and listenable, but sometimes there's a line or verse that tangles me up. I work on that for a bit until I got it and then do the song again.

Now I have done the opposite and more common method, like with "Horse With No Name". I knew the rhythm up and down for that song, but couldn't sing it for nuttin. I just worked at it and it turned out alright. "Old Man", "Down By The River" and "Heart Of Gold" were other ones, IIRC, that I knew the rhythm before the vocals.

Roy"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3460
08/06/2009 2:46 am  

Good points from bkangel and rparker. :)

If you feel that your singing is the more solid of the two, then you could build from that angle. For many of us however, when the spotlight of honesty is turned on, it usually reveals that we're really not that solid on either singing or playing, and both need more work.

Another way to bring them together is to use a drum track, click track, or other kind of fixed reference for the song. Practice playing along with it, and then practice singing to it. Once you can accurately and comfortably either play or sing to the track, without stumbling or losing your place, then you should be ready to try putting the playing and singing together - with or without the help of the track.

Cheers,

Chris


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1500
08/06/2009 8:32 pm  

I started singing while playing the bass - much harder than guitar. Now I sing and play either guitar or bass.

What always worked for me was to learn the bass/guitar first, practice it until it is "under my fingers". Then work on the vocals until I am comfortable with them and the words and melody come easy. After that I put them both together.

The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Now on average pop songs that aren't too tricky, I can usually learn both at once.

Notes

Bob "Notes" NortonOwner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmithThe Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 10340
08/06/2009 10:12 pm  

I started singing while playing the bass - much harder than guitar.

Amen to that - I can sing while strumming, and I can play while fingerpicking, but singing while playing bass - well, I just can't do it. Seems the bass line goes one way, the vocal line goes another way, and ne'er the twain shall meet....

hey Bob, you must have a tricky job, though, looking at your avatar - how do you play sax and sing at the same time? Now THAT'S got to be tough!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3460
08/06/2009 10:42 pm  

hey Bob, you must have a tricky job, though, looking at your avatar - how do you play sax and sing at the same time? Now THAT'S got to be tough!

:mrgreen:

I've been told that I can talk through my hat - or even my arse - so maybe I could sing through them too???


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 10340
08/06/2009 11:19 pm  

hey Bob, you must have a tricky job, though, looking at your avatar - how do you play sax and sing at the same time? Now THAT'S got to be tough!

:mrgreen:

I've been told that I can talk through my hat - or even my arse - so maybe I could sing through them too???

LMAO...good one Chris, although, seriously, there is another school of thought as well.

It's the "**** it!" school of thought - "I'm never gonna get better if I don't work at it, so hell, why not just go for it?" school of thought. That's what keeps me going when I think I'm never going to get better - just play your heart out, sing your heart out and who gives a **** what the neighbours/ wife and kids/ audience thinks.

Like Rick Nelson once said, "Can't please everybody, so, you got to please yourself." Or something like that.

A few years ago - back in 2005 - I called in a pub one night on my way home, there was an acoustic guitar jam night going on. I got to play a guitar for a couple of songs, got invited to bring MY guitar the next week. So I did. Songs I knew, I'd sing along with - songs I didn't know so well, I'd read off a chord sheet, or, in time, watch other people's fingers for the changes.

One thing I quickly realised - you're not as bad as you think you are. "Hey," I thought to myself, "these guys have been playing for years - and none of 'em are that good, and none of 'em can sing that good either."

That kind of inspired me to think: Well, I can play a bit - not as good as some of 'em, but better than others - and I can sing a bit, too - not as good as some of 'em, but better than others. So Vic (says me to myself) why not just get out there, give it everything you've got, don't hold back, and who gives a ***** what anyone else thinks?

And, basically, that's what I did from thereon in - just put 100% into it, played my best, and sang my heart out. And that's what I still do - I play for ME. Anyone else likes my playing or singing, that's a bonus - they don't like it, well, at least I tried.

And I can honestly say, whatever company I'm in, whoever's listening - it doesn't matter. What matters to me is, I tried - I gave my best. That's all anyone can ever ask, really - just do your best. Strum those chords as well as you can, sing that song as well as you can - you may never be the world's greatest singer or guitarist, but no-one can ever say, "He didn't try!"

I wouldn't mind that on my grave stone, actually..."he always tried" isn't a bad epitaph. Better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all.....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3460
09/06/2009 12:00 am  

[
That kind of inspired me to think: Well, I can play a bit - not as good as some of 'em, but better than others - and I can sing a bit, too - not as good as some of 'em, but better than others. So Vic (says me to myself) why not just get out there, give it everything you've got, don't hold back, and who gives a ***** what anyone else thinks?

Very true. :)

Your stories about going along to the pub and just getting up and giving it a shot have been a source of inspiration for me ever since I started trying to play guitar. Whenever I think of giving up or drifting away from it I think of those tales. Not just because you've progressed a lot since then, because it wouldn't have mattered all that much if you hadn't, provided you could still get some enjoyment from giving it your best shot.

I wrote the lyrics of a song for your assignment for this week's SSG in about an hour on Sunday. Hot off the mark. But the singing and playing is still pretty dire.... I really need many days more practice on each element to get them anywhere near what I've got in my head. :( But, you're dead right - the important thing is to give it a shot no matter what. So I'll set a goal of getting something - anything - posted by the middle of the week, and maybe I can get some pointers from the others. The 'perfect take' can wait until next week, or next lifetime....

Cheers,

Chris


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