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I cant play and sing at the same time...

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(@danada)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 63
Topic starter  

Ok, so here is my problem. I have been playin guitar for about 3 years now and I think I've gotten pretty darn good, however, I have only been practicing my guitar and not my signing (mainly cause I dont wanna sing!), but I want to be "able" to sing as well. Now I can play and sing at the same time if the strumming is reasonably simple, but once I get a song where the guitar part is pretty dynamic its hard for me to sing at the same time (or at all). The song I'm working on at the moment is "kickapoo" :) by tenacious d. I've got the guitar down to the point where I don't really need to think about what I'm do'in. Now since there is a rather fast tempo its hard for me to even comprehend how to start singing it. This is how it goes, I'll start playing and everything sounds great then I get to the part where I gotta start singing and my fingers and strumming patterns go way outa wack and I just lose it. The only suggestions I have for myself is to try and slow everything down and listen to the song carefully but its still pretty hard for me to get this down and I guess I COULD start with simpler songs to start practicing singing but that is really not my idea of fun. ...I was wondering if any one had any other suggestions.

Thanks!

"We're officially on welfare. Come on, kids. Help me scatter garbage on the front lawn."


   
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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1468
 

try doing it one line at a time or try saying the words first until you get that then eventually start singing.


   
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(@danada)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 63
Topic starter  

Alright, Ill see what happens. At the moment I can only do one or the other...play guitar or sing. It's just really frustrating Ill post my progress in a couple days of practicing.

"We're officially on welfare. Come on, kids. Help me scatter garbage on the front lawn."


   
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(@wylesmyde)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 103
 

At the moment I can only do one or the other...play guitar or sing

I have been working on the same thing. I try to practice singing songs when I can't play guitar (e.g. commuting to work). Practicing this way seems to develop an independent sense so the vocal timing becomes more natural. It also doesn't consume precious time when I can have the guitar in hand. Afterwards, when I play and sing together, I don't struggle quite as much. However, ultimately I have to put the two together and perservere to perfection.


   
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(@general-savage)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 31
 

Singing is just like any other skill worth having, it isn't gained easily or with out serious intent! Give your singing at least equal priority to your guitar playing.

General Savage


   
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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 539
 

I've found that there are 2 things that you have to be able to do if you are going to play and sing at the same time;

1) Know how to play the song off-by-heart, to the point where you are almost not even thinking about what you are playing
2) Know the words to the song completely off-by-heart - no having to think about the next line!

The main idea is that you cannot use your brain to focus on both aspects of the song without one of them suffering - so you need to be able to do both parts with little focus needed on each part.

Practice playing the song until you really, REALLY know it back to front - then you can focus on the words while you mindlessly play the chords.

Others may have different ideas about this - and theres no doubt that once you can do it for a few songs, learning new ones gets much much easier!

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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(@chaisewilson)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 39
 

try singing the song and only fingering the notes 1st with out strumming it...just use your fretting hand...

then once you have mastered that try to go for the prize!!

hope this helps!!!


   
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(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Check out Nick Torres's lessons on this very subject on this very site, especially "If I only had (another) brain"

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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(@causnorign)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 554
 

I can't play very well and I can't sing at all. Seems that when I try them together it sounds almost listenable. Singing helps me to keep time, try singing along to simple chord rhythms, and as you get better expand your repetiore.


   
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(@coleclark)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 417
 

i found playing songs with very simple strumming patterns just made the whole thing click for me, i couldnt do it for weeks then all of a sudden i could! i still have a bit of difficulty with songs that stop and start the guitar and singing, like rock (eg anthem for the year 2000 - silverchair, hands open - snow patrol) but thats just because i hardly ever play that style i think.


   
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(@combs)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 30
 

I have only just started out and had an enourmous problem trying to sing along. Obviously as a beginner my guitar playing is not automatic. I started with a relatively simple song and stuck to bass strum to keep it simple. I also brought myself band in a box and created a backing track using the same chords. I sang along to the backing first. This forced me to follow something immovable. Then I played along to the backing track. Again very difficult for a beginner, but it made play through little errors and correct my timing to suit. One thing I really found interesting was that when I printed out the score to write the words in, I would listen to the backing track in sections and write the words in where they naturally occured. This process really made me listen to the structure of the song.

The song I chose also had the words punctuated at the chord changes. This was Country Roads. It is a song I have really liked for years (yes I am an old goat).

I found that after a little effort the singing and playing became one. I would actually get a little lost if I wasn't singing along, and found myself singing along in my head despite myself. The guitar playing and the singing were triggering each other.

I have since moved on to Bob Dylans 'If not for you' in which the words are punctuated at odds with the chords changes. This song is also played palm muted, which means I have percussion at odds with the word punctuation as well. I went through the same process and ended with the same result.

I am now trying to learn Willy Nelson's 'You are always on my mind'. I am tackling this a little differently in that I am learning a set of 12 bars or so at a time and will play the chords a number of times then sing along while playing. I am finding that the learning process is naturally linked. I think that maybe my brain may have finally worked out what is required of it.

Just on a personal note: Country Roads has a big association from 30 odd years ago, when a life long friend of mine, Paul, and I used to go to local pub to watch a group called Country Roads who's theme song was you guessed it. I had just about got the singing down on this song when I received a call to say that Paul had died unexpectedly. Every time I tried to sing it after that I would burst into tears. I have managed to get over it now thank heavens. Rest in peace Paul.


   
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(@jakec)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4
 

Practice! Practice makes perfect! Haven't you ever heard that? Well... practice the guitar until you know it off by heart and then sing along.

(oh my feet [i'm an atheist] Combs... I'm so sorry!)


   
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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

As Alan mentions I wrote an article on this, but slooooooooowwwwwww it down until you are singing and playing one syllable at a time. Work at this super slow speed until you get it. Speed up a fraction and do it again. Lather rinse repeat. It doesn't really take that long until you are up to speed.


   
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(@ccourtney)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 62
 

I'd say practice, practice, practice and take it SLOW.

http://www.myspace.com/courtneychris


   
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(@seansdadj)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 12
 

My friend had the same problem, the only thing she would be able to sing the first few lines while strumming and then she would stop strumming and keep singing :o but then she got a little better with it. I think it's pretty common. All I gotta say is just practice and you will get better.


   
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