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Singing and Playing

Does anyone have any tips on singing and playing? Right now we do not have a lead singer and I think our easiest course of action is for one of us to learn to sing and play. I can sing and play simpler stuff but even then I sometimes have trouble.
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1929
I can pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time. I can hold a conversation while reading and comprehending at the same time. I can pay attention to a song or movie while writing creatively at the same time.

But I can't for the life of me play and sing at the same time.

I've tried, many times, without success. Either my strumming hand falls into rhythm with the vocals, or my vocals fall into rhythm with my strumming hand, or I lose track of chord changes. My usual suggestion would be to simply keep at it and practice, but practice has never done me any good in this particular area lol
Posts: 530
Note: I am not a vocalist. Calling me tone deaf is a compliment. I was asked to lip sync in grade-school choir - by the music teacher! But I will sing along with some songs while I play them. At home. When no one else is here.

I started with something REALLY simple to play - Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (it's all open E except the bridge), and worked up from there (“up” being a relative term here). I went with simple bass lines I can play without having to think about it at all: Warning (Green Day), She Sells Sanctuary (The Cult) - non-complex rhythms and no crazy licks. Then I moved up a step - Walking on the Moon (The Police), Blood & Roses (The Smithereens), My City Was Gone (The Pretenders). That's where I've peaked, and I'm pretty happy with where I am, although I would like to be able to sing a little backup someday.

Your goals are clearly higher than that, so maybe getting some lessons would help. A lot of vocals is in the breathing, which a teacher/coach would definitely be able to help with.
johnny [staff]
Posts: 1005
I play drums and sing lead in a band currently. Here's how I learned to do it together:

I always consistently played drums and only sang parts that were super easy to sing while also being able to play. After a while I found I was able to focus more on singing the other parts as well because my playing was on auto-pilot by then.

So to sum up my advice is: master the instrument first, add the singing later as an extra layer.

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