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Putting lyrics to music???

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Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 373
Topic starter  

I am playing my first song....Pretty Woman/Roy Orbison.......

Yes I can actually play something finally! Standing up!- no more twisted neck! Got it from a lesson on TV. I knew all the chords from my mundane practice drills but had to practice the F#m a thousand times to be able to switch on the fly from an A fluently but I finally got it.

It is so kool to play a riff (even something as this simple one) instead of an apreggio or scale drill and see my girlfriends face light up because she recognizes it as MUSIC! I must have been torturing her with my practice.

Now the new problem................if I even THINK the lyrics as I am playing, it totally screws up my strumming pattern and chord switching and I lose my place. The first chords don't even seem to want to go with the lyrics. Only the riff is recognizable as the song but it worked for the teacher giving the lesson.

How do you guys get past this and get things to fit together?

If it was easy it wouldn't be worth doing.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349

Play the song on guitar a few billion times. Then just sing it a few billion times. By now you can probably sing and play it simultaneously while reading the newspaper. You just have to burn it into your memory.

Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 175

practice. that's it, i sucked at getting words and music together when i started, but i put in a good couple of hours a day of practicing and then i slowly got it together, and now i can play a bunch of songs and keep a correct strumming pattern while singing. practice is all it takes.

Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 240

Had I been you, I would've learned to play and sing it at the same time. The learning curve may have been a little steeper, but it would've payed off, so I recommend trying that on your next song.

As you've already put yourself in this predicament though, my only advice is the same as Arjen's. Im sorry but you're going to be playing and singing this song so much that you'll eventually hate it. It will be worth it though when you can do things like read a magazine while you're playing (like I've done) or stop mid verse, keep playing the rhythm, have a full conversation with someone (odds are your girlfriend) and be able to pick up the song at the place you left off without missing a beat. THAT is when you know a song far too well. :wink:

"How could you possibly be scared of being bad? Once you get past that, it's all beautiful." -Trey Anastasio

Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2801

It does seem, or atleast to me, that it gets easier to put the two together as you go on. Practice is the only way. Some songs I will actually slow it down so much that I am singing the word as I am playing the note, then I look at the next and do that one. Next time through the song I do the same thing but just a tad faster, and so on until its at speed.

Nothing but practice will cure what ails us budding musicians


“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)