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Singing and playing simutaneously

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(@ilovetheguitar)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

I can't sing and play at the same time. Anyone else ever had problems with this? What can I do?


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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 5468
 

Everybody else has that problem.

Here's an article I wrote on the subject. Follow the instructions and I guarantee you can sing any song and play at the same time.

https://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/if-i-only-had-another-brain/


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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 540
 

+1 to what Nick said (and read that article, its very good!).

Everybody has the same problem when they start out; people usually find that they lose the strumming pattern really quickly, or that they can only sing in the pattern they are strumming.

All this is overcome with practice; but only GOOD practice! :)

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

I'll also recommend the aforementioned article - helped me a lot. Not sure if I ever thanked Nick for it, so thanks Nick! It's not an instant fix though - it will still take time, practise and work on your part. And of course, you'll have to adapt to ANY song......

: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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(@yournightmare)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 108
 

I've been playing a little over a year and I still can't sing and play at the same time. I mostly play classical stuff and other instrumentals, though--so it's not like I get to practice singing a lot.


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Here's an article I wrote on the subject. Follow the instructions and I guarantee you can sing any song and play at the same time.

Hey Nick, you forgot to say in 15 minutes and for only $69.95! :D

Haven't read Nick's article, I'm sure it is good. Nick sings very well while playing. I started singing as soon as I started playing so it became pretty natural quick.

Singing against a basic strum is pretty easy, that is the way to start. Then you have to learn to sing in a different rhythm or sequence compared to the rhythm strum. When I run into this difficulty I will go through the song very slowly. Sometimes you have to use a particular syllable or phrase to time your strum. There may be a certain syllable in a lyric that will give you the time for an upstrum for instance. I will go through the phrase several times and learn to time them together. With a little practice it becomes natural and even difficult to play wrong once you are accoustomed to it.

I have most respect for bass players that sing. This is more difficult than singing while strumming rhythm guitar. That takes lots of practice.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@mahal)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 108
 

Everybody else has that problem.

On one of Sting's DVDs he said he can't play the bass part right unless he was singing. I think its the one where Christian McBride plays upright bass.


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

I have most respect for bass players that sing. This is more difficult than singing while strumming rhythm guitar. That takes lots of practice.

I've tried to play the bass and sing, it's a nightmare for me. I can strum and sing - I can even fingerpick and sing. But playing bass and singing I find totally impossible. You're playing one run on the bass and a totally different melody when singing.

Phil Lynott was a pretty good bass player, and a pretty good singer too - but take a listen to Thin Lizzy studio recordings and live recordings, and it's pretty obvious his vocals weren't as good onstage as they were overdubbed in a studio. Close, but his phrasing on live recordings is different to studio recordings - there's nowhere near as much melody in the live recordings.

: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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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Jack Bruce is probably one of the best singer/bassists ever. He not only sang well, but with great dynamics. And Jack never played simple bass lines. It always seemed extremely simple for him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V77lE6u0a4

And here is even a more difficult song to play bass and sing at the same time, Politician. To Jack it was effortless.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfcgds8h0Xs

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

Jack Bruce is probably one of the best singer/bassists ever. He not only sang well, but with great dynamics. And Jack never played simple bass lines. It always seemed extremely simple for him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V77lE6u0a4

And here is even a more difficult song to play bass and sing at the same time, Politician. To Jack it was effortless.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfcgds8h0Xs

Yep, that's how it's done! White Room's not that easy to sing when you're not playing an instrument - playing guitar, or complex bass lines like JB played, hell I don't how he does it! Amazing!

: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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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 5468
 

It may appear easy, but I betcha it wasn't. Besides White Room isn't one of the more difficult bass lines, and you can hear where he changes the meter of the lyrics to fit his bass playing.

That's not to say he isn't doing a fantastic job, but I really doubt he just said I'm going sing it like this while I play it like that and just did it. He probably broke it down and learned it.

If you listen to when he isn't singing you will notice the bass line is so much more complex.


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(@frosk)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 42
 

in the beginning, i couldn't play without singing. As a result, both the song and the playing was given less attension that they should have, as i had to focus on two things. But then i bought a metronome and suddenly i could relate teh lyrics to hte music rather than vice versa.

but that wasn't what you were asking. I have no advice :P


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 Anonymous
Joined: 53 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Jack Bruce is probably my favorite singer and bassist. He's just amazing.

Another one I really like is Jim Dewar (from Robin Trower's band). He was an awesome singer too. Can't say whether he could play the bass really well because I know next to nothing about bass, but he sounded good.

Here's a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79UU8kcEG5I


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(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

I agree with Vic.
Singing while playing the bass is nothing short of a nightmare.

I can play just about anything on guitar and sing with it.
I can strum, fingerpick....
I can strum chords, throw in riffs and fills while holding a simple bass line - like Dear Mr. Fantasy say....
No problem.

Give me a bass though, and forget it.

I have nothing short of respect for a bass player that can just play bass well.

One that can do that AND sing....
WOW!

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

And there is Paul McCartney.


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